In my last post I referred to the importance of having tools to use to boost our spirits on difficult days. Books have always been a great source of comfort and motivation to me. I want to share some of my favourite ones which have had the most impact on my life in the hope that they can also inspire you. Is there anything nicer than ending the day snuggled up with a book? The mere act of taking a book out, the touch and smell of it immediately ignites a sense of calm. I am anti kindle and have not progressed from the Stone Age in this regard. I love the serenity of physically having a book to hold in my hand. Being able to make dog ears to mark where you put the book down is one of life’s simple pleasures. When we go on holidays; Ian always asks are you really going to read all of them. The answer is maybe, but I need them with me regardless. God forbid I might run out of reading material. As you can tell, I am an avid book lover and have been from a young age. We didn’t have a television in our house until I was sixteen which meant a lot of idle time which I filled with reading. As a teenager, this was of course very unfair however looking back with adult hindsight, it is a decision my mother made that I am very grateful for as it ignited my passion for reading.
I am inspired to write this because sometimes a book speaks to you in a way that is life changing. They can present themselves to you just at the right moment in your life. Comfort doesn’t always have to come from people and sometimes a book is the quickest way to unwind. I find it intriguing that books will speak to you in different ways at separate stages in your life. It is for this reason, that I re-read some of the most inspiring ones as I get different pearls of wisdom from them each time.
There are certain books I can pinpoint that have altered my life by enabling the achievement of a certain goal. Others have transformed my mindset on topics. Books can inspire you to believe in yourself in ways that you may never have thought possible. Obviously, we all have different topics which spark our interests. In the recommended books below, I have insured that they are applicable to all areas of life so hopefully they will spark some interest to the majority of people.
First up is:
‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.
This book is one I return to in times of stress or when I feel I am lacking in motivation. You can pick it up and open it on any page and it will speak to you. This book is incredible but it needs a fourth step added to its core philosophy which is ‘Action’. Ask, Believe, Receive’ on their own will not provide results or changes in your life. In my opinion it is a necessity to its functionality. I am a firm believer in the power of visualization and positive thinking in general. These combined with intentional action have the power to help you achieve your goals and also maintain a positive mindset. It is often in times when we are struggling that we forget the importance of positive thinking. The ‘Secret’ is a reminder that, what we think about most we bring about. I have seen the benefits of re-framing frustrating, difficult situations so that valuable lessons are learned. Having one positive thought in the morning can change how your day goes. By taking control of your thinking time it has the potential to positively change how you view situations in your life.
The law of attraction referred to in the book, simply purposes that ‘like attracts like’. The theory is referred to as being scientifically proven as it alludes to our thoughts being on a magnetic frequency highlighting that what we put out, comes back. In short, our thoughts become things. Being quite a literal person this really grounded my confidence in using this technique to attract desirables into my life. One of its most inspirational quotes which I often remind myself of is ‘he who thinks he can and the man that thinks he can’t is both usually right’. You really are the architect of your own happiness and success. It is a must read to discover yourself and fulfill your ambitions.
‘Life Lessons from the Monk who Sold his Ferrari ’Robin Sharma
I only recently read this book despite it sitting on my bookshelf for years. It is such a little treasure. I was instantly hooked and looked forward to going to bed to read it’s snippets of optimism. If you are interested in incorporating routines and habits that can transform your life I would definitely give this a read. I just wish I had read it ten years ago. It is one of my all-time favourites.
It is a book about fulfilling your dreams, defeating your fears and discovering happiness that lasts. It encourages you to question your life goals and to consider how your daily habits are either enabling you to advance or regress. In the 101 life lessons shared, the reader is showered in profound wisdom to simplify their life, beat procrastination and to remain positive in difficult times. The snippets of advice are short and memorable which enables the reader to practically use the advice in the coming days.
One of the stand out lessons for me personally was on developing your talents. Sharma recounts what Norman Cousins wrote ‘The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live’ and in the same vein Ashley Montagu wrote ‘the deepest personal defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become’. There is a difference between simply surviving and really thriving. It is so easy to forget that there is an abundance of potential and ability waiting to be awakened within us all, if we only allowed ourselves to tap into it. By ignoring our unique talents we are not only doing a disservice to ourselves but also to the world that may benefit from them.
‘The Goddess Revolution’ Melissa Wells
This is another of my favourite books and one which I re –read. It is a really easy read. The author speaks to the reader as if she is one of your closest acquaintances. At different times in our life most of us have battled with body image. This book normalises these feelings that boys, girls men and women experience worldwide. It really makes you realise that a lot of time is wasted worrying about food choices. My favourite quote from the book ‘Life is short. Don’t miss out on 95% of your life just to weigh 5% less’. It changed my thinking about food and the culture of dieting that so many of us are now exposed to, with the rise of social media and the unrealistic strive for perfection.
The main intention of this book is to assist the reader to connect with their body. It brings awareness to the importance of giving our bodies what it requires through food but also through our individual emotional conversation with it day in day out. It reminds us that self-love is a journey with ebbs and flows. This book will teach you more about yourself than you might expect. It helps you feel happy from the inside out and once this occurs the benefits remain long after you finish the last page.
‘Tuesdays with Morrie‘ Mitch Albom
This book is a major wake up call regarding our mortality. It reminds us above all else that we are ‘time poor’ not money deprived. It discusses topics such as humanity, self-pity, regrets, fear of aging, death and forgiveness. It provides us with an all-encompassing message that we need to develop our own set of values and reduce our exposure to popular cultural belief systems and pressures. It makes us reassess life and reconsider what we experience as fulfilling and why.
This story continues to resonate with so many people because of its universal truths about life and happiness. It is now part of the English curriculum in schools which even further substantiates the valuable lessons it embodies.
‘Get your Sh*t Together‘ Sarah Knight
If you feel stuck or have a million and one aspirations and want to start doing rather than consistently dreaming, this is the book for you. It provides a clear system in the form of a useful allegory of phone, keys and wallet. Keys are your ability to strategize because they unlock the next step. Your phone is the ability to focus, to make important phone calls and mark off significant dates on the calendar. Your wallet represents commitment and your ability to put your money where your mouth is and follow through with your proposed plan. Knight explains that if you can manage to stay on top of these three life management tools you can use them to achieve your goals.
The writer’s ability to communicate with the audience as if you are in the room with her is immediately captivating. Sarah Knight teaches how to build solid foundations to begin to construct a brighter future for yourself. The big and the small life matters such as, managing your emails, creating to do lists and ‘grown up’ aspects of life are also discussed with great wit. She presents very practical, easily applicable strategies which stem from her own life experiences. The author takes difficult life situations and shows us how to use them to our advantage. It was this book that provided me with the tools and motivation to write about my experience of being a carer for someone going through cancer which I hope to share on here soon. As I was working full time while writing it, it provided me with a strategy to break what seemed like a huge task into manageable chunks, which resulted in the intended outcome within the specified time-frame. You won’t regret picking this book up.
‘What I Know for Sure‘ Oprah Winfrey
Last but not least, I couldn’t write a post about inspiring books without mentioning this one. As an Oprah enthusiast, a book with her most cherished lessons was a real treat. Again, it is similar to Robin Sharman’s book as it is a collection of easy to read, short snippets of potentially life changing lessons. This book is organised into themes; joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity and power. It is an amalgamation of the best parts of her monthly columns published in the Oprah magazine. Oprah’s consistent message shines through in this book ‘be your best self, live your best life’. Who doesn’t need encouragement to achieve this? Oprah’s words of wisdom offer truth and motivation that readers will turn to again and again.
I could add many more to the list. Perhaps, I will do another one on the same topic with some of your recommendations. Without a doubt, if you are looking for an inspiring read or need some guidance in life these books are your best friends. There are many lessons to be learned from each of these books which can be incorporated into your daily life. Spread the word! Share these with your family and friends. Everyone deserves to experience the joy they bring. If it is your first time reading any of the above, know that I am very jealous that you are experiencing these books for the first time.
Please also comment below with any of your own recommendations to spread the book love.