Five Books to Read if You’re Trying to Change Your Life

September 5, 2017

Self-development and self-improvement seems to be on everyone’s to-do list, but making the time to actually work on ourselves is easier said than done. Before you start on any path of self-discovery, you need to ask yourself why you want to make the change in the first place. When you are starting on that search, it can be helpful to have a number of resources to turn to, so here are five insightful and helpful books you can read if you are trying to make changes in any area of your life.


The Beauty of Discomfort by Amanda Lang


In order to start the process of change, people need to be willing to be uncomfortable with the process of change, accept that things are not going to be easy, and understand that life is going to push against your transition in a myriad of ways. Lang reminds her readers that you need to be ready for all of the emotion, discovery, heartache, and discomfort that goes along with trying to change something about yourself or your life. She recounts story after story of people who, once they were able to accept their discomfort, were able to work through their situations to find happiness, health, and prosperity on their own terms. Many of the people mentioned in the book are regular people who you wouldn’t recognize on television or in the news, but a few stories focus on major military leaders and Olympic hopefuls who had everything in the world going for them, but found that life is hard for people from all walks of life. Their stories are heartfelt, real, and speak to the reader about working with what you’ve got and pushing past the pain.


Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


From the bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert offers her readers permission to live their lives in a creative and open way, accepting failures, acknowledging that the world doesn’t have to accept us, and being ready to call bluff on the reasons we avoid being creative in the first place. There are many stories from Gilbert’s own life. She is clear in her conviction and it translates well to the reader. When you finish this book, you’ll want to pick up a pencil and draw a picture, paint a canvas, or write a story. She inspires her readers to accept the talents they have and to share them with the world, despite living in a world that doesn’t always care about creative types. As a young woman, she promised herself she would always be kind to her writing, as if it were a person, and encourages others to do the same. But she reminds readers that the success comes from continuing to be creative, not the actual paycheque you may collect from that creativity. If permission is what you think you need to start making a change, read Big Magic.


You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero


If you’ve ever found yourself sitting on the couch feeling sorry for yourself because you aren’t making enough money or you don’t have the kind of job you wanted, then read this book. Sincero offers her readers real, hard-core advice on how to get over yourself and start working toward your goals…especially where they related to money. She reminds her readers that people need to stop treating money like a dirty word and start being proud of the money they earn and how they earn it. She provides insights on how to let go of preconceived notions of money and start to give yourself permission to make more of it. In fact, she encourages her readers to use the sky as their limit: she tells a story in her book about how she made $12,000 in one day after setting her goal at $5000 in one week, which was even a stretch for her at the time. This book makes you want to grab life by the horns, and Sincero says that while it’s hard, it’s not impossible, and she is living proof of her own advice. She took herself from a one-room apartment that was actually a garage and made her way to the big time having as much money as she ever wanted or needed, just by telling herself she could and she should.


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg


Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer at Facebook and she knows a thing or two about making her way to the top of a company. This book is excellent for anyone who is struggling to meet the demands of work and family. While written from the perspective of a woman and geared toward women in the workplace, it’s a great read for men who are supporting women through transitions and change as well. She talks candidly about making mistakes and how you have to take risks to succeed in life sometimes. She reminds her readers that those risks don’t always pan out the way you thought they would, but that learning can happen from every experience. Most of all, this book is good for someone who is struggling to overcome self-doubt related to their ability to climb corporate ladders and have the “C” level positions they dream about. Sandberg encourages her readers to work the bargaining table to ensure that they are getting everything they want from their careers and life.


The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom


This isn’t a self-help book, but the story within its pages is magical and Albom reminds his readers not to underestimate the impact we have on other people’s lives. This wonderful book tells the story of a famous fictional musician who is remembered through the stories of other famous musicians, who have actually existed in history. Each story recounts how Frankie touched their lives and changed their lives, and how one man moved through life leaving important impressions on people. The message in this book is one that is vital to people trying to make a change in their own lives: being yourself is the best way to change the world. So even when you feel like you aren’t good enough, or you aren’t getting what you want in life, someone, somewhere is benefiting just because you are alive. It helps to put things in perspective and takes the pressure off when you are trying to reinvent yourself.

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