I was recently sent a copy of Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges to review. You can buy your copy here. I have reviewed one of Lori Deschene’s other books, Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself. You can read my review of that here, or purchase that book here. That book actually featured a piece of my own writing, which you can read here.
With that administrative information out of the way, let’s get to the review!
The format of the book is kind of like those daily calendars, where each day you get some new tip, optical illusion, joke, etc, often given as a gift during the holidays. In this case, each day presents a new challenge – basically, a personal development tip or exercise. Interspersed between the challenges are short but insightful pieces by members of the Tiny Buddha community. Each month has a different theme; March is authenticity and vulnerability, and August is acceptance and nonjudgment, for instance.
In my opinion, the determination of whether you find this book useful to you or not is whether you appreciate its format and what you can do with it. On the surface at least, it is meant to be used as a daily exercise in order to add more love to your life – to improve your relationship with yourself and with others. Some of the exercises work great for this, but others will be difficult to implement that way.
For an example I’m taking at random, February 27th asks you to “think of a problem you’ve been obsessing about. Now identify someone else who’s also affected by this problem.” You are then tasked with better understanding this person. This is certainly a valuable exercise, but it might simply not apply to you that day. Ultimately, if your intent is to go through the exercises each day as designed, there will be some days where it will simply not be possible.
For the purpose of this review, however, I’ve just been breezing through the whole thing, one exercise per day be damned! I’ve gained a lot from reading it, because there really are tons of valuable exercises. I think this book shines as more of a reference manual. If I’m feeling angry and need to release this anger and forgive someone, then reading April’s exercises can give me some ideas for ways to do this. In fact, that is exactly what happened recently, and the book’s exercises were indeed valuable.
I strongly recommend this book, but not for everyone. This book isn’t particularly “deep”, and is going to be nearly useless to anyone who doesn’t attempt at least some of the exercises. But it is a feast for the personal development junkie, loaded with things you can do right now to stimulate your personal growth (particularly in how you relate to others).
If you are looking for a book that you can just read and be inspired, you should go with Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself, and not this one. But if you are looking for a highly practical way to push yourself and are willing to do the work, definitely take a closer look at Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges.