I love reading. Whenever I have a moment to spare, I take the opportunity to read. Whether it’s a blog post, a news article or a book – you will always find me reading. For the last year and a half I have been on a journey of self-discovery. A journey I hope to share more about as time goes on. But for now I would like to share three books that have helped me along the road.
It Takes Courage To Accept Yourself
Setting out to discover who you really are can be quite daunting. I can tell you this much, it is not an easy road to tread. You have to be ready to face insecurities that you have avoided for the longest time. You have to conquer those insecurities and embrace your imperfections as your very own. Only then will you choose to focus on the qualities that make you shine. Easier said than done. I have quite a distinct laugh. I know this, because people have told me this on more than one occasion. I’m generally a jolly guy and yes I like a good laugh. I cannot shrink my laughter and I have come to accept that I “bring the noise” as my friends so eloquently put it. It is a part of me, an extension of my personality and I dealt with it.
As weird as it may sound, accepting who you are takes courage. You may come to realize that there are people in your circle of friends who want you to be or act in a way other than yourself. Will you be brave enough to stand up against that? Not so easy huh? Well here’s a list of the three books that helped me believe in myself and build my self-confidence.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
Yes I read Paulo Coehlo’s books. Now some people may say that it is pretentious. I really don’t care. This was the first book I read that really set me on this journey of self-discovery and acceptance. The story is about a young shepherd who- through a series of events- finds himself leaving behind the life he has always known in pursuit of a dream. Traveling through strange lands and challenging himself to do things that he has never done before he learns more about who he is and trusting his instincts. I would recommend this book to anyone who has trouble being alone with their own thoughts. Below is an extract of one of my favourite parts in the book:
When someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own
Screw It, Let’s Do It – Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is one of the people I look up to. As one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, I think there’s a lot that I can learn from him. More often than not, people will recall Sir Branson’s success but not many people know how hard he worked to be at the level of success where he finds himself right now. In this book, he details the humble beginnings of his international empire. From starting a magazine in high school to negotiating rough winds thousands of miles in the air, Sir Branson has just about done it all. In this book he encourages the reader to try new things and face challenges head on. Reading this book has changed the way I approach everything in life. I take every opportunity that I get. If I should fail, I know there’s a lesson to be learnt and I try again. Sometimes we need to fail but we always need to get back up and try again. WHOA! That sounds cornier than I intended.
Who Moved My Cheese – Dr. Spencer Johnson
This is more of a short story but a good read none the less. This story is all about dealing with change. It made me think about my approach to both work and my personal life. Sometimes we tend to over stay our welcome in certain phases of life because we are too afraid to change. Let’s be honest, change can be scary, especially when you do not know what lies ahead. And truth be told, more often than not we DON’T know what lies ahead for us. It is so easy to get seduced by comfort. Who doesn’t want a comfortable life? But personally I believe that with comfort comes settling. I don’t want to settle. I constantly want to chase something better. And that is exactly what the characters in this book have to deal with.
It was an eye opener for me when I first read the book because I realized how I was fighting change in so many parts of my life. I had to let go and move on but it was so hard. It is a process, but one worth going through.
These are the three books that I recommend everyone to read at least once. It has changed the way I think and the way I do things for the better. There are so many other books that I would love to tell you about but let’s first get through these three. If you have read any of the books above or if you have any other suggestions please comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts.