Beginner’s Pluck – Build your life of purpose and impact now

By Liz Forkin Bohannon

Finding your purpose, unleashing your passion, and unveiling your potential seem to be a reoccurring theme right now, specifically for women in their 20s and 30s. From self-help books to motivational speakers and social media influencers, the message of owning your worth to live your best life appears to be everywhere.

“It’s time to rethink everything you’ve been told about finding your passion and following your dreams.”*

Enter, Beginner’s Pluck – Build your life of purpose and impact now by Liz Forkin Bohannon.

Beginner’s Pluck is a book unlike many books of a comparable theme because it takes the approach that you will not find your passion but will instead create it or build it.

Before discussing any details, I should first define to you what “pluck” means because chances are you, like me, have never heard of the word “pluck” prior to my mention of it above. “Pluck” means “spirited and determined courage” and its synonyms include bravery, grit, backbone, fearlessness, valor and daring.

Bohannon believes “what many beginner’s lack in experience, track record, know-how, and connections, they make up in nerve, curiosity, spirit, courage, and a willingness to acknowledge they don’t have it all figured out.” She says these things are “incredibly useful in building lives of purpose, passion and impact.” (Excerpt taken from pg. 14-15)

It’s an interesting connection to make and one that makes sense for a person who is desiring to live a life of purpose because they were made on purpose. But if we’re caught in the middle of endless options of opportunity and seemingly hopeless potential to contribute anything of value to the world, where do we begin? How do we create our purpose?

Beginner’s Pluck outlines 14 principles that support the benefit of having beginner’s pluck. These include:

  • Owning your average Chances are good most of us fall into the “average” ability camp (meaning, not everybody can be a professional athletic or a doctor who finds the cure for cancer). By acknowledging and accepting that you are average you will become less fearful of failing and more confident of succeeding.
  • Stop trying to discover your passion – Bohannon believes passion isn’t a pre-existing condition to be found but rather is the result of being brave, curious, and “plucky.” Likewise, she says passion and purpose are built over time with consistency, courage and commitment.
  • Dreaming Small – By lowering your expectations you will become more of a doer and less of a dreamer.
  • Choosing curiosity over criticism – When you find yourself feeling challenged, disappointed, confused or embarrassed, you possess the power to choose between a pity party of criticism or a spirit of curiosity.
  • Being on assignment – Show up for life as if you have no idea what you are doing and perhaps, you don’t. Not having things figured out allows you to be curious and ask questions, almost as if you are a news reporter attempting to learn the heart of the story.
  • Finding and Replacing – When you discover a problem, you can replace it with a solution. The solution leads you to turn your passion into action.
  • Surprising yourself – Instead of searching for a passion that will make sense, Bohannon encourages the reader to be a curious problem discoverer who expects to be surprised by what they uncover about themselves in the process.
  • Paying your “dues” – Doing the grunt work and asking questions will most often contribute to the fuel behind your fire.
  • Making and keeping promises – Being intentional about setting specific goals and promises (to yourself and to others) will help you hold yourself accountable to fulfill your greater purpose.
  • Being good with good “enough” – Things don’t need to be perfect as long as they are good enough. Letting go of perfection will allow your passion to be released into the world.
  • Taking a moment to bask in the WOW factor – Limit the expectation of figuring out “how” by allowing your vision or dream a moment to breathe a big “wow” before it enters into the world.
  • Attracting your dream team – You are only as good as the people, support and encouragement around you. There is no shame to admit you cannot do ___ alone.
  • Stepping out of the shadows – Fear, false beliefs, and safety can hold us back from using our passion for a greater purpose. Stepping out of the darkness will allow light to shine on the potential of what could be
  • Working together for the greater good – We were made to both give and receive. We are not meant to do this life alone but are to walk together as we journey through life and ultimately, back home.

Beginner’s Pluck was a mixed bag for me. Part of me was hooked by the author’s humor, authenticity and vulnerability while the other part of me was like, “uh, I’m not sure I totally agree with that.” For me, it was like an emotional pep rally firing me up to go after the fire within me but then had me sitting on the sidelines because I wasn’t fully convinced of the approach.

I don’t know much about Liz Forkin Bohannon, including her personal faith background, convictions, beliefs or worldview. While she uses Christianity as part of her platform and admits to being a Christian, Beginner’s Pluck is not a book that is biblically supported throughout its many principles and themes.

I believe God has ingrained each individual with specific purposes to fulfill within their lifetime and that those purposes make up who each person was created to be – the purposes and passions are discovered and used throughout and within an individual’s personality, interests, experiences, and overall life story. I do not agree that someone has the ability to create or build their own purpose or passion. To me, that idea comes across as self-seeking and self-righteous. I believe purpose and passion are gifted to each person by the God of all creation (Psalms 139:16, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 1:6). Those are just my personal opinions, whether or not you agree is for you to decide. Either way, Beginner’s Pluck hits its mark as an inspirational read that will motivate you to get off your seat and out the door.


* Back cover copy


** I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

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