Moving into 2016, I recommend five books that are probably not on your traditional business list. They don’t address sales, marketing, networking, strategy, finance, culture, teambuilding, or any other business topic. Instead they focus on where all success originates… inside of you.
Success is an inside job. When we get the inside right (the heart, the mind, the soul, the spirit), success and happiness follows.
Thank you in advance for the trust. You may only garner one nugget of wisdom from one of these books, but it may have a profound impact on you. So please, give these books a shot. Order them all together, but spread them out over the year. Don’t try to power through them… let their messages soak in. Give yourself the gift of time to reflect. I’ve read them over and over, and I always learn something new, or I am reminded of why I reached back to them at a specific point in time.
OK…ready? (All titles link directly to their Amazon pages).
#1: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. These four agreements are agreements you make with yourself regarding how you engage with the world around you. All relationships with others begin with your relationship with yourself. This book is a must-read for anyone on a continuous path of deeper connection with themselves & others.
#2: The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. A close friend gave me this book as a holiday gift, and it blew me away. He peels away everything that impedes us from living an unconditionally happy life, and helps us understand how ego, fear, and desire are three of the biggest impediments to our contentment.
#3: Rising Strong by Brene Brown. This is the third in Brown’s trilogy following The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly. Brown helps us to face the struggles that bring us to our knees in the “arena” of life, and helps us clear the path to living “whole-heartedly.” The flip-side of courage is vulnerability, and we can never attain true happiness without embracing it completely.
#4: Quantum Success: The Astounding Science of Wealth & Happiness by Sandra Anne Taylor. This book is not one I would have selected for myself but it was a gift, and I’m so happy I received it. I loved this book because it talks about how we can tap into our personal energy to bring about desired outcomes. We are all energy. How do we access it, direct it, and regulate it to attract what we want? How does our lack of awareness bring about what we don’t want? As a certified Reiki practitioner who understands the power of the seven energy centers in our body, the book’s message resonated with me and was a good reminder that we are all emitting energy every moment of every day, consciously or subconsciously. We have the power to channel our energy to manifest our outcomes. It’s definitely worth a read.
#5: The Five Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz. This book can radically change the way you relate to external experiences, events, and material things. There are five levels of attachment to the “external” world we can choose. Usually, we don’t choose the level… it chooses us until we become aware. Ultimate internal freedom & power comes when we arrive at a place in our lives when we have nothing to lose…when we are not defined by any thing or any experience external to us. It is only when we have created impossibly high stakes, in which we have much to lose, that we become prisoners of our fears and desires. All personal identification starts and ends within.
Treat yourself to these books. They will stretch your mind and your spirit in new ways. They will help you see yourself, your loved ones, and the world around you differently. They have the power to transform.
On a similar note, I’m happy to share a TED Talk that one of my friends/mentors shared with me. (I’m a TED Talk junkie, watching at least one or two TED talks a day to help me keep my own perspectives in check, and remain connected to people who think differently.)
What is the true source of happiness? In an unprecedented 75-year study that tracked boys from their early teens through the last years of their lives, from all socio-economic categories, we learn the true secrets to happiness. It’s not that complicated, and it is attainable for everyone.
Here is the link: What Makes a Good Life?
Finally, One Business Book
Finally, I recommend my all-time favorite business book: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith. This is such a simple principle. The people, processes, infrastructures, technologies, strategies, etc. that get us to one level of business growth will likely not be what we need to move to the next level of growth. We must assume everything we do is simply a stepping stone to something else.
Change is our only reliable constant in our life. We have to be OK with letting go, in order to evolve. Embracing impermanence is the only way we can graciously accept our own growth & evolution in all aspects of our lives. Otherwise, we will forever be engaged in an internal struggle, and we will fight to hold on to what no longer works, rather than embracing the new.
Six books plus one TED Talk. I hope these gifts, combined with my gifts from my last column, have provided you with a strong foundation to welcome 2016 from a place of strength, curiosity, & gratitude.
Wishing you a wonderful New Year!
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CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”