4 Books to Read When You Need Motivation

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Things to read when you need a swift kick in the pants…

I’ve been called a pessimist many times in my life. I like to think of myself as a realist, but as others close to me have pointed out, I can get myself into a mess of unnecessary worry and stress. I tend to overthink, put an intense amount of pressure on myself to achieve my goals, and get lost in self-doubt. On one hand, these qualities make me a thoughtful and disciplined business person, but on the other, they’ll also likely cause a stomach ulcer if I don’t cut it out.

Reassuring phrases such as “it’ll get better in time” or “don’t be so hard on yourself” historically have not done much for me. But that being said, a positive state of mind and a shift in perspective can really be all that’s needed sometimes. So, how does one achieve this can-do state of mind and escape the funk they have so cleverly designed for themselves to wallow in?

My solution: I read.

Now, I like to read everything from biographies like Princess Diana’s by Andrew Morton to classics like Wuthering Heights, but in a funk, I resort to books that give me the swift kick in the pants that I need to change my perspective.

These are the books that got me out of the dreaded funk:

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

You Are a BadassWhat better way to kick of this list than with a title like this?! I read this book in January of 2019 when I was in the funkiest of funks. In the midst of my first slow season after recently having taking my photography business to full-time status, self-doubt was at an all time high. A good friend lent me this book, and I figured what better time to read it than now?

The author, Jen Sincero, is funny, blunt, practical and most importantly real. She speaks to her own experiences of struggling to find a path of happiness and financial success and the risks she took along the way. From being entirely broke to running several successful businesses and now making multi-millions, this is the type of success story you need to hear.

 

You Are a Badass at Making Money

You Are a Badass at Making MoneyWhen funk number two inevitably rolls around a few months later, Jen Sincero has another book just for you. As a follow-up to the original, You Are a Badass at Making Money reiterates all the things you need to hear from book number one but with the focus on money.

Jen helps you identify your negative thoughts around money and provides you with steps to dispel these myths and retrain your brain to bring you the most success in your financial life. She also incorporates real-life success stories throughout the book which give you example after example of why there’s no reason you can’t do it too.

If you want to just go ahead and set yourself up with both books, there’s a package deal here.

Jen also released another book in 2018 which I haven’t read yet but assume is going to be just as amazing, so maybe go get ya self this one too: You Are a Badass Everyday

 

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Maybe You Should Talk to SomeoneA bit less business/goal related, but a perfect book to add to the motivation mix we’ve got going on here.

In Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb invites the reader into the lives of her therapy patients as well as her own life as she navigates her personal struggles with her therapist. The characters are relatable and raw, the lessons shared are important, and you’ll feel both heard and understood as you read along.

Lori will get you to truly examine your emotions and rethink the way you view yourself and those around you. This book reminded me that we are all struggling to navigate our emotions, and that by looking inward to better understand ourselves, we can be more adaptable for what life throws at us.

My takeaway: take things a little less personally and be less reactive to criticism and circumstances beyond your control, be more kind to yourself and others.

 

The 4-Hour Workweek

The 4-Hour WorkweekTim Ferriss had me hooked within the first few pages of reading this book. His writing style is much like Jen Sincero’s – hilarious, blunt, matter-of-fact, and captivating. Tim’s method of weighing the worst possible outcomes on a scale of 1-10 in likelihood/damages versus best possible outcomes really gave me perspective on my fears.

This book encourages the reader to ask themselves the hard questions, provides them ways to take action and improve their life, and incorporates examples of others who have done the same and have had great successes.

My takeaway: don’t settle, always ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen, define your fears and use them to your advantage.

 

 

 

What do these books have in common? Lessons on common sense. Or maybe I should say “uncommon sense”, as these are lessons that are easily forgotten in today’s workaholic, fast-paced, unrealistic-expectations-on-social-media, consumer-based society.

These books remind you about what’s possible, help you define your fears and prove them likely over-exaggerated, and reiterate the things you know to be true but allow self-doubt to get in the way of seeing clearly.

If these books can counteract the “pessimist” in me, I have a good faith that they will help you too.

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