So I have certain go-to books to help me when I’m in a funk. And, granted, I’ve read a lot of self help stuff, but these ones I come back to on a somewhat regular basis.
- The Happiness Project and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin — Gretchen left her job in law to become a full-time writer, so that immediately got my attention. But the amount of work and study she has put into what happiness is (and isn’t) has really opened my eyes to figuring out what that means for me, too. Her book on habits has also been very, very helpful for me in figuring out how to set new desires in motion.
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert — The Eat, Pray, Love author brought out this fantastic book last year that focuses on the creative spirit and combined both memoir and advice, making it both an entertaining read and also very enlightening.
- Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon — More books on creativity and how to be true to yourself. I also follow him on Tumblr. Very smart and interesting guy with, hands down, the least offensive weekly newsletter.
- How to Be Interesting by Jessica Hagy — a fun read for the Venn diagram lover in everyone that somehow manages to also remind me that I’m not as boring as I think I am.
What are your favorite self help books that have got you through difficult times? Tell me about it on the Facebook page or in the comments!
Posted in inspiration, Uncategorized
Tagged austin kleon, better than before, big magic, eat pray love, elizabeth gilbert, gretchen rubin, how to be interesting, jessica hagy, self help books, self-help, show your work, steal like an artist, the happiness project
- There’s somebody out there who is doing worse than you right now.
- If you’re concerned that you’re not as good of a person as you think you are, that puts you ahead of the game (keep exploring that).
- In a whirlpool, if you panic, you die. Relax. Ride it out.
- Give yourself a little bit of mercy now and then. You’re the only one hearing you say ‘uncle.’
- Touch your own heart. Feel it beating. Remember that you’re still here.
- Not everything is going to be awesome. Still keep writing, though, anyway. You never know when one of those rocks is going to be a gem.
- Look at the world through the eyes of your pen. Make note of how things are, how things make you feel, and then put it into your work.
- If you are writing anything, you are doing more than a huge population of people in the world. Perspective: appreciate it.
- You can’t write all the time. Still try to.
- You are your own worst enemy. Worse than the rejections, worse than the critics, worse than all the people who smile and nod at you. Because they get to be outside of your head until you let them in.
A teapot does not lament the soft roundness of its porcelain curvature
Nor does it aspire to the lofty place of honor that is the flute in the cabinet,
The glass never begrudging its harvest moon use.
A spoon does not hate its wide breadth, its unrelenting width,
And a fork never says that it is too sharp, too abrasive,
That existence would be easier as a knife.
The sniffer does not sit and consider constantly its fragile state,
Waiting for the day that it breaks in either an explosion of fragments
Or a slowly stretching crack from the inside out.
Stoneware does not cry.
The cutting board does not bleed.
And the spork does not fear oblivion.
- Remind yourself that it is only a temporary badness. Nothing bad lasts forever.
- Acknowledge that you do not deserve to feel bad just because something bad is happening around you. Your feelings are valid, yes, but it’s not somehow ‘coming to you’ to feel that way. You do not ‘have’ to feel that way.
- Love the good things in your life. Count them. Say ‘thank you’ to them. Focus on them.
- Find something to do with your hands. Whether it’s squeezing a stress ball or doodling or writing, move your hands and focus on that instead of the world.
- Once it’s done, let it die. Tomorrow is another day.
Make time for good
When it is easy to say that you are
Dare to say that you will give yourself an hour
To be the truest you:
The one who shapes things
And destroys castles,
The one who makes miracles
Out of shoelaces and spit,
The one who builds meadows
And does not part the sea
So much as rules it from the center.
You must allow yourself to be
Who you were meant to be
On the other side of numbers and populations
And formulas and chemicals;
You must be the sunlight
And the moonlight,
Shrug off the hard shell of facts and figures
Because everyone who matters is waiting to bask in your glow.