I am a huge lover of personal development books.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that last year I dedicated myself to reading 3-4 books a month, and I did 15 second book reviews every month, so if you want my short and sweet reviews of everything I read in 2019, head to my IG and check it out in the highlight reel.
But while some of the books I read are just for me and others I recommend are specific to the clients I work with, there are a few books that keep coming up time and time again.
So here it is, the three books I find I end up recommending to all my clients.
1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert
This books is, well, f*cking magic. Elizabeth Gilbert is known best for her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, and since then has done an amazing TED talk on staying creative after your “best success” might already be behind you – she’s an incredible speaker, so if you haven’t already seen her viral talk, it’s right here. She went on to write this super readable book that really feels more like a wise mentor sitting you down and giving you a heart to heart on how to get past your fear and do brave and creative things in the world. Here’s a quote from the book that I love:
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
I recommend Big Magic to clients because most of my clients want to do creative work in the world and feel held back by fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. This book will motivate and inspire you, and you’ll walk away from it feeling like Gilbert is your BFF. Check it out here.
2. The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
If Big Magic is a warm hug, The War of Art is a punch in the face. But in a good way. This classic book on the creative process takes a no BS approach to breaking down the common excuses that keep us from putting our work into the world, and changing our relationship to inner resistance that we experience when we start to take action in the direction of our dreams. Here’s a quote from the book:
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”
I recommend The War of Art to my clients because a little tough love is usually needed to help get us past our resistance so we can do the work we are feeling called to do in the world. And the book is written in small chapters so you can easily squeeze a bit of motivation in when you start to procrastinate or lose your spark. I find I return to The War of Art like a Bible, flipping open at random for a dose of butt kicking whenever I need it. You can get it here.
3. The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, by Danielle Laporte
The Desire Map radically changed the way I coach and the way I live my life. The concept is simple but profound: what if we decided FIRST how we want to feel, and then designed a life around things that make us feel that way? But it goes against everything our culture tells us, and for me this concept sparked a revolution inside my heart that is still raging on to this day. Laporte walks you through the process of finding your core desired feelings or CDFs, so you can take a hard look at your life and start making changes to start living in greater alignment every day. Here’s a quote from The Desire Map:
“Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.”
I recommend this book to my clients because I want my clients to step into a new paradigm of success. Rather than the cookie cutter one size fits all version, I want my clients to take an honest inventory of how they truly want to feel in this world, so that they don’t accidentally hustle their way into someone else’s version of success and sacrifice their health and wellbeing in the process. Also, fun fact – the Desire Map has also become a planner, to help you really integrate your CDFs into daily life. You can get the book here.
So there you have it, three books I recommend to all my clients.
Have you read any of these books? What is one book you find yourself recommending to all your friends and family?