There’s always room for improvement when it comes to ourselves. Check out this list of my favorite books on personal development.
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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: A WORK IN PROGRESS
I wish I was born a punctual person. People who are late all the time don’t bug me because I understand them. I am a recovering late-arriver.
My entire childhood was spent looking for a shoe.
My teenage years were spent waking up to my dad bouncing his foot on the end of my bed to shake-wake me up. When my grandma visited, she would wake me up vacuuming. There wasn’t too much at stake when I was young, but come college, I was late constantly. More than once, I went down an entire letter grade simply based on tardies.
A BAD HABIT
Even as a working adult, I remember showing up 30 minutes late one time because my alarm went off when I should have been pulling into work.
I’m pretty sure I did a cart wheel out of bed. I threw on the only clean pair of pants I had, and a “Second Grade Rocks” T-shirt that had shrunk in the dryer. It was so tight on my neck I was choking.
I don’t even know if I let myself go to the bathroom.
I called a co-worker and she said she would pick up my kids and keep them in her room until I got there.
The whole drive over, I’m trying to figure out a plan to not get caught. It would be obvious if I walked in with my purse, so I stuffed my pockets full of whatever I could fit and grabbed a newspaper I had on the car floor. By the time I arrived, the bell had rung, and my boss was standing in the middle of the hallway kicking parents out.
After taking a breath, I chatted with a few people, had a few forced laughs and then stared deep into the newspaper—pointing, analyzing, flipping the pages over, even talking out loud.
I headed to the copy machine, made a few copies to look busy and ducked out to my friend’s classroom, no one the wiser. It was a successful day…not in the sense that I accomplished anything…no, I spent the rest of the day figuring out how to cover up my bad breath, make my outfit look a little less homely and borrowing mascara from a friend. I was like a ninja.
Once I had kids, it was like my life made sense again. There was no rush to get anywhere on time! I wasn’t working anymore and could blame everything on the baby. Having a newborn was like a get out of jail free card.
Oh I can’t believe you made it out of the house! Look at you! Are you getting any sleep? You must be exhausted!
My first kid slept through the night at three months. Me being late everywhere had nothing to do with that kid. He was an awesome sleeper. (Insane projectile-vomit barfer, but great sleeper.) So I was late and smelled like barf and people congratulated me for showing up. It was awesome.
And then…Kindergarten started. Tardy bells. The worst. I tried to blame it on my son, I tried to hide it, but it was me. When you become a parent, it’s like every bad habit you have is highlighted, because you see it reflected in your children.
I knew I needed to change, I simply hadn’t had the desire to until I saw the impact I was having on my kids.
Did I really want to teach them to be late everywhere, manipulate situations and flake out on others?
I had some work to do.
STILL GROWING THROUGH PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
So here I am, 5 years later and I’m not the late mom anymore! It took discipline, planning and a little maturity on my part, but I did it!
But in all reality, you won’t make any changes in your life unless you truly want to. I suggest you don’t follow my lead in waiting until it’s negatively impacting your children or your health.
You can improve at any stage in your life, you just have to be internally motivated to do so.
I know punctuality sounds silly, but it was a big milestone in my life to be the first one in the car, ready to go. Over the years, I’ve read several books that have challenged me in multiple ares of my life. I learned to be more confident, pursue a small business, grow as a leader in my community and challenge myself to deeper spiritual development.
So what needs to be addressed in your own personal development?
Here are 10 books I’ve read and applied to my life that I’d love to recommend to you:
10 BOOKS ON PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
1. “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
This book has sold over 25 million copies so I had to check it out. Whether you want to be a leader or a better parent, this book applies to you. Covey covers 7 areas for personal development that anyone can use to put their priorities in place, and minds in perspective. Great action-taking book!
2. “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron
This book is a walk-through of the popular Enneagram from the viewpoint as a Christian. The Enneagram is more than a personality test. It identifies your strengths and weaknesses, while analyzing the best way for you to adapt to situations throughout your life. I enjoyed this book because it finally helped me understand how I am wired and also was a great insight into my husband’s mind as well!
3. “Ready to Rise” by Jo Saxton
This book helps guide the person seeking more out of their life and directs them into what possible leadership roles that may be available to them in their life. I have seen Jo speak three times and have left feeling encouraged and empowered to pursue big things!
4. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis
This book is for women who struggle with insecurity and need help getting past the fears that hold them back from moving forward. Rachel’s words inspired me to start my blog and dream bigger about what it could be. Inspirational story of a girl with a traumatic childhood, no college education, who creates a multi-million dollar business.
5. “The Power of a Praying Woman” by Stormie Omartian
For anyone wanting to grow spiritually as well as personally, you’ve got to start with prayer. Stormie takes the formality out of our “church” prayers and helps us discover our own voice and cultivate a deeper relationship with God.
6. “The Longing in Me” by Sheila Walsh
Sheila walks us through her own muddy past an helps us understand that a lifetime of wishing things would slow down, hurry up, or just be different is keeping us captive in a life of discontent. This longing that we have for change or peace comes from a place of holiness and hope and we need to recognize it in order to stop being controlled by the things that are out of our control.
7. “Meditation and Mindfulness” by Andy Puddicombe
For anyone feeling anxiety or unrest lately, this book tops my list. Andy helps us understand the way our minds work and how we create unhealthy habits of thinking and trains us to think about thinking in more helpful ways. Through personal stories and sample practices, Andy takes the weirdness out of meditation and teaches us how to implement it in our daily lives.
8. “The Power Project” by Brandi Voth
This book is a quick read that encourages you to want to grow as a person in order to become who God created you to be. Written by a friend, I love her honesty and vulnerability she models and how we can use those to find our own stories and purpose in our lives.
9. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller
This book focuses on priorities and helps you understand what you need to get rid of in your life and how to become more productive on what matters. Great for work, personal, family and spiritual growth.
10. “Cultivate” by Lara Casey
A memoir and self-help book written by the creator of CultivateWhatMatters.com, Lara helps us understand what it means to live with intention. She emphasizes the importance of progress over perfection and giving yourself grace. Pointing our growth to the analogy of flowers growing in a garden, I was inspired to create my own actual garden and find myself reflecting on my own personal growth in the process.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
What personal development books have you read? Come share your favorites in my Facebook Group!
For more posts on books I love, check out:
- “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking
- “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie
- “Navigating Motherhood” by Becky Brooks
- “Imperfect Courage” by Jessica Honegger
- “The Year of Less” by Cait Flanders
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