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10 Inspirational Non-Fiction Books Worthy of Digital (or Actual) Bookshelves

10 Inspirational Non-Fiction Books Worthy of Digital (or Actual) Bookshelves
    Reading never goes out of style.

    As the holiday season kicks into high gear, the malls are getting busier and busier and picking out that perfect gift for someone becomes tougher and tougher. No one likes to get caught up in the holiday rush, so if you haven’t done some advance shopping then you’ll be in for a rough time over the next three weeks.

    While I can’t suggest the ideal gift for every single person on your list, I can suggest an ideal gift for the person looking to up their game in the coming year. There are some great non-fiction books out there that can serve to advance someone on your holiday shopping list in terms of inspiration, motivation and overall skill development. Some of these are available in both paper and digital formats, making shipping easier for those across the miles or enabling you to give them something for their bookshelf that they can reference again and again.

    Here are 10 great non-fiction books to get you started that you can either give during this time of year – or ask to receive yourself.

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    1. End Malaria

    End Malaria was an initiative spearheaded by Box of Crayons, The Domino Project, and Malaria No More. Featuring essays from the likes of David Allen, Chris Brogan, Gina Trapani, Jonathan Fields, and Gary Vaynerchuk, End Malaria not only delivers some top notch inspiration but it also delivers $20 to Malaria No More. The organization uses that money to send a mosquito net to a family in need and to support life-saving work in the fight against malaria. It’s a book that’s great on so many levels.

    2. Lead without Followers

    In Lead without Followers, Dave Ursillo has put together a book that pushes the boundaries of what “traditional” leadership has become. He asks his readers to rise to the challenge to do what’s right and lead without having anyone follow them – because that’s how the new leaders of tomorrow will be discovered. A great read from this first-time author.

    3. Making Ideas Happen

    Scott Belsky has written a productivity book that will resonate with those creatives who are working within the structure of a team or need to find ways to stay on track. Those who read and implement the ideas in Making Ideas Happen certainly will make ideas happen.

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    4. Keeping it Straight: You Me & Everything Else

    The man behind Minimal Mac and its accompanying podcast, Patrick Rhone offers a great read with Keeping it Straight: You Me & Everything Else. For those who really want to get in touch with not just the idea of what really matters in life – but how to be mindful about it in their own life’s process, this is the book to have.

    5. Nerd Fitness Guides

    For the fitness buffs in your life – or for those wanting to get fit as part of their New Year’s resolutions – Steve Kamb offers a trio of guides at NerdFitness.com. The Rebel Strength, Fitness and Running Guides are great gifts for those who have little to no experience in working out or simply want to level up their training regimen.

    6. The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice

    Todd Henry has written an easily digestible read for the “accidenatal creative” in everyone. In The Accitdental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, Henry focuses on how the reader can put themselves in a position to be prolific, brilliant and healthy.

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    7. Uncertainty: Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance

    Jonathan Fields follow-up to Career Renegade, Uncertainty: Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance is another rock solid book from the inspiring author and speaker. Fields tells the reader to feed off of the uncertainty that they feel and make the most of it. A great gift idea for someone who wants (or needs) to make a major change in their life.

    8. The War of Art

    Steven Pressfield’s book is a quick read but one that gets returned to again and again. The War of Art is a must-have for any creative artist and his follow-up, Do The Work, is just as impressive.

    9. Ignore Everybody

    Hugh MacLeod’s story is inspiring, and he recounts quite a bit of it in Ignore Everybody. He delivered another hit with Evil Plans, but for another quick read for the person willing to take risks and go your own way, this book is a no-brainer.

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    10. The Promise Doctrine

    Father and son team, Craig and Jason Womack have written a book that asks its readers to look at productivity in a totally different way. The Promise Doctrine serves as a reminder that productivity isn’t just about doing stuff – it’s about doing the right stuff. for someone new to productivity, this book is a good one to give.

    What inspiring non-fiction books would you consider giving this holiday season? Did I miss any? Let me know you thoughts in the comments.

    (Photo credit: Book courtesy of Shutterstock)

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    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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