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Here Are 10 Inspirational Biographies That Can Steer You Towards The Right Path

Here Are 10 Inspirational Biographies That Can Steer You Towards The Right Path

Everyone out there has had days when they lose all self confidence and feel like they are going nowhere. All your ideas start sounding stupid and you don’t know why you’re still trying in the first place. This is where these inspirational biographies come into play. People who have held on to their ideas and passions and executed them regardless of how difficult it was to keep going and hopefully by reading some of these, you will know exactly where your passions lie and figure out just what you need to keep doing to make them happen.

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

    The extraordinary and inspiring account of both the professional and personal life of Steve Jobs. Based on three years of exclusive interviews conducted by Isaacson with both Jobs and his family, colleagues and competitors. A great insight into Jobs’s life and thoughts making it a very motivational and inspirational read, one of the best inspirational biographies out there.

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

    2. Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Richard Branson

      Richard Branson followed a very interesting ideology that gained him, in slightly more than twenty-five years, successful ventures all around the place from Virgin Atlantic Airways to Virgin Megastores and nearly a hundred other myriad ventures. Reading this tale of someone doing business his way will surely encourage all you closet-entrepreneurs to just “screw it, let’s do it” in the words of Branson himself.

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      “I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

      3. Shark Tales: How I Turned $1000 into a Billion Dollar Business by Barbara Corcoran

        Many of these books happen to be about business successes but that is the key to pushing ourselves to implementing all the ideas we have in mind. This book is Corcoran’s best advice for anybody starting a business but it’s also beyond that because despite failing at 22 jobs by the time she was 23, she borrowed a 1000 bucks form her boyfriend and started a tiny real estate office in NYC. This developed into a $6 billion dollar business. Now that is enough to keep me persistent!

        “Taking chances almost always makes for happy endings.”

        4. Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen

          Paul Allen was a world-famous billionaire by his early 30s and Time has named him one of the hundred most influential people in the world as the cofounder of Microsoft. Rushed into sharing his story by a diagnosis of lymphoma, this memoir was created filled with his passion, rigor, thoughts and most importantly his endeavors; both the triumphs and the failures. This will emphasize the importance of ideas in all of our minds and we could all use a little of that.

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          “For the most part, the best opportunities now lie where your competitors have yet to establish themselves, not where they’re already entrenched.”

          5. One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com y Richard L. Brandt

            Richard Brandt has brought us the intel behind the creator of the world’s most popular online shopping site, Amazon.com. With its super easy and convenient layout, Amazon has helped Bezos rise from computer whiz to a world-changing entrepreneur. Through interviews with employees, competitors and observers, we get an insight into how Bezos thinks enabling us to sharpen up our decision making skills and maybe, finding something that gives us a higher meaning to our lives.

            “… working at Amazon was not just a job – it was part of a visionary quest, something to give higher meaning to their lives.”

            6. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

              This one is now sitting on my “Want To Read” shelf on Goodreads because it is a slightly different kind of biography than the ones prior. This literary adventure teaches you to live deliberately without fear or compromise because only when you know what you want and stand for it will you be able to succeed. The book proposes many other conflicts and thought processes but Chris’s desire to live on his own terms and his pursuing of that is the inspirational essence.

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              “Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.”

              7. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

                This one is a classic, discovered in the attic in which Anne Frank spent the last years of her life during the war and the holocaust. Anne has a remarkable voice that in itself makes you feel guilty for letting some of your hardships – that now might now seem as hard – get in the way of what it is you want to do. Perhaps this might not be lighthearted but it is most definitely positive because that is what Frank intended it to be. She broke the Maslow’s hierarchy theory because she didn’t need a sense of security to write and express herself and reach self-actualization, she just did, and in her strength we can all find ours.

                “Although I’m only fourteen, I know quite well what I want, I know who is right and who is wrong. I have my opinions, my own ideas and principles, and although it may sound pretty mad from an adolescent, I feel more of a person than a child, I feel quite indepedant of anyone.”

                8. Front Row: Anna Wintour – What Lies Beneath the Chic Exterior of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief by Jerry Oppenheimer

                  The list would be incomplete without the chic and that is embodied in Vogue’s Queen Bee: Anna Wintour. Behind her trademark sunglasses and bob she essentially controls the fashion world, what’s in and what’s out, and every month millions of women and men are influenced by the pages of the wish-book that she has earned fighting her way to the most prestigious position in fashion journalism. Wintour’s belief in her opinions and voice makes you want to wear whatever you want and even carry through that attitude, ambition and drive into the rest of your endeavours.

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                  9. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie

                    The title in itself is the lesson. Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and includes the innovative lessons he has learned from other organisations such as charity: water, TerraCycle and FEED Projects. Blake makes it easier for us by presenting six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business so the first step, is to pick it up and give it a read if you’re ready to make a difference in your world and most importantly, your personal life.

                    “Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.… If it’s important to you and you want to do it ‘eventually,’ just do it and correct course along the way.”

                    10. By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis-Wilson

                      Alexis and Alexandra went to Harvard Business School and while they were learning all they could at the top training ground for future Wall Street titans, they had no idea that 5 years on the line, they’d be famous at the intersection of fashion and technology. Gilt began with one bold idea: to bring sample sales online and change the way millions shop. The quintessential lesson is that anything is possible if you have the confidence to embrace your creativity, spontaneity and ability to recognise an opportunity and just go for it.

                      “The reason we wrote our book, By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt And Changed The Way Millions Shop, is to inspire entrepreneurship – especially among women. We want to help increase the chances of success with more startups.”

                      Featured photo credit: Grow via youandsaturation.com

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                      Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                      Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                      For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                      But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                      It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                      And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                      The Importance of Saying No

                      When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                      In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                      Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                      Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                      Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                      “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                      When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                      How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                      It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                      From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                      We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                      And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                      At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                      The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                      How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                      Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                      But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                      3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                      1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                      Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                      If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                      2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                      When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                      Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                      3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                      When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                      6 Ways to Start Saying No

                      Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                      1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                      One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                      Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                      2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                      Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                      Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                      3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                      Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                      Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                      You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                      4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                      Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                      Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                      5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                      When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                      How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                        Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                        Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                        6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                        If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                        Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                        Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                        Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                        More Tips on How to Say No

                        Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                        [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                        [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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