Full disclaimer: This is going to be a long post. It’s been a while since I’ve shared an update on my book reading list and combine that with this rainy weather we’ve been having, that means I’ve been crossing quite a few books off my list these last few months. So there’s a lot to catch up on. Actually, 8 books in total. Feel free to skim and read details on the titles that most catch your attention.
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
With these reviews I like to be honest, and in this book’s case I’m going to be brutally honest here. How to Win Friends & Influence People is one of the most well known and recommended books in the personal development world. While I did find it was a good book with a few great nuggets of information, I really struggled to finish this book at the end. I found it to be a little long and sometimes a fairly dry read. The content of the book was solid and there were good examples to explain the theories, it just wasn’t as engaging as other books I’ve read of a similar nature.
One of the key quotes I got from this book was, “the only way on Earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” Often when trying to persuade someone we think of it from our perspective, but we really need to learn what the other person wants and show them how we can help them get there. I also really liked the six ways to make people like you.
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
- Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely.
Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt
Your Best Year Ever was a very informative and inspiring book to read. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys or anyone who doesn’t enjoy setting goals. 😉 This book not only explains why the process of setting goals is important, but also the how or the process to setting good goals. Everyone can benefit from learning how to set themselves up for success and actually achieve their goals.
This book addresses mindset when setting goals which is something I’m always trying to improve in myself. “Our beliefs play a massive part in how we approach life. We tend to experience what we expect.” “When we obsess on what’s wrong, we miss what’s right.” Most people who’ve set goals before have heard of the SMART goal process. In this book, Michael teaches about the SMARTER goals. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-Keyed, Exciting, and Relevant. The risk component in setting goals was new to me. This is something I’ve taken into consideration when I set my goals for this year. I also was more disciplined and strategic in my goal setting as well because of this quote. “I recommend setting seven to ten goals per year – but only two or three major deadlines per quarter. Any more than that and your focus will suffer along with your results.” This was a totally new concept for me, but it makes so much sense! Often times we set goals for the immediate future or for a year from now. By setting only a few major goals for the year and breaking the rest down by the quarter we are taking things in bite sized chunks we can handle. This doesn’t even break the surface of everything I learned from this book, so my recommendation is that you read it yourself too!
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Year of Yes I found to be more of a biography than a personal development book. But don’t get me wrong, this was still a great read, I just didn’t learn as much as I had hoped too. Shonda Rhimes is an excellent writer who keeps you very engaged throughout the book. I found some of her struggles and stories very relatable to my current struggles. If you’re looking for a good book to read or to be inspired by someone’s personal story of self-discovery, I would definitely recommend this book.
This book taught me a little about being a woman and accepting praise without brushing it off. “Thank you, smile, shut up. … No one is obligated to compliment you. They do it out of kindness. They do it because they want to. They do it because they believe the compliment they are offering. So when you negate someone’s compliment, you are telling them they are wrong. … You are insulting them.” Year of Yes also discusses owning who you are and truly expressing yourself everyday. “I try hard to think I am special, to be in love with myself, to be into myself. I strive for badassery. … Badassery, I’m discovering is a new level of confidence – in both yourself and those around you.”
Playing Big by Tara Mohr
This is a book that all women should read. The concepts and ideas in this book were amazing and very well explained. This book was written by a woman for women so it was super relatable!
One of the key concepts I learned from this book was around this idea of the inner critic in all of us. Tara Mohr explains it so beautifully. “We don’t need to have had particular life experiences to develop a harsh inner critic. We’re hardwired for it. The inner critic is an expression of the safety instinct in us – the part of us that wants to stay safe from potential emotional risk – from hurt, failure, criticism, disappointment, or rejection by the tribe.” “The inner critic is like a guard at the edge of your comfort zone. As long as you don’t venture forth out of that zone, the inner critic can leave you alone – like a guard taking a nap. Yet when you approach the edge of your comfort zone, test old beliefs, contemplate change, or stretch into playing bigger, you wake the sleeping guard. The inner critic recites it’s lines in an attempt to get you to go back into the familiar zone of the status quo.” That hit home for me. Like a direct arrow. When you read this book you understand more about the inner critic and why it does what it does and how we can learn to work with it. Again I can’t begin to share all of the nuggets of wisdom I learned from this book, so I’m just going to highly recommend you read it yourself as well!
Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin
First I want to start by saying this book is American. While majority of this book is still applicable to people anywhere, the investment accounts she discuses are for people in the USA only. This subject was only one chapter of the book, so the rest is still worthwhile to read. What I liked about this book was that it was written in language that everyone can understand, not just those involved in the financial industry. Rich Bitch covers everything from setting financial and life goals to budget basics to investing advice. Another disclaimer here. I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their opinion and in sharing that opinion. The investing advice that Nicole Lapin shares in this book is not necessarily something I agree with, but to each their own. The budget style that Nicole discusses is not something I follow either, but I still like her concepts.
Rich Bitch is very direct and straight to the point which I like. “Studies have shown that women who create cohesive narratives for their past and their future are most likely to be successful. … Being a Rich Bitch means living the life you want, but you’re not going to get what you want until you figure out what that is.” The book also addresses a common belief many have about considering their home as ticket to getting rich. “Your home is a place to live, not a place to get rich. If you want to buy a home, buy a home, but don’t try to convince yourself that it’s a good investment.”
What to Eat When by Michael Roizen & Michael Crupain
Health and wellness is a key theme in my book list this year, and this book was near the top of my list. Again this book was written in an easy to understand way, which is great since I don’t have a degree in health sciences. 😉 I enjoyed reading this book knowing the facts and ideas were we’ll researched and supported. This book really motivated me to focus more on what I eat to better support my body in a healthy way. Intermittent fasting and the importance of when you’re eating your foods are key points addressed. What to Eat When also goes on to explain complex carbohydrates and protein and their affect on your body.
The Final Word
- Eat when the sun is out
- More early, less later
- Stop stereotyping foods
- Balance your nutrients
- You can eat well in any situation
- Mistakes shouldn’t derail you
- Be social
- Stay hydrated
- Make a plan
- Love what you eat
Leading From The Front by Angie Morgan & Courtney Lynch
Leading From the Front is a good book with a lot of good self development basics. Some of the points in this book I didn’t relate to so I didn’t find that many insightful nuggets here. A key point I did learn from this book was the importance of decision making and realizing there isn’t always going to be a right or wrong, black or white answer. “The only real negative from decision making is not making any decision at all. When you make a decision, you shape your future. When you allow circumstances or the opinions of others to influence your choices, you miss out on the chance to live your life the way you want to.” “Leaders make decisions based on the information they have, then move ahead to the next decision. They don’t look back.” Something I’ve learned through my self-improvement process is the importance of only allowing what I can control affect me and letting go of things that I cannot control. Leading From the Front reiterates this. “Leaders work to find solutions by focusing on areas where they can make a difference; they don’t get distracted or waste time and energy trying to change circumstances that they can’t control.”
Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny
This has got to be one of my favourite books I’ve read most recently. While this book may have been around for a while, I think the secrets shared in this book still hold true today. Reading the stories from women of all walks of life and their methods of achieving six-figure incomes was very inspirational to read. Reading that “belief in yourself doesn’t mean the absence of self-doubt” really hit home for me. “Every woman admitted to grappling with feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, and fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of criticism lay like fault lines just below the surface. But they looked and acted confident even when they didn’t feel like it.” One of my favourite quotes was, “It’s like being a duck. Calm and unruffled on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath.” Very easy to understand and something I’m going to try and remember and act on in the future. As someone with a type-A personality, I’m always trying to have a plan for everything. Secrets of Six-Figure Women shared a great reminder of how this isn’t always necessary. “One of the most helpful messages I learned from these six-figure women is that we need not fully believe something is possible, much less have a full blown, plan firmly in place. We just have to decide what we want and be willing to do whatever comes next.” I’m going to end this review and blog post with one last quote from this book. “Dare to be all you can be. Dare to make a decision, even if it’s wrong. Dare to make something of your life, even if you fail.”