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7 Mind-Changing Books Every Woman Should Read By Her 30

7 Mind-Changing Books Every Woman Should Read By Her 30

Turning 30 is an epic milestone for any woman. You are embarking on a new decade and have a clearer perspective of who you are and where you are going. You are still young enough to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature–everything is still firm and bouncy–yet old enough to have gained wisdom from experience and developed a healthy respect for Father Time.

And for some reason, at 30, you faintly begin to hear the clock ticking.

We’re here to help.

Below is a list of inspirational books every woman should read before turning 30. This eclectic selection of inspirational books focuses on topics that will assist you in understanding your identity, shaping your worldview, laying the foundation for fulfillment, and assisting you in setting and reaching goals in all aspects of life.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

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The Year of Magical Thinking

    Death is a part of life. And when people die–or we experience death in other aspects of our lives (i.e. loss of job, going through breakups, or moving to a different city)–we need to grieve. However, there are few instructions on how to grieve. This inspirational book is a guide on how to adapt and overcome.

    The 21 Day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary

    21 Day Financial Fast

      How we deal with and relate to money is more mental and emotional than most realize or would like to admit. In The 21-Day Financial Fast, Michelle Singletary, award-winning writer and nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, proposes a field-tested financial challenge, while also taking you on a journey of self discovery. This book is not your average financial or money managing how to book. This book guides you in reflecting on your spending habits and examining why you spend the way you do. It makes you take a hard look at your relationship with money.

      To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

      To Kill a Mockingbird

        This is a must-read. If you read this in your high school English Literature class, please read it again.

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        One of the most inspirational books of all time, this epic tale by the iconic Harper Lee, is compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving. It explores the very essence of human behavior–innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. You will laugh and cry, rejoice and mourn. This is not just a book; it is an experience that will leave you questioning your own convictions and searching your soul–two processes that are an essential part of the rite of passage every new 30-year-old should undergo.

        The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

        Tipping Point

          By now you have, or are developing, a pretty good sense of where you would like to go in life. You know the direction you would like your career to head. Getting there may still be a challenge. The Tipping Point is just the book to help you understand how to turn a big idea into reality and how to expand your reach in the market place.

          “The best way to understand the dramatic transformation of unknown books into bestsellers, or the rise of teenage smoking, or the phenomena of word of mouth or any number of the other mysterious changes that mark everyday life,” writes author Malcolm Gladwell, “is to think of them as epidemics. Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do.”

          The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren

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          The purpose driven life

            You are at the perfect age to really digest and apply the materials found in this profoundly thought-provoking and inspirational book. Rick Warren guides you through the process of answering one of life’s most fundamental questions: Why am I here?

            In this wildly popular easy read, you are challenged to examine your thinking and find your true purpose in life–whatever that is. The concepts here respect the diversity and individuality of every person and dares you to engage in a quest to find the ultimate purpose for your life.

            White Teeth by Zadie Smith

            White Teeth

              By now you understand that the world is a complicated place. You once thought you had it all figured out, but at 30 you have experienced enough to know that you will never have it all figured out. White Teeth flows along this stream.

              This book takes on the big themes–faith, race, gender, history, and culture–with poignancy and humor. This book is witty, yet tangled. The plot is rich, and squares up to the two questions which gnaw at the very roots of our modern condition: Who are we? Why are we here?

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              Persuasion by Jane Austen

              Persuasion

                This is a gentle satire that is set in the mid 1800s, but its themes and conflicts truly transcend time. It is described in The Huffington Post as being a “quiet story of youthful impressionability, living with regret, and finding second chances, full of wisdom for those of us suffering life’s first knocks and looking back on our first big mistakes.”

                This is not just a simple love story. It combines wit, social criticism and an examination of different kinds of love–the love between friends, the love of one’s own sense of integrity, and the love of a man and a woman–in a tremendously skillful way.

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                Last Updated on August 6, 2020

                6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

                “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

                Are we speaking the same language?

                My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

                When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

                Am I being lazy?

                When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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                Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

                Early in the relationship:

                “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

                When the relationship is established:

                “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

                It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

                Have I actually got anything to say?

                When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

                A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

                When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

                Am I painting an accurate picture?

                One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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                How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

                Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

                What words am I using?

                It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

                Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

                Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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                Is the map really the territory?

                Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

                A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

                I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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