3 Life-Altering Books for You Now
Not that 2019 is over yet, (because as we know, we have the entire month of December that lies ahead) but I have been reflecting on my learnings over the past year, and what a transformational year it has been for me personally!
I was specifically reflecting on books I have read this year (of which there have been many) and those that were the most transformational, influential and life changing.
I narrowed it down to the top 3 that have significantly influenced my life, outlook, thought patterns and shaped the way for a more peaceful, gratifying year. Without further ado, they are:
“The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” – Brene Brown
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” – Robin Sharma
“The Power of Now” – Eckhart Tolle
These books are all drastically different both stylistically and in terms of content delivery. “The Gifts of Imperfection” is warm and nurturing to the soul, “The Power of Now” is a bit of a rude awakening and hard look at the thoughts and life that we lead, and perhaps “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” could be somewhere in the middle.
“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and “The Power of Now” both from the late 90’s (1996 and 1997 respectively), and “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” from 2010, so we can see that
nothing in these books is radically new or “emerging” in any way, the teachings and learnings to be had are universal and eternal. No matter your life situation, your outlook, thoughts, yoga or meditation practice, these books can be applied to anyone at any time
Moreover, as I was reflecting on them, I realized that not only can (and should) the books be read by everyone, but I also think reading them at varying times in your life as your life situation changes, will have a different impact, and new findings and learnings may be had.
I imagine that all 3 books are labelled as “self-help” books, which they are in a lot of ways, but they are also “help” books to the entire world around us, the people in our lives, and the way we interact with each other. I think they can all positively impact the way we lead our lives with the world around us, starting from the inside.
There were four key features of all three books that struck me. While they are different, they shared these four commonalities:
All three books focus on the importance of presence. When we let our mind take a hold of our thoughts and our lives – and thereby us, we tend to live in either the future or the past. Living in the past, whether positive or negative events that previously transpired, can cause us to feel uncertainty and fear around the future, it allows us to create the same mistakes or events over and over, because that’s “what we know” like constantly being in a similar intimate relationship or seemingly “choosing” the same fate over and over. Additionally, when we live in the future, we are constantly consumed with anxiety, a loss of control (as we can’t control everything in the future). When we don’t live in the present, we suppress our ability to experience moments of joy and gratitude, which can only occur in the present. Over time, this can lead to a feeling of emptiness, loneliness, lack of fulfillment, and maybe even manifest and mental or physical health disorders. So stay present with your whole being, allow yourself FEEL everything versus think of everything.
The second common element to all 3 books is the connectedness with other people and beings – the shared commonality of being alive. It is a fact of life that we were all born, and someday our physical body will also die. This is the same for all animals, plants and beings. There is some living force within us, some call it out “chi” or life force or energy that gives us life. We are all in this together, and even though our life situations change, we have a shared existence. Moreover, we derive meaning and understanding with others based on this connectedness. For example, if a “bad” or “negative” situation arises, discussing and debriefing with others can allow for a shared sense of commonality, as inevitability the person whom you choose to share this with, may have experienced something similar.
The third aspect that is shared is that of vulnerability i.e. when we don’t do something or say something because our mind tells us “that’s dangerous, you’ll get hurt”. We all experience this in some form or another where we are afraid to let our true selves be known out of fear that we don’t be accepted, or we will get hurt. When you let go of resistance, surrender to your authentic self, and allow your true self to show is when we can actually discover our inner strength and courage.
Taking time to be still – for most of us, there is so much happening in our minds, and when we attempt to sit quietly, our minds start to race. We WANT to be present but we feel our minds don’t allow this. And you would be correct. However, you are/can be in control of your thoughts and mind, it takes a lot of practice and there are a number of techniques to help us. Moreover, the benefits are innumerable. When we take the time to sit still, to observe, to listen to the silence, we can truly appreciate what we are surrounded with, the world around us, what we have. This will over time, helps us to achieve a sense of inner peace, satisfaction, gratitude, and joy.
I highly recommend all three of these books. They are all written very differently but just as impactful. But remember, you can read all the spiritual books in the world, however, if you don’t put them into practice in your own life, they will not have any and/or a lasting impact. You are in charge of your thoughts, your consciousness or presence, and you will “attract and manifest whatever corresponds to your inner state” as written by Eckhart Tolle.