I was asked an incredibly powerful question the other day by a friend who I hadn't seen in years that wanted to catch back up to re connect. The question hit me because strangely enough, I realised not many people had sat in front of me before and asked it .. "Where did your journey start?". Simple yet powerful. What was great about that question however was I could answer it pretty simply - as I knew she was looking for inspiration for her own journey. "With a really amazing book" I said. It's true. My journey started with books. I knew the person inside of me needed some more strength and courage to come out so I found those who had done it before & started to read. As Anthony Robbins says - who is just so the author of the very first book I read to kick start it all - "Success leaves Clues". Whatever you want to do, whoever you want to be, whatever you need assistance with in life - more courage, strength, goal writing assistance, being the best version of you - their is an extremely powerful and inspiring book out there to help you along the way.
Below are the 10 books that have helped me on my journey of living a life of joy and fulfillment and when anybody comes to me asking for book recommendations every one of these bad boys get thrown on a hit list for them.
1. Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins
The book that started it all for me. Game changer, energy shifter, comfort zone bringer down. This book will help you realise just how in control of your life you are and help you take back control of your mental, emotional physical and financial states. It goes through teaching you how to get what you really want, ten emotions of power, mastering your life values and makes you focus on some serious bad ass goal setting. I took it down South with me for a few days of self discovery and devoured the whole book over those days whilst immersing myself in the exercises. I still, to this day, use most lessons from the book when breaking down doubt, busting through fear, shifting out of my comfort zone, setting goals - and every other amazing principle he goes through in the book. I ONLY suggest this book if you take it seriously and will truly do each of the exercises at the end of each chapter. Read the book + do the exercises + acknowledge your power = a new exciting life for you.
2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R Covey
I devoured this book with gusto and enthusiasm and constantly refer back to it by chapter for a little re inspiration or motivation with projects I need to complete in my life. It is, quite literally, a step by step framework to create real and lasting (& holy shit big) kind of change in our life - of the good kind. Each principal is simple in it's theory but so powerful if implemented. I learnt a lot of new stuff I hadn't learnt in a lot of the other books I'd already read and truly couldn't put it down. The 7 principles are; 1. Be Proactive, 2. Begin with the end in mind, 3. Put First things first. 4. Think Win/Win, 5. Seek first to understand, then be understood. 6. Synergise. 7. Sharpen the saw. The principles have truly heightened my sense of business and life understanding and even occasionally implementing these principles (understanding first then trying to be understood) has made me a calmer person personally, but especially professionally. This book IS a game changer and needs to be on your hit list.
3. The Success Principles - Jack Canfield
This book will re connect you to believing in yourself and affirms throughout the chapters that your thoughts, your actions and your responses create your destiny (not external forces). It will take you through chapter after chapter of the fundamentals of success that you can't help be inspired and connect to - like "Be clear why you're here", "Believe it's possible", "Unleash the power of goal setting" and "Experience your fear and take action anyway". Let's just say this book made me realise I truly honestly without a shadow of a doubt can have my dream life with exactly who I want in it and what, I just have to believe and trust in that (+ work hard at making it a reality). Soul defyingly inspirational and a MUST have in your bookcase.
4. Spirit Junkie - Gabrielle Bernstein
If you want to connect deeper to your source, amp up your spirituality a lil and learn ALL about how we should be operating from a place of love not ego - then you need to go and buy/download this book. This was the first book that started my deeper journey in to source connection, spirituality and trusting my inner guide/gut/ing (whatever you want to call it). The book is Gabrielles guide to the heavier book "A Course in Miracles" and you will connect with her words, messages and lessons page after page after page. If you've suffered in life, from heartbreak, drugs, alcoholism, comparison'itis, self hate, if you want to break down the barriers you've placed in your own life from guilt and fear...and you want to break away from it, learn love, genuine joy and about how it's easy to operate from a place of love, not ego - this is your book, my god is this your book.
5. The 4 Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
This book will be the most soul soaked love lesson to yourself you can possibly ever learn. There are 4, just 4 principles to follow in the whole book, that if implemented and followed correctly will truly create love and happiness (& in my opinion, peace) in your life. The hardest part of reading this book however is following the agreements. It is literally my life purpose to follow them, and it challenges me almost daily - but how powerful to have that guidance in your life. The Principles are; 1. Be impeccable with your word, 2. Don't take anything personally. 3. Don't make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. I urge you to go and read the book to delve further in to each of those principles and learn the lessons of true peace and love by truly mastering them in your life (think of how free'ing and beautiful the world would be if we could all follow these principles!)
6. The Fire Starter Session - Danielle LaPorte
When I finished reading this book, I put it in my lap, took a few deep breathes and the tears came flowing it was truly THAT powerful. It changed a lot for me. It helped me hammer down limiting beliefs, build up new ones, declare my super powers (one of my fav chapters in the book) and know that I am worthy, it is achievable and to give give give of myself and my gifts in life. The header for the book sums it up better than I ever could so allow Danielle to explain "It's
7. Unlimited Power - Anthony Robbins
This was the book Tony actually wrote before 'Awaken the Giant Within' and a book I equally got powerful lessons and life changing results out of (My mum is reading it for a second time as we speak and I get texts and emails from her SO excited by the principles she is re learning from it). Tony is a NLP genius so a lot of what he discusses in the book and how to break down limiting beliefs has its roots in NLP. The book is ALL about your own life mastery. How to dream of the life you desire then go after it. It helped me nut down to what I really wanted, how to stop self sabotaging myself due to my own un necessary fear and disbelief I and others had taught myself and how to learn to be successful from those who had done it before me. (Other amazing chapters from the book just to really lure you in include; "How to find out what you really want", "The Seven Lies of Success", "How to reprogram your mind in minutes to elimate fears and phobias", "The Secret of creating instant rapport with anyone you meet", "How to duplicate the success of others", "The Five keys to wealth and Happiness".
8. The 4 hour work week - Timothy Ferris
I have read and re read this book 3 times now each time getting something new out of it. Tim is (to me) the epitome of living life by his own design and he wants to teach you how to do it too. The 4 hour work week teaches you how to work smarter (not harder), how to free up your time to let you do more things you WANT to do and how to negotiate better work agreements for yourself (i.e. working from home so you can travel more!) He is the man behind the concept of not working yourself to exhaustion, retiring at 65 then realising you have no more time left to enjoy your life - he champions having 'mini retirements' your whole life (Morgs & I goal) and enjoying life when you want to with who you want to where you want to (Brazil? Thailand? Chile?) This book will inspire you to at least starting thinking of living a little more out of the box if anything else and is still one of my favourite books when I need to be reminded of what I want and how to get it.
9. You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L Hay
This is a little different to all the other books as it's more emotional wellbeing / spiritual based vs business or life inspired but I have had this pocket of goodness with me since I was about 17. Mum gave it to me when I was suffering with self love, confidence and just general self respect (she's a gem I know). I threw it to the side thinking what would she know (as any snotty nosed "I know everything" 17 year old would). Not until I was 23 did I pick it up back and weep as I read through how I had the power to change for good and pains that I felt were cues from my body trying to gently nudge me in the right direction. It helped me find my self love again and also STILL helps when I have aches and pains. What do I mean? The other week I was suffering shin pain where my ankle met my foot - so I went straight to my 'bible' (this book). It explained for that exact pain the probably cause was "Breaking down ideals" (as shins represent the standard of life". It also gave me a new thought pattern "I live up to my highest standards with love and with joy" - I said it every morning and night with belief and weeks of frustrating shin pain - disappeared. Its pure and utter magic and this book should be on every persons bedside table.
10. Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T Kiyosaki
There you have it gorgeous. My hit list. If you want to make a remarkable difference in your life, read. Read. Read. Read. I heard at a conference the other day "if you read a chapter a week for a year of inspiring books, you will not be the same person at the end of that year than you were at the start". It's true - books can't help but inspire and switch on that YES desire inside of you to do better, be better feel better. Start with one. Whatever resonates. Just pick one, and read even just ONE chapter a day (a little in the morning and a little at night). Hey - even take it to work and start using your lunch breaks more productively.
I'd love to hear any books that you love that I have left off this list, share in the comments below! (I have hundreds more I've read but for these are my top 10 to help in one way or another).