Advertising
Advertising

20 Books Everyone Should Read Before Age 40

20 Books Everyone Should Read Before Age 40

Books are wonderful things. Information, entertainment, wisdom and imagination all wrapped up in a nice little bundle of pages… or an electronic file as the case may be.

But there are so many. Millions actually, so the question becomes, “What are the must reads?”, especially in the first half of your life when you’re trying to do so much and seeking all that life has to offer so diligently. I’ll start by saying that there are so many books that could have made my list, but I suspect that you, like me, read many of those throughout your educational years. Still, it might be worth another read through of some of the classics.

My list of 20 must-read books:

(In no particular order, some classic, and some modern)

anne frank

    The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank- I hope I don’t need to explain why this book is so important. You probably read this as a student, but read it again. It may be the ultimate book about the power of hope and strength in the midst of unspeakable atrocities, and it serves to remind us that there will always be evil in the world, but that we must not let it win.

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

      I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – Poverty. Racism. Rape. Coming of age amidst all that. It’s both heartbreaking and empowering, like only Maya can do.

      Advertising

      Attitudes of Gratitude- How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life

        Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Everyday of Your Life by M.J. Ryan – Ryan shows us that when we let ourselves feel and express our appreciation, we feel happier, younger, and healthier.  Gratitude creates a powerful state of happiness where we notice what’s right instead of what’s wrong, which teaches us how to unlock the fullness of life.

        To Kill a Mockingbird

          To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Another book many of us read in school, but it’s worth another read through adult eyes. Be brave enough to do what you know is right—enough said.

          Emotional Intelligence 2.0

            Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves, Patrick Lencioni – It’s no secret that emotional intelligence (EQ) is critical to success, but knowing what emotional intelligence is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things. Emotional intelligence shows us how to use self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management to achieve our fullest potential.

            The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People- Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

              The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Covey – It’s a classic for a reason: still one of the most valuable personal development books of all time. Covey prescribes a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach to help us lead the best life possible.

              Advertising

              The Power of Now

                The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The message is simple: living in the now is the path to happiness (and enlightenment.) An excellent manual of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of our ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

                Mans Search for Meaning

                  Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl – Based on his own experience in Nazi death camps, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

                  Now, Discover Your Strengths

                    Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton – Unfortunately, most of us spend our lives trying to combat our weaknesses instead of developing our strengths, when the truth is that it is actually our strengths that lead us to personal and professional success.

                    Traveling Mercies- Some Thoughts on Faith

                      Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott – Anne Lamott says the two best prayers she knows are: “Help me” and “Thank you.” Irreverent and witty, Lamott shows us how to own the reality of our own brokenness while coming closer to a real understanding of grace.

                      Advertising

                      making-marriage-simple-10-truths-for-changing-the-relationship-you-have-into-the-one-you-want

                        Making Marriage Simple: Ten Truths for Changing the Relationship You Have into the One You Want by Harville Hendrix, Helen LaKelly Hunt – A guide to building a strong partnership in today’s world. It gives practical tools needed to transform one’s relationship into a rewarding and joyous one.

                        Tuesdays with Morrie

                          Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom – Reminds us of the importance of having mentors, and that the lessons they teach us about living robustly and fully impact our lives in ways that we may not understand at the time.

                          The Artists Way

                            The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – An inspiring and invaluable guide on living a life of creativity and passion.

                            The Gifts of Imperfection

                              The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown – This book lays out ten guideposts for Wholehearted living. Brown teaches how to combat the barrage of messages from society telling us who, what, and how we should be, to discover that we are worthy just as we are.

                              Advertising

                              The Tipping Point- How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

                                The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell – The tipping point is that critical moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, then tips, and spreads like wildfire. Gladwell explores the tipping point phenomenon and how it’s changing the way people throughout the world think about the development and dissemination of ideas.

                                Imagine- How Creativity Works

                                  Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer – Discusses the importance of thinking like a child, daydreaming, and adopting an outsider’s perspective. He talks about creative collaboration, criticism and how we can use creativity to better our world.

                                  The Last Lecture

                                    The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – At one time or another, we all consider our deaths and ruminate on what matters mos; the wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance. This lecture given by Pausch, a computer science professor recently diagnosed with a terminal illness, expresses the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, and of seizing every moment.

                                    The Notebook

                                      The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks – This is more than a simple story of love, lost and found—it’s one about the choices we make and the hardships we face. Whether you feel it’s a love story or a tragedy, it’s about a journey to happiness and ultimately deciding what or who is important to us in life.

                                      The Power of Full Engagement

                                        The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz – Shows us how managing energy, not time, is the key to performance, health, happiness, and life balance. This fundamental insight has the power to revolutionize the way we live.

                                        Your chosen book on your spiritual path or philosophical leanings – A must, and probably should have been listed first. Whether it’s the Bible, Tao Te Ching, Bhagavad Gita, works by Plato, Aristotle, or one of the many spiritual books out there, whatever book helps you to understand your place in the larger picture of life, that gives you purpose and meaning, may be the most important book you ever read.

                                        More by this author

                                        Royale Scuderi

                                        A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

                                        11 Tips to Help Improve Your Active Listening Skills 10 Important Life Lessons to Learn Early on in Life The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want What Is Emotional Intelligence (And How to Develop It) How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                                        Trending in Leisure

                                        1 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day 2 How to Enjoy Life In a Way Most People Don’t 3 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 4 30 Fun Things to Do at Home 5 10 Things Only Those Who Travel With Friends Understand

                                        Read Next

                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising

                                        Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                                        How to Overcome Boredom

                                        How to Overcome Boredom

                                        Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

                                        I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

                                        If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

                                        What is Boredom?

                                        We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

                                        You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

                                        Advertising

                                        It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

                                        If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

                                        When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

                                        Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

                                        If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

                                        Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

                                        Advertising

                                        Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

                                        In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

                                        It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

                                        Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

                                        Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

                                        Advertising

                                        In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

                                        3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

                                        1. Get Focused

                                        Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

                                        You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

                                        Here are a few ideas:

                                        • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
                                        • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
                                        • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

                                        2. Kill Procrastination

                                        Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

                                        Advertising

                                        So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

                                        Here are some ideas:

                                        • Do some exercise.
                                        • Read a book.
                                        • Learn something new.
                                        • Call a friend.
                                        • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
                                        • Do a spring cleaning.
                                        • Wash the car.
                                        • Renovate the house.
                                        • Re-arrange the furniture.
                                        • Write your shopping list.
                                        • Water the plants.
                                        • Walk the dog.
                                        • Sort out your mail & email.
                                        • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

                                        3. Enjoy Boredom

                                        If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

                                        Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

                                        So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

                                        Final Thoughts

                                        Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

                                        More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

                                        Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

                                        Read Next