I’ve Been Thinking Book Summary - I’ve Been Thinking Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

I’ve Been Thinking summary

Maria Shriver

Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life

4.3 (97 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver is a thoughtful and reflective guide that shares insightful life lessons on how to find meaning and purpose in our daily lives. With personal anecdotes and inspiring quotes, Shriver encourages us to take a step back, re-evaluate our priorities, and cultivate a more mindful and reflective approach to living.

Table of Contents

    I’ve Been Thinking
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    It’s important to pause and reflect so you can change direction if you need to.

    Despite what people’s social media accounts may have you believe, no one lives a perfect life. Behind the scenes, our lives are full of twists and turns, of loss and love, of beautiful coincidences and nasty surprises. 

    The problem isn’t that life’s not perfect. The problem is that we get angry, sad, and frustrated because we expect it to be. 

    But here’s the thing. We can’t change the things that happen to us. But as famous writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou advised, “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” 

    Here’s the key message: It’s important to pause and reflect so you can change direction if you need to.

    Changing the way we think about things means we can also change how we react to them and strive to become the most caring, considerate, and compassionate version of ourselves.

    Of course, these changes take time, and time is a precious resource in today’s busy world. 

    That’s why it’s the most important gift you can give to yourself. As often as you can, slow down your life and press pause. This means consciously scheduling uninterrupted time in your day that you can use to think, reflect, and just be in the present moment. 

    When you do this, you will notice that many things in your busy life are not what they seem – and not as they need to be. You may pause and realize that, even though you had a crappy day at work, you are surrounded by colleagues who admire and respect you. You may pause and reconsider passing on the gossip you just overheard in a snarky text to your friends. You may pause and find that the anger you’re feeling toward your spouse is really sadness over the death of a friend. 

    So whenever you’re struggling with a situation or decision that your imperfect life throws at you, pause! Think about what you would like your values, purpose, and mission in life to be. Recall the times in the past you’ve demonstrated strength, wisdom, and courage. Remember that you’re not defined by the things that happen to you, but by how you choose to deal with them. And then move in the direction of who you want to be. 

    Want to see all full key ideas from I’ve Been Thinking?

    Key ideas in I’ve Been Thinking

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is I’ve Been Thinking about?

    I’ve Been Thinking (2018) is a collection of thoughts, quotes, and prayers to accompany you through daily life. Whether you’re young or old, religious or agnostic, have both feet on the ground or find yourself in a difficult place, it will inspire you to chart your own path to a meaningful life.

    I’ve Been Thinking Review

    I’ve Been Thinking (2018) by Maria Shriver is a heartfelt reflection on finding purpose and joy in life. Here’s why this book is worth reading:

    • Filled with wisdom and inspiration, it offers practical advice on navigating life's challenges and embracing personal growth.
    • Combining personal stories, essays, and insightful reflections, the book speaks to the soul and encourages personal transformation.
    • Shriver's authentic voice and vulnerability create a deep connection with readers, making the book a compelling and relatable read.

    Best quote from I’ve Been Thinking

    Mothering: Its a muscular job. It takes balls.

    —Maria Shriver
    example alt text

    Who should read I’ve Been Thinking?

    • Workaholics and busybodies who need to catch their breath
    • Non-believers looking for spiritual guidance 
    • Anyone struggling with their faith, grief, or loss

    About the Author

    Maria Shriver is a news anchor, journalist, author, activist, and mother. She’s also the niece of John F. Kennedy and former First Lady of California to her ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger. She has written several books about faith, grief, and spirituality and is the founder of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.

    Categories with I’ve Been Thinking

    Book summaries like I’ve Been Thinking

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    I’ve Been Thinking FAQs 

    What is the main message of I’ve Been Thinking?

    The main message of I’ve Been Thinking is to find inner peace and inspiration in daily life.

    How long does it take to read I’ve Been Thinking?

    The reading time for I’ve Been Thinking varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is I’ve Been Thinking a good book? Is it worth reading?

    I’ve Been Thinking is worth reading for its thoughtful insights and inspiring reflections on life.

    Who is the author of I’ve Been Thinking?

    Maria Shriver is the author of I’ve Been Thinking.

    What to read after I’ve Been Thinking?

    If you're wondering what to read next after I’ve Been Thinking, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Sleep Solution by W. Chris Winter
    • Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher
    • The Only Little Prayer You Need by Debra Landwehr Engle
    • Faith Still Moves Mountains by Harris Faulkner
    • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
    • Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
    • The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington
    • How to Know a Person by David Brooks
    • Why We Remember by Charan Ranganath
    • Stop Self-Sabotage by Dr. Judy Ho