I am addicted to a) books proposing to make me a better and more effective person and b) short books that I will actually read. Yes, I am guilty of not finishing books. That is why, with the #RockYourLife 30-day book I am working on, I am keeping it very short and so easy to read that it’s guaranteed to be something you can tackle and not a book that’ll guilt you into feeling like someone who doesn’t finish things every time you look at it.
That said, here’s what’s on the RY reading agenda as 2016 gets rolling:
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown. Nothing is ever perfect, is it? And perfect is boring anyway, so why would we even want it? In this book, Brown explores the beauty that can spring forth from our imperfections, namely: courage, compassion and connection. She provides concrete ways to cultivate these “gifts” in our lives. Why I have found it beneficial: So far, it’s given me a new appreciation for what I perceive as my own shortcomings as I work on lessening expectations this year. It’s also a fantastic push to let go of fear and shame. Plus it’s not that long. Overall takeaway: Love yourself and love your journey, because these aren’t going anywhere.
You are a Badass, Jen Sincero. Who doesn’t want to read this and be more of a badass? Sincero believes in doing something meaningful in your life and she provides entertaining anecdotes and some simple bullet lists and exercises. Why I have found it beneficial: This book is also a little on the long side for me. I like ’em short and to the point. But it’s got great flip-open-and-find-something-worthwhile value. Overall takeaway: JUST DO SOMETHING!
Show Your Work, Austin Kleon. Destined to be an all-time favorite for me. And not just because it’s super short and easily readable. (Ok, that is a big reason why, but it’s also great stuff.) Kleon gives a zillion reasons why we should constantly be putting our work- and ourselves- out there. With tips and tricks for discerning the good from the bad, he’s all about quality and quantity. Why I have found it beneficial: Well, I’ve started this website and I am scared shitless that I am gonna suck. But I believe in showing the real process behind things and cooperating with others. I don’t want to be afraid to share and to be real, and this book is an excellent way for me to lean on advice in that direction. Plus, did I mention it’s short? Overall takeaway: Work and do stuff and create. Put it out there during the process. Don’t wait to be “done” or “ready”.
Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith. This one’s on the long side for me, but it’s about kick-starting change. It’s got 6 questions to ask ourselves and pushs us to ask ourselves daily questions. Why I have found it beneficial: I’m all about change and I am also all about trying to recognize my own internal cues, good and bad. Goldsmith is extremely pragmatic in his approach and this always appeals to me. Again, it’s about the effort and the daily, not necessarily the final result. Overall takeaway: Stay active in your constant questioning and attention in order to not just plan, but to DO.
Osho Zen Tarot, Osho. This one’s a new year staple for me. This deck is psychologically oriented and you can sit with it, shuffle, and get a picture of where your head is at presently. Why I have found it beneficial: Whether you believe it or not, I always end up with something that I enjoy reading and thinking about. I usually focus on a simple thought or question and shuffle a number of times that is special to me. Then I use the celtic cross formation, but there’s a guide at the end, so zero special training is involved. Overall takeaway: This one is fun, has beautiful illustrations, and you can do it with friends! Excellent advice on every single card, No training necessary (at all). Very Zen!
Happy reading, rockers!