As we got thrown into lockdown 3.0 the first thing I did was order more books to keep me entertained and hopefully teach me a thing or two.
I was late to the world of self-development books, nobody told me I could read books about what others have learnt through life which would help me improve my own. I find it addictive, because I can see how much I’ve grown, my attitude to life has changed, I’ve been happier, full of ideas, I have direction and purpose.
All through reading books and learning from other people’s experiences! Whatever it is you are going through in life, somebody else has been through it too and likely written a book on it!
I wanted to share a few books I’ve read that have really had an impact on me and improved my life in the hope that they will help you too.
This positive book helps the reader understand what makes us happy and the need for balance in all areas of life, to have a happy fulfilled existence. We learn that we are responsible for our own experiences and ultimately our own happiness. It’s shocking how much fear holds us back, this book helps us understand that we can do the things we were once most fearful of. It provides great tips and stories that help navigate readers through loss, whether it’s loss of a job, a loved one or a relationship.
“The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it” Susan Jeffers
I love this quote it empowers me when I’m afraid to do something. With this quote in mind and other tools from the book I’ve overcome my fear of heights, been solo travelling even though I was terrified, swam with sharks and pushed myself to do new things that have enhanced my life experience. I know that whatever comes my way, I can handle it.
‘Limitless’ is an inspiring read. Jim suffered brain damage from an accident in childhood and struggled to learn quickly in school. He went on to discover that we all learn differently. By learning how to learn more effectively, he now has an impressive memory and can speed read so he can learn things faster and retain more information.
His book teaches how we can all learn faster and smarter and develop our brain ‘superpower’.
The book covers the importance of mindset and motivation and has lots of tips on how we can unlock the potential of our brain and improve our memory. You’ll probably remember a lot more from any other book you read after reading this one.
“If you think you’re a bad learner or that you’re not intelligent enough to understand- then I challenge you to adopt a new mentality: Everyone is a genius in some way. You just haven’t found out how to cultivate your genius yet” Jim Quik
There was a time that running the 100 metres in less than 10 seconds was thought of as an impossible feat, until the first person did it. Then someone else broke the record and when others started believing that they could do it too the record kept getting smashed.
The message here is not to have limiting beliefs based on what you have achieved in the past or what others have achieved. Part of unlocking our brain power is believing that we can do more than we ever thought possible.
If you feel like there’s an idea in you, you’re a budding entrepreneur or you just want to read a really inspiring story, ‘Start something that matters’ is an absolute must read.
It’s the wonderful story of Blakes journey with Toms shoes, if you don’t know, every time somebody buys a pair of Toms shoes a pair of shoes are given to a child in need; It’s the origin of the buy one -give one model in social enterprise.
Blake shares why he started the company and how it’s grown from a humble start up to the enterprise it is today. His story has inspired many more entrepreneurs to start businesses which help tackle social needs. The book begins and ends with this wonderful poem:
‘Success, to laugh often and love much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics, endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.’ Elizabeth Anne Anderson-Stanley (sometimes attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Blakes story is the perfect example of what will bring you true happiness in life, to be of service to others.
He didn’t have a passion for shoes or for making millions of dollars, but he wanted to help children who needed shoes so the purpose of the business was the cause, this brought him fulfilment on another level.
This book could well spark an idea in you, what contribution do you want to make to our planet? What passions do you have? Maybe you could start a business that helps a world problem.
Toms has delivered 100 million shoes to children in need. How impressive is that!
This book taught me that it’s the small actions that we take repeatedly which add up to amazing things over time... which is known as the Compound Effect.
I have lacked a bit of patience in the past and I liked to see results quickly. When trying to lose weight, I would excessively drop calories for a week and if I didn’t see instant results I would give up.
Now, after reading this my attitude has changed, I see how small changes over time compound to bigger results over time. No sugar in my coffee might only be 20 calories but that’s on average 60 calories a day. In one year that’s 21,900 calories and that is the compound effect.
Similarly, having one less bottle of wine per week, isn’t just the one bottle, it’s 36400 calories in a year or saving £364in cash!
I’ve used concepts from this book to change my daily habits, it can be beneficial for all areas of your life; your work, relationships, finances, health and mindset.
‘You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to your success is found in your daily routine’ - Darren Hardy
A common theme through all of these books is how important it is to have a positive mindset and ‘Good vibes, Good life’ is all about that and the importance of self-love.
The book is full of relatable stories of Vex’s journey through life and the struggles we face through employment, relationships and finding purpose. Vex talks about how he recognises that the challenges he faced throughout his life, although difficult at the time, were important parts of his growth towards the right path, seeing the challenges as growth is so powerful.
It’s an easy read and the concepts are simple enough for you to put into practice straight away having an instant positive impact. The book was recommended to me by a few people and they all benefitted from the change in mindset the book brings about.
‘Nothing is too great for you to handle. If you can’t change a situation, change your perception of it. That is where your personal power is. Either be controlled- or be in control’- Vex King
The book is full of inspiring quotes which will help you discover how to change your negative thought patterns into positive ones. I’ve been personally focussing on my mindset for a good few years and this book is a good quick read for anyone who needs a re-fresh or for those new to mindset shifting. Honestly the improvement you get in life experience when you master a positive mindset is pretty amazing.
So there’s my pick of 5 books that I believe will help you thrive in lockdown and beyond. If you prefer audio, Audible is great because it’s £7.99 per month and you get one free book per month too - no matter the cost, some books can cost £20.
I managed to turn my boring commute to work into a productive self-development hour by using audio books. But it really doesn’t take much, even half an hour a day could seriously improve your life.
Happy reading 🙂 and if you have any books you’d like to share with us please get in touch on social @miFutureapp.
*This is not a paid endorsement for any of the authors, books or platforms mentioned above. It’s just my honest view, but I have added links to help you order a copy if you wish.