To change your life, you need to change your thinking, and often the best place to start is with reading books.
The 6 Books that Have All the Potential to Change Your Life
I was tempted to write “inspirational” books in the short intro to this blog post. But then the words “inspirational” or “uplifting” are way too overused. We, the readers, have fallen into the trap of get-it-fixed-quickly mindset. Thousands of books promise to change our lives, our thinking, and mindsets almost after the first page.
Ironically, none of these self-help books have ever inspired me enough to commit to those promised life changes. I admit many of these works give plenty of food to your brain. In fact, some of the self-help books do inspire many of its readers to make necessary shifts to further improve their lives.
I was reading these “inspirational” masterpieces for years until I decided to be brutally honest with myself. Despite their profound “wisdom”, most of the self-help books with detailed plans and precise to-do steps didn’t do much to change my life for better.
Those that did can hardly be grouped into one category. Furthermore, these books never promise to change its reader’s mindset, moreover life. Yet somehow these same books change your perspectives, your habits, and your life in one way or another.
Without further ado, here are the 6 books that although never promise to change your overall life but inspire you to make small shifts in different areas whether it’s travel, health, or finances.
THE 6 BOOKS THAT CHANGE A FEW SPECIFIC AREAS OF YOUR LIFE
1. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
A book that changes more than just your writing life by Stephen King
I’ve never been a fan of Stephen King. Thrillers and overcomplicated minds of most of his characters somehow don’t find place in my pleasure reading. Yet this doesn’t stop me from recognizing King as one of the greatest American authors. Thus, when I heard that his book On Writing wasn’t something you’d expect from the novelist, I decided to dissect the writer’s mind through his memoir, not his typical works.
Has this book changed my life? Certainly not. But it surely helped make some significant changed in the area it focuses on – the writing.
Don’t be scared, you don’t need to become a novelist to make use of some of the tips Stephen King includes in the second part of the book. He himself doesn’t believes in the art of changing your writing style by just reading a book. Yet his suggestions can’t be ignored.
The first part of On Writing, which in essence is King’s memoir, have more chances of changing your life in one way or another. I found this part of the book as inspirational as the second.
In this social media era when we subconsciously compare our lives with other’s, we feel a constant pressure to advance, to get better at something. I’ve always been a slow reader. “Inspired” by all those talks and a profusion of books on how to learn to read fast, I tried my best to overcome this “shortcoming”. But to no avail.
Can you imagine my surprise when Stephen King himself admitted that he was a slow reader? A man who reads on average 70 books a year is just as human as all of us. I can’t come even close in comparison with the great novelist, but even I with my slow reading mode peruse 3-4 books a month.
With that said, on top of being a great book to read and offering plenty of writing tips, On Writing has changed my life in a rather trivial way. And mainly, it has inspired me to be comfortable embracing some areas of my life without trying desperately to change them.
2. The World is Our Classroom
A book that can really change your travel life by Cindy Ross
In her book The World is Our Classroom, Cindy Ross doesn’t set a goal to change its readers’ lives. A nature enthusiast and a long-distance hiker, the author narrates about her family adventures in their great “backyard” and faraway countries.
Cindy and her husband don’t try to impress or inspire anybody. What they do is living to their fullest. Instead of reminiscing about their hiking pursuits before their children were born, the couple packs their youngsters and sets off on new family ventures.
You can’t admire this family. The author never admits it was easy. But it was well worth it. And so with her love for life, she inspires many of her readers.
This book hasn’t changed my life, but it has changed my perspectives when it comes to travel. It reminds me to look around more often, to appreciate the things and places we tend to take for granted. All in all, it’s a great book that does change your life to a certain extent without even trying to do it.
3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World than Can’t Stop Talking
A book to change an introvert’s life by Susan Cain
Out of all books that promise to change your life, Quiet serves this mission the most. I don’t think Susan Cain has ever intended to make it a guidebook. An introvert herself, she simply dispels some facts and myths about the rather quieter members of the world society.
As it turns out, being an introvert is not a bad thing. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, decades ago many people insisted on the opposite. With enough research and study done during the past years, more facts and books convince us that the introverted way of life is not subordinated to the extraverted lifestyle.
For all extraverts, feel free to skip this book. You are too cool already. Anybody who considers herself an introvert should read this book and learn to embrace her personality rather than trying to change her life completely.
4. 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
A book that changes your life and health by Neal Barnard
I rarely get asked why I stopped eating meat and dairy. I guess I’m lucky. But if you ask me what motivated me to make such a drastic change in my life, I’d say it was a book. Ok, at least during the second phase of this journey.
It all began when I had gained a few pounds and started looking for a way to loose them. Diets had never worked for me. I was looking for something long-term when I stumbled upon a video how sugar can be addictive. In his speech, Dr. Neal Barnard showed how this white powder had similar effect on babies as drags.
I had to dig deeper. A book has always been the best place for me to start. I stopped on 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart that literally inspired me to change my eating habits and eventually my life.
5. Money Master the Game
A book that changes your financial life by Tony Robbins
Any books by Tony Robbins can change your life forever. Isn’t he one of the most inspirational speakers in the world, after all? I read a few of his books and loved them all. One day I finally laid my hands on his massive work, Money Master Game.
None of the finance classes I had taken in pursuit of my degree in Finance make investing look easy. My mom had taught us from the early age that we needed to live within our means. In other worlds, don’t spend more than what you make.
So no bestselling books that promised to change your life by teaching how to get rid of your debts were on my radar. At the same time, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and different trade transactions were still speaking a foreign language with me.
Money Master the Game simplified this conversation tremendously. Had I known that the book would change this part of my life quicker than any finance courses, I’d read it sooner.
6. The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life
A book that changes your and your child’s lives by Julie Bogart
Homeschool is not something new in America. Certainly, it’s still an uncommon thing in Eastern Europe where I grew up. Going to school, following rules accepted by the system, reading mostly recommended by the local Board of Education books is the way to get a degree and change your life in many other parts of the world as well.
So, I picked The Brave Learner out of curiosity. I heard a lot about homeschooling, not that I was going to do it. Surprisingly, the book has changed my view on the school system and life.
It inspires you to give your kid some “freedom”. Children just like adults are good at some things and fail at some other. Don’t be harsh on your kid if he or she doesn’t read full sentences at the age of four. Some do. Many don’t. And it’s ok. Your child will get there at his own pace whether he goes to school and study at home. Your job is to support and inspire your young learner, not confine him
It’s my take on the book that in some way has changed our lives even though Dylan goes to a regular school. If you homeschool, do yourself a favor and read The Brave Learner. The book is packed with easy and helpful tips. But don’t expect it (neither any other homeschooling books) to be a strict guide that you must follow to a T.