Laws of Spirit by Dan Millman
There’s no better way to say it. This book is practical as fuck.
It is as viable as the title is ethereal. Picture a man lost in the woods. He meets an old scraggly woman who turns out to be pretty darn smart. The pretty darn smart-scraggly lady uses nature to illustrate how life be trippin but not without 12 core principals, that if practiced, will ensure you don’t lose your balance.
Favorite Quote: “Process transforms any journey into a series of small steps, taken one by one, to reach any goal.
What it Showed Me: Life can’t be conquered in a day but if I buy myself a dry erase board and stick it in my bathroom I can split my goals up into weeks, days and hours thus “creating a process that yields many small successes” and a lotta dry-ass, dry-erase markers.
Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
This book is basically just one big highlighter at this point so don’t ask to borrow it. There is not one useless word within its 375 pages. And even though it was written in the 1940’s Napoleon Hill had the kind of intel that’ll make you question the government. Instead. I settle for questioning my Grandma. If she woulda read this we coulda been rich a long time ago. But then I remember she was poor and black and maybe didn’t have access so I’m like ok. But still, why aren’t these skills of positive belief being taught in schools? My name is Destiny for Pete’s sakes. Why am I just now realizing that I am the master of it?
Favorite Quote: “Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.”
What it Showed Me: That I needed to get clear on what it is I wanted to accomplish and cultivate a path towards it with “burning desire”. That it wasn’t enough to simply have a goal in mind. I had to be specific and put some oomph behind it as if it were already done. Hill also brought forth the idea of a Mastermind Group – a group with useful knowledge, creating a personal encyclopedia from which to draw information and inspiration. Just like a millennial – my Mastermind Group lives on Instagram. (Heyyy @jasfly and nem’).
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
I remember where I was when I first started this book. And that right there is usually a pretty clear indicator that, for me, there was life before 4 Hour Workweek and life after 4 Hour Workweek. I’d just been fired from my corporate cube job so it was right on time. One minute I was jogging in my neighborhood listening to Tim Ferris in my headphones, trying to keep my spirits up about what was next. The next minute I’m sitting at my desk feverishly designing my life as if a newly minted architect for my soul, charged with taking my inner building higher and higher.
Favorite Quote: “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.”
What it Showed Me: That I could design my life; my entire future even, based on my interests and strengths and I don’t have to work myself to death in the process. Even better. If I got bored, I could switch it up. It’s all about what excites you. While I’ve yet to believe that any amount of work can be completed within the hand fulla hours suggested in the book title, I am a big proponent of 4 hour work days. This still allows me to put forth Ferris’ philosophy by making steady money at a parttime job and devoting the remaining time to creative projects that I believe will soon turn into viable work.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
I sent a friend a screenshot of a page from The Artists Way and their response was, “What is that? The bible?!”. I laughed. And if I didn’t grow up a black Baptist believing in blasphemy, then I’dda said, “Why yes. Yes, it is”. What they meant to say was, “Wow. That excerpt is speaking to the very depths of me. What an amazing ideology! I never looked at it like that”, which is what I said all up and through Julia Cameron’s, The Artists Way. Never has a book known me so well. Never has a piece of text made me feel more at home as an artist. Sectioned over a course of 12 weeks, this doctrine/workbook aims to reconstruct the artist and create a new path — in the direction of an artist.
Favorite Quote: “But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano/ act/paint / write a decent play?” Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don’t.”
What it Showed Me: That “serious art is born from serious play”. Because of The Artists Way, I now know that if I want to create anything worth buyin then I must create a life worth livin’. I no longer feel bad when I have breakfast alone; just me, my laptop, a coffee and a croissant. I no longer guilt trip when I’d rather color than clean. I just learn to feel. Feel the moment which according to Cameron is where creativity occurs. She calls these “artists dates”. But perhaps the biggest contribution? The one that is now habitual as a result of this book? Morning pages. I’ve just decided that this has become such an integral part of my life, it deserves its own blog post. But in the meantime, just know that at 6am Monday thru Friday, I grab a pen and immediately start dumping my mind onto paper for 15-30 minutes. Given the early hour, “it’s not art or even writing for that manner” but a “longhand, stream of consciousness” that has somehow provided clarity, confidence, and discipline.
You are a Bad Ass Series by Jen Sincero
Yo! If I wrote a self-help, had an Italian flair and a thing for marketing simple, yet magnetic book covers you couldn’t TELL me I wasn’t Jen Sincero. Her wit is unfuckwitable, her understanding of being broke unmatched and the sprinkle of explicit language throughout this badass series only sweetens the deal. Sincero spikes inflammatory reality into her lessons which span from You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & You are a Badass at Making Money: How to Train Your Brain and Master the Mindset of Wealth. Both short reads that will make you watch your mouth, watch your pockets wanna befriend this sassy Suze Orman.
Favorite Quote: “Worrying is praying for stuff you don’t want.”
What it Showed Me: That there is no right or wrong way to be. There is just being. And it’d benefit you to “be’ nice to yourself for a change because the difference between negative self-talk and positive self-talk is what stands in between you and your bad ass self. “There’s nothing as unstoppable as a freight train full of fuck-yeah.”
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
This is one of the first books I ever purchased on Audible and the beginning of a slew of self-helps to come. This one still stands out. It was different. The author spoke in a solemnly powerful tone, which is why I suggest the audible version. She is gentle and not preachy. Rightfully so, she’d been through a lot of heartbreak — losing people close to her back to back. A psychotherapist herself, Morin lays out a real-life approach to managing your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is not forceful. It ain’t preachy. It is anecdotal and I want to read this book again just talking about it.
Favorite Quotes: “When you learn to let go of the details you can’t control, the amount of time and energy you’ll be able to devote to the things you can control will give you the ability to accomplish incredible feats.”
What it Showed Me: No lie. I think about this book most often in traffic, I see it’s bright red cover when I’m about to yell at someone or take pity on myself. It’s shown me that just like physical strength requires exercise, so too does mental strength. Morin has a reassuring tone and she leaves little encouraging affirmations like this along the way. “Positive change leads to increased motivation and increased motivation leads to more positive change”
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I call her E.Gizzle, The Liz Gibbs, E Dot Double Z. But you probably know her as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. However acquainted, it’s inevitable that she’ll put a spell on you in Big Magic. Here, Gilbert offers personal accounts of her writer wizardry and ways to conjure up creativity in your own creative life. Big Magic is a book for people that believe in the hidden power of inspiration and are willing to travel supernaturally beyond fear to get there.
Favorite Quote: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
What It Showed Me: If you wanna live a creative life, loosen up. Inspiration is enigmatic, don’t try to understand it, embrace it. Or as E-(Liz) 40 says, “to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
I feel like I’ve entered some prestigious, spiritual book club now that I’ve completed this one. I used to think The Alchemist was a white rapper, producer, DJ-guy from California then I came to know it as a book. But not just any book, but the gatekeeper to all other spiritual self-help books. This book got me high. When I finished, I wanted more. It’s short to read, simple to digest and told in a parable-type way that will make you wonder why Paul Coelho wasn’t assigned to write The New Testament. Read like a narrative, we follow a man who is following his dreams; dreams of an actual fortune buried deep in the desert. We come to find that the setbacks, decisions, and experiences he encounters on the way to this buried treasure are very similar to the ones we face in our own lives.
Favorite Quote: “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
What It Showed Me: From love, to risk to the language in which the universe communicates. The Alchemist is basically a map of your life but rather than offering definite coordinates and routes, it simply says, follow your heart. “Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”