It has been a while since we shared our thoughts and discussions with you our readers. This has largely been due to a hiatus we decided to take in order to determine the direction the book club needed to take to grow. During this break, I continued with my #30bookchallenge and I am now on my 16th book. This means I would have to read 1 book roughly every week to make it to the 31st of December. It will be done!
I have been on a personal development journey and have learnt to appreciate self-help books. (Click link to read a previous article on self-help books). If you are like me and enjoy watching Ted Talks and motivational videos, you probably believe that every self-help book probably says the same thing just in different ways. There is nothing wrong with that. What is important is that in all the books that you read, something clicks and sticks.
Written by Arianna Huffington, co- founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna covers how she has managed to thrive in business while managing a fair work-life balance. She highlights the importance of well-being in our success. I see it often in the workplace where people work long hours and expect to thrive in all that they do. You know those people who get to the office before you and are still on their laptops with no sign of surrender when you leave. I used to be one of those people. My work was my life! Unfortunately/Fortunately my body heeded to the call of rest. I started having migraines often. I had the type of migraines that would render me enfeeble. It was from then that I started to work the necessary work hours, obviously with exceptions occasionally. I believe in working efficiently. I always strive to do all the required work in the time necessary. Arianna recalls a similar wake-up call where she fell and injured herself due to exhaustion and lack of sleep. Through this book, I have also learnt to schedule my sleep times. It feels like primary school all over again with those 8pm bed time calls! Because I dedicate my evenings to reading books, watching inspirational videos and sometimes some series, it is easy to sleep as late as midnight. I schedule my sleep time alarm to ensure that I do not come up with the inevitable excuse for snoozing my alarm the next morning.
You are a badass-Jen Sincero
Jen Sincero is that sassy aunt with wit, down-to-earth humor and blunt truths! Reading this book was refreshing. No topic is too mundane in this book. She is telling you to snap out of whatever is getting in the way of you being a badass. ‘You are a victim of the rules you live by’. The rules you live by can be determined by what you absorb from your surroundings and forms of influence. Not all of it is positive. We need to find a quiet space that allows us to identify those causal elements and break them down. ‘The life you want is right here, right now’. What type of life do you envision for yourself? Are you living that life now? What do you need to do live that life? Start now. #thatisall.
Ok, ok, it’s not that easy. If it was, we would be living our best lives already. This is where my third book comes in.
Miracle Morning-Hal Elrod
Of the three books, this was my favorite! I always know a book is good by countless personal notes in the margins or rather in the notes section of my kindle. I had many aha moments and it resonated with a lot of what I had been thinking prior to reading the book. I have often declared that I am not a morning person even though I desire to be one. I believe that if I wake up early, I get a good start to my day. This is instead of the usual scramble in the morning to shower, dress up and get my foot out of the door to make it in time for my first meeting. Hal Elrod says ‘It’s time to wake up to your FULL potential.’ He believes that it all starts with how you wake up in the morning, and that there are small, simple steps that one can start taking today to enable one to become the person they need to be to create the levels of success they truly want and deserve. Hal also gives us a 95% reality check-95% of our society is settling for far less than they are capable of, struggling in almost every area of their life. The other 5% are simply thriving. He advises us to ‘identify the fundamental causes of mediocrity so you prevent them from robbing you of the life you want’.
The greatest insight from this book would be the Life S.A.V.E.R.S. These are the 6 practices that Hal says are guaranteed to save you from a life of unfulfilled potential.
S is for Silence-it is starting the morning with a period of purposeful silence and shutting all the noise that is determine to destroy your day before it even begins. This can be through meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing and gratitude.
A is for Affirmations- shutting any negative internal dialogue and replacing it with positive assertions about yourself. This prevents you from ‘repeating and reliving the fears, insecurities, and limitations of your past.’
V is for Visualization-This is the process of imagining exactly what you want to achieve or attain, and then mentally rehearsing what you’ll need to do to achieve or attain it. I have always had a vision board but Hal emphasized the importance of viewing it daily and amending it when the necessary.
E is for Exercise-‘From waking you up and enhancing your mental clarity, to helping you sustain higher levels of energy throughout the day, exercising soon after rising can improve your life in many ways.’
R is for Reading- I am obviously an advocate for this. Because I read before I go to bed, I dedicate my Miracle Morning to reading thought-pieces and articles.
S is for Scribing-This empowers one to document their idea, insights, successes and areas of opportunity.
‘Whatever it is that you write, putting words on the page is a form of therapy that doesn’t cost a dime.’-Diana Raab
My biggest lesson from reading these books has been that one can search and read about how to improve themselves but you have to be mentally prepared to do the work that is required to see your efforts be realized. And even if you are not in that mental space yet, reading and learning as much as possible still comes a long way into getting to where you want to be.
Have you read any of these books? How have they empowered you in your personal development journey?