Living Beyond “What If?” Book Summary - Living Beyond “What If?” Book explained in key points
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Living Beyond “What If?” summary

Shirley Davis

Release the Limits and Realize Your Dreams

4.3 (518 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

Living Beyond "What If?" by Shirley Davis is a self-help book that teaches readers how to overcome fear, doubt and confusion. It provides practical tips and tools to build confidence and resilience in challenging situations, empowering readers to thrive in their personal and professional lives.

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    Living Beyond “What If?”
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Being able to imagine your future is one of the first steps to making it happen.

    The human imagination is an amazing thing. Active and unrestrained in children, it stays with us throughout our lives. And although we use it in less obvious ways as we get older, imagining a different future remains one of the most important first steps in making any big life change.

    But imagination is one thing. Dealing with reality is quite another. 

    For the author, Shirley Davis, imagination took a bit of a knock when several big setbacks came along to steamroll the dreams she’d had as a young girl. These challenges showed her that everything wasn’t going to work out for the best just because she wanted it to.

    In order to get back on track, Davis would have to undertake a journey of self-development and learn how to dream again. 

    The key message here is: Being able to imagine your future is one of the first steps to making it happen. 

    The first setback in Davis’s life came a few years after college. She and some friends were visiting the University of Oklahoma as prospective graduate students. Driving home to Maryland, the women got into a near-fatal car crash. Davis was unconscious for days – but miraculously had no internal injuries. The police who’d responded to the accident were amazed she’d survived.

    As she recovered on her parents’ couch, she realized she couldn’t take anything for granted. She decided to get married and start a life with the man she loved – despite their parents’ warnings that they were too young. Five years later, a second setback occurred. Love and faith weren’t enough to keep the young couple’s marriage afloat after all; they decided to divorce.

    But, just as they were parting ways, a third big event arose: Davis discovered she was pregnant. She decided they would be better off raising the child apart. As she pawned her possessions and started taking out high-interest loans, she realized that this wasn’t where she had imagined herself: in debt, divorced, and about to have a baby. 

    Then came her fourth intense life event. Davis was working as a bank supervisor when the bank was robbed at gunpoint. A man held a gun to her head and threatened to pull the trigger. It sparked a series of difficult reflections: What if she were meant to be doing something else with her life? What had happened to the dreams she’d imagined so many years before?

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    What is Living Beyond “What If?” about?

    Living Beyond “What If?” (2021) is an empathetic handbook to realizing your dreams. It shares intimate, affecting anecdotes and sets out a step-by-step guide to overcoming your fears and achieving success.

    Who should read Living Beyond “What If?”?

    • People struggling to get over a particular fear or blockage
    • Those who want to reinvent themselves but don’t know how
    • Anyone looking to level-up their life

    About the Author

    Dr. Shirley Davis is the president and CEO of SDS Global Enterprises, a strategic development solutions firm specializing in HR. She’s worked at several Fortune 100 and Fortune 50 companies in senior leadership and executive roles. She is also the best-selling author of The Seat and Reinvent Yourself.

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