Book Review: Greater Expectations


Greater Expectations: Succeed (and Stay Sane) in an On-Demand, All-Access, Always-On Age by Claire Diaz-Ortiz

What is this book about?

We live in a world that demands a lot of us. Keep Up. Produce. Be informed.

In this FRAME, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, an employee of Twitter and author of Twitter for Good: Change the World One Tweet at a Time, shares her ideas on how we can live a sustainable and successful life, enhanced by digital tools (but not overwhelmed by them).

The research isn’t so shocking in this FRAME- we’re overwhelmed and on the edge of burnout.

Americans are so stressed, in fact, that when asked to rank a list of life objectives, the top desire adults expressed is a good night’s rest. This inability to rest is perhaps a side effect of an inability to set boundaries. Four in ten Americans admit they cannot say ‘no’ to additional activities.

The research confirms what we already know about ourselves, our family, our friends, and our co-workers. Too much stuff, too little time. Claire Diaz-Ortiz shares her PRESENT principle to help us find and create margin in our lives. Some of what she shares simply goes back to the basic spiritual disciplines of silence, prayer, study, etc. BUT, she also offers some helpful tips on scheduling, journaling, and tracking our days. Coming from a person whose job IS the internet, she’s a voice that we can trust to give helpful ideas while at the same time not wishing the internet and social media away (which is often the case in books like this).

While this book was helpful, I did find it hard to understand why this one and The Hyperlinked Life were written separately. Perhaps the intention was to talk about two different topics related to the digital age (maybe knowledge in general and social media specifically?), but I found that their wasn’t a hard distinction.

Why did I choose to review this? AND My Takeaway:

Of course, like last time, I can identify with the challenges that the research brings up. Overwhelmed at times, yes. Too much to do, yes. An inability to say no to good things, yes. In fact, I go looking for good things to do even when I know that I don’t have the time to do them. Claire’s challenge to say no, create margins, and do something nourishing everyday are great reminders of what is needed to nourish my soul and have a strong God-centered inner life. While this book doesn’t add a whole lot to what has already been said, it’d be a great manageable resource for small groups to read and process together.

On a more random note, today the author had a baby and kept everyone updated on Twitter, making news.  My question is did she reserve twitter handles for all possible kid names that she likes? How does one get @Lucia as a Twitter handle these days? 😉

Questions I’m now asking:

  • What in the world do I give up to make margin in my life? I feel like I’m asking this question as a takeaway for everything these days. I see a theme! 🙂
  • What journaling style works for me? I’ve checked out a few books on journaling, hoping that I find something that is helpful to me. What I have going right now is not so interesting or useful to me.

Where you can go to find more: 

You can find more about the Barna frames here, as well as the authors, Claire Diaz-Ortiz & Diane Paddison.

Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for providing this mini book in exchange for an honest review. 

**Some of the above links are affiliate links.** 

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