Over two decades ago when entering college, the author, Nicky Dare, optimistically wrote down her affirmations: “In order to be successful I must be 1) first; 2) daring; 3) original; and 4) persistent.” But in the subsequent years she learned that “there is no blueprint for anything.” Life presented hurdles and challenges: a huge transition from Indonesian to Western culture, her rapid rise of business success and loss of it, a failed marriage at two months pregnant, the untimely death of her beloved father, a tumultuous second marriage, and other trials to overcome.
This book is a well-written and compelling narrative of that life journey. It stands out from the recent surge of memoirs available because the author doesn’t dwell on the ordeals she faced—either in the book or in her life. Rather, she shows how she learned to transcend difficult circumstances, to approach life’s struggles and joys as a “consumer of life: ingesting and savoring life in all of its aspects.”
More than just learning lessons, however, the author evolved to live from a set of standards valuing service to others and human connections first and foremost. She lovingly describes her parents as exemplars of such values and philosophies, which she eventually realized as her own.
Nicky now has a new affirmation, as well as an empowerment organization by the same name that is based on her four cornerstone reminders to live authentically: “iDARE”—integrity of Diversity, Adaptation, Resilience, and Empowerment.
Intimate but not saccharin, introspective without being self-absorbed, personal and yet pragmatically philosophical, this book is an easy and engaging read. Dare is clearly a woman who possesses the strength of her convictions; readers of any stripe will appreciate the impetus her story evokes for each of us to say, “iDare”—to be courageous, strong, tenacious, fearless and unique.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.