The Four Agreements – A Toltec Wisdom Book, by Don Miguel Ruiz
I find myself moved again by this modern classic. The author offers a compelling vision for humanity. His simple, logical rules, or agreements, carry depth, and wisdom. Yet when you try to live by the four agreements – there is an unexpected level of resistance. Take for instance the first agreement – “Be impeccable with your word!” Sounds straightforward enough, right? But what does it mean in practical terms? Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. OK. Even to examine one’s words in everyday situations can be challenging. And necessary. A much needed fitness for the soul.
The War of Art – Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
Don’t be fooled by the title. The continuous success of Steven Pressfield’s manual for creative people comes from the universal power of the invisible force he dissects. Pressfield calls this force Resistance and its black magic works equally well against the writer and the artist, as well as against the entrepreneur and anyone else trying to move the needle in any area of their life. The War of Art is worth re-reading every a year.
Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life, by Marshall B. Rosenberg
Programming code runs computers and transforms them into mostly useful hardware. Language runs our brains and has the power to make our lives heaven or nightmare. Dr Rosenberg offers a powerful professional insight into how our language shapes our interactions and introduces or removes conflict from our lives. Read this book, and you will look with new eyes at simple phrases like “You need to …”.
Presence – Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy
Do yourself a favor and read this book. If you have – read it again. Of all the personal transformation books out there – this helped me the most. The key? The realization that our emotions affect our body language, just as much as our body language affects our emotions. So when I want to feel calm, powerful, and in control – I learned to act this way. I’ve seen a dramatic difference in my business and personal interactions. Thank you, Amy, for sharing all your great work.
Steal Like an Artist – 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, by Austin Kleon
The title says it all. While “steal” might convey a negative connotation at first – it is actually a positive attitude towards the art of learning as a creative person. Or as a business one.
Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury
There is no other book like Dandelion Wine. Like a favorite vacation spot, I like to go there at least once a year. It is a nice break and a reminder that while today titles may be ruled by the likes of “Unf*ck Yourself”, there are masterpieces that are just as good today, as when they first came out.
Wait, What? – And Life's Other Essential Questions, by James E. Ryan
This is on my to-read list. Wait, what? “You haven’t read it yet?” Yes. I’ve included it here because I believe in the power of asking good questions. We spend most of our time and energy in looking for the right answer. I believe we will be better off, when we learn to ask the right questions first.