LIZZIE BOOK REVIEW 10: Sisu -The Finnish Art of Courage By Joanna Nyland

Welcome to the Lizzie Book Review for Sisu – The Finnish Art of Courage by Joanna Nylund

All Lizzie Book Reviews are a 3 minute read, and in this format:

  1. Why I Chose This Book.
  2. The Review (under 300 words)
  3. My scores for Creativity, Insight and Precision.
1. Why I Chose This Book.

As fundamental part of me and what my business is about, I was drawn to Sisu as a concept. I get it. This little, easy to carry, beautifully illustrated and designed book stood out as I walked passed it in a book shop. I couldn’t resist.

QUOTE:  “Its a myth. But it’s also real. It’s a national icon. It’s a gut-felt quality…It is thought to stem from the ancient belief that the belly was a location of strength (think “fire in one’s belly”) and the place where our determination originates” p13

2. The Review.

This is a book of collective idea, tips and tools for gaining knowledge and improving your own personal sisu. Whether the head of a business, heading up a team, a parent or a young professional it has insights for us all.

The book is divided into 7 sections and covers facing lifes’ challenges, wellbeing the sisu way, communication with sisu, children, get moving, inspiring sisu and how sisu can make us happy. Each double page is a new idea. The book therefore allows you to have a peek at a particular topic in no particular order.

Although every part of the book adds value in its own way, it is the section on moving that I really connected with. This section gives ideas as to how you deal with physical challenges. But the real gems are in the simple tips and steps to apply to getting started. We know our mind is a powerful tool and once we have a grip on it anything is possible. Sisu helps with this and this book shows you the way.

QUOTE: “Rather than the stamina to run up a mountain, sisu is the strength it takes to put one foot in front of the other” p20

3. My scores for Creativity, Insight and Precision.

CREATIVITY – How interesting and innovative was it?
Every page gives a new approach to the application and or stories where sisu has allowed people to overcome challenges. This is supported by great illustrations and pictures making it easy to read, digest and learn from. I am a firm believer of the value of the outdoors. Finland is renowned for its outdoor environment and its use by its people. This is a book that not surprisingly brings stories, development and opportunities of sisu in and with the outdoors.


INSIGHT – What will it teach you?
You can apply sisu in all parts of your life in different ways. What is a challenge for you might be easier for me and vice versa. For example Nyland talks about what bravery looks like in the 21 century and how it’s in how we perceive things that can give us cause for concern or not. For this she shares three ways to relieve the anxiety and tap in to your sisu. 1. Prepare yourself, 2. Care for yourself and 3. Centre yourself. There are examples for teams, communications and more. There is a fresh nugget on every page.


PRECISION – How exactly can you apply what it teaches?
Due to its layout and not being over verbose its easy to find the tools and tips you can apply immediately. The how is clearly displayed for any reader.



QUOTE” Sisu is the reserve fuel tank we didnt perhaps know we had” p142

Should I buy the book?

If you would like a book that gives you a brief background and shows you how:


If you would like a book with stories and long hand examples that you could twist a little to fit your context:


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