In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time focused on putting in the work to be my best self and live my best life. And I want that life to be super dope.
One of the biggest hobbies I awoke from its far-too-long slumber was reading. I have been reading so many of those things called books that you hold in your hand. Because I’ve got to feel it to really feel it, if you know what I’m talking about.
Some of these books are inspiring by being riddled with the anecdotes of their authors. Others are specific to the life I’m determined to lead in comedy and presence and badassery. All of them have left me slack-jawed, blown away, and frustratingly reflective (in a good, healthy, forward momentum kind of way).
So let me share with you these seven books you need to read to live a super dope life:
You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
You’ve probably heard of this book from the brilliant Jen Sincero. But I’m telling you about it again because every ounce of praise and hype you’ve heard about the power this book has to change your brain space is true. We are all badasses and the author helps us navigate and recognize this dopeness through those blind common sense moments. And bonus for those of you who are looking to harness your money-making potential, You Are a Badass at Making Money is the follow up title and DEAR GOD YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE A FREELANCER OR CREATIVE!
The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
I am notorious for saying no to the things that scare me. I’m a homebody who often likes to hole up in her bubble. Mostly because I really enjoy sweatpants as my go-to fashion. I also avoid saying yes to things that terrify me or take me out of my space because I’m usually convinced that I’m going to fail and I’m going to fail miserably. Shonda Rhimes covers the year she, who would love to function in the very same way as yours truly, decided to say “Yes!”…and take more showers. I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels stuck in their safety zone.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
I need to make a confession before I tell you why you absolutely need to buy this book yesterday. I never read Eat, Pray, Love. It seems like female sacrilege, I know. I have no particular reason why I didn’t pick that one up so please be gentle with this news. I did, however, decide to buy a recommendation from a robot at Amazon that said, “Hey! You’ll probably like this book since you liked all these other ones!” I read the entire book, cover to cover, on a three hour flight. The author does a fantastic job of reframing the idea of what a creative life is. Spoiler alert: It’s not necessarily reserved for artistic types. Anyone can lead a creative life.
How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh
I’ve been waiting for Lilly to write a book for a really, really long time. She exudes such a positive and hilarious perspective to life on her YouTube channel, IISuperwomanII, that it only makes sense that she’d write a book about living your best, most bawse life both professionally and personally. Admittedly I’m only halfway through this title right now, but what I’ve read so far has me scribbling so many notes into my inso-journal it’s ridiculous. It doesn’t matter how you know of her or whether you’ve never heard of this woman before this moment in your life, you can glean the highest vibrating energy you’ve ever known reading this book.
Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus
Raise your hand if you’re absolutely horrific about talking yourself up… I fully expect that everyone reading this on their phones from the toilet is also raising one arm high into the air. I’ve long subscribed to the idea that bragging is slimy and gross and smarmy. Also the idea that if I’m just really good at what I’m good at, other people will do my bragging bidding for me. Guess what I was wrong about? Both of those ideas. Bragging, when done properly, is anything but off-putting. It’s about storytelling. Hone your storytelling skills and you’re a bomb bragger. The author goes into a collection of specific life and professional scenarios where you can see firsthand the wrong way of bragging (or lack thereof) and the better, more effective way. Reading this book (another I powered through on a short flight) has made a complete 180-degree turn in the way I communicate. Especially in business and networking settings.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
It’s a natural human tendency to be thinking of how we could have approached something that has already happened in another way and how to prepare for the unexpected that is yet to come. Being present, in the “now”, is something that certainly does not come as easily or naturally. I’m guilty of spending a lot of my time and energy on the playbacks of life. I shroud that in the guise of doing so in an effort to learn from my mistakes. All too often making this approach to teachable moments holds you there in the things you cannot change. The Power of Now was a brilliant, easy read eye-opener to the importance and sheer power of re-focusing that energy on the present. This certainly is not a title reserved for believers or those with strong spiritual convictions. Sure it has some reference to spirituality (I mean, hello, title) but there is a very universal application of what the author writes.