The title might sound a little presumptuous, as if you could actually read yourself to a happier life. I do believe though that reading in general and reading about happiness specifically really can improve your life and your overall happiness.
I have worked through my fair share of inspirational-guiding-happiness books and want to share my favorite parts, of the above pictured ones, with you today. What I have learned so far to live a happier life, if you will.
FIND YOUR HAPPY by Shannon Kaiser: Hug your inner child
l am happy (no pun intended) to start with this one as it´s the most recent one I read and it discusses one of the most valuable lessons: How do you access mini-you?
This whole chapter made me truly think about what happened with once playful little me full of imagination and the always stressed out me today. As kids we wanted to become astronauts and adventurers, we constantly reinvented ourselves and re-evaluated our needs and dreams. On our way to adulthood we loose our inner force to take inventory of our goals in life and only few are brave enough to stop and reinvent themselves; to trust their inner mini-me to guide them to happiness.
CHOOSING GLEE by Jenna Ushkowitz: Ready, Set, …. Screw up
Last summer, as the late bloomer that I am, I got into Glee and binge-watched all four seasons before the fifth one started last fall. I especially liked Tina and the actress who portrays her is Jenna Ushkowitz. One thing led to another and I came across that book and just loved her 10 Rules to Finding Inspiration, Happiness and the Real You. She´s a great role model for girls and women alike and her funny way of telling stories and being unapologetically herself taught me that´s it´s okay that I don´t have to fit a certain mold. Where I am coming from failing was never an option and if you did, you tried something else. There wasn´t such a thing as screwing up but pursuing that dream again and again. It took me a while to learn that it´s perfectly okay to fail, learn from your mistakes and try a different way to reach your goals. Or as Jenna puts it: Give yourself some credit! You tried, you failed, so what?
THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin: Pursue A Passion
That´s the German version above in case you were wondering. I have yet to meet a woman (and blogger) who never read that one. Overall I like the idea and the journey of the author though I didn´t agree with each and every move she made, one part that stood out to me was her determination on finding your passion and pursuing it! That again is something we do every day as kids but abandon as soon as we grow older. You certainly don´t have to stress yourself or chase any passion, it will come to you naturally, or maybe you already have one that you neglected over the years? That´s coming from a little book hoarder who rarely makes time to read though she loves it. I used to do a lot of things over the years and sometimes a passion changes or just runs its course and you’ve outgrown it… You´ll find a new one or several ones as I did.
THE UNTETHERED SOUL by Michael A. Singer: Let Go Now or Fall
My sweet friend Shan recommended this to me and I have to admit it took me a while until I got a copy, because frankly, it scared the hell out of me. The Journey Beyond Yourself is not an easy concept to grasp when you´re finding yourself on a crossroads in your life. It´s scary, it´s painful and what if reading makes you question even more aspects of your life than it ultimately answers?
Yes, exactly. All I can say is, that if you´re feeling ready it is a compelling read that teaches you a lot about your inner strength but also your battle wounds and lessons learned.
My favorite part, mostly because I desperately needed it at that time in my life, was the chapter about Freeing Yourself. The fact that you can´t blame yourself for everything that went wrong in your life and that you cannot and should not take on other peoples guilt. At some point you have to let go, remove the thorn, mourn it and move on.
THE FIRE STARTER SESSIONS by Danielle LaPorte: Your Mojo and Moxie
This workbook is built of three different parts along with interview questions and worksheets. So I can´t really pick a specific chapter. Again it took me a while until I started working with it but I am glad I finally did because it helps you taking a close look on the things you think you want in your life versus your real priorities and goals. Part one helps you to define your Mojo (yourself on your own terms) while part two is preparing you to define your goals, your comfort zone aka your Moxie. I don´t like the expression “radical self-love” because I think it shouldn´t be that radical to love yourself, but Danielle really gets you there in a fun and fierce way. I am not looking back!
ADD MORE -ING TO YOUR LIFE by Gabrielle Bernstein: Release
I included this book (the Kindle version) because it fits the subject but honestly I don´t know what I learned from it. I guess it´s a tad too spiritual for me though I liked Gabrielle´s approach on letting the universe work it´s magic and releasing yourself from certain have-to´s but I am just not an affirmation kinda girl and that´s okay. If you are, you might want to give it a try. I also heard her follow-up Spirit Junkie could be more up my alley. We´ll see.
These are my books on happiness and learning how to live a happier life. What do you think? Have you read any of these or do you have a favorite that didn´t make it on my list? Please share.