Everything Is Figureoutable - Critical summary review - Marie Forleo

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Everything Is Figureoutable - critical summary review

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Self Help & Motivation

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Everything Is Figureoutable

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 0525534997

Publisher: Portfolio

Critical summary review

Becoming resourceful and industrious can be challenging, particularly if you’ve never made a habit of exhibiting those two behavior patterns in your daily life before. But just imagine what a little extra practical fortitude could earn you – a major promotion at work, a more hospitable living space, or the mental peace you need in the wake of a life-changing event. Regardless of how daunting the task appears, Marie Forleo is here to pass on the reliable mantra that Everything is Figureoutable.

In this 2019 self-help book, you’ll be taken on a personalized journey designed to help you reach your potential in life. Forleo uses a variety of anecdotes to illustrate how she followed her mother’s example and nurtured a resilient spirit that was able to take her to new personal and professional heights. While Forleo’s life path may not match most readers’ experiences, her wisdom is flexible enough to re-engage your mind in the great task of beating expectations and achieving personal fulfillment.

A mother’s wisdom

Everything is Figureoutable opens with author Marie Forleo recalling one of her primary inspirations in life, her mother, and how her example allowed Forleo to become the professional woman she is today. Specifically, she recalls one interaction where her mother boiled down her own personal work ethic and reminded a young Forleo that “everything is figureoutable” if you are willing to “roll up your sleeves and get in there.” In retrospect, Forleo relates that her personal rumination on this titular mantra allowed her to reach personal and professional heights that would have been inaccessible to her less driven self.

Further on, Forleo describes the flexibility of her personal mantra and states that she believes it can be used to solve both mundane and life-changing events with ease. She also makes clear that courage plays a vital role in bringing this mantra to life, especially when it comes to harnessing one’s inherent ability to take on life’s challenges with a growth mindset. And even provides some reassurance to readers early on in explaining that she believes everyone has “gifts” that go untapped because the traditional education system and workforce do little to manifest them in a personally fulfilling manner.

With this last fact in mind, you’ll be able to fill your toolbox with the kind of mental tools you’ll need to make a “figureoutable” mindset your new default setting. You can start off this tool-making process by highlighting two self-defeating beliefs that always make it difficult to “stretch outside your cognitive comfort zone, and poke holes in your own status quo.” Further down, Forleo makes clear that those who want to achieve fulfilling results of their own must be willing to “do the work,” both in the context of this book and in their day-to-day lives.

The tools for overcoming (almost) any obstacle

Forleo’s efforts to help you build your mental toolbox continues in earnest in Chapter 3, as the author introduces “the Magic of Belief” with a lengthy anecdote about her own professional roller coaster. She then goes on to describe a simplified process that converts thoughts about success into feelings, behaviors, and (eventually) results of success. At this point, you begin to notice Forleo laying the groundwork for building up the practical implementation of her titular mantra by firmly asserting that beliefs (for better or for worse) set the stage for all of the successes and failures that come after.

After digging into the practical implications of aligning your beliefs with positive outcomes, Forleo steps away momentarily and provides the reader with some homework. These “Insight into Action Challenges” show up periodically throughout the book and act as personal reflection points that are crucial to making progress. This first challenge, for example, asks the reader why they picked up the book in the first place, and whether or not any negative thoughts have impeded their progress up to this point.

This latter line of questioning leads well into Chapter 4, which is centered on eliminating excuses from your path to success. Forleo focuses on the “can’t” and “won’t” mentalities that impede personal growth and progress due to their tendency to close down fruitful possibilities. Through a series of further anecdotes, Forleo drills down to the fact that the tension between reason (which gives rise to excuses) and results will play a role in every person’s efforts to personally or professionally transform their life.

You’ll also find some actionable items, especially when it comes to removing one of the most repetitive excuses – “I don’t have time” – from your day-to-day life. There are a few methods of clearing up more useful time in your day, including eliminating non-essential media consumption and building a more efficient (and healthier) method of meal planning. Forleo even includes some fairly reasonable tips on improving one’s own finances at this point, particularly when it comes to being resourceful with what you already possess.

Chapter 5 attempts to dig deeper into the causes of the excuses described in Chapter 4 by evaluating a special, 4-letter F-word – fear. Forleo describes fear as a “dream killer” that afflicts every parent, artist, businessperson, and politician, day in and day out, despite their best intentions. But in recognizing this, Forleo is quick to clarify that “fear” itself should not act as an enemy. Instead, the “fear” that keeps you sedentary and immobile (mentally or physically) should be treated as damaging whenever it rears its head. 

Bringing dreams to life

Somewhere along the way, Forleo’s emphasis begins to turn from providing you with flexible mental tools to charting a course for your prosperous future. Forleo does not foist this daunting prospect upon readers without just cause, though. In fact, she shares a very illuminating anecdote at this point that describes her own inability to choose or develop a career path that felt personally fulfilling. This story leads into one of her secondary mantras that emphasizes the need for active engagement over inactive thought when it comes to charting a path toward success.

The act of defining your own dreams at length comes next. In essence, much of the discourse boils down to the belief that prioritization is essential and that the fuel for reaching high or lofty goals is already cloistered in your soul. You are also provided with an actionable plan at this point, as well as some scientific evidence that backs up the claim that writing down your dream is a great method for initiating the process of fulfilling it.

Of course, it takes some time to recognize the daunting task of taking the first step into the unknown. Using a personal anecdote yet again, Forleo relates that taking a step out of your comfort zone can trigger the kinds of inhibitions that close you off from true opportunity. She even prescribes a personal test to readers that posits whether or not you’ll regret passing up your exemplar opportunity after 10 years have passed. More often than not, she believes, you will – which in turn makes the imperative to act all the more important.

In an effort to help you work towards your goals in a healthy and sustainable manner, Forleo asserts that you need to understand the divide that must exist between progress and perfection (which is unachievable, she believes). And as you might have guessed, the “perils of perfectionism” are all too real. You’ll also be reminded to be mindful of “the gap” between ambitions and abilities, while still leaving room to recognize the value of an opportunity that is just outside of your comfort zone.

So, how you can be the most effective? Here’s a list of six tactics to practice while working to appreciate your own progress:

  • Take small steps and know that “real change is practically invisible while it is happening”
  • Plan ahead for problems
  • Expect and embrace self-doubt
  • Take the time needed to answer, “what is the next right move?”
  • Harness the power of positive quitting
  • Cultivate patience “above all” else

Finally, in Chapter 9, Forleo loops back around and reemphasizes the need for courage when it comes to the lofty pursuit of one’s personal and professional dreams. There’s a level of fortitude and skills needed for you to be able to climb the ladder of prosperity. In other words, a healthy dose of persistence can make the difference between being stuck in an undesirable position and reaching new heights.

“Your special gift” and “the real secret”

There is also a different sort of mental meditation that is designed to prepare you for the road ahead. Here, Forleo bulks up the reader’s self-esteem by providing truths about the value of their individual gifts and their individualized purpose in the world. More importantly, Forleo takes the time to address the all-too-common feeling that “it’s all been done before” and that your successes are only a temporary veil for your true fraudulent nature. This chapter then rounds out with a helpful list of methods that can help a wavering light shine brightly in the face of personal trepidation.

This slight diversion into personal pep talks leads smoothly into the book’s epilogue, which attempts to expand the viewpoint of a world governed by the book’s titular mantra. Forleo asserts that the core mentalities of this book can be contagious, so long as others see you acting in the flexible, adaptable, and courageous manner the author prescribes. But in a larger sense, Forleo believes that the “figureoutable” mentality can serve teams and groups as well as (if not better) than it serves individuals because it allows each team member’s “special gifts” to be united and leveraged into seemingly transcendent outcomes.

In fact, Forleo goes so far as to say that the social aspects of this mentality are almost essential for bringing it to life. To that end, she puts forth the belief that “nourishing environments” allow you to develop the behavior patterns necessary to turn a single success into a way of life. These environments come in several forms, each of which Forleo takes some time in the epilogue to break down.

First, Forleo highlights the so-called “friend power” and how it has the ability to supplement personal willpower. Friends also provide accountability, she says, which in and of itself is an essential ingredient for keeping any long-term goal on track.

Second, Forleo puts forth the belief that any workplace can operate on the “figureoutable” wavelength, so long as everyone on the team buys into it. While doing so has clear and recognizable benefits when it comes to productivity, Forleo also believes that the “figureoutable” mentality allows for a more personal team culture to form and perhaps even blossom into the aforementioned friendships.

Third and finally, as the book concludes, Forleo reminds readers that the golden rule comes into play while fostering the relationships that will lead them to success. In order to remain proactive, Forleo even insists that you take the first step and always provide the kind of appreciation, acceptance, and love that you want in return. Though this may not always work out as desired, Forleo asserts that this kind of selfless approach is one of the best ways to bring one’s “special gifts” into the world without hesitation or further delay.

Final Notes

In the end, there’s something unforgettable about Marie Forleo’s voice in Everything is Figureoutable, and it has more to do with her message than her swearing. Indeed, Forleo’s message in this book is well attuned to the modern age and will allow most anyone to adjust their perspective on the opportunities in their life. The path to success may be rough, as Forleo’s was, but this book puts forth a vision that is well worth the extra effort and mental exercise.

There’s also something endlessly accessible about “Everything is Figureoutable.” This book’s ability to turn theory into practice makes it as useful to the reader who is starting from scratch as the reader who just needs that extra push to grasp the opportunities presented before them. So perhaps this book should have a place on every dream-seeker’s shelf, right next to a written list of goals – just as Marie Forleo would have it.

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Who wrote the book?

Marie Forleo is an American author, life coach, and motivational speaker. She is the owner of Marie Forleo International, B-School, and MarieTV. Raised in New Jersey, Forleo graduated from Seton Hall University with a d... (Read more)

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