Reading is one of the best ways to stay inspired as you work toward your goals. While there is nothing quit as relaxing as curling up under a cozy blanket with a cup of tea and a good book, I have to confess most of the time I'm on my rollerblades, climbing stairs, or sitting in traffic as I listen to the book. It's a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone!
Here are a few of my all time favorites mixed in with some new ones that you'll want to add to your list!
Let me know what books you have on your list or if you have any great suggestions.
Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations – Seth Godin
This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve. With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities. If you need a friend that understands, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change – Stephen. R. Covey
The title of this book doesn’t capture it all. Covey shares with us seven habits one should adopt to become truly effective in whatever you would like to achieve. Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. He stresses the fact that we need to go through a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in how we perceive the world and ourselves. This book can be read as a guide, with practices and everything, to go through the stages in order to make such a shift happen. Part shock-therapy, part ageless spiritual wisdom, Covey’s book is packed with wisdom that actually makes a difference. And, as I mentioned, don’t let the title of the book fool you; it is about much more than just becoming more effective. It is about becoming a whole integer person who not only seeks the best in oneself but also in the people around her. A must read for anyone who feels there is always something left to learn.
The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health – John Durant
In the last 10,000 years or so it seems we have been propelled into an ever faster paced world forged by our own hands and minds. Only recently have we been able to reconstruct our journey and reflect back upon our humble origins. This amazing book is such a reflection. It goes back to the paleolithic searching for answers to health and longevity. Between science and his personal experiments, Durant weaves a mind blowing story that will convey the importance of an evolutionary perspective on how to live well. It covers everything from nutrition to exercise, from sleep to fasting, from ancient practices to modern biohacking and even has an outline for a vision of the future where depression and obesity have become obsolete. If you only have room for a couple of books on this list, make sure this one is included.Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat – Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet
Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat – Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet
No self-improvement list is complete without a nutrition book and the Perfect Health Diet is arguably the best diet book on the market now. If you are overweight or not, feel sick, or just looking for an extra boost in health (and keep it this way), then look no further. From reading decades of studies the authors construct the optimal way to eat, destroying popular food fads in the process. They explain in sufficient detail the optimal macro-ratios, which starches are safe, which vitamins and supplements to take and what foods, or what they call toxins, to avoid. This book is a great supplement to the Paleo Manifesto as it shares its basic evolutionary perspective; we were evolved to eat non-toxic, high fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates. And, sometimes, going around with no food at all, can be a very healthy thing. If your body is not in optimal health, then it is almost no use to read the other books. Make this your priority number one.
Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success – John C. Maxwell
At one time or another, we will all fail. What matters most is how you deal with it once you do. Will you give up? Or will you use it as a stepping stone for success? I recently read an article about new start-ups in silicon valley. Its hypothesis was the more you had failed in the past, the more likely you were going to get funding. Why? Because failing teaches you invaluable lessons, and if you decide to continue after you hit the pavement, the more you have it in you to deliver. Now, this is not in anyway our instinctual reaction to failing. Most of us dread it, avoid it or refuse to fail at all costs. All three are by far sub-optimal. It is far better to accept failure where it arises, to accept responsibility and use it as a way to learn about yourself and your weaknesses. Only when you are absolute honest with yourself with respect to failure can you hope to grow. This wonderful book will teach you how to do exactly this. A honest book for everyone searching for a clean mirror.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now hardly needs any introduction. It is perhaps the book that has had the most impact on our collective consciousness in recent years. It inspired millions of people all over the world to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life, all through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness consists of moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. It is a technique that alleviates depression, increases emotional intelligence and develops compassion- and only recently has come to the west, which remained weary and skeptical until science had validated a wide array of its claims. The brain can be trained. The Power of Now teaches you how to release your attachment to certain thoughts and states of mind, thereby clearing the mind to fully embrace the present moment. If you already have read this book and are looking for deeper understanding, read Wherever You Go, There You Are.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown
I love Brené Brown’s books. She writes about an insight that I have found to be scary but true at the same time. Vulnerability, unlike we have been taught, is not a weakness, but a power to be tapped. Growing up with the idea that we have to hide certain parts of ourselves, to look strong and persevere at all costs always seemed a facade to me. And now she has the research to back that up. From that place of vulnerability comes a sense of worthiness, which for most of us, needs to be cultivated every day. Only if we get in touch with that tender spot of our hearts can we connect with others and develop genuine compassion, which are prerequisites, Brown tells us, for living a ‘wholehearted life.’ The reality, however, is that we often close down, feel neglected and misunderstood, and rather want the vulnerability and perhaps even ourselves to disappear. This book is an amazing antidote for that common instinct.