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Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life

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Gisele Bündchen's journey began in southern Brazil, where she grew up sharing a bedroom with her five sisters and bullied by her classmates. At the age of 14, fate intervened suddenly in Sao Paolo in the form of a modeling scout. Four years later, Gisele's appearance in Alexander McQueen's runway show in London launched her spectacular career as a fashion model, while also Gisele Bündchen's journey began in southern Brazil, where she grew up sharing a bedroom with her five sisters and bullied by her classmates. At the age of 14, fate intervened suddenly in Sao Paolo in the form of a modeling scout. Four years later, Gisele's appearance in Alexander McQueen's runway show in London launched her spectacular career as a fashion model, while also putting an end to the "heroin chic" era in fashion. Since then, Gisele has appeared in 600 ad campaigns, over 2000 magazine covers and walked in more than 800 fashion shows for the most influential brands in the world. But until now, few people have gotten to know the real Gisele, a woman whose private life stands in dramatic contrast to her public image. In Lessons, a work of deep vulnerability, courage and honesty, Gisele reveals for the first time what she's learned over the past 37 years that has helped her live a meaningful life--a journey that takes readers from a childhood spent barefoot in Brazil, to a internationally successful career, motherhood and marriage to quarterback Tom Brady.


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Gisele Bündchen's journey began in southern Brazil, where she grew up sharing a bedroom with her five sisters and bullied by her classmates. At the age of 14, fate intervened suddenly in Sao Paolo in the form of a modeling scout. Four years later, Gisele's appearance in Alexander McQueen's runway show in London launched her spectacular career as a fashion model, while also Gisele Bündchen's journey began in southern Brazil, where she grew up sharing a bedroom with her five sisters and bullied by her classmates. At the age of 14, fate intervened suddenly in Sao Paolo in the form of a modeling scout. Four years later, Gisele's appearance in Alexander McQueen's runway show in London launched her spectacular career as a fashion model, while also putting an end to the "heroin chic" era in fashion. Since then, Gisele has appeared in 600 ad campaigns, over 2000 magazine covers and walked in more than 800 fashion shows for the most influential brands in the world. But until now, few people have gotten to know the real Gisele, a woman whose private life stands in dramatic contrast to her public image. In Lessons, a work of deep vulnerability, courage and honesty, Gisele reveals for the first time what she's learned over the past 37 years that has helped her live a meaningful life--a journey that takes readers from a childhood spent barefoot in Brazil, to a internationally successful career, motherhood and marriage to quarterback Tom Brady.

30 review for Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gina *loves sunshine*

    I enjoyed this book, I related to this book, I learned from this book and I think it's a great tool for women!!!! Especially.....young women and young moms that need some guidance on old school life! And there are soooooo many women who weren't taught the value of the simple things in life. That don't know how great it is to sit down and enjoy a meal every night with your kids....you don't realize the life lessons and personal benefits for every family member when we sit down, disconnect and hav I enjoyed this book, I related to this book, I learned from this book and I think it's a great tool for women!!!! Especially.....young women and young moms that need some guidance on old school life! And there are soooooo many women who weren't taught the value of the simple things in life. That don't know how great it is to sit down and enjoy a meal every night with your kids....you don't realize the life lessons and personal benefits for every family member when we sit down, disconnect and have real life, how was your day conversations! I really respected so much of what Gisele had to say, I appreciated her hard work, her devotion to family and quality of life. She focuses on nourishing herself through good food, exercise, meditation, etc, etc. She spent a lot of time talking about how she was raised, her early modeling career and her current marriage and children. Gisele mentioned quite a bit about anxiety and busyness and gave lots of tips for dealing and coping with it - that seems to be so rampant these days. I highly recommend this book!! If you like Gisele and Tom and if you can put aside the attitude that she can afford trainers, cooks, nannies, etc etc so of course her life is fabulous - she actually has a very helpful and down to earth approach to teach!!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alona Fil

    At the end of the book I felt full of love and inspired. I found this book quite honest and tricky at the same time; so open and somehow closed; so practical and hard to adapt if you don't have additional help. Overall, it is just lessons that Gisele had throughout her life that helped, guided her to where and who she is now. This is her story. And she is not saying follow me, she says - build your own life the way you want it to be, step by step. Respect the mother-Nature, respect your own natur At the end of the book I felt full of love and inspired. I found this book quite honest and tricky at the same time; so open and somehow closed; so practical and hard to adapt if you don't have additional help. Overall, it is just lessons that Gisele had throughout her life that helped, guided her to where and who she is now. This is her story. And she is not saying follow me, she says - build your own life the way you want it to be, step by step. Respect the mother-Nature, respect your own nature, respect your partner's nature, protect and develop it. I feel that this book is for people who sees Gisele as a beautiful human being both from the inside and outside (like I do). For people who wants to look in the backstage (kinda) of Gisele Bundchen's and Tom Brady everyday life and learn from it useful tricks. For people who is looking for inspiration, changes and good piece of advises. P.S. if it is just for fun, if you just curious of lifestyle of the rich and famous, and if you have negative feelings about this couple, please don't waste your time and energy on this book. Go and do something more useful for yourself ;)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheri Hooton

    I would give this book probably a 3.7 or 3.8. There was a lot of good stuff in here. From the ways Gisele's upbringing has shaped her and how she overcame some of her toughest struggles. I really appreciated all of that. I will say something that bothered me though, and if you don't identify as Christian then you probably won't care... but she talks about her Catholic upbringing and how one day she asked one of her teachers, how could the bible say an eye for an eye when Jesus's message is love. I would give this book probably a 3.7 or 3.8. There was a lot of good stuff in here. From the ways Gisele's upbringing has shaped her and how she overcame some of her toughest struggles. I really appreciated all of that. I will say something that bothered me though, and if you don't identify as Christian then you probably won't care... but she talks about her Catholic upbringing and how one day she asked one of her teachers, how could the bible say an eye for an eye when Jesus's message is love. How is that loving? And the teacher couldn't answer her. (which is kind of a problem if you ask me...but anyways). From that moment on she changed her thinking of faith and identifies more with a self-based faith. A lot of ideas in here are that she trusts her inner voice and promises it will never let you down *false, my inner voice has gotten me in lots of tricky places*. I wish I could just call her and answer her question- that Jesus came to fulfill the law that we never could. She was asking a old testament question and thinking it was at the same time as the new testament. Oh it hurts my heart that I can't tell her this. She does talk about God still in the book, but refers also to spiritual guardians that she and her children pray to. It's just really weird that she still has a faith life but that it's kind of shaped by her own ideas. I don't understand how a faith that is built solely on your feelings is more accurate than something that is considered the actual word of God but I know this is a very modern way of thinking for people. It's just not what I believe. Other than that, I thought her stories were sweet and I never realized just how much Gisele and I had in common. Who would have thought?! I was surprised to hear of her struggles with anxiety & suicidal thoughts- but also happy that she was brave enough to share those vulnerable moments and hope others will hear this and relate. Her story of Vida, her puppy, gave me tears as I was driving to work. Overall, I downloaded this book because I'm a Tom Brady fan and I'm always so curious to hear more about how they live. I find it fascinating and in line with the ways I try to strive to live my life and hope to grow into. She talks a ton about her family and how they've cultivated a culture of openness and learning in their home. I always thought Gisele would be a distraction for Tom Brady and after listening to this book I realize just how perfect they are for each other. I feel a lot of his success as of late can be attributed to the ways they seek to grow as people and how they encourage each other. It also sounds like we can thank Gisele for Toms crazy eating regimen, that I also believe has helped him be in the best shape of his life when most football players would have retired years ago. I apologize for the things I said back then. I was wrong. If you get the audio book, I will say, Gisele only does the foreword. So if you're a person that only wants to hear the story from the author in their voice, just a heads up since it's not specified on the audible page. I thought the narrator did a great job and at times I forgot it wasn't Gisele because she spoke so fluently the words that were written. An enjoyable quick easy listen.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Leah

    2.5 Stars: Ho-hum! I was really excited to read her book, but found it came up short. It was written very conversationally, but a lot of it felt like bragging and boasting. She does not acknowledge her privilege - from being a fair-skinned Brazilian to having the time to pursue all of the personal development imaginable. I liked reading about her connection to family values and some of her day-to-day rituals. I had a huge problem with how she dismissed modern medicine and anti-depressants. It was 2.5 Stars: Ho-hum! I was really excited to read her book, but found it came up short. It was written very conversationally, but a lot of it felt like bragging and boasting. She does not acknowledge her privilege - from being a fair-skinned Brazilian to having the time to pursue all of the personal development imaginable. I liked reading about her connection to family values and some of her day-to-day rituals. I had a huge problem with how she dismissed modern medicine and anti-depressants. It was a quick read, but I wouldn't recommend it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yoric

    Simplicity is what comes to mind when reading this book. We may be surprised how much importance a model gave to "discipline" in her life. Her philosophy of life is nice to read, as it is more about being responsible, taking action, being positive, thankful... Then we realize her "success" in modeling was not by chance. But attitude, as other successful people usually state. Her 4 steps to success: Clarity, focus, dedication, humility. She did write this book as she would give advice to her children, Simplicity is what comes to mind when reading this book. We may be surprised how much importance a model gave to "discipline" in her life. Her philosophy of life is nice to read, as it is more about being responsible, taking action, being positive, thankful... Then we realize her "success" in modeling was not by chance. But attitude, as other successful people usually state. Her 4 steps to success: Clarity, focus, dedication, humility. She did write this book as she would give advice to her children, or to her younger self. I think we all should do.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katerina Galkina

    I read an advanced reading copy of this book, and while it's not the best book I read by a famous public figure, I did enjoy reading about some of her tips and tricks regarding self care and meditation. I still think that the book was in many ways redundant and repetitive. Prior to reading this book, I didn't know much if anything about Gisele Bündchen, besides the fact she was and still is a very hyped-up super model.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Safar

    Surprisingly a good read This book was informative, back to basics, thoughtful and grounding, Gisele has her feet planted firmly in the ground and is an inspiration for all of us, notably women of all ages.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Que mulher maravilhosa! Sem dúvida, é muito inspirador ler esse livro e conhecer um pouco mais do lado pessoal da Gisele. Mesmo depois de tantas vitórias e sucesso, ela continua sendo a mesma pessoa simples de sempre. Adorei saber das histórias da infância dela, ver o carinho que tem pela família e pelo nosso país. As fotos que ela compartilha desses momentos são a coisa mais linda! Se alguém acha que vai encontrar imagens de catálogos e capas de revista, está enganado. A intenção dela era justa Que mulher maravilhosa! Sem dúvida, é muito inspirador ler esse livro e conhecer um pouco mais do lado pessoal da Gisele. Mesmo depois de tantas vitórias e sucesso, ela continua sendo a mesma pessoa simples de sempre. Adorei saber das histórias da infância dela, ver o carinho que tem pela família e pelo nosso país. As fotos que ela compartilha desses momentos são a coisa mais linda! Se alguém acha que vai encontrar imagens de catálogos e capas de revista, está enganado. A intenção dela era justamente nos mostrar a vida pessoal, os momentos descontraídos com os filhos e marido, os cães, as lembranças de Horizontina, contato com a natureza, dentre outros. Eu não tinha a menor ideia de todas as dificuldades que ela enfrentou com depressão e ataques de pânico. Dá pra imaginar o quanto deve ter sido assustador passar por tudo isso enquanto sua carreira estava a todo vapor. Me emocionei muito no capítulo dedicado à cachorrinha Vida! Realmente só quem já teve um animalzinho sabe o quanto nos apegamos a eles e o quanto se tornam nossos melhores amigos e anjos da guarda. Embora as lições que ela compartilha sejam comuns em livros de auto-ajuda, eu gostei muito da forma que foram escritas. Pude mesmo sentir todo o carinho e dedicação que teve nesse projeto, realmente querendo levar uma mensagem positiva para os leitores. Super recomendo!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kayo

    Author seems well grounded, despite the wealth and notoriety. Interesting book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Devon

    Reading this book was like recharging my battery. I love the positive message and life affirming lessons that Gisele shares in an incredibly honest, straightforward way. This is not a book about modeling, but about an intelligent woman who has achieved great success, and the many important lessons she has learned along the way. There are many insights into her life that I think will change mine for the better. Most importantly, she shares how she practices meditation and breathing to handle the Reading this book was like recharging my battery. I love the positive message and life affirming lessons that Gisele shares in an incredibly honest, straightforward way. This is not a book about modeling, but about an intelligent woman who has achieved great success, and the many important lessons she has learned along the way. There are many insights into her life that I think will change mine for the better. Most importantly, she shares how she practices meditation and breathing to handle the challenges of life, and that she openly discusses how she has had serious low points in hers. Not many people are brave enough to share these truths, and I think this book really gets into some serious topics that many people may not have known about Gisele before now. I could read this book again and I am sure I would gain more from a second time through, as it is full of wisdom and valuable advice. This book would be a perfect gift for a recent graduate, a new mother, a person embarking on a new business, a new job, or anyone looking for support for a positive transformation in their life. Lessons is proof that Gisele has not become so successful by luck, but by incredible discipline, hard work, and mental toughness. She is truly an amazing woman. I would recommend this book 100%!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carolina Magalhaes

    I was drawn to this book because I read an article about it and I thought it was very brave of Gisele to talk about having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Most people go through tough times and it is really important to take the “bad” (wrong) idea people have from mental diseases (that happen, like the physical ones; and if addressed properly can be healed, like the physical ones). The whole book is a brave and loving statement of someone who believes in growth as a person and love as the an I was drawn to this book because I read an article about it and I thought it was very brave of Gisele to talk about having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. Most people go through tough times and it is really important to take the “bad” (wrong) idea people have from mental diseases (that happen, like the physical ones; and if addressed properly can be healed, like the physical ones). The whole book is a brave and loving statement of someone who believes in growth as a person and love as the answer. There are lots of good advice in it. Really lots. This being said, I believe sometimes the author forgets to mention that she has a very privileged life that makes it so much easier to follow all the practices she does. This doesn’t erase the fact that a good advice is a good advice. I

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nsikan Akpan

    Gisele has been my favorite supermodel since I was fifteen (I’m twenty-three now). For eight whole years I compared myself to her, and I always fell short. God tried to remind me: “I made you to be your own person. I have a unique story just for you.” I didn’t listen to Him. To some, this book may just be a cool thing that a supermodel did, but for me, Gisele’s words were the key to freedom from wanting so bad to be her. I’m not white, I’m not blonde, Im not Brazilian, I’m not 5’11-though I am 5 Gisele has been my favorite supermodel since I was fifteen (I’m twenty-three now). For eight whole years I compared myself to her, and I always fell short. God tried to remind me: “I made you to be your own person. I have a unique story just for you.” I didn’t listen to Him. To some, this book may just be a cool thing that a supermodel did, but for me, Gisele’s words were the key to freedom from wanting so bad to be her. I’m not white, I’m not blonde, Im not Brazilian, I’m not 5’11-though I am 5’10, pretty close, huh? Anyway, I’m not any of those things because I am not her. God entrusted me with being a beautiful, black girl with a full Afro and brown eyes. I’m grateful for Gisele’s honesty. I’m not sure if she’ll ever know how much her words have freed me from the chains of comparison and false perfection. Although knowing what I know about the prevalent racism in Brazil, it would have been nice for her to use her influence to address some of that. Maybe in her next book?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brooklynsmom55

    I throughly enjoyed the book. Her interpretation and experiences in life were interesting and thought provoking. A different kind of biography that gave you insight into her life past and present as well as a refreshing outlook on life. I came away inspired by her suggestions and viewpoints.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Traci Bild

    I was surprised by how good this book was, I really enjoyed it and it was full of practical information that is incredibly useful!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kassandra Reinhardt

    Some good stuff in there but overall a bit bland..

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nellie

    An interesting book that I feel was written more for her children than s general audience. It is a semi-autobiography about super model, Gisele Büdchen. She was spotted in Brazil by a modeling scout at the age of 14. She moves to the big city of São Paulo. What was refreshing was how she managed to avoid all the pitfalls of starting her career at such a young age. Her parents instilled in her a strong sense of right and wrong. Gisele wanted to live a life that would make her parents proud. She writ An interesting book that I feel was written more for her children than s general audience. It is a semi-autobiography about super model, Gisele Büdchen. She was spotted in Brazil by a modeling scout at the age of 14. She moves to the big city of São Paulo. What was refreshing was how she managed to avoid all the pitfalls of starting her career at such a young age. Her parents instilled in her a strong sense of right and wrong. Gisele wanted to live a life that would make her parents proud. She writes how she did smoke at one time but realized the damage it caused her body. She was able to quit rather quickly. She got involved with yoga and Nadi Shodhana Pranayama during a time that she was experiencing panic attacks. Gisele believes that being in tune with her body helped her to avoid panic attacks. Gisele is passionate about being good stewards of the planet. She had started a few foundations dedicated to creating a better environment. Gisele is also into healthy eating coupled with eating locally sourced foods. It was a good book that I listened to while at the gym. I agree with another reviewer that Gisele should have read the book herself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I’m conflicted by this book. Gisele has some poignant moments, and they are interesting and heartfelt. But there is also a lot of New Age mumbo jumbo about meditation and crystals etc. Its hard to apply her advice and tips to us normal girls, when Gisele can hire cooks and nannies and housekeepers to free up her day. I don’t begrudge her those things, I just find her advice not easy to achieve. Still, for the most part, I enjoyed reading about Mrs. Tom Brady.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Liz Sergent

    I loved this book and appreciate Gisele Bundchen more. This book tells about Gisele's childhood, her modeling career, not so healthy eating when she was young and her love for her beloved dog Vida. I love that she will sometimes eat a cookie but husband Tom will not. This was great book and it makes me want to live a more meaningful life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dana Wing

    I enjoyed getting insight of woman with literally supermodel status. I am rating it 5 stars because I think book makes "take what you need, and leave the rest," very accessible. The profits of this book go to one of her organizations that support the environment. Something that is very dear her and a passion....I appreciate her talking the talk and walking the walk.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a quick read... definitely positive and refreshing with some great reminders, but it didn’t go much past a superficial level and was somewhat repetitive/lacking organization. I can identify with her discipline and many other mentalities, and it’s always enjoyable to see a down-to-earth and relatable side to celebrities.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Harrison

    This book was meh. I didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it. I liked reading about her journey, but felt she wasn’t fully vulnerable. I liked the colored photos and I liked the story of her beloved dog (because it was truly the most vulnerable thing in the book). I read this book in one sitting and when I was done I just felt it was only okay.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    A book that makes you reflect while also looking forward I didn’t expect to take away so many quotes and insights from this book. I found a lot of similarities between myself and Gisele (from height and work ethic to some of our life philosophies) and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her thoughts about these things as I reflect on my life thus far and plan for my future.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kim Nichols

    Very positive I like the insight into her life lessons and related to them so much it made me feel not alone as far as the anxiety part and surprised we had so much in common in life. Kudos for her love of the Earth and may hope she continues to teach and be protector of it.... we need more of them

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    One of the most inspiring books I love this book because the author shares her lessons in so sincere and open way, that it inspires to make changes in my own life. We are all learners and nobody knows all the answers but her pieces of wisdom on how to live meaningful life with love and care definitely help to figure that out.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mikki Phillips

    I just love her! She is an inspiration as a wife and mother. I found her to be very relatable and down to earth, and I have taken away some wonderful tips on mindfulness and being present in the moment.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Da Silva Oliveira

    Gisele explains her own ways of keeping balance while handling modeling and family. A very good book about sticking to personal values and settling for well-being.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Annmarie (Annie) Kostyk

    I was pleasantly surprised with this read. Down to earth woman.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Morton

    This wasn't an exciting book and it didn't have interesting modelling stories which is what I was looking for. This is more of an Earth Mother book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carolina

    Inspirational An easy yet profound book on how to get in touch with yourself and live a more honest and loving life

  30. 5 out of 5

    Masitah Kamalrudin

    One of the books that will always inspire me.

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