Ever since I really committed to reading 10 pages of a personal development book every day, I’ve actually finished several of them over the past two months. It’s amazing! You all know I love to read, but I struggle feeling enthused to read anything that isn’t a novel. Although I love what I get out of these books, it’s just hard for me to sit down and focus for very long. Taking bite-sized chunks out of them each day has led to some serious accomplishment! Please feel free to take this lesson and apply to any area of your life. 😉
Today I thought I’d share my book reviews on three personal development books that I’ve read recently:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
This is one of the few non-fiction books that I actually flew through and had no trouble concentrating on. For anyone who has ever wanted to pursue something creative, whether that’s writing, art, photography, dancing, acting, etc., this book is incredibly inspirational. I also don’t mean pursue as a career necessarily – you might not think you’re the creative type, but everyone has creativity inside them, we merely suppress it because we believe our talents don’t hold up to some standard. Creativity is something to be done for yourself, not anyone else. If they happen to love it, well then all the better.
“Trust me, your soul has been waiting for you to wake up to your own existence for years.”
Not only is this book full of great advice, wisdom and inspriation, but I love that Elizabeth Gilbert weaves all of her own experiences and stories through the books, including many, many “failures.” We often think that someone who writes a hit like Eat, Pray, Love must be producing successes all the time, but her story is incredibly relatable as she shares her own fears, her many, many works that were never picked up, and the time and effort she put into developing her craft. People who have a “big hit” aren’t any different from you and me, they just had the right inspiration at the right moment and time.
I absolutely loved Big Magic and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a little creative inspiration.
Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini
Ready to activate your dream life?
You know that sneaky voice inside your head telling you that you’re not good enough, smart enough, skinny enough, whatever enough? That’s your Mean Girl. And she’s doing her best to keep you stuck in Fear Town, too scared to go after the life you always imagined.
But enough’s enough! Melissa Ambrosini has made a life beyond her wildest dreams, all by mastering her Mean Girl, busting through limiting beliefs and karate-chopping through the fears that held her hostage for years. And now she wants to help you remember not only what you are capable of, but how amazing you truly are!
In this inspiring, upbeat guide, Melissa provides a practical plan for creating your own version of a kick-ass life — one that’s wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy and bursting with love. Designed to propel you out of stuck-ness and into action, this is a must read if you’re ready to let go of your Mean Girl and start living the life of your dreams.
Mastering Your Mean Girl is a book filled with both incredible wisdom, but also actionable tips and advice that you can incorporate into your life. Along with each chapter, Melissa Ambrosini includes little tidbits like “Inspo-Action,” which gets you to immediately apply what she’s saying to your own life. I found these incredibly helpful as I often read a personal development book, underline, make notes, and then feel too overwhelmed to go back through and really apply what I’ve learned. These Inspo-Action pieces allow you to take the application step by step rather than feeling overwhelmed with an entire book of ideas.
No matter where in your life you find yourself filled with fear or a lack of worth, Melissa reaches out to you with tips, advice, and a lot of cold hard truth. Whether you’re struggling to find a new job, have a negative body-image, hate giving presentations at work, aren’t happy in your career, or don’t have fulfilling relationships, this book is for you. It actually inspired me to run my own mini-challenge last month to help women conquer their inner mean girl. I learned quite a bit from this book and definitely recommend it to anyone needing a some wisdom and good dose of truth.
“It’s exciting when you finally realize that you are the director, producer, and leading actor of your own life movie… we get to create our own lives exactly how we want them, moment by moment. You have the power, my darling.”
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction, but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there.
I originally picked up this book as a recommendation from some other women in my coaching group to help with my business, but I soon found that this book is incredibly applicable to all types of people, no matter what your daily life or career path looks like.
As you might imagine from the title, The Magic of Thinking Big really inspires its reader to push him or herself to not settle for simply being content with a life that may not bring them joy, but to really push themselves to reach for the things that many of us wish we had but don’t truly believe we are capable of achieving.
“When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find ways to do it.”
Honestly, I recommend this book to everyone, even if you love your life! This world could certainly use some more big players, whether that’s someone to build an amazing start-up or someone to create an enriching sunday school program at their church. Not only that, but anyone who follows the principles in this book would be a person I’d certainly enjoy to be around:
“Taking an ax and copping your neighbor’s furniture to pieces won’t make your furniture look one bit better; and using verbal axes and grenades on another person doesn’t do one thing to make you a better you or me a better me.”
Would you read any of these books?
What are you reading right now?