10 Books that can Make you a Happier Person
I believe that our surroundings and our mindset are intimately connected. Our surroundings not only include what we look at but also who we talk to, what we watch on TV and what we read.
If you're like me and you're always striving to be a better person here are 10 books that have transformed my life. They have affected every aspect of my life...and are the reason I'm even writing this blog and running my business today.
Even after I've read them I still keep them around my house in strategic places depending on what kind of support I need in my life. For example, I've kept the Tao of Pooh and my gratitude journal on my bedside tables for almost two years. Even if I'm not actively using them they still serve as positive anchors in my morning and nightly rituals. The gratitude journal reminds me to do my gratitude exercises and the Tao of Pooh reminds me to meditate and connect with what is.
I've also placed books facing outward on my bookshelf in my living room to help keep the messages of the books in the forefront of my mind. It also reminds me that like friends my books are there to support me and I can refer to them again whenever I need guidance.
They are in no particular order and if you're looking for change in your life and you feel a call from one of these books, I encourage you to buy it and carve a little time out to read a chapter a day....even if its just one day a week.
Understanding that your Feeling are the Key to Happiness
Reading the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte changed my life. There's a part in the book where she talks about how we go after goals and things in our life because of how we think they will make us feel...this part was a gigantic ah-ha moment for me. It allowed me to finally understand what was really driving me and would become the foundation for all of my personal development. It allowed me to plan a future, not based on goals that caused me anxiety, but instead on things that make me feel good.
In fact, this book is one of the foundations for my own theories behind room design.
Being Grateful is a Direct Link to Happiness
I'll admit it. I was a total skeptic at first about gratitude. When I first watched The Secret and everyone said that I needed to be grateful in order to bring more abundance into my life I totally scoffed. But then I heard Oprah talk about her gratitude journal...and then countless others. It was like alright Universe I get it! So I bought this little journal from amazon and started writing at least three things I was grateful for every night before I went to bed. It took almost six weeks before I started to feel the affects....which I have to say were life changing.
I went from thinking how much my life sucked every night to how many positive things I had in my life...and more importantly it started me on a journey to seeing the world through more positive eyes. It also broke a life long habit of me comparing myself to pretty much everyone around me.
Learning to Live with More Ease
The first time I read the Tao of Pooh I liked it because it was easy to read and it had little lessons in it that made a lot of sense. Seven years later when I read it I realized that it used little stories to deliver powerful messages. The author had captured in super approachable language how the way we think about and approach our lives determines our experience of it. I'm looking forward to reading it again in another seven years and seeing if I find an even deeper message.
I keep this book on my bed stand now as not only a reminder of how I want to live, but also as a reference guide. When I'm having trouble settling down for the night and meditation just isn't doing it....I reach for the Tao of Pooh and open it up....I almost always find the answer to what I'm looking for.
What you Read your Children Affects you too
If anyone were ever to ask me what the most influential book I ever read was I wouldn't say War and Peace or anything like that...I would saw The Little Engine that Could. Why? Because I remember my parents reading it to me vividly. I remember cheering on the train with all its toys. I actually remember thinking if the engine can I can too...and that's a strong message to give a child. And I have no doubt that I wouldn't be where I am today without this book.
I also think that what we read our children impacts us. After all you're the one reading it to them night after night so why not make it a positive experience for everyone....give everyone a boost. And prominently display the cover outwardly so you and your child is constantly reminded of the book's message.
Boundaries...the Foundation of all Happiness
After my life came crashing down around me about 5 years ago this was one of the first books that I read. I read it over the weekend. I just sat on my front with my mouth japing wide open because I couldn't believe what I had been allowing in my life. This book changed all that and continues to influence me in some of my most difficult situations. Because of this book, I now understand how to say no, and how to be respectful in my friendships and intimate relationships.
In general it has taught me how to give myself the space to let in happiness.
A Little Moral Support to Declutter your Home & your Life
Marie Kondo's masterclass on how to organize and tidy up will answer any questions you have on decluttering. Her philosophy is simple but its powerful...get rid of anything that doesn't bring you joy. Simple but harder in real life especially if you haven't done it before.
However, as I've written about countless times on this blog decluttering your home is connected directly to decluttering your life. Our things represent past events, people and emotions that we're carrying onto....so the physical act of getting rid sometimes requires a little instruction. If you need that then this is that book.
Trusting is a Cornerstone to Happiness
In order feel happy we have to feel positive about the future. In order to feel positive about the future we have to trust....trust the people around us, trust ourselves, trust God (or whatever bigger power you believe in), and trust that our life will go in a positive direction.
I picked up this book at a time in my life when I didn't believe in anyone or anything...and it helped a lot. In the book she calls the reader out on all of the excuses (valid and not valid) that we give not to trust. She also helps you realize how important trusting is to moving forward in life...and to your general happiness.
Getting Over your Money Issues
My eyes were opened when I read Get Rich Lucky Bitch. I never realized how many of my everyday thoughts and childhood hangups were preventing me from being successful. This book breaks out all of the different layers of what holds us back from making the money that deep down we know that we can.
Written primarily for women the book opens up by talking about all of the super negative messages that we receive about money as women...in particular how our culture subtly degrades women who have made it on their own and how to over come that. This book and this section in particular made me really see for the first time the power play that money has played in my own family particularly among its men and women...and how strongly that has impacted me as an adult. It made me realize how much I had been dumbing myself down to fit into the demure role a woman is supposed to play. As I've become aware of this, grown beyond it, and ventured forth with my head held high I've noticed a subtle backlash because I haven't 'stayed in my place'...and its because of this book and Denise's amazing Lucky Bitch Bookcamp that I have persevered.
How to Get What you Want
I've loved Jack Canfield ever since I saw The Secret. I've watched countless people interview him and every time I've learn something new...so when I found out about his book The Success Principles I knew I needed to read it. But I kept putting it off. Then a few weeks ago I sat on a bed in the house I'm staying in, thought about the book, and looked up at it on the shelf....and there it was!!! I immediately pulled it down and started reading it. It was clearly a sign.
I've been carrying it around like my success bible ever since and man let me tell you its powerful. Not only does it help you figure out what you want but it takes you step by step through the process of getting it. It's easy to read and practical. If you're unhappy with your life and want to change this is the book you should read.
Forgive Everyone and you will be Happier
I used to think that people who forgave were wooses...but what I realize in retrospect is that I didn't really understand what forgiveness was...or most importantly that it was not about the other person but about me. So as I began to forgive with the help of Iyanla Vanzant's Forgiveness course I felt lighter and more free....and finally happy. I'm not going to lie it was a long painful process to forgive all of the wrongs in my life but it was worth it. Because now I actually understand what happiness is....and I know that I will be happier and happier as I get older.
So I'm ending this list with Iyanla's book, Forgiveness. I haven't read it but it was the basis for the course that changed my life and I knew if I didn't include it that I would regret it.
Forgiveness is the foundation of happiness (if done correctly).....and this book and course show you how to so it in detail.