We’re heading into vacation season and for me that means extra time to lounge around and dive into some great reads. What is better than a beautiful view, a cup of coffee, a good book, and no strict schedule to keep? Nothing!
Even if you don’t have a vacation coming up, but you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, why not fill the space with something that will actually enrich your life and expand your mind?
If you buy into the 16 Myers Briggs personality types, the people who have “N” (stands for Intuitive) and “F” (stands for Feeling) tend to be more open to personal development, self-reflection, and just overall life improvement. A.K.A. Self Help! As an “ENFP” gal (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving) I am a self-help junkie through and through.
But, I truly believe EVERYONE can benefit from personal development.
If you’re feeling a little stagnant or you’re seeking an ah-ha moment, keep reading to learn more about 7 books that changed my life!
1. “Daring Greatly” – Brene Brown
This book helped me find the courage to step into the arena, to learn into vulnerability, and to engage life with my whole heart. Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable. Thought leader (and Texan!) Dr. Brené Brown offers a new vision that encourages us to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. One of my favorite books of ALL TIME!
2. “Start With Why” – Simon Sinek
This book completely changed the way I think and communicate…at both home and at work. If you lead a team, read this one ASAP! Start With Why shows us that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way…and it’s actually the opposite of what everyone else does. Author Simon Sinek calls this concept The Golden Circle. This powerful idea provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired…and it all starts with WHY.
3. “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” – Elizabeth Gilbert
It was this book, in fact…this quote…that woke me up and inspired me to change career paths and embrace my creative gifts: “So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
This is truly a must read for ANYONE who wants to live a full, creative life! Author Elizabeth Gilbert shares her wisdom and perspective about creativity…offering insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She encourages us to embrace our curiosity and shows us how to tackle what we love the most while facing what we fear the most.
4. “Emotional Agility” – Susan David
Author Susan David teaches readers to embrace their feelings and wrestle with them…instead of fearing them, suppressing them, or acting on them immediately. She taught me how to sit with my negative feelings and accept them without judgment…because the more I resist, the more powerful those negative emotions become. It’s all about EQ these days (at work and at home!), and I believe this book is just one of the many resources that can help us strengthen our emotional intelligence.
5. “FIERCE Conversations” – Susan Scott
“Our work, our relationships, and our lives succeed or fail one conversation at a time. While no single conversation is guaranteed to transform a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can. Speak and listen as if this is the most important conversation you will ever have with this person. It could be. Participate as if it matters. It does.”
As a certified FIERCE facilitator/trainer, I have witnessed FIERCE Conversations help people overcome barriers, expand and enrich relationships, increase clarity, handle strong emotions, deepen understanding……the list goes on and on. This book has positively impacted my life and my marriage in so many ways. I can’t sing Susan Scott’s praises enough!
6. “The Secret” – Rhonda Byrne
This book was introduced to me when I was 21 years old by my dear friend Nicole, and I can’t thank her enough for giving me this gift…a way of thinking that has shaped my entire life. By now, I am sure you know what The Secret is all about. In short…thoughts become things. Choose your thoughts wisely and design the life you want to live! You’re in the driver’s seat.
7. “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman” – Nora Ephron
I laughed out loud several times as I read Nora Ephron’s stories about her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and messy parent. I appreciate how she speaks frankly about life as a woman, proving hindsight really is 20/20. This book is unexpectedly moving in its truth-telling and gets right to heart of several things I know women of all ages experience. Definitely a thought-proving read about life and aging that has stuck with me long after I finished it.
Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?
Btw…if you’re not a big reader, consider giving an audio book a try. My favorite way to listen to audio books is via Audible. They have a vast selection and great reading samples so you can try out the book before you buy. Check it out here!
I’m super curious to hear about the books that have had a lasting impact on you. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!