Books have always been my safe haven. Books are a place to keep me entertained. Books are a place to keep me informed. Books are a place to keep me inspired. I continue to learn much from reading. As the legendary poet, Maya Angelou once said: “when you know better, you do better.” Here are my top five lessons from books.
“What I Know for Sure” by Oprah Winfrey
This little book by our media mogul contains much wisdom in it. It’s something I read and re-read often. One of my favourite quotes from the book reads: “You can either waltz boldly onto the stage of life and live the way you know your spirit is nudging you to, or you can sit quietly by the wall, receding into the shadows of fear and self-doubt.”
Oprah asks us to question the way we live our lives. Are you following what your heart and gut is telling you? Do you go after the things that light you up or do you allow yourself to remain crippled with fear? It’s time to break out and live boldly.
“Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert
I remember when I first read this lovely book. It got me emotional then and now. Even though the author has had her fair share of love experiences after this book, the message it delivers still rings true. One of my favourite quote from Gilbert is “So now I have started living my own life. Imperfect and clumsy as it may look, it is resembling me now, thoroughly.”
Gilbert teaches us in this book that your bliss is found by living in a way that is authentic to you. You should not spend time trying to live someone else’s dream. What is it that feels true to you?
“Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg
This book is a must-read for every ambitious woman with dreams. Through the book, Sandberg helps us understand what is needed in attaining our professional aspirations. One of my favourite quotes from the book reads ‘You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
The lesson from that statement is clear. In other to reach new heights, we have to open ourselves up to different opportunities. In addition, we have to always be willing to learn. Remain in that process of learning.
“The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer
“The Untethered Soul” is always a breath of fresh air. This is the book you read and re-read when you feel yourself getting lost in life. One of my favourite lines from the book is “the truth is, everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything. And that’s the only time everything will be okay.”
The author wants us to consider the fact that we may not be able to control all of how our life unfolds but we can control the way we react. We can control our mindset and focus. We can control what we choose to hold on to and also let go off. In doing so, we give ourselves a certain sense of freedom.
“The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo
You can view Mark Nepo as your favourite spiritual teacher. His words make you consider the nature of your life. He makes you consider what is truly important in the way you live.
One of my favourite lines from his book: “so often we imagine that there is more full of gold than here. It is the same with love and dreams and the work of our lives. We see the light everywhere but where we are, and chase after what we think we lack, only to find, humbly, it was with us all along.”
The statement above is simple and profound. We can’t keep living our lives in pursuit of the next best thing. We have to be present enough to understand that focusing on what we lack is what will cause us to believe that there is never enough.
Do you have any favourite lesson learned from a book?