Summary and book reviews of Ten Things I Wish I'd Known by Maria Shriver

Ten Things I Wish I'd Known

Before I Went Out into the Real World

by Maria Shriver

Ten Things I Wish I'd Known
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  • Published:
    Apr 2000, 144 pages

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Book Summary

A pithy, poignant, down-to-earth, and at times laugh-out-loud book that will help people of all ages and on all roads in life.

  • Starting at the bottom--over and over again
  • Dealing with--and learning from--the Boss from Hell
  • Giving up the Wedding Delusion, not to mention that one-way ticket to Happily Ever After
  • Being asked to bend your principles--by your superiors
  • Wanting to be a high-powered success and super parent
  • Knowing that children will both exhaust and sustain you
  • Facing that terrifying question: "What have I been put on this earth to do?"

You could call them notes from life's trenches. Maria Shriver's TEN THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN--BEFORE I WENT OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD gives us her reflections, confessions, advice, memories, and, most of all, hard-earned lessons...all the things we wish we knew before we started out, and that few people ever honestly discuss.

Here is the truth about: the price we pay for giving in to our fears, as well as the relief we feel when we finally face them; the humiliation of swallowing our ego so that we can learn from an abusive experience; the rewards of taking risks and the pain of failure; the joy of finding someone we can love and the limitations of every relationship; how it's never too late to tap the wisdom of others, even (especially!) our own parents; and the importance of taking what we do seriously without taking ourselves seriously.

Expanded from Maria's acclaimed College of the Holy Cross commencement address and written in the voice of a trusted and trusting best friend, TEN THINGS I WISH I'D KNOWN--BEFORE I WENT OUT INTO THE REAL WORLD is a pithy, poignant, down-to-earth, and at times laugh-out-loud book that will help people of all ages and on all roads in life.

It's within you to carve out your own future, create your own destiny.

I wrote this book so that you might be spared. Not from having to learn the lessons I had to learn. No one can spare you that, because learning is experiential, and you have to do it yourself. As a wise person once told me: If I could spare you the pain you're experiencing, I wouldn't--because I wouldn't want to deprive you of the strength and wisdom you'll gain from having gone through it and come out the other side.

Each and every one of you is a powerful, resilient human being capable of living the life you design for yourself. I wish all of you the faith and the courage to pinpoint your passion.

Chapter One
First and Foremost: Pinpoint Your Passion

Be honest with yourself about it. Really think about what you're interested in. What you enjoy, what captures your imagination and gets your brain going. What YOU want to do — not what you believe your parents or your teachers or society or your four brothers think you should do.

When I graduated back in 1977, all I wanted to do was anchor a network TV show. Everyone thought I was nuts. My parents' friends told me to get a grip on myself and go to law school until I could figure out what I really wanted to do. Others suggested I should catch the wave that was surely going to wash up on Wall Street. My girlfriends all wanted to go to the big city, get an apartment together, and have a blast. Still other people told me to get out of denial, stop fighting the family tradition, and go into politics. All legitimate...

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Media Reviews

Publishers weekly

Although she tries to build rapport with amusing stories of early faux pas .. readers may have trouble relating to her main predicament--lack of appreciation from people who might have wondered if a beautiful, rich kid actually wanted a job. Even so, Shriver's strength of character, her genuine admiration for her parents and her love for her family shine through.

School Library Journal - Karen Sokol

Young adults will check this out for at least one of several reasons. They will like the short length. They'll get the scoop on the author and reporter and her high-profile husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the famous Kennedy family. More importantly, they will get the message about the significance of humility, passion, and laughter at home and in the workplace....This quick read gives an intense flavor of what it is like to be part of a busy celebrity household. It reads like an autobiography with adventure and mystery mixed in.

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