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Editorial Reviews

Exploring ideas from Western psychology with an Eastern perspective, The Courage to Be Disliked offers a thought-provoking conversation on the pursuit of happiness.

What is the secret to genuine happiness? The Courage to Be Disliked approaches that question in the form of a Socratic dialogue between a philosopher and a lost young man who is facing a 'crisis of meaning'. Presented in short chapters that are easy to digest, the ensuing conversation and its insights are perfectly suited for audiobook listening.

The authors, philosopher Ichiri Kisomo and business/nonfiction writer Fumitake Koga, were inspired by their common interest in the theories of prominent 20th-century psychologist Alfred Adler. Using Adlerian psychology ideas and principles to help the young man in The Courage to Be Disliked, the conversation evolves into a series of lessons in developing self-confidence and achieving self-actualisation that has proven popular worldwide.

Before its English translation in 2017, The Courage to Be Disliked sold more than three million copies in Asia and was made into a television show in Japan. The show depicted an unmarried female detective who lives according to the title’s lessons. The decision to have a female lead was deliberate to appeal to Japanese women aspiring to be more independent. 

Benefit from centuries-old wisdom and modern empowerment. Dare to think for yourself and download The Courage to Be Disliked today.

Publisher's Summary

The Japanese phenomenon that teaches us the simple yet profound lessons required to liberate our real selves and find lasting happiness. 

The Courage to Be Disliked shows you how to unlock the power within yourself to become your best and truest self, change your future and find lasting happiness. Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the three giants of 19th-century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, the authors explain how we are all free to determine our own future - free of the shackles of past experiences, doubts and the expectations of others. 

It's a philosophy that's profoundly liberating, allowing us to develop the courage to change and to ignore the limitations that we and those around us can place on ourselves. The result is an audiobook that is both highly accessible and profound in its importance. Millions have already benefited from its wisdom. Now that The Courage to Be Disliked has been published in English, so can you. 

©2017 Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga (P)2018 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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What listeners say about The Courage to Be Disliked 

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Shining a light on the here and now

I found this book fascinating in that it made clear many vague ideas I already have and perhaps at times inadvertently live by. Nevertheless Many points - in particular about anger were quite new to me.
Then concept that CONTRIBUTION is the guiding star to happiness is quite profound. Also that one can only be an individual in relationship to society points out that our connections are what define us.
The point is made that it is up to each individual to discover the meaning for their own lives- that life does not in itself provide an intrinsic meaning.
I was intrigued that Adler points out that all problems are about personal relationships and that our relationships are best when horizontal- meaning that they are best kept on an equal basis rather than vertical whereby there is a power relationship.
Towards the end of the book it is pointed out that if you only shine a dim light on the here and now (so that you can look back into the past and look into the future) then the light on the present moment will be dim.
However - Adler says- the past and the future do not exist so shining the light on the present enriches every moment.
There is no sense that one should not have goals. In fact having goals is crucial. However it is the journey to get there that is the life and that moment to moment should be viewed as a dance. If the goal that was originally set is never reached in the form anticipated then nothing has been lost- the journey had been a valuable and enriching experience. One needs only courage to take the next step and to live with the intensity that is potential in every moment of life. Then even if life is short - it becomes a life well lived.
One should not live to impress others- that means one is not free. Freedom is achieved only by being true to ones own path. As soon as one tries to live by somebody else’s yard stick then one loses one’s direction. One needs the courage to make a personal contribution without looking for external praise.
It is a series of philosophies that perhaps need listening to twice! I may have distorted some points in the retelling - I would strongly recommend this book!

61 people found this helpful

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Dumbed down too much

The idea of presenting the content as a dialogue is great to help simplify the concepts. However I found that it did not work in practice. The ‘youth’ character was presented as petulant and the ‘philosopher’ character as condescending. The idea did not pay off and the concepts were over-simplified. I persevered - confident that it would improve as we progressed through the book. It didn’t and I regret not turning it off early.

15 people found this helpful

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Great Philosophy! Listen don’t Read!!

Love & recommend the content & main messages of this book. As long as you love philosophy & can follow the sometimes long winded conversations, you will appreciate it. The content is presented as an ongoing dialogue between a philosopher & a young man. I would hate to read the actual book, as I think I would loose interest due to this type of presentation, but listening on audible was quick & worthwhile.

21 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected.

Maybe I wasn’t in the right mind frame for this but I just could get into into. The voice annoyed me, the way it was structured into dialogue made it hard to engage with and I found the actual content no at all what I expected. Unfortunately not for me.

7 people found this helpful

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Controversial, Fascinating

Loved it, listened twice. I have no regrets about this book, I just wish it had an e-book accompaniment.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Qi
  • 14-07-2018

I don't understand all the good reviews

Some points in this book are alright and can be helpful I guess. But can't say I agree with some arguments in this book. For example: "Trauma doesn't exist"; the author basically said if you have any anxiety or depression disorders, then that's because you wanted it. You are using your "anxiety" or "depression" to achieve some of your personal goals. One last point, the term "Adlerian psychology" appears way too much. I know this is a book about Adlerian psychology, but when it appears like twelve times in ten minutes, that's just way too much.

13 people found this helpful

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Really comes together in the end...

I struggled to get through this, but I stuck with it. And yes, I wish I knew about Adler 20 years ago but... the format of this book is written as dialogue. Almost like a play.

Philosopher: "speaks"
Youth: "replies"

And the narrator READS "Philosopher" and "Youth." At first hearing that, I was dismayed. I found it jarring and difficult to listen and think. But, it is dropped yet reintroduced periodically.

I also found the voices of each protagonist, as voiced by Mulraney, difficult. He is a great narrator and has a wonderful voice, but the format requires two distinct voices in conversation and I struggled listening to one person voice them interchangeably in such quick succession.

Ultimately, it was worth it. These initial annoyances faded and I found myself listening intently and was fascinated and inspired by Adlerian psychology as richly illustrated here.

The afterward, where seperately, Koga and Kishimi talk about how this book came about and how they worked together is a very important part of this book and left me feeling a lot better about having stuck with it to the end.

3 people found this helpful

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great book in my top 5 of books i have ever listen

it gives you a whole new way of looking at your way of looking at life

3 people found this helpful

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ACTUALLY A LIFE CHANGING BOOK. I WANTED MORE.

I had the hard copy and the audio simply because I couldn't put it down. When I couldn't read the hard copy I had Adrian's voice in my head. One of the best readings I've heard. Also, I sometimes struggle with the voices of audiobooks, but Adrian's was perfect. The book is incredible and I'll be reading it again within the month to commit to memories. The more I read it the more I'll absorb it and the easier it will become to put it into practice. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK. EVERYONE

7 people found this helpful

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Numbingly boring & condescending.

I find my mind wanders after a minute of listening. I can't tell the two voices apart and feel lost constantly. Perhaps reading it makes sense but if you are having trouble sleeping this will get you off in no time.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Blair Elton
  • 28-08-2019

Approachable, applicable.

Hints of Buddhism, Stoicism, antifragility and all the elements of practical psych & philosophy in an easy to listen to, conversational form. Loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-07-2019

You Will have some many "aha" moments

Great Book, you will be complete inmerse in the dialogues! If you are looking for something new and fresh, this book is for you

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-01-2020

Life changing

This book beautifully puts together the recipe to living freely and happily in an uncomplicated way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew Crook
  • 31-07-2019

wow

Yea, this is a good one. I found this book insightful and relevant. The book was easy to listen to, as a dialogue the audio book format is ideal.

just as the author concluded, I am researching and learning of Alfred Adler.

1 person found this helpful

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  • JD
  • 10-07-2018

this book is life changing

I will not be the same having read this book. thank you to the authors.

2 people found this helpful

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  • HappyCamper
  • 26-04-2021

Practical Insights, Clearly Read By Narrator.

A fresh way of delivering on philosophical viewpoints, palatable, story-like, lots of insights, lots of lightbulb moments (if you listen closely).

I loved the conversational set-up, I felt like I was the student listening in and getting some golden nuggets in the process!

A great way for the younger generations to digest philosophy that is practical.

Makes you think....and re-think ideas you may have held in your mind before. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to expand their mind and maybe challenge their beliefs about life, and trauma, and the connections between them.


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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-01-2021

Reading character name each time felt unnecessary

I got used to the dialogue format however announcing each character was annoying. Maybe using two different voices for each character would be a better option

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  • Nathan Holt
  • 15-11-2020

Simply incredible!!!

All I will say is buy this book!! It is an essential part of living a free and empowered life!!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lolly Gwabavu
  • 28-06-2019

Great concepts, poor execution

Some really great insights and philosophy. The monotonous drone of the same narrator speaking as both Sage & student does not work well. Characters not at all relatable. Would have read better as a straight forward how to or essay on Adlerian psychology.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy
  • 16-04-2019

Wonderful, yet bold and a little mysterious

I enjoyed listening to this book, I'm 25 now, will turn 26 in June. I'm glad I found Adlerian psychology now. Hope to receive read this book soon.

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  • LittleBuddha
  • 12-01-2020

"Trauma Does Not Exist" BOLLOCKS

Read about 20% of it and it made me feel utterly depressed.

I have a diagnosis of Complex post traumatic stress disorder so the assertion that "Trauma Does Not Exist" and that it all boils down to courage, frankly, crushed me.

Victim blaming at its worst.

Do not buy this book. It's not what it's presents itself to be.

Instead, look for an EMDR therapist who Will hear you, validate your experiences and help you to heal.

love and light x

100 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-03-2018

Refreshing

Found this audio book challenging at times but overall glad I stuck with it...Interesting ideas...

34 people found this helpful

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  • Julie7193
  • 12-01-2019

Must read

This offers an alternative viewpoint to being happy and what prevents each one of us from becoming so, I am certainly going to take this point of thinking and put it into practice. Don’t resist, live in the now .

19 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 10-02-2019

Adler pshycology.. interesting and well laid out

straight to the point .. typical that it takes less than 15 words to review

14 people found this helpful

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  • Yas
  • 30-05-2018

Fabulous and life changing.

Having recently started reading up on stoicism this book seemed like a natural addition to my learning. It complements stoicism and the style of the reading with a philosopher of Adlerian philosophy and the young student works extremely well.

I can listen to the book many times over to capture nuggets of wisdom that I missed in the previous reading. Well narrated, very beneficial and enlightening. A joy!

51 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun Taylor
  • 25-10-2018

Great performance, terrible book

Excellently performed, the voice acting reminded me of the radio version of the Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy so gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

The subject matter itself was as expected from early Psychology - a series of arbitrary assertions based on what the author feels about life, unfettered by such things as evidence. Useful as a point of view, but hardly life-changing.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 15-11-2018

I had to bang my head on the wall to feel normal

the format of student and philosopher is taken to the extreme by this annoying boring piece of nonsense.. I an a fan of psychoanalysis and also teach it professionally and was intrigued by the message but the delivery is awful. The message is sound but the delivery and style would be more suited to AD 39 in a Roman school rather than in my car. It drove me bonkers. The student was an annoying teenage moron..…..and the philosopher was a self satisfied old git ( I to am an old git but at least have a sense of that). Read Adler but avoid this

118 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew McGowan
  • 12-04-2021

Old man yells at clouds that trauma doesn't exist

I've haven't witnessed this amount of dialogue with a straw man in my entire life

...and the last book I read was 'The Wizard of Oz'

6 people found this helpful

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