If you’re anything like me, sometimes you live in your own little world. When I do this for too long, I start to view my life through a narrow lens, limiting my perspective of the bigger picture.
But when we open our minds and our hearts to different ideas, different ways of thinking and living, what we learn can change the trajectory of our life.
There is much to learn from those who have went before us, those with different life experiences, philosophies and knowledge beyond our own.
I’ve read a lot of books that have influenced and impacted my life, but there are a select few that easily stand out. They altered my life by initiating changes in my thinking, my actions, and my outlook on life itself. Today I’m sharing three of those books and hope they can help you too!
3 books that will help you make positive life changes
Your Money or Your Life (Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez)
I think anyone who’s read it would agree, this book can (and probably will) change your money mindset. In big ways.
No doubt about it, money affects almost every facet of our lives (like it or not). The basic premise of the book is to help you change your relationship with money in order to change your life. It helps you see money as a tool – a tool for freedom and living life according to your own core values and priorities.
The book features a nine step process that can lead to a multitude of positive changes in your money and your life. The author refers to the nine steps as a “whole systems approach”, based on their own experience. And they claim that when the steps are carefully followed, they will lead to success.
“Only by actually, really, honestly doing the steps will the program work.” -YMOYL
As a beginner, some of the steps seem time consuming and daunting, especially if you’re starting from square one. But the book is well written and walks you through the process, step by step. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme or a lightening fast system – it will take time to implement. But it’s well worth the time and effort, in my opinion.
The authors’ message to the reader:
So don’t WASTE your precious energy saying to yourself, “That’s impossible” or “Nobody can do that in this economy” or “No way could I save money like that, “ or…
Instead, SAVE your energy – DO THE STEPS YOURSELF. After a few months, reread this book.
I read this book 10 years ago. It was my first real introduction to the concept of Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE). And it literally changed my family’s life and finances. After reading the book, we started the long process of paying off our auto and student loans. We made a few mistakes along the way, but we finally broke the cycle of debt. It didn’t all happen overnight, but the freedom we’ve gained – freedom of choice and freedom from stress – has been well worth the effort. For me, this is the book that started it all.*
*This book is currently being updated by author Vicki Robin – can’t wait to see the new version!
This little book is a well-written, easy read, full of wisdom for life! It is based on the research of John Izzo and his colleagues. They interviewed over 200 people, age 60+ who were identified by others as having the wisdom needed to lead a truly rich and happy life. The idea was to tap into the wisdom these people had and how they lived their lives. The information was then compiled and 5 common themes emerged (the 5 secrets).
The Five Secrets:
- Be true to yourself
- Leave no regrets
- Become love
- Live in the moment
- Give more than you take
If you think I’ve given it all away by sharing the secrets, you’re wrong. The experiences, quotes and knowledge shared from the interviews is where the treasures lie. The interviewees share how they learned the secrets and how they’ve lived them throughout their lives. The secrets become more valuable when you see how they were actually put into practice.
I checked out this book from the library a few months ago, renewed it twice and have since purchased it. I love referring back to it – it’s full of beautiful quotes and advice for living a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book, and one I think we can all relate to in our daily lives:
We need to make sure that we are living our life rather than simply planning our life. If we are not careful, we find ourselves forever getting through things on our way to what we think will bring us happiness. We may find ourselves continually telling ourselves that we will be happy if or that we will be happy when. It is not that we should not plan or yearn for things we have not yet achieved or experienced, but rather that happiness is always found when we are able to live in the present moment.”
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown)
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.” – Greg McKeown
I picked up this book after it was recommended over and over by numerous bloggers. I figured I would want to read more than once, so I purchased it. And I was right, I need this book. And plan to read it again and again, until it sticks.
Essentially, Essentialism is essential.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the day to day, with a full calendar and a crazy schedule, this is the book for you. Even if you don’t feel consumed by busyness, but are searching for more focus and time for the important things, this book will help.
Essentialism is easy to read and written in a practical way so you can put what you learn to work in your life. It provides concrete strategies of how to tailor your time to be effective and curate a life you enjoy – and provides solid examples to learn from.
Essentialism guides you through the process in four parts:
Part I: Essence
First, we have to replace many of the common beliefs we have. Replace “I have to”, “It’s all important” and “I can do both” with “I choose to”, “Only a few things matter” and “I can do anything but not everything”.
Part II: Explore
Explore your options and take the time to weed out the “vital” few from the unimportant. To explore, you need time to think, read, play, learn and sleep. This means you aren’t constantly doing, but taking the time to explore and choose exactly what the most important tasks are.
Part III: Eliminate
After you’ve explored and determined the nonessential tasks, you have to eliminate them. The author suggests asking yourself “What will I say no to?” to determine what your priorities are. This is easier said than done, but the book provides many useful strategies for saying “no” to the unimportant.
Part IV: Execute
You’ll get nowhere fast without executing essentialism on a regular basis. The book provides strategies for developing routines and habits to keep you motivated and on the path to Essentialism.
While other people are living a life of stress and chaos, you will be living a life of impact and fulfillment. In many ways, to live as an Essentialist in our too-many-things-all-the-time society is an act of quiet revolution”. – Greg McKeown, Essentialism
Which book would benefit you the most? Have you read these books? If so, which one was your favorite?
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