My grandfather's sitting room held a small but impressive bookcase filled with the dusty ancient works of great poets and thinkers. It was here in this dimly lit room, with streaks of dappled sunlight streaming through the curtains and the sweet smell of pipe tobacco, that I would find myself lost in the words of Wordsworth, Longfellow and George Bernard Shaw.
When it comes to books I love the real thing - the subtle aroma, the industrialness of ink pressed upon paper, the tactile feel of pages turning between my fingertips and of course the words of strangers that spill out with the turn of each page.
Here, I want to share with you the books that have inspired, impacted or helped me transform my life. Pop back each month where you'll see a new book on 'the shelf'.
When I first came across Tal Ben-Shahar at Happiness and Its Causes a few years back I was so struck by his no-nonsense, tried-and-true approach to living happy that during the first break I purchased his book Happier. Happier is down to earth and filled with excellent practical tips and exercises that are embedded in positive psychology research. What I love most about this book is you don't need to read it cover to cover to get immediate benefits. Each chapter has both insight and a strategy to implement.
I've been a fan of Mr Buckingham since Now, Find your Strengths inspired the Intrinsic team to take the Strengths finder test. Marcus has discovered only 2 out of 10 people are happy and engaged in their work and has set about ways of changing that figure. The Truth About You is a toolkit comprising a workbook, DVD and ReMemo notebook all aimed at identifying your strengths and passions and playing to them. It's the sort of thing you wished you had at high-school and in my opinion should be part of every year 12 program before people hit college or the big world. If you're interested in gaining the most out of your life this is a
great place to start.
Michael Ray is the master behind the Creativity In Business course for MBA's at Stanford University, who's alumni include author Jim Collins and Jeff Skoll, founder of ebay. Michael Ray is also the author of one of my favourite books, The Highest Goal. Tucked inside the pages are profound insights and wisdom that lead to a transformational life. Ray's 'live-withs' are core to that transformation and just a few of my favourites include: If at first you don't succeed, surrender; Walk into fear; do only what you love, love everything you do; Ask yourself, is it a yes or a no; Participate in the flow of giving and receiving. The Highest
Goal will be on my bedside table for life.
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