Coach Recommended Books for Personal & Spiritual Growth
READ. LEARN. HEAL. GROW.
Life Changing Books
The purpose of this list is to guide you to resources that will help you learn and grow – so you can find more peace, love, happiness & fulfillment in your own life.
In order to grow, improve our experience of life, overcome challenges, fulfill our dreams, transcend our old/automatic ways of thinking, feeling & behaving, we need to learn from those who’ve been there before and we need to apply what we’re learning to make it real for us.
We can only learn something new when we open our minds, and challenge our old beliefs and paradigms, and very often obliterate them. If you are ready to grow, or are already on your path of self actualization/transcendence, these books make for excellent teachers, guides and companions. They can be therapeutic (bibliotherapy), inspirational, educational and transformational if, and only if, you keep your mind open to considering new perspectives and most importantly, by applying what you learn in your life. They are not just to be read, they are to be reflected upon, and applied, so you can have new experiences to learn from, those will be your best teachers.
I tried to organize the books into categories but some of the books fit in nearly all the categories or at least more than one. They aren’t alphabetized or ranked in some priority order. Just shared as they came to me. Some of these books changed my life and I re-read them every once in a while and get something new out of them – which shows I have learned something along the way to open me up to that which I didn’t see before. Perhaps you’re ready for a second read of one of these?
For the sake of getting this in front of you sooner rather than later, the descriptions are taken from various online sources, cited below (but slightly edited). And, for the sake of adding the personal touch, I’ve added a note at the bottom of each description.
Coach’s Tip: Trust your gut and choose one that resonates with you, for whatever reason. If you’ve seen a book multiple times before or a word in the title stands out for you, follow that hunch.
Self Discovery / Growth / Mastery
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
The book draws from a variety of “spiritual traditions”, and has been described by one reviewer as “Buddhism mixed with mysticism and a few references to Jesus Christ, a sort of New Age re-working of Zen.” It uses these traditions to describe a “belief system based on living in the present moment”. Its core message is that people’s emotional problems are rooted in their identification with their minds. The author writes that an individual should be aware of their “present moment” instead of losing themselves in worry and anxiety about the past or future.
According to the book, only the present moment is important, and both an individual’s past and future is created by their thoughts. The author maintains that people’s insistence that they have control of their life is an illusion “that only brings pain”. The book also describes methods of relaxation and meditation to aid readers in anchoring themselves in the present. These suggestions include slowing down life by avoiding multi-tasking, spending time in nature, and letting go of worries about the future. Some of the concepts contained in The Power of Now, such as the human ego and its negative effects on happiness, are further elaborated in the author’s later books, in particular A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005).
Coach’s Note: Please see my review of this book.
Man’s Search For Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory – known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”) – holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.
Coach’s Note: The meaning we give to events, situations, behaviors, people, relationships, everything – influences our experience of life, moment to moment. We not only have the freedom to choose what meaning we give to things, we have the responsibility to use that freedom for our individual and collective benefit. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Stephen R. Covey
Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless. Covey argues against what he calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels “The Character Ethic”: aligning one’s values with so-called “universal and timeless” principles. Covey adamantly refuses to conflate principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people’s behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.
Coach’s Note: Though I resented the book when it was given to me and it sat on my shelf for years (till the pages turned color), when I finally read it, most of it resonated with me and was aligned with so much I had discovered. There’s a few lessons in there for me, and hopefully for you too, one of them being: that which we judge, resent or find offense in, has more to teach us about ourselves than we realize that can help us grow. Aside from that, several of the habits or ways of applying the principles, are incredibly valuable.
Taming Your Gremlin: A Surprisingly Simple Method for Getting Out of Your Own Way
A powerful method for gaining freedom from self-defeating behaviors and beliefs. Rick Carson, creator of the renowned Gremlin-Taming™ Method, has revised the book to include fresh interactive activities, real-life vignettes we can all identify with, and new loathsome gremlins ripe for taming. Carson blends his laid-back style, Taoist wisdom, the Zen Theory of Change, and sound psychology in an easy-to-understand, unique, and practical system for banishing the nemesis within. Among the things you will learn are:
- Techniques for getting a sliver of light between the natural you and the monster of your mind.
- The extraordinary power of simply noticing and playing with options.
- Six keys to maintaining emotional balance amid upheaval.
Coach’s Note: Please see my review.
A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose
In the book, Tolle asserts that everyone can find “the freedom and joy of life” if they live in the present moment. The book describes human dysfunction, selfishness, anxiety and the inhumanity we inflict on each other, as well as mankind’s failed attempts to find life meaning and purpose through material possessions and unhealthy relationships. It asserts that thoughts can have a powerful and beneficial “effect on the healing process”, and puts forth a concept of “evolutionary transformation of human consciousness” which prompts the reader to participate in “honest self-evaluation [that] can lead to positive change.” Early chapters of the book give simple explanations and provide a foundation for further concepts and ideas. In the book, Tolle defines the term ego as an “illusory sense of self” based on one’s memories and thoughts.
Coach’s Note: Some people couldn’t get through The Power of Now (not surprising to me) but did get through this one and learned so much. We need to understand our Ego and how it operates in our lives to find our freedom, which is always in the present moment. “Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.”
The Inner Game of Work
Fear of failure, resistance to change, procrastination, stagnation, doubt, and boredom, to name a few. Gallwey shows you how to tap into your natural potential for learning, performance, and enjoyment so that any job, no matter how long you’ve been doing it or how little you think there is to learn about it, can become an opportunity to sharpen skills, increase pleasure, and heighten awareness. And if your work environment has been turned on its ear by Internet technology, reorganization, and rapidly accelerating change, this book offers a way to steer a confident course while navigating your way toward personal and professional goals. It shows how having a great coach can make as much difference in the boardroom as on the basketball court– and Gallwey teaches you how to find that coach and, equally important, how to become one. The book challenges you to reexamine your fundamental motivations for going to work in the morning and your definitions of work once you’re there. It will ask you to reassess the way you make changes and teach you to look at work in a radically new way.
Coach’s Note: The Inner Game is all about what’s taking place inside our own minds – the constant dialogue – the instructions and evaluations or judgments we’re getting from a critical voice within and how to bypass that and connect with our natural self to let it be itself without interference. This is another way of describing the ego, the gremlins, the inner critic and how to get out of our own way so we can experience and then build on our natural strengths, which brings satisfaction, joy and a zest or motivation to keep moving forward.
Awaken The Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny
Anthony Robbins provides a step-by-step program teaching the fundamental lessons of self-mastery that will enable you to discover your true purpose, take control of your life, and harness the forces that shape your destiny. By applying the fundamental principles of self mastery, any person can take control of their life and harness the forces that shape destiny. Self mastery holds the key to the quality of life. In particular, the nurture and development of a powerful belief system is vitally important. When a far-reaching belief system is established and regularly strengthened, a person’s life must follow the direction and ultimate destiny of that belief system.
Coach’s Note: A masterful piece of work connecting many dots, explaining so much about how we operate in the world and how to get the best out of ourselves. I won’t credit him for developing all the theories and ideas but I will credit him for synthesizing so much valuable information and developing a system for helping others, in an empowering and compassionate way.
The Six Pillars of Self Esteem
Nathaniel Branden’s book is the culmination of a lifetime of clinical practice and study, already hailed in its hardcover edition as a classic and the most significant work on the topic. Immense in scope and vision and filled with insight into human motivation and behavior, The Six Pillars Of Self-Esteem is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness, and positive relationships. Branden introduces the six pillars-six action-based practices for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem-and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large.
Coach’s Note: From the get-go and throughout, we feel the intention and purpose in this man’s work. It spans decades. The way he defines and views self-esteem is similar to the way many people view personal growth, enlightenment, self mastery. The result of all our work is an increase in self esteem and natural confidence but isn’t necessarily the only goal. Here it is the center or hub of everything and he offers many ideas and methods to helps us build self esteem and remove the blocks from it. No matter what the vantage point, everything makes sense and supports our growth and well-being.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Don Miguel Ruiz
In the Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, the four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.
Coach’s Note: This short and powerful book is another way of explaining the cause of suffering and how we can break free to craft a new and more enlightened life. Everyone I’ve shared this book with has gotten a lot out of it. The Four Agreements themselves each have many facets and can help people shape their ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Presenting twelve breakthrough practices for bringing creativity into all human endeavors, The Art of Possibility is the dynamic product of an extraordinary partnership. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander’s experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander’s genius for designing innovative paradigms for personal and professional fulfillment. The authors’ harmoniously interwoven perspectives provide a deep sense of the powerful role that the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of life. Through uplifting stories, parables, and personal anecdotes, the Zanders invite us to become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.
Coach’s Note: There is so much we can gain from developing our creative abilities to think in terms of possibilities and not limitations. To become aware, shift our focus/mindset/attitude, shape our thinking in more expansive ways and play life on a new level. Here’s an example: What assumption am I making, that I’m not aware I’m making, that gives me what I see? and – What might I now invent, that I haven’t yet invented, that would give me other choices? My tagline is Dissolving Limits – Expanding Possibilities – this book will help you learn to practice both.
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.
The book will show you step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. Many people have discovered The Work’s power to solve problems; in addition, they say that through The Work they experience a sense of lasting peace and find the clarity and energy to act, even in situations that had previously seemed impossible.
Coach’s Note: Whether this is a form of Rational Emotive or Cognitive Behavioral work, it doesn’t matter. If you get yourself to do The Work, you’ll find and develop the ability to free yourself from old and automatic ways of thinking, so you can truly come to enjoy, even love, what is. Here’s the 4th question from The Work process: “Who would you be without that thought?” Imagine what would change, how you’d feel, what you’d do.
Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway
Are you afraid of making decisions . . . asking your boss for a raise . . . leaving an unfulfilling relationship . . . facing the future? Whatever your fear, here is your chance to push through it once and for all. In this enduring guide to self-empowerment, Dr. Susan Jeffers inspires us with dynamic techniques and profound concepts that have helped countless people grab hold of their fears and move forward with their lives. With insight and humor, Dr. Jeffers shows you how to become powerful in the face of your fears–and enjoy the elation of living a creative, joyous, loving life.
Coach’s Note: This is a book I was excited to start reading and guess what, I put it down for a few years till I was ready to feel the fear and do it anyway. “Our inability to deal with fear is not a psychological problem – it’s an educational one. Re-educate the mind and accept fear is a fact of life, not a barrier to success.” For those who’ve fed fear or bowed down to it most of their lives, this book brings to mind the expression “easier said than done” – nonetheless, we must DO and show ourselves what we’re really made of.
The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose
Janet Attwood & Chris Attwood
Can a simple test change a person’s life? Through their New York Times bestseller The Passion Test, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood have inspired thousands to shape their lives by discovering their passions and living according to what matters most to them. Readers can identify their top five passions by taking the Test, and then learn exactly how to align their lives with their priorities by following the Attwoods’ easy-to-follow step-by-step program of action.
Combining powerful storytelling and profound wisdom from models of passionate living such as Jack Canfield, Richard Paul Evans, and Stephen M.R. Covey, as well as drawing on their own personal experiences, the Attwoods show how living a full and impassioned life is not only possible, it’s inevitable— for anyone willing to take the Test.
Coach’s Note: Very similar to doing Values clarification work – when we really connect with what we care about and inspires passion within us, we can make decisions that change the course of our lives for the better. Do the test – find out for yourself.
10 Secrets for Success & Inner Peace
Wayne W. Dyer
Bestselling author and lecturer Wayne W. Dyer has written a thought-provoking book for those of us who have chosen to consciously be on our life path. The Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace apply whether you’re just embarking on your path, are nearing the end of it, or are on the path in any way. Dr. Dyer urges you to read these ten secrets with an open heart. By doing so, you’ll learn to feel the peace of God that truly defines success.
Coach’s Note: I got this book shortly after I started my intentional journey of personal and spiritual growth, and it was a life-changer. I couldn’t fully understand and apply each principle (I don’t care for the word Secret) at the time but I found tremendous comfort in reading it (over and over) nonetheless. I share this with some of my clients who are more open to spiritual growth and they too, find comfort, inspiration, hope and peace by not only reading it but applying the principles in their lives.
Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1)
Neale Donald Walsch
At a low period in his life, Walsch wrote an angry letter to God asking questions about why his life wasn’t working. After writing down all of his questions, he heard a voice over his right shoulder say: “Do you really want an answer to all these questions or are you just venting?” Though when he turned around he saw no one there, Walsch felt answers to his questions filling his mind and decided to write them down. The ensuing dialogue became the Conversations with God books.
Coach’s Note: Oh boy – a Conversation with God? There was a time in my life I didn’t spell the word God, I used a hyphen (G-d). Then I stopped believing in a God altogether. Then I started finding new ways to think about this divine aspect of the universe and I allowed myself to read this book. It was refreshing, comforting, inspiring and not at all what I thought it would be. I’ve since embraced, and to be honest, often forget, the powerful guidance this book provides – especially, to choose love over fear in all things, at all times.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams
Freely inspired in Hinduist and spiritualistic concepts, which preaches the idea that personal success is not the outcome of hard work, precise plans or a driving ambition, but rather of understanding our basic nature as human beings and how to follow the laws of nature. According to the book, when we comprehend and apply these laws in our lives, everything we want can be created, “because the same laws that nature uses to create a forest, a star, or a human body can also bring about the fulfillment of our deepest desires”
Coach’s Note: I find it incredibly valuable to open ourselves up to alternative ways of understanding ourselves, the world, the universe. This book organizes and concisely shares 7 concepts (laws) – which are simple and easy to understand. Those who allow themselves to apply them daily, find the results speak for themselves. Here’s one of the Laws: The Law of Dharma: Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents. Ask yourself how you are best suited to serve humanity. Using your unique talents and serving others brings unlimited bliss and abundance.
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
Michael A. Singer
What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space , or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.
Coach’s Note: If you suffer in any way from painful thoughts and feelings, anxiety, anger, resentment, worry, bitterness, contempt, rage and if you don’t know what to do with those thoughts and feelings except stuff them down and ignore them this book will help you understand what it means to let go, to surrender, and to cultivate peace.
Manifest Your Destiny
Based on ancient principles and spiritual practices, Manifest Your Destiny teaches the process of meditation as a way to streamline your thoughts, desires, goals, and, ultimately, your life. Are the decisions and actions in your life controlled by your ego? Are you weighed down with unresolved troubles? Do you feel out of touch with your environment? Do you complain, find fault, or take for granted more often than you appreciate your life? You can overcome these barriers with Dyer’s technique, as outlined in his Nine Spiritual Principles that will teach you to develop spiritual awareness, reconnect with the world, trust yourself and accept your worth, and let go of demands.
Coach’s Note: Dyer’s books are always in a warm and loving tone. Though you might think manifesting is all related to money, it doesn’t have to be. This is about learning and embracing concepts and principles that we probably didn’t grow up with and aren’t running in our subconscious – to help us shift to a higher vibration away from fear, separateness, scarcity and unworthiness to peace, gratitude, worthiness and oneness.
The Seat Of The Soul
A brilliant and penetrating exploration of the new phase of evolution we have now entered. With lucidity and elegance, Zukav explains that we are evolving from a species that pursues power based upon the perceptions of the five senses — external power — into a species that pursues authentic power — power that is based upon the perceptions and values of the spirit. He shows how the pursuit of external power has produced our survival-of-the-fittest understanding of evolution, generated conflict between lovers, communities, and superpowers, and brought us to the edge of destruction. Using his scientist’s eye and philosopher’s heart, Zukav shows how infusing the activities of life with reverence, compassion, and trust makes them come alive with meaning and purpose. He illustrates how the emerging values of the spirit are changing marriages into spiritual partnerships, psychology into spiritual psychology, and transforming our everyday lives. The Seat of the Soul describes the remarkable journey to the spirit that each of us is on.
Coach’s Note: I barely ever recommend this book unless I know the person very well and know that there’s a part of them that’s ready for it. So why’s it on this list? Because it might be fore you. This book explains what so many people are yearning to understand – the spirit, the soul, what we are, what this life is all about and how to live it but you’ll either love it or hate it. When you’re ready for it, you’ll probably appreciate it and learn a lot from it. If you’re not open to it and not ready for it, you’ll probably stop reading after the first few pages.
You Can Heal Your Life
Louise L. Hay
The key premise of the book is that because the mind and body are connected, illnesses of the body somehow have their root causes in emotional and spiritual aspects of the mind and its beliefs and thought processes. While modern medicine concerns itself with eliminating symptoms of disease in the body, using tools such as chemotherapy and other pharmaceutical drugs and various surgical techniques, Hay’s approach is to identify and work to resolve what she perceives as the mental root causes of disease. Hay believes that the causes of “dis-ease” include stress and unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs about oneself, and postulates that the most fundamental way to affect positive change in the body is to change the way we think, using tools such as “mirror work” and affirmations. At the end of book, a separate section lists numerous illnesses and various emotional thought patterns that Hay believes causes them; this was derived from Hay’s earlier book, Heal Your Body, which had its origins in a pamphlet she published in 1979.
Coach’s Note: For anyone wanting to deepen their own self-care & self-love, reading anything by Louise Hay is highly recommended. If you’re wanting an alternative explanation for whatever ails you, and you’re ready to go within to explore what beliefs or core issues could be affecting you, this is a fantastic start.
Power vs. Force
David R. Hawkins
Power Vs. Force explains the connection between individual levels of consciousness and human behavior. This is important because every decision we make and every action we take is driven by our individual level of consciousness. Hawkins developed a map of consciousness that ranges from 1 to 1000. According to consciousness research, Hawkins states that anything below the 200 level of consciousness is negative, false, weak, and therefore not life sustaining, and anything above 200 is positive, true, and life sustaining.
Everything in our environment has an effect on our individual level of consciousness. TV, Books, People, Places, Objects, Food, Thoughts, etc . . . The overall message of the book is that we have to avoid at all cost the things, people, places, products that fall below the critical level of 200 because they weaken us and they lower own level of consciousness. At the same time we have to align ourselves with everything that is positive, true, powerful and life sustaining.
Coach’s Note: If you’re a seeker, wanting to understand consciousness, energy, power, interpersonal & intrapersonal dynamics, this book helps a lot. Once we understand that the truth has power (not necessarily absolute truth but let’s say more true than an absolute lie), that anything false or negative weakens us, that positive thoughts and emotional states raise our vibration, strengthen us and heal us, we have not only a map of consciousness but a roadmap towards our own personal growth.
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
David R. Hawkins
Letting Go describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to Enlightenment and become free of negativity. During the many decades of the author’s clinical psychiatric practice, the primary aim was to seek the most effective ways to relieve human suffering in all of its many forms. The inner mechanism of surrender was found to be of great practical benefit and is described in this book.
Dr. Hawkins’s previous books focused on advanced states of awareness and Enlightenment. Over the years, thousands of students had asked for a practical technique by which to remove the inner blocks to happiness, love, joy, success, health, and, ultimately, Enlightenment. This book provides a mechanism for letting go of those blocks. The mechanism of surrender that Dr. Hawkins describes can be done in the midst of everyday life. The book is equally useful for all dimensions of human life: physical health, creativity, financial success, emotional healing, vocational fulfillment, relationships, sexuality, and spiritual growth. It is an invaluable resource for all professionals who work in the areas of mental health, psychology, medicine, self-help, addiction recovery, and spiritual development.
Coach’s Note: Aside from explaining the emotions in an incredible insight, wisdom and even humor, we finally have instructions for a process that eludes many of us – How to LET GO! People say it all the time – just let it go – and most people don’t have a clue how to do that effectively without actually just suppressing it. There are many methods, some from ancient times, that have taught us what to do with our emotions and if you haven’t encountered those or you weren’t that into them, this might be a book you read and apply again and again in your personal and spiritual growth.
A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles
Marianne Williamson shares her reflections on A Course in Miracles and her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.
Williamson reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by accepting God and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether psychic pain is in the area of relationships, career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent force, the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love we can make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more peaceful and loving world for our children.
The quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…” comes from this book.
Coach’s Note: If you’re ready to deepen your understanding of love and it’s power, and open up to new ways of thinking about God/Spirit/Soul, you might be ready for this book.
The Wisdom Of The Enneagram
Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson
The first definitive guide to using the wisdom of the enneagram for spiritual and psychological growth
The ancient symbol of the Enneagram has become one of today’s most popular systems for self-understanding, based on nine distinct personality types. Whatever your spiritual background, the Enneagram shows how you can overcome your inner barriers, realize your unique gifts and strengths, and discover your deepest direction in life. There are dozens of individualized exercises and practical strategies for letting go of troublesome habits, improving relationships, and increasing inner freedom. Revealing insights into the deepest motivations, fears, and desires of each type.
Coach’s Note: I don’t do the Enneagram with every client but when I offer it to the right person, at the right time, it grabs them and they finally feel like they understand themselves. The fusion of spirituality and psychology is helpful to those seeking more than just western psychology.
Transpersonal Development: The Dimension Beyond Psychosynthesis
As a young medical student he introduced the discoveries of Sigmund Freud to his professors. However, he saw that psychoanalysis neglected the exploration of what Maslow, some sixty years later, would call ‘the farther reaches of human nature’. Assagioli was ahead of his time and was not recognized until the late sixties when Psychosynthesis, his famous contribution to human understanding, was taken up by thousands of people around the world.
Psychosynthesis, a practical therapy designed to help people achieve their full potential, evolved out of fifty years of Roberto Assagioli’s psychospiritual reflections. The gems of this rich collection are presented here in Transpersonal Development.
Part One describes the reality of the superconscious. Part Two delves into the problems and difficulties experienced on the spiritual path. Part three deals with the everyday application of those insights gained in the process of spiritual awakening.
The inspiring message of this book is that transpersonal development is not just for the exceptional few. It is possible for everybody. Assagioli gives practical guidelines to help people achieve the goal. He presents a vision of the integration of cultural, scientific, and human aspects which can give birth to a new humanity.
Coach’s Note: I don’t know if we have to go full circle (many times), spend years in personal growth, start working on our spiritual growth, before we can read this book and embrace the true value of it, or if one can just start their personal growth journey and jump years ahead by embracing Transpersonal Development. It’s beautiful and fills the gaps of knowledge and understanding that we really need to be who we really are.
Mindfulness / Neuroscience / Cognitive-Behavioral
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Thich Nhat Hanh
In the rush of modern life, we tend to lose touch with the peace that is available in each moment. World-renowned Zen master, spiritual leader, and author Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us. For him a ringing telephone can be a signal to call us back to our true selves. Dirty dishes, red lights, and traffic jams are spiritual friends on the path to “mindfulness”—the process of keeping our consciousness alive to our present experience and reality. The most profound satisfactions, the deepest feelings of joy and completeness lie as close at hand as our next aware breath and the smile we can form right now.
Coach’s Note: A beautiful introduction and call to living mindfully and finding peace in any and every moment. I wrote about this in one of my posts.
Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
In this book, the author maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one’s own life. It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations
Coach’s Note: For many years there was a stigma or stereotype of meditation by people who just didn’t know (anything). I find many people are still resistant to try meditation and developing mindfulness because of these biases. Kabat-Zinn’s work has helped with that immensely and brought relief and freedom to millions. If you are one who needs, or feels that western science/medicine offers, credibility or proof, then start here.
Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One
You are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life. A new science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, renowned author, speaker, researcher, and chiropractor, Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible. Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, but you will be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn in order to make measurable changes in any area of your life. Dr. Joe demystifies ancient understandings and bridges the gap between science and spirituality. Once you break the habit of being yourself and truly change your mind, your life will never be the same! ”
Coach’s Note: I come across many people who’d love to lose their mind, or at least the part of them that keeps them scared and stuck in their lives. Integrating science and spirituality to help people change on a neuro-physiological level.
Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being
Resilience is the ability to face and handle life’s challenges, whether everyday disappointments or extraordinary disasters. While resilience is innate in the brain, over time we learn unhelpful patterns, which then become fixed in our neural circuitry. But science is now revealing that what previously seemed hardwired can be rewired, and Bouncing Back shows us how. With powerful, time-tested exercises, Linda Graham guides us in rebuilding our core well-being and disaster-proofing our brains.
Coach’s Note: Bridging cognitive behavioral psychology with mindfulness, and excellent exercises to help us train our brains and bodies to find peace in the present moment. Wonderful explanations of what and why some of us aren’t as resilient as others (or how we got this way) and how we can learn to bounce back from whatever life throws at us. The 5 C’s of Coping are important for us all: Calm, Clarity, Connection, Competence, Courage; learn to develop these in your own ways and you will become resilient.
You Are The Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter
Is it possible to heal by thought alone – without drugs or surgery? The truth is that it happens more often than you might expect. In You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. He asks the question: “Is it possible to teach the principles of the placebo, and without relying on any external substance, produce the same internal changes in a person’s health and ultimately in his or her life?” Then he shares scientific evidence (including color brain scans) of amazing healings from his workshops, in which participants learn his model of personal transformation, based on practical applications of the so-called placebo effect. The book ends with a “how-to” meditation for changing beliefs and perceptions that hold us back – the first step in healing. You Are the Placebo combines the latest research in neuroscience, biology, psychology, hypnosis, behavioral conditioning, and quantum physics to demystify the workings of the placebo effect . . . and show how the seemingly impossible can become possible.
Coach’s Note: With some overlap and going beyond Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, we really can start believing or putting some faith in, the power of our minds to either heal or destroy. For me, the same messages have been around for ages but brought to us by messengers that a lot of people won’t let themselves listen to, let alone trust. When we get some scientific data, that isn’t in all the old textbooks, it really can help tilt us more in favor of empowering ourselves to develop our mindfulness/presence/energy to continue on our personal growth path (busting our old beliefs and fostering new, more supportive ways of thinking, feeling and being).
The Feeling Good Handbook
David D. Burns
With his phenomenally successful Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, Dr. David Burns introduced a groundbreaking, drug-free treatment for depression. Now in this long-awaited sequel, he reveals powerful new techniques and provides step-by-step exercises that help you cope with the full range of everyday problems. Become free from fears, phobias, and panic attacks. Overcome self-defeating attitudes. Discover the five secrets of intimate communication. Put an end to marital conflict. Conquer procrastination and unleash your potential for success. With an up-to-date section on everything you need to know about commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs and anxiety disorders such as agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, this remarkable guide can show you how to feel good about yourself and the people you care about. You will discover that life can be an exhilarating experience.
Coach’s Note: If you know you struggle with your moods, your thoughts, your feelings, and want to empower yourself – you’ll need to do the work. You don’t need to be diagnosed or labelled with a “mental illness” to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy. Even if you simply become aware of the 10 forms of twisted thinking (cognitive distortions) and ways to get out of your own mind/emotion loops, you’ll start changing your life for the better, and of course, feeling better.
Eastern Integrative Spiritual / Chakras
Eastern Body Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self
In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today.
Coach’s Note: I am constantly amazed that people of ancient times knew so much about our inner workings. And, I’m sometimes stunned that people of ancient times had similar issues that we face today, given how so much has changed over the last few centuries. If studying the chakra system on its own, is too out there for you, then this book might help as she bridges this ancient system with more modern psychology. The mind and body and spirit are connected, always and by learning how they are connected, we can help ourselves heal and grow.
Anatomy Of The Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
Anatomy of the Spirit is the boldest presentation to date of energy medicine by one of its premier practitioners, internationally acclaimed medical intuitive Caroline Myss. Based on fifteen years of research into energy medicine, Dr. Myss’s work shows how every illness corresponds to a pattern of emotional and psychological stresses, beliefs, and attitudes that have influenced corresponding areas of the human body. The book also presents Dr. Myss’s breakthrough model of the body’s seven centers of spiritual and physical power, in which she synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions – the Hindu chakras, the Christian sacraments, and the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life – to demonstrate the seven stages through which everyone must pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. With this model, Dr. Myss shows how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously cultivate your personal power and spiritual growth. By teaching you to see your body and spirit in a new way, Anatomy of the Spirit provides you with the tools for spiritual maturity and physical wholeness that will change your life.
Coach’s Note: In a way, similar to Eastern Body, Western Mind – you’ll learn about the energy system and the mind-body connection but instead of learning psychology and development theories, you’ll see the connections in various religious traditions and many of the stories/cases within may ring a bell within you, helping you realize what you’re going through and where you are encouraged to go next in your development path.
Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
Martin E. P. Seligman
Authentic Happiness launched the revolutionary new science of Positive Psychology—and sparked a coast-to-coast debate on the nature of real happiness. According to esteemed psychologist and bestselling author Martin Seligman, happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Real, lasting happiness comes from focusing on one’s personal strengths rather than weaknesses—and working with them to improve all aspects of one’s life. Using practical exercises, brief tests, and a dynamic website program, Seligman shows readers how to identify their highest virtues and use them in ways they haven’t yet considered. Accessible and proven, Authentic Happiness is the most powerful work of popular psychology in years.
Coach’s Note: Positive Psychology is a fairly big part of the coaching I provide and this book is a great start for learning about the research and the practical aspects you can integrate into your life to nurture positive emotions and happiness. The core is really about fulfillment, not momentary happiness. If we expect happiness all the time, we’ll be disappointed. My personal opinion is that none of this is (or was at the time) brand new – it just wasn’t the focus of the spheres of psychology and psychiatry. It is helpful for those who need the academic/scientific sense of credibility vs. the more spiritual/new-age wisdom a lot of people would call fluff and would dismiss.
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being
Martin E. P. Seligman
Presenting Seligman’s dynamic new concept of what well-being really is. Traditionally, the goal of psychology has been to relieve human suffering, but the goal of the Positive Psychology movement, which Dr. Seligman has led for fifteen years, is different—it’s about actually raising the bar for the human condition. Flourish builds on Dr. Seligman’s game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character to show how to get the most out of life, unveiling an electrifying new theory of what makes a good life—for individuals, for communities, and for nations. In a fascinating evolution of thought and practice, Flourish refines what Positive Psychology is all about.
While certainly a part of well-being, happiness alone doesn’t give life meaning. Seligman now asks, What is it that enables you to cultivate your talents, to build deep, lasting relationships with others, to feel pleasure, and to contribute meaningfully to the world? In a word, what is it that allows you to flourish? “Well-being” takes the stage front and center, and Happiness (or Positive Emotion) becomes one of the five pillars of Positive Psychology, along with Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment—or PERMA, the permanent building blocks for a life of profound fulfillment.
Coach’s Note: A decade or so passes and the field of positive psychology evolved – the focus isn’t as much on happiness but on well-being. The PERMA pillars are excellent reminders and guides for us to nurture happiness and well-being in our lives. If you could work on each area, and know you were making progress, you would naturally feel better as a result of the meaning and fulfillment you’re creating in your life.
Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
Marilee G. Adams
Readers have said they personally experienced life-changing benefits by learning to ask the right questions – ones that empowered them rather than got in their way. Through a compelling story Marilee Adams shows that, in any situation, we can ask “Judger” questions that impede our progress and keep us from getting results we want. Or we can ask “Learner” questions that open us to growth, connection, satisfaction, and success. This insight leads the book’s hero to breakthroughs that save his career as well as his marriage. In this extensively revised third edition, Adams has made her quick-read story even more illuminating and helpful, and has added two powerful new tools that show how working with the Judger/Learner mindset can dramatically improve coaching and leadership. This entertaining, enlightening step-by-step guide has what you need to transform your life, personally and professionally.
Coach’s Note: A wonderful coaching tool – helping people understand their mindsets and how the questions we ask within, consciously and unconsciously are driving our focus of attention, fueling one of two types of mindsets (Judger or Learner) that influence how we think, feel and behave. Reading the story and learning at the same time, many people can relate and come away with that spark to stay more aware of their own mindsets and how they’re creating their own experience of their lives. Once read, people often share this with others in their organizations and their families.
Emotional Intelligence / Authentic Resonant Leadership
Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue, but until Emotional Intelligence, we could only guess why. Daniel Goleman’s brilliant report from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience offers startling new insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional—and how they together shape our destiny.
Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence, and shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and even our physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.
The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.
Coach’s Note: Though he didn’t coin or create the term Emotional Intelligence, he brilliantly brought it to millions and made (makes) a lasting impact on individuals and corporations. A lot has developed since this book was written but it’s informative and helpful nonetheless. It helps us dive into ourselves – how we evolved, what’s the purpose of emotions, how did we develop our emotional landscape throughout our lives, and what can we do to develop our emotional skills to help us improve our lives.
Working with Emotional Intelligence
The secret of success is not what they taught you in school. What matters most is not IQ, not a business school degree, not even technical know-how or years of expertise. The single most important factor in job performance and advancement is emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is actually a set of skills that anyone can acquire, and in this practical guide, Daniel Goleman identifies them, explains their importance, and shows how they can be fostered. For leaders, emotional intelligence is almost 90 percent of what sets stars apart from the mediocre. As Goleman documents, it’s the essential ingredient for reaching and staying at the top in any field, even in high-tech careers. And organizations that learn to operate in emotionally intelligent ways are the companies that will remain vital and dynamic in the competitive marketplace of today—and the future.
Drawing on unparalleled access to business leaders around the world and studies in more than 500 organizations, Goleman documents an astonishing fact: in determining star performance in every field, emotional intelligence matters twice as much as IQ or technical expertise. He also provides guidelines for training in the “emotionally intelligent organization,” in chapters that no one, from manager to CEO, should miss.
Coach’s Note: Taking it from your personal life to your corporate life can help make a meaningful impact on the lives and effectiveness of everyone in your organization. Perhaps you’re not near the top of your organization, learning and developing your own emotional intelligence will help increase the probability of your career success, it will help your own level of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion
Richard Boyatzis, Annie McKee
The blockbuster best seller Primal Leadership introduced us to “resonant” leaders–individuals who manage their own and others’ emotions in ways that drive success. Leaders everywhere recognized the validity of resonant leadership, but struggled with how to achieve and sustain resonance amid the relentless demands of work and life. Now, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee provide an indispensable guide to overcoming the vicious cycle of stress, sacrifice, and dissonance that afflicts many leaders. Drawing from extensive multidisciplinary research and real-life stories, Resonant Leadership offers a field-tested framework for creating the resonance that fuels great leadership. Rather than constantly sacrificing themselves to workplace demands, leaders can manage the cycle using specific techniques to combat stress, avoid burnout, and renew themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. The book reveals that the path to resonance is through mindfulness, hope, and compassion and shows how intentionally employing these qualities creates effective and enduring leadership. Great leaders are resonant leaders. Resonant Leadership offers the inspiration–and tools–to spark and sustain resonance in ourselves and in those we lead.
Coach’s Note: If you needed a reason or excuse to justify developing your presence, mindfulness, and your heart (care, compassion, empathy, love), this book will give you many. I see this as a step towards humanizing the business-world. People matter – how we treat ourselves and others matter – and the benefit shows up in our well-being and our leadership effectiveness. This could be such a relief to so many people out there who want to live a more heart-centered life but stop themselves once they walk in the door at work. Do just the opposite – develop and bring your resonance to work with you – it will make a huge positive difference.
Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership
Synchronicity is an inspirational guide to developing the most essential leadership capacity for our time: how we can collectively shape our future. Through the telling of his life story, Jaworski posits that a real leader sets the stage on which “predictable miracles, ” seemingly synchronistic in nature, can – and do – occur. He shows that this capacity has more to do with our being – our total orientation of character and consciousness – than with what we do. Leadership, he explains, is about creating – day by day – a domain in which human beings continually deepen their understanding of reality and are able to participate in shaping the future. He describes three basic shifts of mind required if we are to create and discover an unfolding future – shifts in how we see the world, how we understand relationships, and how we make commitments – and offers a new definition of leadership that applies to all types of leaders.
Coach’s Note: Recommended to me by a client, I am thankful to find a leadership book that touches on the nature of consciousness and reality to help us shift our perspectives and orientations in our lives, personally and professionally.
Hidden Laws / Metaphysics
Think & Grow Rich
Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and (later) philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. While the book’s title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.
Hill studied their habits and evolved 16 “laws” to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a “Philosophy of Achievement”. Mark Hansen has said time has shown that two of the laws/principles are most important: 1) The MasterMind principle/process and 2) “Know very clearly where you want to go.”
The book asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.
The 13 “steps” listed in the book are: 1. Desire 2. Faith 3. Autosuggestion 4. Specialized Knowledge 5. Imagination 6. Organized Planning 7. Decision 8. Persistence 9. Power of the Master Mind 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation 11. The Subconscious Mind 12. The Brain 13. The Sixth Sense
Coach’s Note: From the title, you might assume this is a book about making more money or heaps of money. Money is a by-product, a result. The philosophy and process is about understanding how the universe works and learning to work with it – yes, you could call it the Law of Attraction but that pushes some people away and I wouldn’t want anyone to turn away unwittingly from what could actually serve their highest good. Another one of his books “Outwitting the Devil” helps us understand our egos, the inner workings of the mind, limiting beliefs, and more.
The Master Key System
Charles F. Haanel
The Master Key System is a personal development book by Charles F. Haanel (1866-1949) that was originally published as a 24-week correspondence course in 1912, and then in book form in 1916. The ideas it describes and explains come mostly from New Thought philosophy. It was one of the main sources of inspiration for Rhonda Byrne’s film and book The Secret (2006).
The book describes many New Thought beliefs such as the law of attraction, creative visualization and man’s unity with God, and teaches the importance of truth, harmonious thinking and the ability to concentrate. Each of the 24 chapters contains an introduction, followed by a sequentially numbered section which includes an exercise towards the end, followed by a section with questions and answers. At the beginning of the book is a Psychological Chart which readers are encouraged to complete, providing a self-evaluation of their creative power, time efficiency, health, mental ability and capacity to concentrate
Coach’s Note: Similar in some ways to Think & Grow Rich, written before it though – unbelievable that this stuff was out there so long ago (has been out there in some spheres for much longer than that) and it took a movie like The Secret to get people interested in the power of thought, emotion, and energy to create our lives.
Ask & It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires
Esther Hicks & Jerry Hicks
Ask and It Is Given, by Esther and Jerry Hicks, which presents the teachings of the nonphysical entity Abraham, will help you learn how to manifest your desires so that you’re living the joyous and fulfilling life you deserve. As you read, you’ll come to understand how your relationships, health issues, finances, career concerns, and more are influenced by the Universal laws that govern your time/space reality – and you’ll discover powerful processes that will help you go with the positive flow of life. It’s your birthright to live a life filled with everything that is good?and this book will show you how to make it so in every way!
Coach’s Note: Another book, more recent, about the law of attraction and metaphysics but with a greater focus on learning to shift your emotions to a higher vibration to effect positive changes in your overall wellbeing, relationships, finances and more. Yes, it’s purported to be channeled but so what? Much of this jives completely with Hawkins’ Power vs. Force. Keep an open mind and you’ll take away much value. These kind of books aren’t for everybody but some of my clients come to love this and feel liberated to be able to embrace their more mystical, metaphysical and spiritual sides.
Stories to Help Us Grow
The Celestine Prophecy
You have never read a book like this before — a book that comes along once in a lifetime to change lives forever. In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights into life itself – insights each human being is predicted to grasp sequentially; one insight, then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on Earth. Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.
Coach’s Note: Can one story change the course of your life? For many who’ve read this book, it came to them in random ways (or not) or personal recommendations and many of those readers began a personal quest to learn more about the nature of this world, humanity and all life for that matter. Or – it’s just a fun story and you might learn a thing or two. Up to you!
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different – and far more satisfying – than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Coach’s Note: A hero’s journey tale. Many have been told and there are reasons for that. There are archetypal forces at play that invoke the hero within. A story of personal discovery, growth, purpose and mysticism. We’re all on a hero’s journey of some sort and this kind of story can inspire you to follow your path and learn your life’s greatest lessons.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. He believes it is every gull’s right to fly, to reach the ultimate freedom of challenge and discovery, finding his greatest reward in teaching younger gulls the joy of flight and the power of dreams.
Coach’s Note: Recommended to me by a good friend and mentor, at a time when I really needed it. We all need someone to believe in us, to challenge us, to teach us or coach us, so we can show ourselves what we can do, so we can let ourselves dream, so we can stretch our wings, reach new heights and then share what we’ve learned with others.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The story of Julian Mantle, a successful but misguided lawyer whose physical and emotional collapse propels him to confront his life. The result is an engaging odyssey about how to release your potential and live with passion, purpose and peace. A brilliant blend of timeless Eastern spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge Western success principles, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is now, more than ever, a guide for the times, as countless Canadians dedicate themselves to living a life where family, work and personal fulfillment find harmonious balance.
Coach’s Note: Sometimes, perhaps for some people all the time, reading a story instead of an information-laden book, makes a greater and more lasting impact. This book will help you realize the value of taking a good, long look at your life and how you’re living. It offers up valuable and powerful concepts, and habits/practices to help you get the best out of yourself. As with all the books recommended, even if you gain one new understanding or realization and or one new and valuable practice to help you, they are worth reading.
Integrative Health / Mind-Body
Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being
A paradigm-shifting guide to peak emotional wellness. Dr. Andrew Weil redefines the notion of happiness and demonstrates the limitations of the biomedical model of mental health. He presents a vast, scientifically proven array of integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression, drawing on techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, psychotherapy, mindfulness training, and much more. Dr. Weil offers advice on lifestyle, behavior, and dietary changes, and helps readers assess their own emotional well-being and build personalized step-by-step plans to manage their moods. Whether suffering from mild to moderate depression, or simply seeking greater contentment, readers can use Dr. Weil’s science-based integrative approach to achieve their goals.
Coach’s Note: We can stand in awe and appreciation of the marvels of western medical science – the breakthroughs – the lives saved. There are still questions many have that aren’t answered or approaches that don’t serve as many as we’d hope. If you’re seeking a credible and trustworthy source to shed some light on alternative approaches to help improve your levels of well-being and happiness, and to help find new ways to help you break free (or manage) mood issues and depression, this might be for you.