Friday 25 January 2019

Ten Resources that might just Change your Life View

feet over the edge of a mountain
Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

I'm really passionate about self-development and each person becoming the best version of their self. For me, becoming a Christian really changed my world view and was the catalyst for me starting to work on some of my more challenging character traits. 

For around the last 16 years I've been reading books, listening to podcasts, watching TED talks and attending courses that are helping me to shape into a less materialistic and more selfless person.

I thought it was high time that I shared with you some of the resources that have had a profound effect on me. Some are Christian resources, and some are totally not, so you don't have to share my faith to be interested in this list.

1.  Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
Back in 2002 I started to listen to some cassettes (yes it was that long ago) in the car on my hours’ drive to work and the wisdom in these recordings really started to help me realise that life is too short to get hung up on the silly things, or small stuff, and realistically it is all small stuff. There are a variety of spin-offs from the original like not sweating the small stuff at work, in your family or with teens.

These short, manageable chapters have titles like - stop blaming others, count to ten, choose being kind or being right and seek first to understand. The thing that always sits with me and has been life changing is Carlson’s lesson about us all living in separate realities and how that plays out. Truly when I first heard this story and learnt the concept it was mind blowing to me. 

The book is currently £3.52 on Amazon

2.  Chicken Soup for the Soul - Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Again another book I read in my early days of self-development, but it is timeless and is a book (or indeed massive franchise nowadays) that doesn't lose its appeal. Jack and Mark started out as motivational speakers and would often share inspirational stories that had been shared with them. So many times, they were asked if the stories were in a book anywhere, that they published their first book with 101 of the most popular stories and they called it chicken soup for the soul, as they wanted the book to be as comforting as their grandmothers cooking. 

They say: Chicken Soup for the Soul is a heart-warming collection of tales that will inspire you to live your dreams. The stories demonstrate the best qualities we share as human beings: compassion, grace, forgiveness, generosity and faith and they share a collected wisdom on love, parenting, teaching, death and the overcoming of obstacles. 

If you don’t mind a second-hand copy of the book you can pick it up for as little as 1p on Amazon or is £4.99 for the Kindle edition.

3.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people - Stephen Covey
It's been quite some time since I read this book, but it is timeless and full of wisdom. Amazon says, “Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity - principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.” I used to think that change was always scary but after reading this book I was able to deal with it in a more positive way.

New copy on Amazon is currently £5.00 and a used copy 46P. You can’t go wrong with those prices!

4.  Weekend Life Coach - Lynda Field
Back in 2004 I took this book on holiday with me to the Dominican Republic, I had a near one-year old baby and a marriage that was struggling. I’d left my career job, started part-time work and wasn’t sure who I was anymore. A week away with just my husband and this book helped me to think through what was important and to make some plans that would help me achieve what would make me happy. I had to laugh when I found the notes from this book ten years later, my life had progressed so far from what I had written, but at the time it was immensely helpful.

Again you pick this book up dead cheap on Amazon, anything from 1p for a second-hand copy.

man reading the bible
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

5.  Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
After years of searching within as to what I was supposed to be doing, of where my purpose lay, this book really made sense by suggesting that my purpose was linked to God and what purpose He had in mind for me. This is definitely a ‘big picture’ book and it helps you to think big, but I love that there is no guilt in this book. You don’t come away wondering why you’ve been wasting years, or why you don’t have the most profound purpose. Everyone is built up by it and I went away knowing that my purpose will be revealed in time. Like they say, patience is a virtue!

A brand new copy of this is available on Amazon for £5.06 currently.

6.  Power of a Praying Wife (or Parent) – Stormie Omartian
Over they years I’ve learnt that when you are feeling a bit down or a bit empty, the thing that can help you move out of that is to take the focus off yourself and place it on to someone else. The Power of the Praying Wife book really helped me to do this. Let’s be honest, every marriage has times of struggle when you might not feel deeply in love but taking 15 minutes a day to read a chapter of this book and to take time to pray for my husband in all areas of his life made a real difference.

 A new copy is currently available from £6.47 from Amazon, and of course second-hand copies are available too.

7.  Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brene Brown
In 2010 Brene Brown did a TED talk on Vulnerability and it was the first time I’d ever heard anyone talk about the differences between shame and guilt. She was able to pinpoint for me that I’d been living under the banner of shame. Then in 2013 she published this book and it was an amazing read. I really must get the others she has written afterwards as this is a subject I’d like to explore more, and it is fabulous that Brene has done so many years of research into this subject, it isn’t a concept she has just dreamt up.

This book is as cheap as chips on Amazon right now, with the price for new copies starting at £3.32, so grab yourself a copy soon.

8.  Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely - Lysa TerKeurst
If you've ever suffered with feelings of rejection, loneliness and a sense of not fitting in then this book is for you. I really liked this book as it shares many examples and is an easy read, whilst still having enough depth to be valuable. Have a read and know that you are loved and accepted by the one who matters.

You can pick up a new copy of this book on Amazon for £5.00.

9.  Dream of You: Let Go of Broken Identities and Live the Life You Were Made For - Jo Saxton
In this book Jo poses the question, who were you before the world told you who you were supposed to be? And it is so true, we all alter ourselves (many times without any conscious effort) to be who we think is wanted, or required in the situation/ circumstances we are living in.  Jo helps you unpick this and look back to the source of your life to find out who God created you to be.

They say “In this powerful book, Jo examines biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the One who knows you intimately and loves you deeply. He sees all you've struggled to hide. He hears the voice inside you that others have silenced. He knows the potential that no one valued. He longs to redeem your story and set you on the path to reclaim The Dream of You. Are you ready?”

A new copy is available on Amazon from £4.24.

10.  Typology Podcast – Ian Morgan Cron
For about a year now I’ve been interested in and studying the personality typing tool the Enneagram. It’s different to many of the other big personality typing tools, like Myers-Briggs as it is multi-layered and instead of just telling you who you are it provides for growth and enables you to change as you become more knowledgeable.

I’ve been on some workshops, done a lot of online research, go to a regular discussion group with friends and have read a few books, or are in the process of reading them still.  I haven’t yet found one book that I love and want to advocate, although The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels is an easy starter read and a nice concise introduction to the 9 types. I’m also enjoying The Wisdom of the Enneagram – Don Richard Ruso and Russ Hudson which is a more through book but still has a very straightforward way of presenting the information.

The resource I really wanted to recommend to you is Typology, a free to listen to podcast. I find the presenter Ian Morgan Cron excellent and easy to listen to, it is so much fun as well as being educational and enlightening.
I could go on and on, there are so many wonderful books and podcasts that I consume regularly, but I think for today ten is quite enough and I hope there is at least one thing in the list that each reader can engage with.

Be blessed friends, keep stretching your mind and be kind to yourself so you can grow and be the person you were designed to be. Mich x

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