When we’re going through tough moments in our lives, it can be helpful to seek guidance, empathy, and inspiration. Some people turn to spiritual advisors, to friends, mentors, and sponsors. All of those figures have been helpful for me at one time or another throughout my journey to enduring success. But it’s also through books that I’ve often found pointed insights into growth, love, and communication. I’ve put together a list of 7 books that support my enduring success to this day. Take a look, and I’d love to hear your thoughts as you read through them! What other books inspire you? Find me on Instagram and comment below, I can’t wait to hear from you!
1. A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
I really resonated with A Return to Love because it echoed and supported my own journey to finding strength in love. For so long, I didn’t have any understanding of love. As a little girl my ability to love and be loved was destroyed by the person that I was supposed to love most. But throughout my 25-year journey, my enduring success has come to be defined by choosing love. In this book, Marianne Wiliamson shows the reader how by practicing love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children. An incredibly powerful message.
2. The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
I wrote about this book in a previous blog in which I discussed the difficulties of parenting after trauma. Parenting after a childhood of trauma isn’t easy, I wrote. Do you tell your children? If so, what and when? And if you decide not to tell them, how do you explain certain behaviors or reactions? I’ve been a parent for eleven years now, and though I’m always learning and growing alongside my children, I also have found that it’s helpful to have a few concrete strategies in your back pocket, including resources!
Reading The One and Only Bob with my kids has helped us talk about trauma through the context of a fictional character, Bob the dog. As it turns out, the character’s story mirrors my own in some important ways. It’s through sharing this story together that we have been able to start entering into tough conversations.
3. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
Gifted to me by my dear friend, this book gives us a peek into the conversations had between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu around joy and the obstacles that we all face in achieving moments of joy. In response, they offer “Eight Pillars of Joy” to help those seeking enduring joy to find it. The book also includes each of their spiritual practices that anchor their own emotional and spiritual lives. These two great men and great thinkers have decades of insight and practice to share with us and the world. This is a great text to return to again and again when you’re looking for a way to be intentional and actionable about your journey to joy and your own enduring success.
4. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
I read this book twice and loved it, even more, the second time. It is a beautiful novel about creating enduring success no matter your circumstance.
The story begins when Count Rostov (the main character) has been forced into house arrest, in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow, by a Russian Bolshevik Tribunal. As the world changes before his eyes, he’s stuck indoors, powerless and apart from society. The novel explores his interiority as he strives to understand what it means to be purposeful in life.
I delighted in Count Rostov’s journey to enduring success as he chose, again and again, to embrace the unexpected love that presented itself to him (and within him) even in the tiniest places.
5. Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen, Bruce Patton
Having difficult conversations at work, at home, and with your spouse is never an easy task. In my circumstances, I had to learn how to communicate with grace, empathy, and to listen with love. Written as part of the Harvard Negotiation Project, this book acts as a guide to help you approach difficult conversations with the goal of being productive and understood. I’ve found it’s been a great resource for my husband and I, as well as in my professional business life.
6. Atomic Habits by James Clear
Earlier in my life I didn’t believe I could ever trust myself and I never believed any one could ever trust me. But after incredible hardship and a year after I pulled the final needle out of my vein, I had become trustworthy. As I recovered from my drug addiction,I learned if you do the little things great, great things happen.
The book Atomic Habits demonstrates how making good, small decisions each day can transform who you are. James Clear exclaims that habits aren’t about getting something or losing something; habits are about becoming someone. I have so many highlighted passages and underlined statements throughout this step-by-step book. It’s one I keep coming back to time and time again!
7. The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking risks, messing up, and becoming your amazingly, imperfect, totally powerful self by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
As my daughter enters her tween and (gulp!) teen years, it felt important to me to find a resource to help frame our conversations around courage, empathy, resilience, and failure. This backed-by-science book is both empowering and entertaining. The authors cheer on our girls as they grow into bold, brave, and fearless versions of themselves. Lilly and I love reading this together, and I love watching her grow into an incredible young woman with some of the lessons from this book in tow.