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Shine: How To Survive and Thrive at Work by Chris Baréz-Brown

Book picture of Shine by Chris Barez-Brown

When I came across Shine: How To Survive And Thrive At Work on the bookshelf it wasn’t a book I had ever heard of before and I hadn’t heard of the author either. However, the combination of thriving at work and the music reference ‘Upping your ‘Elvis factor’! made me think it would be a book I would enjoy.

From the begin Chris is forceful in his message that everyone is amazing and we all have the right to shine. He believes we are all of the possibility to be who we want and do what we want and that there are “no limitations but the ones you impose upon yourself.

Chris acknowledges that “work is a huge part of who we are” and “work can define how we see ourselves, often wrongly”. Through the book he talks about finding ways to shine, achieve more and get more pleasure from work. However, he does make it clear that “if people don’t like their work they should either change the way they do it or leave.” Often people will continually moan about their jobs. Through the book Chris gives you tips to help you change how you work and hopefully get more out of it. However, if you don’t then leave, because life is too short.

Chris talks about standards, consistency, brand and focus. All things you would expect for a book about excelling in work, but there is more. He encourages you to go for walks, take naps under your desk, have no table in a meeting room and to daydream. This is because “To get fresh, you have to break habits and do things differently”.

Energy is talked about repeatedly. He talked about the different types of energy: spiritual, emotional, physical. He acknowledges that energy is limited and therefore you should “only go against the flow when doing so is iconic”. There is a whole section on the struggle of going against the flow and that really you should only do it when it is going to add to your legacy.

Chris doesn’t encourage the idea of being busy. He says that “When we are busy we feel as though we’re achieving something and we feel as though we are important. The truth is very different.” Instead, he says you should focus on ONE BIG THING and everyone day there should be one thing you set out to achieve.

Throughout the book there is an overwhelming feeling of positivity from Chris. He says that “If you assume positivity, life is Technicolor. If you look the crap, that’s what you’ll find.” That paints such a vivid picture, like the moment Dorothy landed in the Oz. Repeatedly he highlights that “You can do anything you want. Anything at all… You are limited only by your imagination”.

Chris gives you many ways to shine brightly but one that I found particularly interesting was

“If you really want to shine brightly and set this world on fire, surround yourself with talent that scares you.”

This feels counter-intuitive. If you are surrounded by amazing people, surely that will make you appear worse? I understand the idea is that it will help you to up-your-game and I totally agree you are a better person by being around talented people. I’m just not convinced you will shine brightly.

Overall, I really enjoyed Shine: How To Survive And Thrive At Work. Chris is full of positivity and his writing style really allows that to come through.

And what an ending…

“You just need to turn up the volume, take off the professional mask and put on your dancing shoes. Then the party can begin.”


Want to learn how to shine at work? Buy a copy of Shine: How To Survive And Thrive At Work for yourself.


Charelle Griffith

Charelle is book-loving Marketer, Success Coach and Founder of PropelHer. Charelle is passionate about personal development and blogs about non-fiction books. She also runs PropelHer's Book Club - a non-fiction book club for ambitious women.

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