6 Books That Have Impacted My Life Recently
I'm a huge fan of non-fiction books. I love to hear people's stories, I love learning something different, and finding new inspiration from other's experiences excites me. Here's a list of some of my favourite non-fiction books that I've read recently that have made an impact on either my health, career, mental, or personal growth.
1. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
This book gave me a new perspective and resonated with me deeply. In this social media age (which I'm very much involved in daily for my career), there's a constant pressure to conform to societal standards and pretend your life is picture perfect. Brown encourages us to live life in a courageous, imperfect, and vulnerable way, no matter what situation you're in, whether it's;
"a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen."
Some of my favourite quotes are:
“I carry a small sheet of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and struggles. You have to know that I’m trying to be Wholehearted, but I still cuss too much, flip people off under the steering wheel, and have both Lawrence Welk and Metallica on my iPod.”
“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
“Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.”
Brown reminded me to put myself out there with my whole heart, being who I truly am while taking risks, in order to build strong connections, and a life of purpose and meaning.
I also highly recommend listening to Brown's TED Talk or "Call to Courage" on Netflix. She's a funny, smart, and incredibly thought-provoking speaker. *I also have and love her other books "Dare to Lead" and "The Gifts of Imperfection".
2. Paleo Power Bowls by Julia Mueller
I love good old-fashion cookbooks. Having a book to flip through and get inspiration from is a great way to try new recipes you wouldn't have otherwise (as opposed to thinking of what you want to eat and searching for that particular recipe online). Out of all of my cookbooks this one is by far my most bookmarked because there was so many recipes I wanted to try just off the first glance. I decided to go Paleo-based this year for my digestion and hormone issues to see how I'd feel. This book helped me do it easily because the recipes are so delicious (whether you're Paleo or not- my husband loves them too), and I love everything I try from it- which is a lot! The meals are healthy, easy, nutrient-dense, and anti-inflammatory. It's also easy to modify the ingredients to be vegetarian/vegan/low-FODMAP/AIP/ Whole30.
3. Younger Skin Starts in the Gut by Dr. Nigma Talib
While we're on the topic of nutrition, the book that made me get on a healing path and look deeper into the root causes when nothing else was working for my acne is 'Younger Skin Starts in the Gut' by Dr. Nigma Talib. We all love to self-diagnose, and this book helps you to understand things a little more and link your stubborn inflammatory reactions to something below the surface.
Your gut is your second brain (70% of our immune system resides there) and as Hippocrates once said "all disease begins in the gut", even things like hormonal issues and mental issues are linked to it. I read this book, and got really excited, did more research, then went and talked to my doctor who agreed on the supplements I wanted to try (they were all herbal) and it was working well. Then I stopped (I was going to a fertility clinic and it was a lot of stuff to handle at once) and my acne and bad digestion came back. I recently went back on my regimen and can already see improvement. Dr. Talib's comprehensive 4 week program provides solutions to uneven skin tone, puffiness, dark circles and adult acne to heal your gut (and any resulting hormone/digestion problems) from the inside, giving you younger-looking healthier skin on the outside. The key is to treat the root cause (ie-digestions, hormones, diet) and not to just mask the symptoms (acne, puffiness, bad bloating).
"Remember, our skin issues often serve as a warning sign to more significant medical conditions."- Nigma Talib
4. Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell
Whenever I share a little excerpt from this book I immediately get a lot of DM's asking what book it is. Campbell's words have the power to invigorate your soul, inspire, and 'turn your lights on'.
If you feel like you don't know wtf you're doing some days and what your purpose in this world is, give this a read. It's for those who feel like they're in a dark place, not in control, and directionless- we all have those days. Although I do not agree with all of Campbell's points/opinions (such as energy having a gender, and dealing with grief by yourself), and I'm not a very spiritual person myself (but I'm working on it), I do believe she offers valuable thoughts and teachings throughout the book on things such as; embracing uncertainties, lighting your own light with simple daily things like cooking a meal, you are not for everyone, and to be ok with where you are.
It can be a little repetitive throughout the book, which can cause you to want to put it down at times, but don't because in my opinion the end (Part V) is the best part! The chapters are written as lessons, some shorter and some longer. I found the best way to read this is to read a chapter (lesson) or two each night, really think about it and take from it what you want to apply/change in your life. It always leaves me feeling a bit more guided and peaceful, without being forced into a direction.
5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
Since we were kids, people often asked us "what do you want to be when you grow up?". Obama explores the idea that we never really 'become' something, we are always changing, growing, learning, and therefore continuously 'becoming'. I genuinely agree with this notion, especially as I get older the more I realize that everything I thought adulthood was and what I'd have at certain points in my life isn't true. We never become one thing, we are many things in one, and continue to add more multifaceted layers each day. Obama tells the story of her life and gives us a deep look into her childhood, career, relationship, fertility issues, family, and all of the ins and outs of being a First Lady. Her continuous belief in herself no matter what the circumstances were/are, and the belief that her voice and story matter is truly inspiring.
It's intimate, charming, relatable, and warm. It resonated with me, related to me at times, and made me feel like I was on the journey with her.
"There's power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your own unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there's grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become."- Michelle Obama
6. From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz
This book is by Starbucks' former CEO, Howard Schultz. Whether you like Starbucks or not, it's undeniable that they have done a thing (or several) right to get to where they are today as one of the most recognizable brands in the world. I personally, love studying Starbucks' business model (and do enjoy the odd iced Americano), so I could barely put this book down.
He opens up about his child hardships, inspirations, and his creation of Starbucks with a strong social conscience. Schultz has a different and very admirable way of growing a company. He focuses on his team, partnerships, community, and humanity. Not only does he teach us about the ideas and that worked, but also what didn't work (and why and how they overcame those issues). His vulnerability, failures, and accomplishments motivate me to get creative, try things differently, focus on my relationships, and to try harder to help people in need. Schultz also shares some intriguing personal stories, for example; did you know Bill Gates Senior helped Schultz buy Starbucks from it's original owners in 1987, and never told a soul about it? He got Shultz' competitor to back down and invested in it with his son (Schultz was turned down by 217 of the 242 investors he approached). Schultz says, "If it weren’t for Bill Gates Sr. there would be no Starbucks."
Despite any political agenda from Schultz that transpired (I read this and made my opinions before I was aware he was considering to run for president *note: he is not now), I think his memoir is honest, emotionally energizing, wise, and is a must read for entrepreneurs.
Please share your recent favourite books with us in the comments below. I'm always looking for something great to dive into next!