Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 4, 2019

10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

If you want to change your life, you are going to have to do things differently. And sometimes, you can look to inspirational books to create a positive change in your life.

If you desire change, you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone. As Anthony Robbins points out:

“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting an empowering new belief” — Anthony Robbins

In order to transform your life, you will experience discomfort and pain. Change can be a painful process, but the rewards of going through the change are priceless.

Before I focused on running my own Lifehack business, I was a full-time manager in a software company. I was offered another promotion after succeeding in a project. But I wasn’t thrilled about the opportunity. That was when I realized something wasn’t going quite right in my life. Why would I not be excited about such valuable opportunity? Wasn’t that what I wanted?

I felt like all these times my effort in my job was wasted because it didn’t seem to be what I wanted most for my life.

I was lost and didn’t know what to do, so I started to look for ways to get out of the rut. The shrinking free time remaining was spent poring over hundreds of books about motivation, productivity and communication.

And through reading, I found my purpose in life and how to break free from my limitations to live the life I truly want. Here’re the 10 books I recommend you reading too to get inspired.

1. Awaken The Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

    The inspirational message from this book is how you have the power right now to control how you think, how you feel, and what you do. Anything you want or desire in your life, you already have the power to achieve it.

    “You and I have that same power at our disposal every moment of the day. At the moment, the questions that we ask ourselves can shape our perception of who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we’re willing to do to achieve our dreams” – Anthony Robbins

    Print | eBook | Audiobook

    2. Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life, by Richard Branson

    Advertising

      Reading other people’s stories about their journeys in life can give you better perspective of what the journey of change can be about. Richard Branson is into reinvention and as a result, he embraces change.

      This book will fuel your enthusiasm to give things a go. It will show you how to sort out the self-limiting beliefs that stop you from stepping up and taking on the challenge of change.

      “As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live” – Richard Branson

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

      3. The Art of Happiness, by Dalai Lama

        There is not a person I know who is not in the pursuit of happiness.

        “The Art of Happiness” is a book that will encourage you to practice the discipline of self-reflection.The more you reflect on your life, the deeper you look into your inner self (your soul). This is where you discover what happiness truly means to you.

        Knowing what happiness means to you, gives you purpose. With purpose, you’ll have clarity, focus, and a vision. These are the foundations that will empower you to embark on the journey to change your life.

        “Both these people illustrate the essential point that happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” – Dalai Lama

        Print | eBook | Audiobook

        4. The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

          “The Four Agreements” are Don Miguel’s code for life.

          “The Four Agreements” provide an inspirational code for life, for the way you handle your relationships, how you behave, and how you communicate with others. If you want to change your life, read “The Four Agreements”. This book will show you how to attain a happy fulfilled life.

          Advertising

          “If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

          Print | eBook | Audiobook

          5. The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J Schwartz

            According to Dr Schwartz, to create change in your life and to attain all that you desire, you need to change your thinking and your attitude.

            The importance of preparing your mind and your thinking for the journey of personal change is the key message of this book.

            “Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.” – David J. Schwartz.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook

            6. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How To Create A New You, by Deepak Chopra

              Deepak Chopra believes that personal transformation not only involves the mind, but also your body and soul. According to Chopra, you cannot transform your mind without transforming your body and soul.

              Reading this book will encourage you to think about the potential energy force and power you hold within you. This energy grows when you are connected and aligned to your mind, body, and soul.

              “The key to transformation is that you create the change you want to see in yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

              Print | eBook | Audiobook

              7. The Greatest Salesman In The World, by Og Mandino

              Advertising

                This little classic has been around since 1968. Have you ever wondered what truly successful people have in common?

                This book doesn’t really tell you how to be a great salesperson. It will; however, give you some fantastic tips on how to be an entrepreneur, how to self-motivate, and how to think like a successful person.

                The underlying message is the power of positive thinking – that you become what you think, say, and do. This book has great tactics for those of us in the process of change.

                “My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.” – Og Mandino

                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

                  This book helps you to manage the small stuff in your life that is usually creating the most pain in your life. This very supportive book is full of great practical suggestions on how you can live a more joyful and peaceful life.

                  “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” – Richard Carlson

                  Print | Audiobook

                  9. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath

                    Have you ever tried to lose weight or get fit and never reached your goal? You know that you have to make changes in your life, but you don’t know how?

                    If you are nodding in agreement, then you need to read “Switch“. If I had to recommend one book that shows you how to create and maintain lasting change in your life – then it would be “Switch“.

                    In this book, Chip and Dan share the Secret as to how you can create and sustain change in your life.

                    Advertising

                    Hint: It has something to do with knowing how to “Direct The Rider”, “Motivate The Elephant”, and “Shape the Path.”

                    This book, without a doubt, will show you how to change your life.

                    “When you’re at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle, because the middle is going to look different once you get there. Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.” – Chip & Dan Heath

                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                    10. The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

                      Do you ever feel that you are just not worthy enough, intelligent enough, or courageous enough to live a fulfilled happy life?

                      Do you have secret dreams that you hold deep inside of you that you don’t share in case someone thinks they are silly? Or are you too scared to follow your dreams because you fear that you may fail?

                      Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, will show you how to find your courage, as well as rediscover your self-belief and self-worth.

                      This is the book that will get you prepared to embark on your journey of change. “The Gifts of Imperfection” is about you learning how to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

                      “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 10 books were key to helping me change my life. I rediscovered my purpose and my strength. I hope that by reading these books, you will find the same inspiration and motivation to your challenges in life.

                      More Great Books

                      Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

                      More by this author

                      Leon Ho

                      Founder & CEO of Lifehack

                      7 Most Efficient Note Taking Methods The Lifehack Show: The Importance of Leadership (No Matter Who You Are) with Michael Bianco-Splann What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It How Setting Lofty Goals Can Lead You To Unbelievable Success How To Set Strategic Goals For A Successful Life

                      Trending in Mental Strength

                      1 10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck 2 9 Ways to Prepare for Change and Live Your Dream Life 3 How to Cope with Anxiety at Work: 5 Psychology Techniques 4 How to Take Calculated Risk to Achieve Success 5 How to Find Yourself When You’re Lost in Life

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on February 19, 2020

                      10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck

                      10 Strategies to Keep Moving Forward When Feeling Stuck

                      We have all felt stuck at some point in our lives. Perhaps you feel stuck right now.

                      Maybe you’re feeling a little stuck working on a creative project, like writing an article or painting a piece of art. Perhaps you started a new business, took on a major project at work or began a new health or fitness regimen.

                      Your initial excitement has worn off and you’re now feeling stuck, confused or overwhelmed by how to keep progressing forward. Or maybe, you’re a lot stuck. You feel trapped in a job you hate, a relationship that isn’t working, a boatload of debt, or a life that has little resemblance to the one you’d imagined.

                      Let’s be honest. Regardless of how stuck you are, it’s a terrible feeling. Feeling trapped and unsure how to move forward can lead to feelings of, confusion, angst, hopelessness, insecurity and overwhelm.

                      Sometimes we just want to throw in the towel and give up. But don’t give up just yet.

                      Whether you feel just a ‘little stuck’ or like you’re stuck in dry concrete, trying to make a small or big decision, wondering what you’re doing with your life, feeling trapped in a job, overwhelmed by debt, unhappy in a relationship or life that isn’t the one you want to live, these 10 strategies can help you keep moving forward.

                      1. Take a Step Back

                      Your first step forward when you feel stuck is to take a step back. Often, we try to get unstuck by pushing forward with sheer force or just trying harder. But as Einstein said,

                      “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

                      Access a different level of thinking by assessing your current situation from a new viewpoint. Whenever I’m working with clients who feel stuck, this is the first thing I ask them to do.

                      I have them think about where they are, what got them here and what they really want. When you step back from your life, career, and challenges and look from a bit of a distance, you see things from a different perspective.

                      Your Turn:

                      Imagine you are lost in the woods. You could keep moving forward looking for your way out. You could panic and go in circles. You could head back the way you came. You could, as I learned in camp, just sit still until help arrives.

                      Imagine instead that you could stop, take a deep breath and zoom out from your situation. Imagine you could fly above it all as if you were in a helicopter and look down at yourself among the trees.

                      What could you see or notice differently from this perspective – a different route, people there to support you, the way out is closer than you thought?

                      Another way to ‘zoom out’ is to look at your situation as a neutral observer. Imagine you’re a fly on the wall watching your life. What insights or advice would you give yourself?[1]

                      2. Get Specific

                      It’s hard to move forward until you fully understand why you are stuck. You have to get specific and identify what’s really going on. You must name it to tame it.

                      A great mentor of mine once said,

                      “A well-defined problem presents its own solution”.

                      If you want to find a solution, you must truly understand the underlying problem. This is one of the premises of coaching. When you dig a little deeper to the real issue/challenge/blockage, solutions tend to present themselves.

                      For example, there are big differences between, ‘I feel stuck’ and ‘I feel stuck because I’m overwhelmed with the details’ or ‘I feel stuck because I’m worried what people are going to think of me.’ Once you name it, you are more likely to be able to tame it.

                      Advertising

                      One of the most important questions I ask clients is, ‘What’s getting in the way?’ When they answer, the next question is always, ‘What else?’ We continue along this route until we feel we’ve gotten to the real, underlying issue(s).

                      Your Turn:

                      Seek to uncover the underlying issues that are getting in your way and stopping you from progressing. You can do this by journaling, talking to someone who knows you well, or simply taking the time to ask yourself these questions.

                      Once you name it, perhaps the solution will then present and tame itself.

                      3. Reconnect to Your ‘Why’

                      Feeling stuck is often because you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and what’s important. You’ve lost your why.

                      Why did you start this in the first place? What reasons, values or passions drove you to make this change in your life? What picture do you have for yourself, your business and your life? Why are you wanting to achieve or accomplish this?

                      By reminding yourself of your original intention and purpose, it gives you the intrinsic motivation to get back on track and move ahead.

                      Connecting to your deeper ‘why’ will be the fuel that keeps you going, even through tough times and roadblocks.

                      Your Turn:

                      Whatever you’re stuck on right now, grab a journal and ask yourself, “Why is this important to me?” ,”Why did I start this in the first place?” “What am I trying to achieve here and why is that important to me? “

                      4. Brainstorm Your Options

                      We often feel stuck because we don’t see any way out from our current situation – we feel we don’t have any options.

                      By brainstorming ideas and possibilities, you expand your mind and open your thinking to finding a new solution. When you can see potential options, you won’t feel so trapped anymore. 

                      This is not about deciding the one thing or making the right choice, it’s about allowing your creative mind to expand and see all the potential possibilities. We often dive straight into finding the right one and eliminate anything that doesn’t feel perfect.

                      That’s why so many people feel stuck. They are attempting to find the next right career, the best way to handle a situation or the one perfect idea. This can lead to a lot of stress and analysis paralysis.

                      The reality is that there is no single best or right. There are many possibilities that could work for your situation. It’s about the next step right now.

                      If you hate your career, what new potential careers are on your mind? List them all out – even the ones that seem unrealistic or silly.

                      If you’re unhappy in your relationship, what can you do? There are likely a lot more options than you’ve considered. What are they?

                      Your Turn:

                      Make a list of options for your current situation – as crazy or ‘out there’ as they might be.

                      When you think you’ve thought of everything, ask yourself, ‘What other options are there?’ This allows you to dig deeper and see ideas you might not have otherwise explored.

                      Then, and only then can you start to identify the way forward.

                      5. Take a Brain Break

                      Full disclosure, I’m stealing this strategy from my 7-year-old daughter’s second-grade teacher.

                      Advertising

                      The other night I was helping my daughter with homework, she was getting super frustrated and wasn’t sure what to write in a letter to her big buddy. She was on the verge of tears when she looked up and asked, ‘Mom, can I take a brain break?’ She got up from the table, walked downstairs to her room and played with her stuffed animals. When she came upstairs a short time later, she was as happy as could be and jumped right into her writing.

                      We could all use a brain break when we’re stuck. A chance to shift focus gives our brains a chance for quiet; it takes the pressure off so we can come back with a fresh mind and new perspective.

                      When we take a brain break, it refreshes our thinking and helps us discover another solution to a problem or see a situation through a different lens. The brain break actually helps to incubate and process new information.[2]

                      A great brain break is to do something physical that gets you in flow. Take a hike, a run, a walk around the block. Another well-known brain break is meditation – which has so many proven benefits I can’t even begin to name them all. Try it, it works.

                      I have one friend who says taking a shower helps her get unstuck. ’Somehow good thoughts come up in that silent space.’

                      Your Turn:

                      What kind of brain breaks can you give yourself? Which would be most helpful?  It’s not just for second graders anymore.

                      6. Let Go of What’s Not Working

                      Have you ever walked through the mud and had your boot get stuck and your foot fly out? When this happens, you usually have two choices: either put your boot back on and keep plodding through, repeating the frustration as it continually gets stuck, or you can take off that boot and move forward.

                      The same is true in life. When we get stuck, we often stay in the mud and try to drag our boot along. We keep doing what’s clearly not working. The boot represents limiting beliefs, old habits, or stories you’re telling yourself.

                      Remember in the movie “UP” when Mr. Fredricksen is trying to get his house to fly? It was too heavy. He had to dump out his belongings until the house was light enough to lift off.

                      Same is true here; you’ve got to get rid of the emotional baggage you’re carrying so you can move forward and fly.

                      Take my client *Lucy for example. She was stuck trying to figure out what she wanted next in her life and career. She was having trouble finding a job she was interested in. Through our work together, we uncovered that Lucy had an interesting belief: that having a job and being happy were mutually exclusive.

                      She believed she couldn’t have a job and be happy at the same time. This meant she was either going to be jobless and joyful or employed and miserable. In order to move forward in her career search, she needed to take off this ‘boot’ and believe she could find a job where she could, in fact, be happy.

                      Your Turn:

                      What’s holding you back? An old habit, limiting belief or story you are telling yourself? How can you reframe your thinking in order to change the direction you are headed?

                      7. Know What You Need to Get Unstuck

                      We all have a way in which we operate that is unique to us. When you understand how you’re wired, you can understand more specifically what you need to get unstuck. It’s like your own personal formula for moving forward.

                      For me, I need a crystal-clear picture of what I’m trying to achieve and a big, tangible goal to reach for.  When I don’t have a clear picture of the end result or challenging target I’m trying to hit, I feel stuck and demotivated. 

                      Here are some common needs: 

                      Astep-by-step plan, to understand why something is important, deadlines and impending pressure, unconditional encouragement and support, to think things through, connecting to a deeper meaning, freedom, and flexibility, and certainty.

                      Do you relate to any of these?

                      Your Turn:

                      What do you need to get unstuck? If you’re not quite sure, you might want to check out the I.D.™ (Instinctive Drives™). It’s a tool I’ve used for almost 20 years (and have all my clients take). It helps you understand what you need to be at your best, including what will help you get unstuck.

                      Advertising

                      8. Shift Your State

                      When you’re in a stuck state, it actually creates a cycle of ‘stuckness.’ Get yourself out of there!

                      Instead of placing all your focus and energy on the problem, shift your focus and energy to another area of your life. Go do something that brings you joy; spend time with someone you love.

                      Do anything to shift your state and mood. This will switch your downward cycle of ‘doom and gloom’ into an upward cycle of ‘hope and possibility’.

                      A great way to shift your state is to practice gratitude. So, you hate your job. Practice gratitude for other areas of your life. Does it support your family? Allow you to work remotely?

                      I’m not saying you should stay in a job you hate, I’m just recommending that you get perspective. A state shift brings energy, hope, and positivity into your mindset…keys to getting out of that dreaded stuck cycle.

                      Your Turn:

                      What always puts you in a good mood? What brings you joy, happiness or fulfillment?   Do it! And make sure to practice gratitude. Try this: each morning for the next week, write down three things you are grateful.

                      9. Take Action

                      Getting into action is critical to getting unstuck. There’s no substitute for momentum. Action enables further action, while inactivity creates inertia, self-doubt, and confusion.

                      I love this quote from Simon Sinek:

                      ‘If we think of everything we have to do, we feel overwhelmed. If we do the one thing we need to do, we make progress.’

                      My client Marcus (not his real name) had just made a career move and was setting out to start his own wellness business. The biggest problem getting in his way? Inertia.

                      The more he thought about what he was going to do, the bigger the endeavor began to feel. The more he explored the risks, challenges, and his extensive to-do list, the more he felt overwhelmed. He was stuck. 

                      However, once he took action, starting with quick wins, he gained momentum and was able to move forward and tackle bigger and more challenging steps. Once he broke through his inaction, he was on a roll.

                      My grandfather always told us: a path leads to a path. We can’t know what the future holds and trying to figure out everything before we start is a recipe for disaster.

                      Know that a path will lead to a path, a step will lead to the next step, but you have to start walking first. 

                      Your Turn:

                      What’s the next step you can take to move forward? Where is there a quick win?

                      When you think about your first (or next) step, keep it small and achievable to get the momentum going.

                      10. Reach out for Help

                      This summer, my Dad took his new truck and my twin daughters on a trip to the Oregon sand dunes. Only a few minutes into the adventure, they got really stuck. They tried shoveling sand and getting out on their own, but they couldn’t. Nearly an hour later, (which felt like an eternity stuck in the middle of a pelting sandstorm), a little dune buggy came along. My Dad’s truck was six times its size, but all they needed was a little pull. They hooked up the wench and within minutes, they were free.

                      We can all use a little help when we’re stuck. This might be talking to a good friend who knows and understands you or reaching out to get advice from someone who’s been in a similar situation to yours.

                      Maybe it’s hiring a coach who will ask powerful questions to help you see things from a different angle, a therapist who can uncover hidden roadblocks or a consultant to share opinions and experiences.

                      Advertising

                      When you’re on your own, it can feel hopeless, overwhelming and just plain impossible. But, just a little push or pull from someone can quickly change your trajectory.

                      While this may seem like one of the easiest strategies, it is actually one of the hardest to do. Why? Even though we are biologically wired to help each other, many of us find it challenging to reach out.

                      There’s a reason for this:[3]

                      ‘Asking for help exposes us to numerous possible social threats, which is why it’s so uncomfortable. It can feel like a tacit admission of weakness, which lowers our status, and can be an invitation for scorn. It creates uncertainty, and invites the possibility of rejection.’

                      Your Turn:

                      Who is your dune buggy? Who can you reach out to ask for help right now?

                      Not ready to reach out to someone just yet? Maybe you can try asking the universe. Some call this prayer, others spiritual guidance,  others faith.  Whatever you call it, reach out to someone, somewhere, somehow…now.

                      Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                      Bonus: When All Else Fails, Be Patient

                      Sometimes when we’re stuck, we just need to practice patience. Patience that the answer is coming; the shift is going to happen. Patience that you’ve done all that you can and now, it’s time to wait and see what comes back to you.

                      I’m not suggesting you wait for months or years; but sometimes we expect things to change quickly, yet things take time. This is especially true for big life decisions and transitions or when there are others involved, like your relationships or job.

                      I love the line from Max Ehrmann’s’ Desiderata:

                      ’…whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.’  

                      Trust the unfolding and know that sometimes it may take a little longer than you’d like.

                      There’s usually a good reason, even if you can’t see it. Maybe it’s not time to move forward or make changes just yet. Maybe you don’t have all the information you need, and when you do, you’ll quickly make progress. Maybe you’re actually stuck where you need to be right now.

                      When I was in my most recent major career transition, feeling stuck and wondering if I would ever figure out my next step, this quote from Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu was exactly what I needed:

                      ‘Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?’

                      Stay strong. Be patient. The more stuck you are, the greater the freedom will feel.

                      You’re going to be okay. It won’t always be like this. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Hang in there and trust the process. Your breakthrough is coming.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Which of these strategies feel like they will work best for you and your current stuck situation?

                      You don’t have to use all of them, it just takes one.

                      Remember, any movement, momentum or shift will help get you unstuck and moving forward again. Besides, it’s never too late to start things over! Here’s the why: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                      More to Help You Get Unstuck

                      Featured photo credit: Michał Parzuchowski via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next