With hundreds of thousands of books published every year, it’s clearly impossible to read them all (especially for a busy mother).
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to share three fantastic books that are well worth the read.
(Please feel free to share your favorites in the comments!)
Book #1: Essentialism by Greg McKeown
There have only been a few times in my life when a book has literally made me breathe easier.
This is one of them.
Do you ever feel like your life is packed with worthwhile, necessary things–but you don’t feel satisfied at the end of the day? Essentialism teaches specific strategies for getting more out of our lives by doing less.
One of my favorite ideas from the book is to disregard “the trivial many” to focus on “the vital few.”
After reading Essentialism, I developed more courage to say no to time-suckers, I started getting more sleep, I created more of a buffer into my daily schedule, and I began to more fully savor my time with my family.
This book is pure gold, and the process of reading it is a gift.
Book #2: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck
Want to reach your potential in life? According to Dweck, much of that depends on whether you have a “fixed” mindset or a “growth” mindset.
A fixed mindset means you look at life as though your qualities are carved in stone. You always have to prove yourself. What others say or think about you is critical. Failure destroys you. You will never become more intelligent, successful, or skilled. You’ve been “dealt a hand,” and if your life is hard…too bad for you.
The growth mindset, however, is “based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.” People with growth mindsets see beautiful possibilities in their futures–possibilities that only broaden as they work hard and with persistence. They are okay with being wrong (it’s a chance to learn!), they aren’t ashamed when they fail, and they readily admit when they need help or advice.
This is just a brief description of the premise of this book, but as I read the hundreds of fascinating “fixed vs. growth” mindset examples, I couldn’t help but see myself (and my children) in many of them. Our discussions and progress have already been heavily influenced by this information (for example, it’s completely reshaped the way I praise my children). Honestly, if you want to improve your marriage/family/business/relationships/level of happiness, this is a must-read.
Book #3: The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor
Until three months ago, food and exercise had always been a source of stress for me. I never had an eating disorder, and I never yo-yo-dieted, but I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to reach that place of “nutritional serenity.”
The Calorie Myth solved this for me.
Out of the nearly 50 “healthy eating/weight loss” books I have read, this is the only one I have ever recommended.
I no longer count calories. I am never hungry. I eat whole foods and tons of vegetables. My body is stronger and more slim. And I feel happy–happier and more energetic than I have felt in my entire motherhood career.
Jonathan Bailor is now a loved and respected name in our home, and I am on a mission to share his message with anyone who is ready to move toward optimal health (that means no more starving yourself, okay?).
Books are like oxygen to me. They fuel my brain and help me to feel excited about life.
As far as when there’s time to read, here are a few strategies that work for me:
- I listen to audiobooks while I rollerblade two or three days a week (yes, did you know rollerblading is coming back?).
- We have family reading time about once a week after dinner–on a night when no one has to be anywhere and we can all just enjoy quiet time at home.
- I read for twenty minutes at night (a couple of times a week) while soaking in a hot bath. Lovely!
Those minutes–plus any others I can squeeze in–add up over time, and when I am reading the best books–those that I really, really need in my life–that investment of my time absolutely pays off.
Because when you think about it, how much time and effort is it worth to invite some of the best minds in the world to point us in the right direction? I’m willing to give it all I’ve got.
QUESTION: Which books have changed your life this year? When (and how) do you make time to read?
CHALLENGE: Choose a highly-recommended book that you believe can help shape your life for the better. Then take two minutes to order it–either as a physical book, an eBook, or an audio book–from the library, from a book store, or from an online retailer. Decide you are going to invest time in yourself by reading books that fuel you. (I’d love it if you would report back!)