As you may know, I’m a bit of a book junkie. I can’t pass by a bookstore without being pulled in and I never met a library I didn’t like (and didn’t visit often).
Over the years, I’ve read thousands of books with a lot of them have being the self-help variety. I’m always interested in ways to improve my life (and my clients’ lives) and gain fresh perspectives. I think it’s vital to continue to learn and grow throughout life.
To that end, I’ve decided to compile a list of my top 10 most transformational books for you to enjoy. I’d also love to hear what books you love. Please share in the comments below.
1. The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield
This is the book that started it all – my spiritual and inner journey back in 1993. I read it in one sitting and it wasn’t even my book! (I saw it at my future mother-in-law’s house and read it before she got the chance to.) The book is all about synchronicity and exploring how there’s more to this world than what we can see. If you haven’t read this book, it’s a must read. It will change everything.
2. This Time I Dance!: Creating the Work You Love by Tama Kieves
This has to be the book I recommend the most to friends, family and coaching clients. If you are going through or contemplating a career change and/or feeling lost in general, this is the book for you. It’s all about following your passions, allowing yourself space to play and breathe, and discovering what wants to be expressed through you. Tama Kieves is an amazing coach and one of my master teachers. Her book is also fun and easy to read. It will change your life!
3. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz
A deceptively easy and quick read, this book explores Toltec wisdom in the four agreements (that you make with yourself) that will change your life forever. This is one of those books I’ve read a million times, took classes on and returned to again and again. At the very least, read it once and start applying its simple yet effective wisdom to your life and let me know how it goes.
4. The Artist’s Way: 25th Anniversary Edition by Julia Cameron
Here’s another book I’ve read at least 20 times over the years and have also attended a couple classes that worked through it. This book is excellent for anyone with creative leanings – who wants to get back to their creative roots and gain a boost getting there – but it’s also wonderful for anyone wanting a little nudge to get moving towards whatever direction they want. You don’t need to be the creative type to read it because, seriously, we’re all creative in one way or another. Creativity isn’t reserved exclusively for the arts but for anyone who has to do creative thinking throughout their day. This book has exercises to help get you in action.
5. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie
Byron Katie is a master at breaking down complex issues and strategies and making them simple and easy to use. This book focuses on shifting your perspectives around a situation so you can see the truth of what’s really going on. This book is truly deep inner work with lots of examples and exercises to help you along the way.
6. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This is one of the most powerful and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. It helped me to understand that we truly do have the ability to direct our thoughts, even during the most dire of circumstances. I first read this book in college and it still sits on my shelf. You will walk away from this book a changed person.
7. Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams by Barbara Sher
As someone who has struggled with trying to focus my career on only one (or even two) things, Barbara’s book gave me permission (finally!) to refuse to choose. This wonderful book discusses why people are this way (unable to choose) and the best ways to work with it instead of against it. If you have trouble deciding what to focus on because you have way too many interests, you must read this book.
8. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
One of the most recent books on my list, I read Elizabeth’s book a couple summer’s ago on the beach. It’s another easy and fun read with big ideas, inspiration and empowerment. It’s especially wonderful for the creative soul but would truly benefit anyone, especially someone whose feeling stuck in their life.
9. The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Modern Library Classics)
Here’s another book from my college days. Emerson was my first taste of the transcendentalists and the new thought movement (although I didn’t know it at the time). Throughout my spiritual studies, Emerson continues to emerge as a wonderful and inspiring teacher. Not always an easy read, his essays are worth mindful contemplation and study.
10. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield
Another book focused on creativity and writing but not only for the artistic types, this book discusses resistance and how to break through it. Another easy, quick read that will stick with you for years to come. Creating can be super challenging – no matter whether you’re creating a book or a business – and this book will help champion you through the resistance that shows up every time you try to do something new.
11. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
I loved this book. It’s a super easy read with a powerful message encouraging you to start being who you are right now. It’s all about getting in action and putting your work out there, no matter what it is. I felt like this book gave me permission to not be original all the time – something I had been struggling with for years. If you feel stuck at all with your creativity (again – no matter what that is for you), you’ll love this book, too.
Now I want to hear from you! What are some of YOUR most transformational books? I’d love to hear.