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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.

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

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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