Does anyone else have more books than bookshelves?
With the number of books I read in a year, I should be reading more of them on Kindle or borrowing them from the library.
But what about those books I know will change my life or my business in such a way that I’ll return to them again and again? Don’t they deserve a place of honor—and designated spotlight—right here in my home?
Let’s talk all about the four books that helped improve my mindset game this year—a necessity for any entrepreneur—to help me gain peace, creativity, and time.
Oh…this book. The kind of book that you want to savor with a cup of tea.
Think Like a Monk is saturated with slow wisdom, the kind you need to turn over in your brain for an hour or two.
Case in point:
“Our identity is wrapped up in what others think of us—or, more accurately, what we think others think of us. We try to live up to what we think others think of us, even at the expense of our values.”
I mean, how meta can you get? 🤯
In addition to offering pearls of wisdom about identity, Jay (yep, we’re on a first-name basis—obviously) helps reframe negativity, fear, and comparison. He nudges you toward kindness and self-compassion without ever seeming pushy or patronizing. On the contrary, the tone is warm and calm, tempering the cerebral nature of the book and making it ultra-readable.
Hands down, this was one of the best books I read in 2022—and I’ll be picking it up again this year for sure.
Big Magic came into my life right when I needed it most. I’d been teaching for over a decade—and while teaching definitely requires a healthy dose of creativity in its own way—I’d long since shoved aside my identity as a “creative.”
But I had an inkling that I wanted to quit my day job and become a writer. And reading Big Magic fanned that little flame of possibility into a great big ol’ conflagration.
Liz (I might be on a first-name basis with Jay, but I’m on a nickname basis with Elizabeth) weaves actionable tips and recommendations with stories from her own life.
The book’s all about how to find the courage to trust yourself to explore an idea. In Liz’s world, everyone is creative—and she’ll help you recognize why and how.
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
The complete title of this book is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, and please note that I will not be calling Oliver by Ollie. This is the kind of book—and writer—that demands my most serious self.
Four Thousand Weeks teeters on the edge between philosophy and self-betterment. The words here are as long as the sentences, but the writing flows smoothly and boasts a satisfying vibe.
At its core, the book is a beautiful rejection of hustle culture—we’ll never have enough time to do all we want to do, so we might as well stop trying to pack everything in—and encourages us to find more meaning in life.
Oliver got my wheels a-turnin’ with quotes like:
“The problem with trying to make time for everything that feels important—or just for enough of what feels important—is that you definitely never will. The reason isn’t that you haven’t yet discovered the right time management tricks or supplied sufficient effort, or that you need to start getting up earlier, or that you’re generally useless. It’s that the underlying assumption is unwarranted: there’s no reason to believe you’ll ever feel ‘on top of things,’ or make time for everything that matters, simply by getting more done.”
As someone who closes out each day by tallying all of the things I should’ve gotten done but didn’t, this book presented an important reframe and an opportunity for self-reflection.
If Jay, Liz, and Oliver had time in their schedule on Friday, I’d invite them out to dinner with me. We’d walk into my current favorite place—with clean, cozy vibes and live piano music—and we’d chat for hours about all things peace, creativity, and time.
Since that’s unlikely, I’ll take the next best thing—frequent revisits of their books. 😉
Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
©2023 Kelly Fiorini LLC | All rights reserved.
Photos: Folchi Creative