Before I had my son, the perfect free Sunday for me would look like a trip to a bookshop where I would spend hours perusing the shelves, reading parts of books and selecting a couple to take home.
To me, there is nothing better than being in a bookshop, surrounded by shelves full of other people’s ideas, insights, experiences, wisdom and views of the world.
There are many books that have made me see the world differently, inspired me into action and even changed the course of my life. Other books have helped me know myself better, release the fear and self-doubt that’s held me back and show up more as my authentic self.
Most of these books are non-fiction, the authors teaching and sharing through their life experiences.
Here are 10 non-fiction books that have made a profound impact on my life which I hope can do the same for you.
This is a bit of a Marmite book. Some people love it and some people hate it.
This is the first book which really spoke to me in terms of honesty, vulnerability, and self-awareness. Eat Pray Love can help you to embrace the journey you’re on - spiritual, physical and emotional – and will help you to get to know yourself again, understand what's important to you and follow your heart.
If you’ve only watched the film, don’t judge it from that. Read the book. Elizabeth is a beautiful writer.
Elizabeth has written another brilliant book about creativity and being able to nurture and express your own creativity. I avoided reading this for a long time because I didn’t consider myself a creative person. But creativity isn’t just about drawing, writing or performing. My creativity is found brainstorming and problem solving.
This book will give you permission to discover and embrace your creative side while also being filled with life lessons, practical tips and a little bit of magic
Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroscientist and was one of the most highly logical people you could possibly imagine. Until she had a stroke. During the stroke, she lost her logical side of her brain and opened herself up to a new way of seeing and thinking.
Dan Harris was a successful news presenter in America when he had a panic attack on air. He started to look into mindfulness and meditation as a way to help him and since then, has been sharing how everyday people can benefit from those as well as a Buddhist way of living.
The excellent thing about Dan is he approached all of this from a sceptics point of view and has made meditation and mindfulness accessible for our modern, busy lives.
The Power of Now is a fascinating book about how we spend so much time living in our heads – in the past or living in the future - and how we’re always trying to control tomorrow, even though tomorrow never comes. Understanding that we can never control the future and the only real control with have how we live and respond in this moment has been a powerful concept to learn for me.
This book is about a tour the author Po Bronson went on talking to lots of different people about their career journeys. So it's not a self-help book but it is a fascinating collection of other people's career stories. It’s really inspiring if you’re looking at what you want to do with your life and what’s important to you.
Another book to help you discover what’s important to you and what direction you want your life to be taking. The Desire Map is a guide to creating goals with soul. It’s based around understanding your values and bringing those to life.
If you are struggling and facing adversity then I highly recommend Rising Strong.
The strapline of this book is “If we are brave enough, often enough, we will fall”. This is a book vulnerability, fear of failure, living courageously and getting back up.
This book profoundly impacted me. So much so that I went on a course in Italy, led by John and his wife, which totally changed my approach to life. It’s all about letting go of the perceived control we have and allowing ourselves to find our flow, instead of constantly battling upstream. You learn to connect more to your intuition and the powerful, loving energy we are all made of.
I’m currently reading this book and it’s come at the perfect time in my life. Effortless is about making it easier to do what matters most to you. Greg talks about being in an effortless state - rather than trying to force everything, instead being more open and receptive. This book is perfect for you if you’re working really hard and getting great results but you know it’s not sustainable.
I love the idea of doing less but more powerfully.
Those are a selection of the impactful books on my bookshelf. I would love for you to choose one that resonates with you to add to your reading list.
If you’ve read any incredible personal development books recently, I’d love to hear about them! Share them in the comments.
If you’d like to hear the full podcast episode, you can access it here: https://www.carlamillertraining.com/podcast
I’d love to hear your experiences or your thoughts in the comments.
For more articles on the issues that impact women leaders at work follow Carla Miller on LinkedIn
Find out about the various ways Carla works with women leaders and organisations on her website www.carlamillertraining.com