No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert A Glover. This book helped me realise why I felt like such a martyr being ‘nice’ to everyone, and helped me have the epiphany that if I chase my dreams and put my needs first, everyone else will benefit. Helping people is not about hiding your feelings or sacrificing yourself: it’s about being a true Man of integrity.
A Million Miles In A Thousand Years – Donald Miller
Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Age of Reason proved very influential for me. The Existential themes, and brilliant characters, are masterfully developed through his genius prose. It’s a fine example of humans understanding their place in the world. I read it when I was 19 and it led me towards a wonderful world of scientific discovery.
A book that has always really inspired me was ‘Gift From The Sea’ by Anne Morrow Lindbergh which is a fantastic collection of introspective reflections on the self and which has kept me company for a long time during meditation.
Tina Fey’s ‘Bossypants’ and Barack Obama’s two works ‘Dreams From My Father’ and ‘The Audacity of Hope’ I remember feeling inspired by, though both for different reasons. :)
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Totally blew my mind.
I have read hundreds of books and I feel that they all impact me in some way. The book that really started it all for me was The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood.
It gave me the permission I needed to follow my passions and create the life that I wanted.
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Alan R. Clarke.
Both books are set in simpler times, but offer powerful messages.
As a scientist, I enjoyed reading “Surely you are joking, Mr. Feynman”, by the nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. If you think science is boring, think again and read the adventures of Dr. Feynman!
Man’s Search for Meaning – honestly, the best thing – book, article, or otherwise – that I have ever read. The book recounts Viktor Frankel’s experience in Auschwitz. The theme of the book is this:
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.
As a Man Thinketh – James Allen reminds us that everything we do or don’t do begins in our mind. Happiness is a choice, so is success, failure, and negativity. It’s a quick read and free online.
Actually, there are two of them.
The first one is Michael Losier’s Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t. This book made me understand in very simple terms: the process of how to use the right words for my thoughts (our mind is the only thing we have control of); the clarity to separate things I don’t want in my life from those that I want; and deliberately attract the latter. This particularly helped when I was at a crucial time in my career a few years back and I had to figure out what I wanted to do next. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m happy to notice that most of my “wants” have materialized. That includes an interview I did with Michael last year.
The other book is called Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness written by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It opened my eyes on mindfulness and how caught up in the act of *doing* we are instead of making the time to embrace the simplicity of just *be.* We are on autopilot every day. Thanks to this book, I learned to practice meditation and yoga, based on the eight-week program described in it. The benefits of taking the time to focus on my breath and my body and just be present, be in the now, are huge.
I read a book called Steve Jobs a few years back and it definitely changed my life. It showed me the importance of pursuing your dreams, no matter how big they are, as well as advice on how to do it. It told the story of Steve Jobs and his career successes. It inspired me to pursue my own dreams and to never give up. It also taught me a lot about the art of being competitive in today’s business world, the importance of leadership, and how to set a small business apart from the competition.
“Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill
The “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series by Robert Kiyosaki
“Tuesday’s with Morrie” by Mitch Albom was a book I could not put down. A philosophical take on life and what it’s all about. I loved it and highly recommend it! Mandy x
I’m an avid reader. Somewhere on my Twitter profile there is a picture of one of my bookshelves which is packed full of amazing books including some of the seminal personal development texts, and a few less well known books.
I could list of slew of best reads – Tom Peters, Thoreau, Emerson, Hill, Carnegie – but the book that changed my thinking (it was more than a whack around the head) was Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now. I’ve no idea to this day what made me buy it or even how I heard about it; but it revolutionised the way I saw the world. It lead me to explore Zen buddhism, and the rest as they say is history. I’m now embarked on a new journey away from the usual self-styled “I’m this or that” and instead on a journey of deep self-discovery. For me, if I can live in the now, be present and drop becoming then that is my destiny.
I’m not suggesting that everyone should read the book, or will even enjoy it, but it places a whole new meaning on the idea of living mindfully and without the normal purpose to everything we do.
One other book that has had a significant impact is “Who am I?” by Sri Ramana. In the simplicity of the book lies deep meaning.