Ever since I was around 12-13 years old and my mum brought home the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens, I’ve been varying degrees of obsessed with self development and books which encourage it – who doesn’t want to be a super happy kick ass efficiency ninja with an awesome bucket list?
While I’ve taken bits and pieces from some of these books (and others are still sitting on my shelf or in my Kindle as a symbol of my good intentions – I’m looking at you, grown up, original 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People) every now and then you stumble on one that is just one lightbulb moment after another.
Below are 5 of my favourite books, ever. Some are specifically self development books, others just came along at the right time. They’ve changed my life in one way or another, and have all played a big part in the loose philosophy that kinda guides this blog.
Read on and reach your efficient, bucket list ninja best, and let me know about your favourites!
- 101 Things to Do Before You Die
I love lists. I think they often lull me into a false sense of productivity, but other times they give me something to work towards – I was never able to push myself to run 5km until I wrote a list of 3km, 4km, 5km and stuck it on my wall. I stumbled across 101 Things To Do Before You Die in the wonderful old (and now gone) Noah’s Arc Book Store in Lismore and fell in love, and my best friend Gwen bought it for my 16th birthday not long after. Some people might say it’s a bit silly to have your bucket list pre-written by a random author, but it has worked for me and helped me chase down new experiences ever since. I’m not sure if I ever would have pushed through my fear of scuba diving if it wasn’t to complete that page in the book. This year I’ve incorporated one page of it into my 2016 bucket list (also, next stop – hot air balloon).
- If You Have to Cry, Go Outside – Kelly Cutrone
I first read this book when I was a PR queen wannabe in my first year of uni – it’s up there with #GIRLBOSS on every PR student reading list – but I still love it. The book’s slogan is “and other things your mother never told you” – my mum actually did tell me to always go outside if you need to cry, but I love Kelly’s no bullshit writing and views on being yourself, believing that things will always get better, and being spiritual without being religious.
- The Universe Doesn’t Give A Flying Fuck About You – Johnny Truant
If you’ve been following me a while you’ll probably already know that I adore this book. It’s available as a free PDF, takes 10 minutes to read, and if it doesn’t light a fire under your ass I don’t know what will.
- The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin
This blog was originally a uni assignment, doomed to be abandoned after graduation, but Gretchen’s book was the catalyst that turned Full of Living into what it is. So much of The Happiness Project struck a chord with me – even if there’s nothing “wrong” in your life, why shouldn’t you still be trying to be even happier? I love Gretchen’s views on health, making memories, filling your years with as much life as possible, and the fact that what’s fun or a rewarding experience for one person isn’t necessarily fun for you.
- The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This one is a little different to the rest, but it holds a very special place in my heart. My mum bought me The Little Prince after my music teacher, Charlie, passed away from cancer. The book is one lesson after another about friendship, love, loss, knowing good is out there and not losing your inner child. I hope to have the line “on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur” (loosely translated: one sees clearly only with the heart) tattooed by the end of the year – I’ll have a full explanation of specifically why that line when it happens!
Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear what you think! Leave your thoughts (or the titles of any books that changed your life) in the comments!
Related: Check Out My 2016 Reading List
Disclaimer: The links for all of those books (with the exception of The Universe Doesn’t Give A Flying Fuck about you because it’s everyone’s favourite thing – free) are affiliate links – this means if you happen to follow them and purchase the book for yourself from Amazon, I’ll receive a very small commission which will find it’s way to my Kindle fund. I wasn’t asked to post these links – I truly fking love them and believe you will too.