Have you ever read a book and sort of liked it, only to pick it up again a few months/years later and it resonates so much more with you and is suddenly so relevant in your life?
That’s how I feel about these books; different parts of them mean more to me at different times. It’s almost like reading a different story each time, which is wonderful for someone like me who constantly wants to learn something new. They all have a similar theme and message behind them – really believing in yourself and attaining your goals (whilst remembering to be diligent and fearless along the way). If you’re an avid reader and into self-improvement (or rather, life improvement and perspective in general) this post is for you.
The Forty Rules of Love
“What we need is sincere self-examination. Not being on the watch for the fault of others.”
Read the storyline here. I think I fell in love with this book because it clearly differentiates spirituality from religion. It speaks so much of soul searching, being a good and kind person and teaching us that love and mercy comes first. It also reminds us that no matter how amazing and celebrated a person may be, everyone has a downside; no one is perfect.
“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
Read the storyline here. I reread this book two weeks ago, and like I said at the beginning of this post, what I read this time was basically a completely different book to what I read the first time. For me, the biggest lesson I learned from this book is patience and dedication; in a world where everything is expected to happen instantaneously, it reminds us that the things that are worth having will take time, and everything, even the bad, happens for a good reason.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
“Creative entitlement doesn’t mean behaving like a princess or acting as though the world owes you anything whatsoever. No, creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that—merely by being here—you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.”
Read the storyline here. Have you ever had an amazing idea, and then a few months/years down the line the exact thing was invented or perfected? Elizabeth Gilbert believes that ideas are real life living things that will jump from person to person if you don’t take the idea and hold onto it and act upon it like you should. It’s an amazing book to reignite your creativity, restore your faith in your ideas and remind yourself that you have incredible talent that simply needs to be nurtured.
The Saint, the Surfer and the CEO
“Most people are always running toward this fantasyland that they think will solve all their problems and fill them up with joy. They tell themselves, ‘Once I achieve this or that, I’ll be happy.’ But I believe that happiness isn’t a place you get to—it’s an inner state you create. Anyone can be happy—it’s available to everyone and is available right now. We just need to stop and pay more attention to the treasures that already surround us.”
Read the storyline here. I love this book because it helped me through one of my most trying times in my life. When I first picked it up, I thought it was one of the most atrocious books ever written; I’m used to reading novels with flowery writing and rich words that fuel the imagination, and this book is everything but. It is written so simply and so blandly but it made me realise that it’s a different kind of beautiful –the words matter less as opposed to the lessons given. It’s the kind of book where, if you really want it to make a difference to your life, you should be writing down notes and implementing the lessons taught (especially the journaling aspect!).
What are your life changing, must-read books?