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Three Inspiring Books That Have Turbocharged My 2016

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Earlier this year, I'd mentioned how towards the end of 2015 I was reading a couple of books that were really making an impact on my mindset going into the new year. We're about five weeks into 2016, and I wanted to share how those two books- plus one more- are still helping me meet my resolutions a month out.


First up is the fashion blogosphere's favorite inspirational book, #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso. I love her irreverent prose and the illustrations in this book are pretty rad. As someone who didn't take the road more travelled (and THAT is a saga all unto itself), reading Amoruso's story helps me deal with the embarrassment and insecurity that comes from living life on a different path than the one I was taught to want. For me, reading her book reminds me that it's okay to be different but still want- and deserve- success. Reading about how hard she worked makes me want to work hard, too.


Next is Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. We all recognize her from the crazy popular Eat Pray Love (which I only just read last week, literally). Gilbert takes on all of the psychological barriers that can stand in the way of creativity: fear, lack of inspiration, unworthiness, giving up, and so on. For my fellow writers, this book especially will be helpful to you- because Gilbert is a writer as well, and she just gets it. If there is some kind of problem you are having with your creativity, there is a section in this book that will address it. This book is what I turn to when I find my courage flagging. There is also a great podcast that goes along with the book where Gilbert coaches various creatives through whatever it is that's holding them back; I like to listen to that while driving and it complements the book well.


Finally, there is mainstream minimalism's pop culture calling card The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and translated by Cathy Hirano. As an adult with ADHD, I have spent literal DECADES trying to stay clean and organized. I'm still not as clean or organized as I could be, but ever since I cleaned out my apartment after reading this book, I've found it to be much easier to stay organized. What I liked about this book was how it recommended people go about getting rid of things. One of the ways my synesthesia manifests itself is that I tend to believe that objects have feelings- which obviously makes it hard to get rid of anything. There was a Shinto aspect to the discarding where Kondo recommended people thank the objects that they were getting rid of and which really helped me. 

I do have to butt in here and say that the biggest problem I had with the book was the recommendation to throw everything away. I don't know if maybe the municipal waste system in Japan is different, but I simply couldn't condone the idea of sending useful items to a landfill. Consequently, instead of throwing away items, I separated them into "sell" or "donate"; this satisfied my conscience. Ultimately, I won't say that this book has completely cured me of my cluttering tendencies, but it has helped me stay organized for much, much longer than I have before. And because I'm organized, it's easier for me to try and work on my goals.


I hope that you read at least one of these books and find them useful to you. Whenever I need encouragement, a kick in the pants, or a bout of decluttering and organizing, these are what I turn to.

What about you guys? Have you read any books lately that have really helped you? Please tell me because I'd love to read them!

2 comments:

  1. All of these sound fantastic, but I'm especially interested in #girlboss - well, aren't we all? I'm all about khaled hosseini. His novels may be fiction but there's something about pre-war Afghanistan that is so captivating for me and gets my mind whirling (if you know what I mean?! ahaha)

    luce | http://luceellen.co.uk xxx

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    1. Definitely give #Girlboss a read! I actually got distracted from writing this post because I sat down to read it again... it goes by quickly.

      I've been meaning to read his books! I have A Thousand Splendid Suns but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Should I start with that or The Kite Runner?

      P. S. I totally get what you mean about the mind whirling ;)

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