The Storm: A Leadership Booklet and Blog #15

THE STORM Chapter 15: Give Yourself Permission

“The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.” – William Saroyan


Why This Matters: Chapter 15, “Give Yourself Permission!,” explores the transformative power of granting oneself permission to experience life differently. Granddaddy’s insights, inspired by Martha Washington’s quote, emphasize the role of disposition in shaping happiness and the importance of self-acknowledgment. The chapter challenges readers to lead by example, celebrating their accomplishments and facing challenges with resilience without waiting for external validation.

Essential Question for Readers: “How does the concept of giving oneself permission, as explored by Granddaddy, influence our approach to finding joy, celebrating achievements, and facing challenges with resilience, and how can this proactive mindset contribute to a more fulfilling life?”


Chapter Summary

Chapter 15 of “Give Yourself Permission!” explores the transformative power of granting oneself permission to experience life differently. The chapter begins with a quote from Martha Washington emphasizing the role of disposition in shaping happiness. The protagonist, Dakota, engages in a conversation with his Granddaddy, who imparts the wisdom of giving oneself permission.

Granddaddy introduces the concept of giving oneself permission to change the experience of an activity. He uses the example of watching a movie one isn’t initially interested in, suggesting that finding an aspect to enjoy can alter the entire experience. This notion is extended to life situations, encouraging Dakota to grant himself permission to find joy in various circumstances.

The conversation delves into the impact of permission on achievements and happiness. Granddaddy emphasizes the importance of self-acknowledgment and how waiting for external approval often leads to dissatisfaction. He encourages Dakota to lead by example, recognizing and celebrating his accomplishments without waiting for validation from others.

The narrative takes an introspective turn as Dakota expresses concerns about failure. Granddaddy draws on his experience fighting in World War II, highlighting the inevitability of uncertainty and the importance of facing challenges with one’s best effort. The chapter concludes with a reference to Vince Lombardi’s philosophy on resilience, emphasizing the significance of getting back up after setbacks.

In essence, Chapter 15 advocates for a proactive and self-affirming approach to life, encouraging readers to grant themselves permission to find joy, celebrate achievements, and face challenges with resilience. Granddaddy’s wisdom serves as a guiding light for Dakota, inspiring him to become a leader who uplifts others by fostering a culture of self-empowerment and recognition.



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Reflection/Journaling: Reflect on your approach to finding joy, celebrating achievements, and facing challenges. Consider a specific instance where you waited for external validation or hesitated to acknowledge your accomplishments. How did this impact your overall satisfaction and well-being? What changes can you make in your mindset to grant yourself permission and take a more proactive approach?


  1. Identify an area in your life where you tend to seek external validation before acknowledging your achievements. Set a goal to consciously celebrate your successes without waiting for approval from others. Practice self-acknowledgment and recognize the value of your efforts.
  2. Reflect on challenges you’ve faced and evaluate your resilience in overcoming setbacks. Set a goal to approach challenges with a proactive mindset, focusing on the lessons learned and your ability to bounce back. Embrace the concept of resilience as a key factor in personal growth.
  3. Consider an activity or situation that you typically approach with a negative disposition. Set a goal to give yourself permission to find joy in that experience by focusing on positive aspects. Explore how changing your mindset can influence your overall perception.

Next Steps:

  1. Actively practice self-acknowledgment by keeping a journal of your achievements, no matter how small. Celebrate your successes, and reflect on the positive impact this has on your self-esteem and motivation.
  2. Cultivate a resilient mindset by reframing setbacks as opportunities for growth. Set specific strategies for overcoming challenges and view them as stepping stones toward personal development.
  3. Experiment with giving yourself permission to find joy in activities that may not align with your initial preferences. Explore new perspectives and embrace the concept of actively shaping your experiences.

By giving yourself permission to find joy, celebrating achievements, and facing challenges with resilience, you can cultivate a more fulfilling and empowered life. Set intentional goals to shift your mindset and lead by example, fostering a proactive approach that contributes to your overall well-being.

Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, TV Host, and philanthropist.

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