Just as it’s important to feed your body good nutrition in step 14, creating balance, it’s important to feed your mind and soul with good food that inspires and motivates you. When you have a good meal (and read a good book) you want to tell people, right? In this post I’ll share good books that have nourished and fed my mind and soul.
Just like there is junk food, there is a lot of junk programming or books that don’t do anything to help you grow.
Our library just went through a major renovation. I am in there at least every other week checking out 2-4 books at a time. I also own many books because I love to highlight key points that I can go back to again and again.
At the age of 89, my mother and I signed up as reading tutors for kindergarteners. There was a big room full of people and we were asked to tell everyone our names and why we decided to volunteer. When it came time to introduce ourselves my mother said, “I want to teach children how to read because you never know how one book can change your life.” What a beautiful statement that was!
Here is a short list of some of my favorite books. I see every book as an opportunity to glean new knowledge and insight. I’ve included a short line how each book has impacted me.
Business/Personal Growth with Success in Mind
Success Principles – This book was written by Jack Canfield from Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. I just attended a writers conference and had the opportunity to hear him speak. He is truly authentic and his principles are full of wisdom and common sense.
The 4 Hour Work Week – This book opened my eyes to how much time we waste. It was radical, new thinking for me.
The Monk and the Riddle – This book was mentioned in the 4 Hour Work Week and the phrase “The Deferred Life Plan”. I vowed not to delay what I really want to do with my life.
The Power of Full Engagement – This opened my eyes to appreciating that we work better and are fully engaged in life with bursts of energy then rest and renewal.
Selling the Invisible – Since I was in radio, this title intrigued me because I was selling invisible air time! But this book is really about the intangibles that we sell. If you are in any kind of service business, this is a must read.
Outliers – This was a fascinating read of what defines mastery. The common thread was 10,000 hours. It was entertaining and thought provoking
Keys to Success – This is an old book but deals with fundamentals. As businesses philosopher, Jim Rohn used to say, “There are no new fundamentals.” This book is a classic on success.
The Aladdin Factor – Another book by Chicken Soup authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen on asking. Simple, but powerful.
Now Discover your Strengths – This is an expanded version of Strengths Finder and was the book we used when I took the course when I worked at Clear Channel.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – This was the first book I read on entrepreneurship and what influenced me to go into business for myself.
Happy for no Reason – This was a delightful book on the study of happiness and how happiness is a practice.
The Power of Now – The essence of this book is to understand that our suffering comes from living in the past and worrying about the future, therefore missing the present moment.
A Course in Miracles – I am in the process of reading this book. In the past, I wasn’t able to get through it, but as I continue to grow spiritually, I’m able to connect with it. It is an extremely powerful read that involves unlearning the lies that we have been taught and have told ourselves so that we can know the truth that we are loved and are powerful when we return to God.
The Gift of Fear – While I talk about overcoming fear, there is a healthy fear instinct that God gave us that we must pay attention to. This is a powerful book that can protect you and help you.
Wild at Heart – This book deals with the wounds that we can suffer from our fathers. While it’s target is more male, I SO resonated with this book. It was one of the first books that helped me in my spiritual awakening.
Eat, Pray, Love – This beautiful story taught me to just be who we are.
The Five People you Meet in Heaven – I cried at the end of this book because of the beautiful message that every life is significant.
The Shack – This book will shatter your image of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Inspiration Your Ultimate Calling – Wayne Dyer has written many books I love, but this resonated so much with me because of my desire to write and to be inspired.
Maximize the Moment – God’s Action Plan for Your Life – I read this book long before author, Bishop T.D. Jakes made appearances on Oprah’s new television network. This book is dog-eared and underlined. It’s been such an encouragement to me.
God Calling – Two Listeners – A friend gave this book to my husband Robert. When I discovered it, I was drawn in. It is a daily devotional from “two listeners” who took dictation from God. The daily readings are short and seem to hit how I am feeling and thinking that day.
Jesus Calling – This book was written by someone inspired by God Calling. It was given to me by a friend at church and is a nice daily read for reflection each day.
The Artist’s Way – I don’t know how I found this book, but I am SO glad I did. Since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to be an artist. This was such a healing book for me and I return to it again and again. Whatever your form of art is, this is a wonderful book to reconnect to your creativity.
Awareness – The Perils and Opportunities of Reality – Much like A Course in Miracles, I didn’t resonate with this book at first. But after reading it again, this is one of the most profound books I have ever read. (That’s why I’m talking about it in Step 18.) Author Anthony DeMello tells it like it is.
A Chinese proverb says that, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Many of these books didn’t resonate until I was ready to receive their wisdom. I hope that I was able to provide some good reading material to help you grow and focus.
That brings us to Step 18 – Practice Awareness in all Things
Step 1 – You Have to Have a Plan
Step 4 – Focus on Your Strengths
Step 5 – Meditate or Think on your Plan
Step 6 – Get rid of Distractions
Step 8 – Lock Out Doubts and Fears
Step 9 – Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Step 10 – Listen to what Expands You
Step 11- How to Deal with Overwhelm
Step 13 – Where do You Spend Your Time
Step 14 – Balance Life and Work
Step 15 – Review and Track Your Progress
Step 17 – Feed Your Mind with Good Food – Books and Programming
Until next time….. Stay Focused!
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