Here are some inspirational books I think you could consider reading.
I stress these are books that I like and rate. I tend to like books that are more down to earth, less theory and more "do". I especially like real life stories and autobiographies - which celebrate the pursuit of happiness by real people in real situations. Simple language, simple themes, simple to read . . . all a must for me.
For what they are worth - here they are:
- Be Brilliant Everyday: by Andy Cope & Andy Whittaker. A great read - and one of my motivators in life. The book is written simply and uses humour to get points across - and hence an incredibly easy and enjoyable read. One of the key themes I liked - the book isn’t about changing who you are but more about bringing out the person you already are when you’re at your brilliant best. "Because that’s what the world needs. Too many people are conforming to what they think the world needs whereas the reality is what the world needs is simply the awesome version of you."
- Eat, Pray, Love: by Elizabeth Gilbert. Probably better known for the Julia Roberts movie, the book tells the story of the author's decision to leave the modern trappings of life in America to find what she really wants out of life. Loved it . . .
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: by Stephen Covey. I actually went on a 7 habits course first and then read the book. Its like one of those aha moments when you realise that everything is possible with a bit of focus, discipline and, of course, adopting the right habits. I wrote my first mission statement after reading this excellent book.
- Losing my Virginity: by Richard Branson. Inspiring and motivating - a story of one man's drive to break down mediocrity and to seek and do what made him happy. To me, the lessons learned were not so much about business success, but more the attitude of giving stuff a go - wholeheartedly, without fear and with a whole lot of fun.
- The Secret: by Rhonda Byrne. This book wasn't so much life changing for me - more affirming what I hope I already believe and practice. Thoughts become things - or put another way, what you think and believe has an uncanny habit of turning out to be true. Simple but very very powerful.
- Who Moved My Cheese: by Spencer Johnson. A must for anyone going through change in their personal or professional lives. An inspirational book which brings out the positivity of change - change always happens and you can make it work with the right frame of mind. Simple to read - you will be done in a couple of hours. My favourite quote - “What would you do if you weren't afraid?”
- Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama: by Dalai Lama XIV: An absolutely incredible insight into Tibet and the life of the Dalai Lama. If you want to know what humility and compassion are really about - read this book.
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking: by Malcolm Gladwell. This book is about trusting your intuition - the feeling you get when you first experience, see or feel something. More often than not you will be proved absolutely right. I liked the story about the antiquities expert who spotted a fake (which had been purchased by a museum on the back of exhaustive analysis) in an instant. I use the concepts in this book in my everyday life. If it "smells" right, do it!
- The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity: by Julia Cameron. This one is about opening up your creativity. The reader is taken through a series of programmed exercises which, if you do it by the book, will take 12 weeks. Its written for artists but can be applied to anyone, so don't be put off by the title. I absolutely loved the daily writing each morning.
- Fathers Raising Daughters: by Nigel Latta. A fabulous book for Dads with daughters - written simply, honestly and with a great deal of common sense. I laughed out loud in the first chapter and couldn't put it down after that. This book helped me understand why teenage girls act like they do - and hopefully has led me to be a happier, better father. Also by Nigel Latta - Mothers Raising Sons (I haven't read it but has great reviews).