I used to feel stuck, lost and frankly, a little scared. On paper, things were pretty good – but I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I had some ideas about how it might look – but I didn’t know where to start. Even if I had known, I was too exhausted to make it happen.
I know now that big life changes are gradual. They are comprised of incremental mental shifts which, in time, lead you to action. Over time, if you do the work, all those actions lead to transformation.
For me, seeing a coach was a big part of effecting my transformation. Session by session, I set my actions in pursuit of the goals I had set. Session by session, I saw my dream life materialising.
And alongside that? Reading. I read and read and read. And with each book came the gift of new insights. With each book came those all-important mental shifts. With each book, my journey kept unfolding.
So now I think it’s time for me to share some of the gifts of my reading journey. Here it is: Roo’s Reading List to Rescue Your Life. These are my top 5 books to help find your way home. I hope you make it there friend.
The Top 5
For the Overworked and Overwhelmed….
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
I started this book thinking it would be about minimalism, but it is so much more than that. For anyone who has ever felt stretched too thin, this is your book. It is a highly motivating, highly focusing read which brilliantly unpacks the need (and explains how) to pare back all aspects of your life if you genuinely want health, happiness and success. It’s filled with little gems, such as my favourite which is: “It you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will”.
For the lost…..
The Power of Meaning by Emily Esfahani Smith
In a society that has fiercely pursued happiness and forgotten about the importance of meaning and purpose, this book is a great reminder. Indeed, there’s a reason that wealthier nations have higher suicide rates than poorer ones and why happiness and unhappiness do not predict suicide – it’s called meaning. If life isn’t filling up your cup, maybe start with this one.
And those who have lost themselves….
Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
Ignoring the rather cheesy title, this is a seriously insightful book for professional men and women who have lost themselves. In astonishingly accurate terms it explained to me exactly how I had managed to lose myself in work and perhaps parenting before then paving a way back to myself. Parts of it get a little woo-woo but as with any books in this genre, you pick out what works for you and leave the rest. I can’t recommend it enough.
For those held back by fear…
Playing Big by Tara Mohr
I don’t know about you but I got so sick of playing small and living scared half my life. I’d freak out that I wasn’t good enough while drafting some insanely complex advice to a client. I yearned to break free from the law but didn’t so much dare as try a sideline project. It was exhausting! Anyway, this is a great read for anyone battling their “inner critic”. The book is packed with practical advice and exercises and is obviously worthwhile or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog having quit my law job……
And those too scared to share their gifts….
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Man, can Elizabeth Gilbert write. Even if you hate the content of this book, the language is exquisite. But I don’t think you’ll hate it: it’s a thoroughly beautiful and persuasive call to arms to bring forth your creative gifts, whatever they may be. Gilbert says that “surely something wonderful is sheltered inside you?” and asks if you have the courage to bring forward those inner treasures. For anyone who has ever harboured desires of taking some kind of leap or risk, this one is for you.