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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life
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You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  758 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Mrs. Roosevelt expresses her philosophy of life by relating the experiences which have enabled her to cope with personal and public responsibilities.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published May 1st 2009 by Westminster John Knox Press (first published January 28th 1960)
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Heather
Apr 03, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any woman who would like to learn from an extraordinary woman.
I loved, loved, loved this book. I felt this book is a rare gem that few people know about. It was like listening to a wise grandma casting her pearls of wisdom that are still very applicable today. The thing I loved the most is that I think anyone could relate to Eleanor Roosevelt! She was an extraordinary woman, yet so ordinary(like you and me) at the same time.
This is one that I will definitely read again.
Melissa Baggett
In this book, Eleanor Roosevelt outlines eleven actions that each person must take in order to lead a fulfilling life. They are as follows:
1. Learning to Learn--This first key makes the others possible. A fulfilled person must be curious and must learn to use his or her mind as a tool to understand and influence the world. Roosevelt insists that beyond discipline and training, a sense that life is an adventure makes people not only willing but passionate to learn about themselves, their fellow h
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Trice
kind of a facts of life sort of thing, very practical - most of it not hugely surprising, but nice to have that voice with its background of experience and hearing what kind of advice she'd give. also a quick take toward the end on both the price of and need for participation in politics, from the local up to the international, from 'mere' voting up to representation and bill writing.

In some ways the way she thinks about and talks of the various parts of life reminded me of my grandmother, thou
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Carol
In just 11 chapters, Eleanor shares with us her own interpretation of the basic philosophy of life. She believes that her basic philosophy is best expressed in the choices one makes daily. She discusses fear, a stumbling block, the great crippler, is something we all face. She stated "Looking back, it strikes me that my childhood and my early youth were one long battle against fear." She realized that "the danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you f ...more
Marisa
Eleanor Roosevelt is definitely one of my biggest historical heroes, but I have to say that I would not necessarily recommend this book. The 21st century reader has to take everything with a grain of salt given the time period it was written in, which is only to be expected, however I felt that even the core messages of the chapters (which are largely still applicable today) are not written in a way that is particularly engaging or interesting-- and for a woman who did so much, one would think s ...more
Lindsay
This book was ok. I didn't find it super life changing or anything. Its a pretty simple basic book, targets to the point where we should learn as much as we can, and face our fears, and try new things. Thats what I like about Eleanor Roosevelt. What I've read about her, it seems as if she was a shy girl, but as she got older, she wanted to learn as much as she could and do new things and stop being afraid of things. Basically she lived her life.
Amanda
Eleanor Roosevelt was an extraordinary woman. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know her a little more through her book. This book is broken into eleven key chapters.
1 - Learning to Learn
2 - Fear: The Great Enemy
3 - The Uses of Time
4 - The Difficult Art of Maturity
5 - Readjustment is Endless
6 - Learning to be Useful
7 - The Right to be an Individual
8 - How to Get the Best out of People
9 - Facing Responsibility
10 - How Everyone can Take Part in Politics
11 - Learning to be a Public Servant

The over
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Biniam Biniam
At the end of You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt writes that she feels that her book advice for personal growth and fulfillment boils down to a handful of principles. It is always helpful to successfully complete smaller steps that carry you gradually towards a larger goal. There are more clearly defined objectives, it will be defined between steps achieved and made visible. that motivates incredible
Miz Lizzie
So interesting on so many different levels. The book serves as a self-help manual, a memoir, a textbook on good citizenship and how to become a public servant, a source of small meaningful stories and inspirational tidbits, and a historical document. Written at the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt embraced her role as Elder and Public Servant to write a book summarizing the greatest lessons of her life to share with others. In brief, make deliberate effort to overcome your fears, small and lar ...more
Dionne
Sep 17, 2014 Dionne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dionne by: Kelli Wick
"Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, 'It can't be done'"

I loved this book, it was amazing. A friend was reading it and was inspired, and so she bought the book for me as well. Eleanor gives a lot of great advice. Some of what she said I've heard other places, but the way she said things inspired me.

The chapter on fear was w
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Sarah
I was surprised that I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found myself frequently saying YES! That's true! but what would have been quite controversial in 1962 seems rather mundane now. I found her writing style to be a bit arrogant or patronizing (which is hardly surprising given the life she led - she's earned the right to speak authoritatively but somehow, it just rubbed me the wrong way) and at times, the writing seemed very dated to me. I'd really like to read her autobiography - I t ...more
Josilyn
WOW. Although written in 1960, this book still resounds with relevance today, and it should be required reading for every young adult who wants to know how to make the most of life. If students had to read this in high school, I believe that an entire generation would benefit and be better people as a result. Many of the values put forth in this book are ones that are prone to be forgotten in this day and age, but they should not be. Most likely this will be one of the 5 most influential books I ...more
Kirstin
From an academic standpoint I would give this book a 3 stars. She is constantly stating her opinion as absolute statements--some of which I didn't entirely agree. She doesn't defend her opinions and sentiments very well sometimes and for that I just thought the academic aspects of the book were "okay".

From a personal standpoint, I thought the book was a 5 stars. Perhaps because the book is a little outdated, I felt like I was reading counsel from my grandmother. She is a moral person and speaks
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Sarah
This book had a lot of insights that overlapped with more recent advice/psychology books I've read, such as Gordon Livingston's Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. It talkes about integrity, determination, and taking responsibility for yourself, and is remarkably currently for a book written in 1960 by someone born in 1884. I enjoyed the stories about her childhood and her husband, FDR.
Staci
4.5 stars
Even though, as the passage she quotes in the afterwords says, "What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes?", Mrs. Roosevelt really tried in this book not so much to put down what PEOPLE learn by living as what SHE has learned by living...it just so happens that a good portion of that is relevant for just about everybody. Where this book lacks is in the latter half, when things start becoming less philosophical and more political and therefore start becoming less timeless and mo
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Becky
I picked up this book after reading a few quotes from it somewhere. It is an immensely quotable book and follows an anecdote, platitude, repeat format. Unlike what I expected, the anecdotes where not from Eleanor’s personal life, but from the lives and observations of people she’s met over the years. (The fault seems to be in my expectations. Perhaps I should have read her biography instead.)

A few things to note.

1. This book is not timeless. It includes many references to current situations betw
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Jacqueline
Eleanor Roosevelt was an amazing inspiration. Her words of wisdom are just as true today as they were in 1960. Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run, it is easier."

"To leave the world richer--that is the ultimate success."

"learn to concentrate, to give all your attention to the thing at hand.."

"nothing ever happens to us except what happens in our minds. Unhappiness is an inward, not an outward, thing...Consider the truly happy peop
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Catherine Gillespie
Eleanor Roosevelt’s musings on life management in You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life are wide ranging and applicable to different phases of life, although perhaps less life altering than I expected.

I think in addition to learning by living you can also learn a lot by reading what other people learned by living, and if you agree you may find Roosevelt’s thoughts of interest. She had solid things to say about using your time wisely, not wasting your life, not caring inordi
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Rebecca Waring-Crane
Just delightful. While some observation or advice is very particular to the time, most of it is timeless. The passages worth remembering or referencing later filled three typed pages. Fear -- the Great Enemy; The Uses of Time; The Art of Maturity; Readjustment is Endless; The right to BE an Individual were chapters I found ripe with wisdom.

"I never can understand why so many people are afraid to live their own lives as they themselves think is right. You can get rid of your neighbors but you can
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Danica
A book to keep by your bedside and read a page or two before you go to sleep.
Inspirational, keeping us on the right path
Allie Smith
It was a pretty good book & an easy read. Her 11 "rules" are logical and her explanation of them, plausible. They also stand the test of time! She was apparently a pioneer of the "Self-help movement." Although, I believe this would appall her…she was not a fan of psychiatry or therapy. Interestingly, all rules are still applicable to our world today.

Her style is a little dated...even if you didn't know WHO wrote it, you would know it was from a different generation and a different time peri
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Stephanie Blake
Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman - dedicated to her husband, her country and public service. She wrote several books, but as this one was written late in her life - at the age of seventy-six - she had acquired experiences that enabled her to give good advice for those who want to live a full life. The high premium she placed on learning is a great example for us all.

She was very honest in her assessment of herself. She shared many instances of how others taught her the value of learning
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Eleanor
I'm loving this short read by a fellow member of team Eleanor. It's filled with very sincere anecdotes from her life, largely in response to the letters she received asking for advice about life in general. There are some fantastic stories and pieces of advice that, though they come from someone two generations removed (or three?) the core of the message is timeless. There's one great story about "time wasters" that had me laughing out loud on the plane. Just when you think Eleanor is going to g ...more
Becky Hirtzel
What a delightful book! I wish I lived during the same time as this remarkable woman! I smiled often while reading this book she wrote in 1960. In many ways she was way ahead of her time. Then there were also those occasional funny sentences that tell you this book wasn't written in the 21st century. In her day she was a vocal advocate for women and minorities. She has powerful advice for parenting children who will become strong, capable, thinking citizens of the world. A wonderful book.
Paula
She was a national treasure and we can all learn from her. Advice as timely today as it was when she wrote it--perhaps even more so, since we've had so many self-help gurus publishing volumes of platitudes in the intervening decades. These were hard-won lessons and she shares them in a simple, self-deprecating, occasionally humorous, and sometimes touching (when you know what led to some of the lessons). A great companion read to the PBS documentary "The Roosevelts."
Carolyn
I've always respected Eleanor Roosevelt. She was such an accomplished woman who was very ahead of her time. A good portion of the advice she offers in this book still resonates and provides insight into how to live a successful, happy life. However, because it was written so long ago, there are very laughable concepts, such as bending one's whole personality/cares/desires to that of her husband's, conquering one's fear of handling a baby without the nanny, and the dynamics of how one should rais ...more
Kris Irvin
I love this book. It was fantastic. I love Eleanor Roosevelt. I wasn't really familiar with her before I read this, so reading it was kind of educational in lots of different ways

Eleanor's keys for a fulfilling life are beautifully done. Service, kindness, good citizenship are all included in her thoughts. I'm kind of feeling that this one should be required reading for college age kids. Just before they go out into the big world, they read this book to show them how to live in a way that will
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Susan
I've loved Eleanor Roosevelt ever since I was a kid. I did a book report on her in 5th grade. This book is even better than I had imagined. She was a remarkable, humble, genuinely kind and compassionate person, who overcame many obstacles and became one of the world's greatest humanitarians. I highly recommend this book, and wish it were required reading for all students....everywhere!
Deirdre
Although some of the information is a little dated, largely this is an interesting and informative read on her philosophy of life and how to live a good life. It's like listening to a wise older woman who doesn't take your nonsense and will not brook any poor me-ing. She's quite interesting and occasionally shows where she fell down, but believes whole-heartedledy in learning from mistakes and keeping going.
Isabel
I read this for a book club and was pleasantly surprised by it. Eleanor Roosevelt had a lot of wisdom. Some of her ideas and views are outdated and there were a few things she said that I just didn't agree with but overall, her wisdom and advice is timeless. Her book is basically common sense thoughts on paper. If she were alive today, she definitely would be a woman I'd follow.
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Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political leader who used her influence as an active First Lady from 1933 to 1945 to promote the New Deal policies of her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as taking a prominent role as an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, she continued to be an internationally prominent author and speaker for the New Deal coalition ...more
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The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt My Day: The Best of Eleanor Roosevelt's Acclaimed Newspaper Columns 1936-62 This I Remember This is My Story Tomorrow Is Now

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“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” 5822 likes
“It's your life-but only if you make it so.” 258 likes
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