I love curling up on the sofa with a smoothie and a good book, I think it is one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling a little lost and in a rut. I’ve read quite a lot of self-improvement books over the last year and thought I would do a roundup of my top 5.
I’m one of those people who loves to learn through other people. I like to learn from their experiences and mistakes. I don’t think you should ever live by a self-help book and I definitely don’t think you should seriously compare yourself to someone in a self-help book. That being said, I think that when you’re in a rut, feeling unmotivated, unproductive and unhappy, they can really help you reflect on the way you’re thinking and help you have a little shift in a different direction.
1) The Art Of Being Brilliant – Andy Cope & Andy Whittaker
This is one of my favourite books of all time. It’s funny, to the point, relatively short and it’s lacking in all the sciency-guff that self-help books can be full of. The two Andy’s who wrote the book easily make you feel like their long lost friend, there isn’t a patronising tone and it has one of my favourite quotes of all time to reflect on:
“10% of life is what happens to you, the other 90% is how you react to it”
It has a lot of food for thought for how to “Just be yourself. Brilliantly”
2) Get Some Headspace – Andy Puddicombe
I love Headspace, both the book and the app. I think the New York Times have it right when they say “Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food.” He’s making it cool, and accessible to meditate. In a world where everything can feel like it is moving at 100 miles per hour, where we are encouraged to always think about what we’re doing later, or tomorrow, or next week, learning how to take a step back and reflect on how you feel right at this very moment can only be a good thing.
I have spoken to so many people who have been introduced to meditation through Andy’s book or app and all of them have fallen in love with it.
3) F**k It – John C. Parkin
If you ever find yourself feeling scared about doing something, this book is for you. It’s not about doing nothing, it’s about saying yes to things and opportunities that come up in your life, and just going with, saying yes. I have a friend who was so influenced by the idea of just saying “F**k it” it enabled them to go traveling around Australia, which was one of the best experiences of their life!
It can be pretty empowering to just think “f**k it” and just do what you want to do.
4) The Gratitude Diaries – Janice Kaplan
This is a great book if you want some perspective on your life, and if you feel in a rut. The book focuses around the idea of keeping a Gratitude Diary, which is just writing down three things you’re grateful for at the end of every day. It can be really silly things like having two feet, or really huge things like getting to go to Disney Land! It’s a great idea because you find yourself looking for things to be grateful for during your day so you can write them down before you go to bed, It’s also a nice way of making sure you’re thinking positively before you hit the hay.
5) The Productivity Project – Chris Bailey
I was recommended this book by the most productive person I know. I have terrible organisation skills, and I have found some of the hints and tips in this book to be a lifesaver in terms of helping me to reduce the amount of time I’m wasting. I’m one of those people that puts everything off and then ends up feeling really guilty that I have loads of things to do. This books has taught me the art of getting things done, and how to spend my time more wisely. After all, no one likes feeling like they haven’t achieved anything!