We all have those bad times—periods in our lives where everything seems to be going wrong, and there doesn’t seem to be a way out. Finding yourself in the middle of a slump can be overwhelming and difficult to overcome. However, literature has long stood as one of the most powerful tools for change. The pen is mightier than the sword, remember. Books can transport you into a whole new world and do wonders for your way of thinking. These five fantastic texts all have a unique pick-me-up power and are great choices for anyone needing that little extra bit of inspiration.
“The Chimp Paradox” Steve Peters
As one of the leading psychiatrists for professional athletes, Steve Peters knows a thing or two about motivation and brain function. The wonderfully defined metaphor in this book aims to look at how your more instinctual brain processes—your inner chimp—affect your actions and ways you can overcome this problem.
Easy to digest and wonderfully funny, it provides realistic steps to learn to placate your prehistoric mind and leave the decision making to the parts that know best. The simple but effective practices presented have a genuine, immediate effect on the way you live your life and are sure to transform your ways of thinking. With acclaimed Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton saying Peters is the most important influence in her career, just imagine how useful these ideas can be in the life of an average person.
“Reinventing Your Life” Jeffrey Young & Janet Klosko
Life comes with unexpected challenges. Trauma can happen at anytime, and it can significantly affect your way of thinking. This book explores those negative brain processes, referring to them as life traps, and looks at how you can mindfully overcome them. It provides practical solutions to negative thought patterns and helps you to equip yourself to overcome life’s many challenges. Written by two renowned psychologists, it’s a fantastic tool to help step out of your own consciousness and look at things in a more objective way. This skill can be crucial for overcoming difficult periods in your life and giving yourself a whole new outlook and lease of motivation.
It’s particularly poignant for those who struggled in childhood, as it focuses on life traps that are created around this early developmental stage. The book has the Oprah stamp of approval, and she even features Young’s practices on her websites.
“Awaken the Giant Within” Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins is a wonderful American motivational speaker, and although this is not his most well-known book, it’s probably the best option for those who feel they’re in a rut. Claimed by the New York Times to help readers “take control of [their] emotional, physical and financial destinies,” its content is empowering, exciting and truly inspirational. All throughout his career Robbins has focused on the use of neurolinguistic programming, which uses language as a form of brain training to help his readers regain control in their lives. For a more bite-sized taste of his work, there’s a fantastic documentary called “Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru” that is available on Netflix. Unfortunately, this is only available for users in certain countries, so if you’re having problems accessing it, then this Secure Thoughts Netflix Guide will teach you how to bypass the blocks.
“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Robin Sharma
After a turbulent yet successful law career, Robin Sharma found himself in search of a more satisfying existence. He soon found his calling in self-help writing, and his book series, of which this is the first, have become international best-sellers. The story is similar to his own, as it’s based around the life of two lawyers, John and Julian. John is shocked when his estranged colleague returns after a prolonged absence following a heart attack. Dressed in the traditional orange of the Tibetan monks, Julian comes to John’s house with an incredible story and fantastic wisdom to share. Julian recounts his travels and teaches John about the seven timeless virtues, which encompass some of the main spiritual teachings of the East. Alongside the story, seven complementary activities are also documented so you can apply this wisdom to your day-to-day life.
“The Road Less Traveled” Morgan Scott Peck
Using his experiences as a psychiatrist and his own personal life, Peck has created this wonderful resource that reminds us of the important attributes to fulfillment. He tactfully introduces the importance of discipline, balance and understanding the true meaning of love—an ideal, which, if embraced properly, he believes is the key to spiritual growth. Born to a devout Protestant family, Peck also addresses religion in relation to our happiness, presenting common belief systems and misconceptions. This is particularly powerful as it means audiences from all backgrounds can connect to his ideas; he even covers atheism in his discussions.
His presentation of the divine and other forces outside our conscious will make this book wonderfully inspiring. It’s great for those who have experienced circumstances out of their control that have left them in a slump.
Any other books that deserve a spot on this list? Leave a comment below and share your ideas with others; you might even end up helping someone out.
About the Author: Isa is a literature lover who always has a great book in hand no matter the situation. She swears by the power of the written word to change lives and is always willing to share recommendations with others. You can find more of Isa’s work at www.culturecoverage.com.
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