5 Self Improvement Books
Well, sorry for the radio silence over here last week, but we were struck with the Norovirus, and when I say struck, I mean it literally went through every member of our family, even one of our dogs who had diarrhea on my bedroom rug… Still crying bitter tears over that one and working to remove the stain. Anyhow, I know it’s been a while since I have shared new book reviews with you, but I have been voraciously reading and listening to audiobooks and have quite the list of reads! This summer, I’ve been really into autobiographical books, self help, and as always dark thrillers. Today I am going to share with you 5 books for a better self.
To be honest, “self help” is not a genre I ever thought I would be so into, but over the course of the past few years, I’ve read several that have truly inspired me. As I approach 41, and am currently not really working much aside from being mom to a teenager, a tween, and an almost toddler (yeah, he’s not yet walking!); running my social media empire (BAHAHA!); and designing and creating our home. I have been doing so much soul searching as I figure out how discover what my dreams truly are and how to achieve them, and I find all of these books to have little gems to help guide me on my path, wherever it may lead. What I know is that I want to be a better human being, a good role model to my kids, healthier, more content, and also find some sort of business where I can thrive and put my talents to use for the better. I don’t know HOW I will do all of these things, but I’ve pulled things out of each of these books that have helped me and perhaps will help you.
When I finish with an audiobook and have nothing lined up in my queue that will be available soon, I peruse the available section and I’ve found several books that have caught me by surprise that way. One such book is 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, And Found Self-Help that Actually Helps- A True Story by Dan Harris. If you’re not familiar with the author, he is a national news anchorman who had a panic attack on air. His life was full of stress, ambition, and busyness and if he didn’t change things, the outcome wasn’t going to be good. In this book, he discovers the art of mediation. As someone who has often pondered meditation, but doesn’t feel very “new age,” this book really resonated with me. Harris dissects meditation and studies many different gurus, and discusses all of the different things he tries on his path to successful meditation. At the time of this book, he claims he was 10% happier, thus the title. While 10% may not sound like much, when it comes to your mental health and happiness, it’s truly something big and worth while. I absolutely LOVED this book and was inspired to try meditation as well. I was actually doing well to make 5 minutes each morning until we all got sick… time to make it a priority again.
You are a Badass is a book I couldn’t wait to get my hands on! I was waiting forever on my library app, so decided to put it on hold at my local public library as well. It popped up there first and I dashed over to pick it up. My kids saw the title and were like, “Mom, what the heck is this?” Yeah, it has profanity in it obviously, but what word would be as impactful here as badass? I can’t think of one… You are a toughie just doesn’t have the same ring. While I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago, I already want to reread it and make notes which I couldn’t do on the library version so I added it to my birthday request list. I was so inspired by this book to really go out there and take my life by the horns and make something of it. The author guides you by helping you understand your self sabotaging habits and helping you break them, and helping you just go for it already and create a life you truly love. I have been singing the praises of this one all over instagram stories, to my friends, and to my husband. It’s a MUST read! I also want to read You are a Badass at Making Money…. because currently I am a lame-O at making money and could seriously use a kick in the pants from Jen Sincero. Oh, and I have to add that I love that the author is older than I am which made me feel like there was still hope for me to do something great with my life… Many times, the authors are like 30, and I just have a hard time relating. Life on this side of 40 is just different for some reason.
Find the Good is another book that I just stumbled upon. Don’t you just love when you find a good read that way? I was scanning the non-fiction at my local library when this book just jumped off the shelf and into my sight. The tag line, “Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer” got my attention. I figured if anyone knew a thing or two about life, it was someone who summed up simple modest lives in a paragraph or two on a regular basis. I read this book in a matter of hours over a couple of Wilder’s naps… it was a really quick and light read, full of stories of people’s lives and how we touch others and often aren’t aware, and mostly of how if we look for it, we can always find the good. This was an unexpected gem of a read that left me with a bit of renewed faith in people.
In Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s book, Option B, Sandberg talks about facing the hardest thing she has ever faced which changes the entire course of her life unexpectedly; that is the premature death of her husband. In this book, she and Grant delve into the steps we can take when things don’t go as planned, how we can learn to embrace what is, become resilient, and find new options for our life course. While I have not experienced anything as tragic is Sandberg’s loss, I could really relate to this book and the concept of moving on in a healthy way. I shared my own struggles with finding Option B here. A friend of mine recently lost her best friend unexpectedly at the age of 40 to an aneurism and I recommended this book to her. However, I recommend it to anyone facing any kind of hardship, not just grieving a loved one.
The last book I want to share today is one that I just finished this morning on my walk. (As I mentioned I like to listen to books now as well, but I only listen to non-fiction when I walk or run. Who needs to listen to a creepy murder mystery while they’re running alone in the dark morning? Not this girl.) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** sort of goes against what any other self-help book says, but I still really enjoyed it and found it insightful. Manson talks about values, honing in on those values that truly matter, and living our lives according to those. And while his book talks about not giving an eff, it’s truly about not giving an eff about the things that don’t matter and focusing on those that do. I really liked his approach and I found myself thinking about all of the “stuff” we are fed and taught to want, causing us to always go after more, more, more. But his ideology has me considering if “more” really adds anything to the values I want to live my life by, and if not, rejecting those things. If you don’t like swears, this is probably not the book for you, but if you’re trying to learn the art of contentment and commitment to good values, then this is the book for you! Oh, and Disappointment Panda is a character NOT to miss! I looooooved him!
Have you read any bookes lately that have opened your mind or changed your life for the better? Tell me all about it!
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