5 Books to Improve Your Life
Updated: Aug 6
Written by Amy
A while back, I started feeling tired from the pressure of work, studying accounting and running my day to day life whilst keeping my self-care under control. Everything seemed restricted, claustrophobic and unplanned like I didn't know if I was coming or going. I began looking into each part of my stresses trying to find a short cut round everything. I realised this was my life for a few months, until I finish the course, if I want to be successful in my career or even running this blog then I need to learn how to manage everything. This is when I researched self-help books online, later being recommended a few by the brilliant #bookstagram community.
Atomic Habits by James Clear
I'd recommend listening to the audio book version. Not only did it save me time by allowing myself to read this while doing house chores or walking the dog, it gave me the motivation through his confident and encouraging voice.
For me, I found that achieving your goals or changing a habit needs to become a practice that is methodologically by starting small. I don't get much time to read or blog, so make time. I want to work out but I cant do it various days, so make time.
Clear taught me there are only three steps to changing your life:
- First, set the outcome. What is it you want to achieve?
- Second, your system. How can you implement these goals into your daily life?
- Last, Identity. Who do you want to be?
I know this is all easier said than done. However, I found rewarding myself with an episode of a favourite TV show after 2 hours of studying was one of the smallest changes that helped. It is so easy to slip into a comfortable habit that you wind yourself up for as your doing it or the next day when you wished you did that instead of that thing you should have done.
The Mark Manson Collection
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k, Everything is F**ked, How To Make Sh*t Happen
Social media is an absolute minefield for negativity, false sense of identity and so many other factors that can drag you down. However, this does depend how you perceive or search things. I'm 100% guilty for setting my expectations to Instagram standards so there are days where I feel rock bottom depressed or self-conscious so I never think positively. Until I read these books that is!
The best takeaway from each book is the reminder that we are human. We are limited, flawed and things aren't fair but it is not your fault. It look a while to be kind to myself. In yoga, the instructors encourage you in breathing exercises to say affirming comments to yourself which I struggle to do. I whispered it to make it a habit then I realised by the end of the month I was able to say one thing about myself out loud. Another personal benefit was planning. I am a planner. I hate not knowing the contingency for that day. I hate not having an agenda for the week. If things don't go according to my plan that is fine. Work around it. Be hopeful of all the outcomes. Teach yourself to heal yourself and move on. Life doesn't stop.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
By Susan Cain
Cain cheers on the introverts, mainly. I was captured by the "Situational Theory" where people's personality can be completely different in particular circumstances. This lead to a few thoughts of habits, again. Interestingly, Introverts are deemed as shy or quiet or ignorant to other people's feelings. She argues the world's celebrity successors and politicians have been known an introvert who are skilled on making decisions under pressure by applying extra thought. It ponders the idea of being able to find success whether or not you're an introvert as we should celebrate our strength and weaknesses.
MINIMALISM By Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
I am a recent and now frequent listener to The Minimalists Podcast. It started with the vision of having a de-cluttered and minimalist style house so I was searching for ways to 'declutter'. Little did I know, the concept of minimalism can be explored through health, relationships and literally anything in the world. It's not a journey that will change you overnight but it makes you see things differently like an example would be buying a book. I factor in time, needs, money and enjoyment over one book purchase. It has made me more of a careful reader contemplating if if I have time to read it or whether or not my brain could benefit from reading it or it's for pure entertainment purposes. I like to think it's making me smarter in decisions I would never of considered before.
Brain Food: How to Eat Smart and Sharpen Your Mind by Dr Lisa Mosconi
Food is one of the main functions of human survival, period. It is one of my personal goals to eat smarter rather than calling it a 'diet'. Social media is bad but I've also found it a useful tool to learn new meal ideas and generally what consists of smarter eating. The key about this book is to learn what ingredients make a smarter meal rather than how you make it. There are times where I take caution in picking up what seems a healthy option and really regard it's ingredients to ensure it's organic as possible.
Be sure to comment below what books you found useful or if you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them!