As I keep making my way in my new city, my strongest desires continue to be:
1.) establish a more intentional relationship with myself
2.) create, draw, design and play shamelessly
3.) build a career that I am proud to call mine
After taking total ownership over my attitude, circumstances and ultimately, my future I have been feeling much lighter inside and lit up by a sense of freedom. These inclinations were all fostered by books and in the past few months I’ve read some pretty powerful ones. Books that left a large impact on me.
Like, crater sized impact.
Here are the books that I’ve loved and I will tell you about a few that I’m looking forward to reading next.
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden
This book is short, funny and well designed. Perfect for those who need a little lighthearted ‘truth tellin’ knocked into their head. It’s written in very small sections so you can pick it up and literally read it for 2 minutes and gain a gold nugget of wisdom. There are also pictures, so it’s a bit more of an experiential read.
It is not a narrative, but rather bits of advice from the author on what he’s learned from his career. It’s positioned for an audience of designers, though I believe that it is written in a way that any living person can find a great deal of value. This is a book that I know I will always go back to for more.
My favorite section of the book was entitled ‘It’s Right to be Wrong’.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Not to dwell too much on this but before reading this book I read Franz Kafka’s short stories The Metamorphosis and The Penal Colony in case there was any connection between the author’s work and the novel I was about to read. There was, but not much of one. Oh well! Anyway, Kafka on the Shore was made aware to me around a year ago from a book list on Good Reads and it sounded like my kind of story, which is a coming of age story and an odyssey. I love those types of narratives a lot. Kafka on the Shore had both of those in spades as well as a surrealist element added to the plot.
In short, a boy called Kafka Tamura runs away from his home in Tokyo to flee his dad who is killed shortly after he departs. From there we watch him find himself and his new life.
Kafka on the Shore felt like a mix between a YA book and sci-fi. Basically, I loved it. It was so strange and yet it read very easily. For the most part I was on the edge of my seat for the whole read. (Though I read only one chapter a night which made it take longer to complete.) In this book there are talking cats, talk of philosophy, Colonel Sanders, classical music from Beethoven, an Oedipus complex and fish raining from the sky. Ultimately this book was a journey of self discovery, but I loved that it wove in bits of culture in the story. It left such an impression on me because it really made me think and in sections this novel felt more like a creation of art, like a Salvador Dalí painting, than anything I’ve read in the past.
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
I was never a morning person until I heard The Lively Show‘s episode featuring Hal Elrod and his book, The Miracle Morning. Hal’s story of overcoming a car accident that nearly killed him was inspiring, but his story about how he was able to get himself out of bankruptcy and depression within just a few months was motivating.
During his interview he said one line that, I’m not kidding, made me cry. It was: “most people when the alarm goes off in the morning, hit snooze button, that’s literally starting your day with A. procrastination and B. sending a message to the universe or even our subconscious that says ‘I don’t have the discipline to get out of bed in the morning when my alarm goes off let alone the discipline I need to do to do the things I want in my life.”
After that episode I downloaded The Miracle Morning to my Kindle and devoured it day by day, one chapter at a time. I started my own version of ‘the miracle morning’ for myself and it has been the single thing that made me believe that I have the power within me to do what I want, always! His book is easy to read, filled with tips on how to make the most of your mornings and feel fueled by them.
A Beautiful Anarchy by David duChemin
This book is a re-read for me. My friend, Chris, recommended it to me about a year ago and I remember really loving it AND being overwhelmed by its message.
Now that I’m feeling as empowered as ever to take complete control over my life I am reading it again. I’m about 4 chapters (4 days) into my re-read and its message of creating the life of your dreams by prioritizing your personal growth means so much more to me now. It’s amazing how a book can change its value to the reader in within just a few months. Its almost like I’m reading it for the first time. The words are so valuable to me. I savor each page, which is the benefit to reading books like this at a slower pace. You can digest the messages much more throughly.
The author of this book is a world traveling photographer who is telling his story of how he lives a life that helps him grow as an artist and a person. Along side of that, he describes the ‘hero’s journey’ as a way to show the reader that when we feel called to do something with our lives, we should answer! Even if that call means things will become difficult. His stance makes sense, that life is too short to let time pass by without living a way that feels authentic.
On the whole this book is fueling the motivation I have inside of me to keep taking steps to make my life goals a reality.
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
This book dives into the power, creativity and insight that each woman has inside.
In Progress by Jessica Hische
Designer and letterer , Jessica Hische, describes her creative process and how she goes from sketchbook to computer.
The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly
This is a book that I’ve heard numerous amounts of positive praise over. It is a book that helps readers explore who they want to become at their very best and how to achieve their potential.
What are you reading right now and how is it impacting you?