What's On My Reading List

I don’t always have it together. Some days I go hard and can accomplish everything on my to-do list, other days I just binge watch my favorite shows on TV. One night while watching the Season 3 premiere episode of Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, the scene with Phoebe and the goddess ceremony was giving me life.

I identify with Phoebe, you know that person who wants all of her friends to find their happy place and live their lives intentionally, not leaving anything up to chance. It wasn’t resonating with them at all. Her friends spent so many decades just letting life happen, it became their norm, something they didn’t understand they could change. I have always set intentions for my life, which is why bringing in the new year is always my favorite time.

2017 was no different. I started it off with new habits and a different approach to my work and life. My inability to move forward in many areas in 2016, was a direct result of me failing to invest in myself and leveling up. I needed to get back on track with my daily habits, so, I sought quieter surroundings to work and plan and catch up on sleep from the beginning of January because I had something huge planned. A motivational phrase kept coming to mind in the midst of my planning. It said:

Be unapologetically savage in the pursuit of what you want.

No better mindset to start off the new year, right? So far I am smashing these 2017 goals, and feeling pretty good about the balance I've created between expanding my business, doing research, sleeping and of course reading. The latter is essential to my overall growth and I fit time in my day for it, whether I am riding the train or grabbing a quick bite. Getting a few pages in makes a huge difference to me.

This year I started with a practical reading list based on what I want to achieve. Here's just six of them you can use to build your year of savage pursuits:

Give Your Life a Success Makeover by Wes Beavis

This book is about upgrading your position in the world. Anybody tired of being in the pack? Does anybody want a jumpstart on reaping the rewards? I know I do. This is an awesome leadership and personal development manual. Beavis emphasizes early on that having a vision for a better life sets you on course for hard work, which many of us shun because we all want instant gratification. The gist of the makeover, according to Beavis, is reaching for more even when a certain level of success is achieved, by continuing to pursue the thrill of the challenge and improving yourself.

Mind Power Into The 21st Century by John Kehoe

Mind Power takes a realistic approach to harnessing the power of thought in that it presents a set of techniques that can be applied on a day-to-day basis. It includes anecdotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carol Burnett. Kehoe's style excludes heavy jargon, is an easy read and chapters make suggestions while also offering exercises and tips that are not at all overwhelming. His overall goal was getting readers to be involved in the creative process of making their goals happen. He also includes other suggested readings.

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

In Start with Why, Sinek presents the idea that great leaders inspire others by putting the Why (the purpose) before the How (the process), or the What (the product). Sinek’s revolutionary philosophies on leadership can easily be used in any professional and personal situation that calls for inspiration and influence. He presents key insights, applications, and meaningful quotes. Essentially everything you do when building an organization, people or yourself has to connect to your Why. You have the option of reading his book or listening to his TEDTalk.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

McKeown offers both a manifesto and a manual on how to deliberately focus on the vital few priorities that really count and dispense with the rest; a how-to on becoming an Essentialist. He refers to the majority of us as over-busy and overcommitted, continuously saying yes to more commitments and deadlines than we can handle, without ever asking if this is what we truly want to do or questioning how important it is? In his step by step approach to a better life, he provides a methodology that includes exploring and evaluating; eliminating and executing, while creating a system of taking control of our lives.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

As it suggests and unlike the previous books, this is all about finances - insurance, paying off student loans. It advocates a specific 7-step process as a means to becoming financially secure. He promotes budgeting and paying off ALL debts. Overall, there is as much motivation in here that you'd find in other self-help books. Ramsey believes that personal finance and most other things in life is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge.

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney

This is a profoundly moving project that Bonney calls “visibility for powerful women in business.” In the Company of Women is a compendium of interviews with over 100 female entrepreneurs, from designers to activists, accompanied by stunning portraits of the women in their individual home or workspaces. These are creative women of all ages, colors, and sexualities that you can draw inspiration from.

If you are tired of being in the pack and want a jumpstart or a restart in your life, join me 

Mell Payn