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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Shauna Niequist

Narrated By: Shauna Niequist

Publisher: Zondervan Publishing Company

Date: August 2016

Duration: 4 hours 44 minutes


In these pages, New York Times bestselling author Shauna Niequist invites you to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.
As she puts it: 'A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.
'I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, writer, and I know all too well that settling feeling. But over the course of the last few years, I've learned a way to live, marked by grace, love, rest, and play. And it's changing everything.
'Present Over Perfect is an invitation to this journey that changed my life. I’ll walk this path with you, a path away from frantic pushing and proving, and toward your essential self, the one you were created to be before you began proving and earning for your worth.'
Written in Shauna's warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection.
Shauna offers an honest account of what led her to begin this journey, and a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer, and connection with the people that matter most to us.


  • Diane R.

    I REALLY wanted to like this book and was looking forward to hearing about the 'tools' the author, a working mother and wife, found to stay present and balanced but it just didn't deliver for me. The best part of the book was about the priest/congregation story and metaphor about 'taking down chairs' which is one that Ii will continue to ponder and take forward. Aside from that story, which was told in the first part of the book, I found listening to Shauna's issues and stress expressed in the narration both exhausting and stressful. She kept referencing the 'restart' that she looks forward to doing each July, but instead walking through what this process is or looks like, she says that it begins with and is centered around her annual retreat to the Lake House. That instead in of sleeping in her jeans, buying pajamas is a way to make you feel more balanced and centered (what?). Unfortunately I couldn't relate to her strife. Finding balance by going less vacations, having less parties, less video shoots at her beautiful house and turning down career-making, high paying jobs wasn't a life I that I could find relate. On a positive note, for me her book reinforces and outlines that it comes down to the basics: Being grateful, taking time for yourself (meditate, work out...whatever), knowing your boundaries and living within your means both with time and money, and not stressing over the small stuff. Thank you for the reminder.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Kimberley G.

    I really liked this book. It was so moving and inspiring for me on the act of “slower living” which is just where we are at the moment

  • Anonymous

    Very well read book!! I appreciated the serious voice tone, as this is also a very serious book.

  • Suzana A.

    Great book and very insightful to a working mom of 2 boys with the same personally. I never know when to stop, and I continue to sacrifice my time with family, my body and health because of work or the thousand tasks/activities that surround me. I've been so frustrated and broken. This book came at the perfect time for me!

  • Claire C

    Great insight. I will read it again and again to reset my heart and mind to what's most important

  • Marie I

    Great book..I love her insight.

  • Danielle Sevilla

    I LOVED this book! It brought such insight into my life. I'm only 23 yrs old but I've already feel the pressure of trying to live perfectly and the hustle. Learning now to make room to rest and prioritize those I love= a great wisdom.

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

by Shauna Niequist

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Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living, Shauna Niequist