I love books. And I especially love books with practical advice – worksheets, programs, and techniques that I can apply right away to my life. I love books that get me excited – that get me fired up. I love books that give me the tools that I need to make the changes that will help me live the life that I know I was meant to live.
What I love almost as much as reading these books is sharing them here with you! Knowing that we are all reading them together and moving into our ideal lives because of them is an amazing feeling.
I have five powerful books to share with you today. It’s a marathon review. But I didn’t want to leave any of these out. They are all too powerful in their own right. So get ready to learn about some amazing books. If you read them and do the work, you will be taking the first steps toward changing your life for the better. Doesn’t that sound great? Okay…here we go!
This book will definitely get you fired up. Danielle LaPorte’s writing style is both smart and witty but also heartfelt and soulful. She gets it. She’s been there. And she’s here to help get you there, too. This book helps you create your life on your own terms. It’s a practical guide with thoughtful questions at the end of each chapter, insightful stories and examples throughout, and a kick-you-in-the-pants writing style that will inspire you to take action.
It’s always interesting to see what sticks with us from a book after we have read it and moved onto other things. While there were many great parts to this book, here are two points that have stayed with me long after I read it.
“Procrastination can be divine.”
I have always procrastinated. I remember in elementary school staying up almost the entire night before my science fair exhibit was due making signs, doing research, and trying to pull it all together. This habit didn’t end in 5th grade though, it’s stuck with me throughout my life. It didn’t matter if the project was big or small, it would get pushed back until the absolute last moment. I was never particularly proud of this part of my personality, but I just figured it was the way I was.
Danielle’s take on it really opened my eyes. Here’s what she says:
“What we might critique as procrastination can actually be a misdiagnosis for instinct. One of the effects of living in a hyperproductive society is that intuitive resistance can get labeled as procrastination. But what seems like avoidance may be a deeper inkling of wrong timing.”
Think about what you are procrastinating about. Most likely, it’s a task that you would rather not be doing in the first place, right? I never put off my writing. I never save it until the end of the day. You know why? Because it feeds me – it makes me happy. But I will put off other administrative tasks that go along with my job but aren’t necessarily my passion. And so the goal is to fill our lives with as many tasks as we can that we are passionate about and that fill us up. Listen to our inner guidance – if we are continually putting something off, take notice. There is a reason. Your soul is trying to tell you something.
“Intend to shine.”
The second part that stuck with me was when she said this:
“Here’s a guide point that will never lead you astray: Intend to shine. You can be modest about your great success; you can be honest about your fears; you can be proud and loud without the arrogance appetizer. You can be a magnet for goodness even in hard times, if you simply choose to accentuate the positive and focus on where you want to go.”
She talks about how important it is that we have our elevator speeches at the ready (who we are, what we do, and what we’re about) because you never know when you’re going to connect with someone who will change your world. And it’s just good practice to get clear on how we want to be and how we choose to present ourselves to the world.
If you’re ready to step into your power and create a successful, soulful life – this is a must read.
To get a feel for Danielle and her book, watch this video:
The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life
Thomas M. Sterner
In his book, Thomas M. Sterner invites us to love the practice of achieving our goals rather than simply focusing on the goal itself. He reminds us that as children, we weren’t hard on ourselves when we were learning to walk. We didn’t give up after our first attempt. We kept at it – we practiced – and eventually we were able to walk without falling at all. We didn’t look back and criticize ourselves for taking longer than our siblings. We stayed in the present moment and put one foot in front of the other.
Thomas invites us to keep this same focus and discipline when we set new goals in our lives as adults. He reminds us that it doesn’t have to be a struggle, and that oftentimes practicing the new skill can be as rewarding as mastering it.
I am learning more and more that life’s beauty can be felt and experienced in the present moment. And this book is another example of exactly that. It is a great companion for our Month of Meditation, too!
Please watch this video to learn more about this book:
The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation
The Bliss Experiment is based on a course taught by Sean Meshorer – a course that guarantees that your life will improve noticeably within one month. The course even comes with a full refund, but no one has asked for one yet.
We all want to be happy. We all want our lives to have meaning. We all want to find truth. Sean says that we all want bliss, which is where these three things merge. Bliss is our innate state of inner joy. And it is found by going within.
Each chapter contains real-life stories and examples, plus insightful exercises that allow you to go deeper into the content and apply it to your own life. It also includes meditation techniques – both sitting meditations and also practicing mindfulness throughout our day.
Sean does guarantee that your life will contain more bliss after reading this book. But there is a catch: you actually have to do the work. And isn’t that true with everything? We can’t expect to reap the rewards without putting in the time. But isn’t it worth it? That’s why I’m meditating every day this month and creating the habit. Because I want inner peace. I want more bliss. I believe we all do.
I’m excited to share this book with you right now because it’s our Month of Meditation here, and this book centers around meditation! Divine timing at its best.
This book is based on an 8-week meditation program that Sarah McLean has used herself and with her students throughout the years. Each week, she offers helpful exercises to help with that week’s lesson. The lessons include becoming more aware, loving ourselves, connecting with our soul, and communicating honestly.
She lists 5 essentials for meditation, which are so helpful for me right now as I’m just beginning to be still:
- It’s okay to have thoughts.
- Don’t try too hard.
- Let go of expectations.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Stick with it.
This is a great companion book to our Month of Meditation – a tool for anyone who wants to dive into it.
Be sure to watch this video where Sarah talks more about this book and what you can expect from it:
The Commitment Book: Helping You Keep Your Word to Yourself
Dan Teck and Jodi Chapman
I’m definitely biased about this book because it’s part of our Soulful Journals series, but I wanted to share it here because it contains a program that helped me form a lasting habit (one that still continues to this day)!
Just over a year ago, I knew that I wanted to start a blog. I felt called to write what was in my heart and also create a community where others felt safe enough to do the same.
I wanted to make sure I stuck with it, though, which is where The Commitment Book came in. It contains a 4-step plan that guides you toward your goals and also holds you accountable for achieving them.
If you have ever gotten really excited about a goal that you wanted to achieve and then had a hard time following through with it, this is the book for you. If you frequently say that you’re going to do something and then either forget about it or get too busy and end up not doing it, you should read this book and follow the program in it.
It’s what I did, and I’m still blogging over a year later. I created a lasting habit, and now it’s just second nature for me to write here and connect with each of you. It’s because I was very clear on my goal and then took consistent action to make it a reality.
Here is more about what’s included in this book:
We introduce you to our Commitment Training Program, which is a simple system that helps you come up with a realistic commitment and then holds you accountable for keeping it. We focus on keeping the commitment rather than the goal itself. When you can keep your word, your self esteem will immediately rise! Our system gives you the tools for a lifetime of following through on what you say you will do!
It is broken into the following four steps:
1. Find your commitment
2. Commit to your commitment
3. Keep your commitment
4. Celebrate, re-evaluate, and recommit to your commitment
It is written to be a workbook and gives you the opportunity to really explore what you want to commit to in life.
If you do decide to order it, please let me know after the 30 days how it worked for you! I’m happy to put your testimonials up on our website, too!
So many great books to discover, right?
Now it’s your turn!
What books have helped you reach your dreams and live your best life? What books have you read that inspired you to live more fully and be more present? What books made you want to make changes in your life immediately and begin to create habits that made you feel more joyful?
List them below! Your sharing could be exactly what someone else needs to make a lasting change in their own life right now.
Also, if you have read any of the books that I mentioned above, please chime in and let us know what you thought! Did it help you? Were you inspired by it?
I love it when our conversations flow here, so let’s get it started!
P.S. – I received review copies of these books (with the exception of The Commitment Book, which is part of our Soulful Journals series). However, I’m not obligated to review them nor am I told what to write. And if you buy them on Amazon, I do receive a bit of affiliate income. It’s a win win win for everyone!