Last year I did lots of soulsearching, book reading, audiobook listening. I’ve learned how to create new habits, how to change my mindset, set goals and refocus on the things that matter to me. With everything that went on last year and so much going on in the world today, it’s good to take a step back. I am looking forward to what 2018 brings. This article is the first in a new series I’m starting on BizzieLiving.com, Boss Up.
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes has been a writing hero of mine for years. I’ve been a dedicated viewer of some of her best shows, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. I was super excited to stumble upon her book and I was even more excited to read her story. Her story of panic attacks, introversion and parenting woes, resonated with me. She doesn’t hide behind the badge of having a super balanced lifestyle. She is real and flawed like the rest of us. She was able to force herself out of her comfort zone, which made me feel like it is possible. This New York Times bestseller pushed me to start making changes in my life.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
I bought this book based on a recommendation from a friend. I opted for the audio version and listened to it during my runs. In this book, Mark Manson explains that there are only so many things we can give a f*k about. He stressed the need for us to figure out what really matters. While money and the things that go along with it seem nice. Caring about what we do with our life is better because true wealth is about the experience. If you don’t mind hearing the word f*ck, then I suggest getting the audiobook. Listening to the book made it feel more real and the narrator’s voice is very compelling. I’m almost tempted to start listening to books narrated by his voice.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
Several years ago my husband and I attended some self-help seminar. It was a pre-requisite for a reality show about people trying to make it in the entertainment industry. Obviously, we weren’t selected. However, the self-help guru left a bad taste in my mouth. He kept saying, “find a way… find a way.” Which is not very profound and NOT very helpful. He didn’t provide a single tool to help you achieve your goals. So that experience led me to believe that most self-help books and people were ALL fluff. But I was wrong.
Jen Sincero’s book is very real. She provides actionable takeaways. She helps you recognize how your beliefs and behaviors are self-sabotaging. While also providing tools to help you change those beliefs and behaviors. My affirmations are in my Passion Planner for easy access.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head by Dan Harris
I bought Dan Harris’s book after watching the Minimalism movie. He shared his story about becoming 10% happier through meditation. I bought the audio version of his book, that he himself narrates. In the book, Harris takes us through his own journey through the worlds of spirituality and self-help with the clever intuitiveness and skepticism of a reporter.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
If you ever felt stuck or trapped with the cards you’re dealt, this book is for you. Mindset highlights how success in school, work, sports, arts and every area of your life can be dramatically influenced by how you think about your talents and abilities.
Dweck explains the difference between people with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset. And most importantly she provides insight on how you can change your own mindset. I know now that I have a fixed mindset for some things and a growth mindset for others. My favorite takeaway from this book is the realization that we shouldn’t expect to be great at something on our own. Professional athletes are constantly training and learning with coaches. They have a growth mindset and they get help from others.
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
I bought Angela Duckworth’s book after listening to her Ted Talk about Grit. Her best selling book is a New York bestseller. Her research uncovers the secret to outstanding achievement which is a special blend of passion and persistence. This special blend is called, “grit.” She explains it so well in her Ted Talk so I’m sharing it here.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
This was one of my favorite books. It really breaks down the psychology of habit with plenty of real-world examples. This was another audiobook, so I could listen to the book during my hour commute to work. This book gives you the tools to be able to change the habits you don’t want and simple ways to create new ones. It talks about triggers and rewards you need to prepare in order to be successful at changing a habit. For example, if you are trying to work out in the morning, have your clothes ready the night before.
If you are always looking for a sweet treat at 3 pm at work, bring an apple to work instead. If you find yourself always starting over, this book can help.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain
At least one-third of the people are introverts and I’m one of them. I picked this book up after reading an article from Wayne Sutton on Medium. I’m about halfway through the audiobook and found it fascinating that there are so many successful people that are introverts. Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, and Steve Wozniak just to name a few. Growing up being shy or an introvert was like a Scarlet Letter painted on my chest. In both school and works it seemed like extroverts were the only ones that got ahead. This book is helping me get more comfortable in my own skin. It’s finally giving me the courage to accept my introverted personality.
The most important thing to remember about reading/listening to self-help books is that they are a waste of time if you don’t put the lessons into practice. I am implementing and improving daily.
In fact, I have some new books that I plan to read and/or listen to in 2018. Here is my running list:
- Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever
- Overlap by Sean Wes
- You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
- The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins