Over the last few years, I have become more intentional about reading. I’m part of a book club and I also started seriously working on my writing so reading more was a must. In 2017, I had my moment of clarity where I realised I needed to become a more active player in my life story. I was leaving too many things to chance, ever playing the victim in my mind. It’s no wonder I felt like my life was lacking purpose.
I started researching personal development and motivational books to help me through the process. I also started reading more autobiographies/memoirs as I’ve always been intrigued by people’s life stories.
These are 5 of the books which I found really inspiring and brought considerable clarity about going after your life purpose.
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1. The Power of Purpose: How to Create the Life You Always Wanted by Les Brown (Audiobook)
You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
This audiobook is a compilation of the motivational speeches delivered by Les Brown.
It jump-started my level of self-awareness and made me really take account of how much negative self-talk was affecting me. I was going through a period of complete lack of motivation about different aspects of my life; I also felt swept away by waves of indecision about how to harness my gifts and pursue my life purpose.
I began to listen to motivational videos daily because I was feeling like I was wearing shoulder pads made of sandbags.
And that’s when I learned about Les Brown. After listening to countless videos on youtube, I decided to purchase the audiobook. Best. Decision. Ever.
Listening to his story, I realised I was sitting waiting for life to happen instead of taking it by the reins and going out and making it happen. I was giving fear a head seat at my table and letting it dictate how I lived my life.
I can guarantee you that there’s no way you can listen to this book and not be driven to pursue something better for your life.
2. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
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Introverts need to trust their gut and share their ideas as powerfully as they can. This does not mean aping extroverts; ideas can be shared quietly, they can be communicated in writing, they can be packaged into highly produced lectures, they can be advanced by allies. The trick for introverts is to honor their own styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.”
I’ll start by saying that even if you identify as an extrovert, you’ll learn a lot from this book.
I always knew I was an introvert. I’ve read about it over the years but not with any depth. As part of my journey to really become the best version of myself possible, I started researching introversion and really digging into the qualities generally associated with it.
I came across this book and immediately felt understood. I didn’t realise before that introverts were sensitive to all forms of stimuli that we process through our 5 senses. There were so many times in this book where I found myself shaking my head saying Yup, that’s me!
I have to admit though that I skipped back and forth since there is a lot of research being presented.
Overall, it helped me to understand my tendencies more and accept that there is actually nothing wrong with me.
3. Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa Terkeurst
Inspiration and information without personal application will never amount to transformation.”
There is an abundant need in this world for your exact brand of beautiful.”
This book immediately struck a chord. You know when something’s been lingering in your spirit and on your mind and you just can’t quite put a finger on it?
I realised once I started reading it that if I was honest with myself, I was a victim of my own neglect. I had carried for so long this sense of rejection, which understandably came from certain experiences in my life – but I didn’t have to remain the victim of those circumstances.
I could choose to rise above it.
However, every time something didn’t work out the way I thought it would, or a relationship didn’t materialise when I was certain one might have blossomed, it reopened afresh those feelings of loneliness, unworthiness and rejection.
It transported me as far back as the playground in my primary school where, while playing one evening I was frankly told by the boy I had a huge crush on that he didn’t like me. I had literally crumpled into a heap at the words. And I think that little, hurt girl remained crumpled on the inside of me for a long time.
Ok…back to why I liked the book! 🙂
I was struck by her open and humorous way of bringing across truths about tackling the seeds of rejection, loneliness and hurt.
It was definitely the reminder I needed to shrug off the cloak of being a victim that I had been wearing throughout my life.
A lot of this may come as a surprise to people who know me personally as I tend to be fairly positive in my interactions. But there was definitely a battle raging in my mind which constantly fed my feelings of unworthiness.
It was also a powerful reminder of how much God loves us and wants the best for us. And how much He wants us to walk in mental and emotional freedom so we can be our best selves.
And living with that sense of victory rather than being a victim brings with it an understanding that you have what it takes to achieve your dreams.
4. The Purpose Room: A Meeting Place Where You Discover, Birth and Accomplish Your God-Given Purpose by Heather Lindsey
God prepares us over time for what he has called us to do”
God develops us in seasons”
This book reminded me that once you’re aligned with God’s purpose for your life, every gift, opportunity, place of pain and frustration are destined to thrust you further into your destiny and calling.
It hardly ever makes sense at the moment but is so worth it in the end.
Heather talks about her feelings of frustration as the vision of herself in her head didn’t match her reality. Very often, we can get distracted, bogged down and even depressed by our current situations.
And understandably so.
However, the book encourages us to move past those moments through trusting in God’s timing and the plan He has for our lives.
Shoedog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight (Audiobook)
So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy… just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”
This book popped up as a recommendation on audible and I didn’t regret getting it.
The one thing that stood out was that YOU have to believe in your dream and decide that you’re going to chase it no matter what. Many times, we tell our dreams to the wrong person and then let it die in our hearts because they threw a bucket of ice-cold “realism” all over it. Don’t let that be you!
On the other hand, the memoir was also a reminder that no success or life purpose is ever achieved alone. Many people played an integral role in the birthing stages of the company. Their ideas are reflected in what we see in and know about Nike today.
Although the book got slow at times, I enjoyed learning about his journey, struggles, growth and success as an entrepreneur. The end was a real tear-jerker!
Finally, it reminded me to enjoy the process – every step that aligns with your purpose and every lesson wrapped in failure.
Cherish it for what it is.
So, tell me – have you read any of the above? What are you reading now? I’d love to hear about your must-read books.