MAIN STREET MATTERS WITH SARAH CLAVIN
While a fiction book takes you on a journey to places and times you may never have otherwise traveled, a non-fiction book takes your psyche on a transformative passage of similar sorts. Non-fiction books can range from Biographies to Cooking for Dummies, and everything in between. Today, I am focusing on the self-help section, mostly geared towards leadership development type of books.
Self-development books can be a really tricky kind of variety to read. One must almost always read each book with a proverbial grain of salt so as not to be completely confused and overwhelmed by somewhat conflicting, overtly repetitive, and often simply rephrased recommendations. So while I believe every book provides value of some sort, the books listed below require an open mind and a willing spirit. The suggestions and what I like to call “tool kits” provided by self-development books are of no value without the follow through required to implement the tools for improvement.
Buckle up your tool belt readers and lets dive into some great self-development reading options.
1. Atomic Habits by James Clear (5*)
A very popular book lately for the entrepreneur or person seeking a drastic change through simplistic explicit steps. While none of the information provided is brand new, Clear provides a solid structure and framework for habit building (which drives both achievement and fulfillment in life). A bit of a long read, but it takes the time to break down the history of habits, laws of behavior change, along with various tools and techniques for habit change and development. One of the more valuable topics in the book is the breakdown of goals vs habits and how both are codependent on the later to reach completion. Similar Reads: Habit Stack and Morning Makeover
2. Everybody Always by Bob Goff (3*)
An easy read with a very simple message, love everyone, always. Goff’s overtly Christian and optimistic tone creates contagious passion and energy throughout the book. A widely popular “happy” read with little practical advice (tools) and more emotionally pulling stories that warm your heart and make you want to do better without answering the question “how.” Perhaps that was the point Goff was trying to make, a simple command calls for a simple execution, don’t over complicate it, just do it. Similar Reads: Love Does and Love Lives Here
3. Chase the Lion by Mark Batterson (5*)
A quick read where New York Times best-selling author Mark Batterson delivers a bold message to everyone with a big dream. This phrase, or rather call to action, “ Chase the Lion,” is a wake-up call to stop living as if the purpose of life was to simply arrive safely at death. Our dreams should scare us. They should be so big that without God they would be impossible to achieve. Based on a book of the Bible, Batterson weaves the story of Benaiah into an inspiring and encouraging tale that leaves readers not wanting to put the book down. A great compliment to Atomic Habits, as it challenges readers to face their fears and not quit after failure. Similar Reads: Girl Wash Your Face, Start, and Option B
4. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron (3*)
Have you heard of that crazy popular personality test the Enneagram? This book dives deep into an explanation of the who/what/where/when and why’s behind the Enneagram. Written from a Christian point of view, it challenges the reader to live as the person God created them to be instead of what they think they will glean from others love and affection. Clear examples and easy to understand explanations for a complex subject. Practical, comprehensive and witty, this was a book I enjoyed diving deeper into. Similar Reads: Rising Strong and Strengths Finder 2.0
5. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (4*)
I am ashamed to admit it, but this was my first read by Brene Brown and I can confidently say it did not disappoint. Throughout the book Brown encourages readers to embrace vulnerability as our clearest path to courage and connection. As someone who struggles with likening my self esteem to what I do/accomplish, Brown’s theme of “never enough” was such a great reminder that I am NOT what I do. Brown asks the reader to be aware of the “perils of shame” and calls us to accept our “humanness and failures,” without being patronizing or too sentimental. Again, all self-development books should be read with a grain of salt, and though I didn’t agree with every single thing she wrote, Brown provides a compelling argument worth reading and considering. Similar Reads: Rising Strong and Emotional Agility.
Although I enjoy reading a variety of self-development books, it comes to a point where there has been so much input (ideas, tools, suggestions, lists, how-to’s) that my brain is on overload. So while you, dear reader, snag your next copy of Brendon Bruchards’, “High Performance Habits,” (another fantastic read), and take the next steps towards improving your life, I am heading to my local Barnes and Noble to grab a quick, easy, read with a story that can free my mind to another time and place while I process the next steps for my vulnerable, habit forming, people loving, courage infused life. Bon Voyage!