Are you still shopping for holiday gifts? Is there someone in your life who needs a little motivation, a nudge perhaps? Here are my book suggestions for the stuck among us. These are the 3 books I often find myself recommending to people in need of a little inspiration.
For the reluctant self-helper:
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
True confession: my daughter bought this for me one Christmas a few years ago, and it started me on the path of self-development. You Are A Badass turned out to be a good introduction to many concepts I’ve continued to explore for myself, as well as employ in my coaching. This is a book I refer to often.
Jen Sincero writes with humor and humility in this easy-to-digest book filled with practical tips, tools and advice to get your loved one on the path to creating a life they love. Covering topics ranging from forgiveness (yourself and others), gratitude, being present, productivity and money, the book is a primer in thinking differently about your life in order to make what you want a reality.
Sincero’s voice may not suit every taste –- it is very direct and is peppered with swear words -– but beyond that, there are nuggets of tell-it-like-it-is wisdom on how to start living life better.
This is my pick for the Millennials in your life.
For the traditionalist who could benefit from seeing things differently:
Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishnan Lakhiani
Lakhiani is a former computer engineer and now founder and CEO of Mindvalley, an online learning platform focused on personal growth, well being and productivity.
In 'Code', Lakhiani asks what if we looked at our lives without the rules and expectations that we were brought up with, and applied our own meanings to happiness, money and success?
Lakhiani lays out “10 Laws to Redefine Your Life & Succeed on Your Own Terms” and provides useful exercises to put these into practice. He draws on conversations with leaders and thinkers such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Michael Beckwith and Arianna Huffington to better understand how they see the world and what makes them extraordinary.
While I’m not a huge fan of some of Lakhiani's nomenclature (ie, Brules = bullshit rules,) the concepts behind the words are worth exploring. This book is one that infiltrated my thinking more subconsciously over time, like a time-release pill, truly affecting how I view of my life and the choices I make moving forward.
Bonus: there is an online component to the book that helps you put what you learn into practice and dive deeper into the concepts.
For the woman who needs a career confidence boost:
The Confidence Effect by Grace Killelea
The Confidence Effect is a book that many women in business will relate to. The premise is that what holds many women back from success at work, is their lack of confidence. This may present as an inner voice telling us we aren’t good enough, or perhaps we behave as ‘the good girl', who says yes to everything but asks for nothing in return. (Nice, yes, but this does not get us to the C-suite.) Instead, posits Killelea, we need to “connect our confidence to our competence.”
Killelea draws not just on her own experiences in leadership (including 35 years in talent development) but also that of other successful women whose stories and advice are peppered throughout the book. These provide concrete examples of the confidence struggles even the most successful among us have gone through, and gives the book a sense of intimacy. It is as if all these women are your friends, regaling you of their own experiences so you understand it's not just you.
Divided into four areas of focus: Relationships, Reputation, Results, and Resilience, the book provides strategies for building authentic confidence, such as building circles of influence, delegating and focusing on making progress, rather than perfection. Each of her 18 chapters concludes with a “Take-away”, making this practicable, as well as enjoyable to read.
I would love to hear your thoughts on these recommendations. Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What would you add to my list?