Do you want to know what is one of the biggest things I love about summer and what I miss about the two years I took off from school? I miss having time to read for leisure instead of for work or school. When I was a child, I loved reading! I stopped reading for fun once I started college and started again once I graduated. However, once I started law school, I stopped again. It’s just a cycle at this point.
Tomorrow is National Book Lover’s Day and while I don’t prioritize reading all the time, I definitely still consider myself a book lover. I have a bookshelf full of books and I’ve read most of them (still working on it). I think reading (or listening, shoutout to audiobooks) books enables us to expand our perspectives and grow as people. This is so important to me and who I strive to be as a person. Books are essential for personal development.
When I took my two years off before law school, I was definitely obsessed with the self-help/personal development genre. Even now I would say that I am always working on my own personal development and trying to help others do the same. In light of this goal, I have decided to compose a list of some of my favorites in the self-help and personal development genre.
Here are my favorites:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
I revisit this book at least once a year, sometimes more than that depending on the type of year I’m having. When I used to work at a Recreation Center, I printed out the Four Agreements and posted it in the area where all the staff would keep their stuff. It helped me keep them in mind when I had to deal with particularly mean community members or even when I was frustrated with a co-worker. I also thought it might be useful to others. This book is one of my favorites because Don Miguel Ruiz provides such wonderful insight on just living a better life. I know that when I started applying to the Four Agreements to my life (still a work in progress because I’m human after all) my life had way less inner turmoil and bullshit with other people. It’s truly a great book that I recommend to anyone who will ask.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
I really enjoyed reading this book. I think Sincero does a good job of making herself appealing to younger aged millennials like me by writing about self-help in a very relatable and basic language. I found her book hilarious because she has a knack for cussing while delivering her points (anyone who knows me knows that’s my MO as well). I found this book a little bit more exciting than other books of its genre. Sincero is very good at narrating her life experiences and teaching concepts from them. While there were some parts of it that I didn’t necessarily agree with, (I do not like the way some modern self-help books discuss things like depression) the overall concepts of the book were extremely helpful for me during my post-grad journey and even when I revisited it later. I realized that certain parts stick out to me depending on what is happening in my life at the time. This is definitely a book to pick up if you want to get into self-help books and have a wild sense of humor!
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
Okay so this book is by Shonda Rhimes aka the mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. I really enjoyed this book because it encouraged me to take more chances in my own life and not hold myself back once I read it. Rhimes wrote this book because her daughter told her “you never say yes to anything” and that was a wake-up call for her. Truth be told I haven’t read this book since 2018 and I probably could stand to read it again. Due to her daughter’s assertion, Rhimes took on a year of saying Yes to everything, even the things that terrified her. The book details her life during that period and gives us an up close & personal view of how that new resolution played out. Now that I’m writing this, I’ve decided I’m going to re-read it! I will give a more detailed post on it in the future. Hold me to it!
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay, PhD
The thing I enjoyed about this book was how much applicable advice it has for twentysomethings going through the post-grad struggle. From finding a job, to relationships and marriage, and even family planning, this book touches on topics that many of us like to put off as some abstract thing in the distant future when really…the future will be here before we even have time to blink. I also like this book because for once, there is a book talking to twentysomethings instead of about us. I wrote a more detailed review of this book here if you’d like to know some of my favorite quotes and parts of the book.
Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
This book is one of the shorter personal development books I’ve read but make no mistake, it teaches you a lot in less than 200 pages. What I really enjoyed about Tracy’s book is that it does not have any fluff and gets straight the point. Often times in self-development books they take many many words to say something that could be effectively understood in less words. Tracy does this and that’s why I decided I must re-read this book again just because it was so good at teaching me something. I honestly couldn’t put the book down and finished it in only 2 days. It’s based on careers and businesses but you definitely can take the concepts and apply them to any area in life. If you need help to leave procrastinating as a thing in the past, check this book out!
Have you read any of these books? Do you have another book I didn’t mention that helped you get your life together? Leave a recommendation in the comments below!