My Top 3 Reads and Listens

I started to reflect this past week on all the amazing relationships that have come into my life the last couple years. The irony is that so many of them showed up when I decided to open myself up more and ask for help during some intense personal changes in perspective and happiness. When we want to make changes internally, many times it can feel like a lonely journey. The irony in this is that in shutting ourselves off, we lose opportunities to make this happen faster or in the ways we need but may have trouble seeing this in the moment due to the fear of being vulnerable. One of the biggest facilitators of change for me was reading a book, ‘You’re a Badass’ by Jen Sincero.  I would have never heard of it if a friend hadn’t mentioned it to me. As I began to realize how beneficial it is in sharing our personal stories to people, even sometimes those we just met, I realized that not only could I learn more about myself, but I could potentially help someone else. This is what I believe the world desires to be about-community and compassion.

With multiple other books and podcasts recommended to me, I decided I wanted to compile a list of my favorites in hopes that maybe someone else starting their journey could get a jumpstart. Here’s my top 3:

Ironically, I and the friend that recommended the book were able to meet Jen Sincero IN PERSON at a book reading in Charlotte. Me being excited is a total understatement as you can see.

Ironically, I and the friend that recommended the book were able to meet Jen Sincero IN PERSON at a book reading in Charlotte. Me being excited is a total understatement as you can see.

1)     ‘You’re a Badass’ and ‘You’re a Badass at Making Money’ by Jen Sincero-Yep! It’s still my favorite. Not only because this book was so significant in my life, but when I first started out reading self-development and more positive, uplifting material, I was very negative and cynical. I thought ‘If this shit’s gonna turn me into a cheerleader for life, I might as well not waste my time.’ Jen Sincero has an amazingly witty, fun personality and throws in the colorful language, too. She made me realize that my perspective on self-development was as much a fear-based judgement as everyone and everything else I stereotyped. Wanting to make changes and be positive, does not mean you have to lose your personality and are selling out in some way. It means you care about yourself.

Her follow-up ‘You’re a Badass at Making Money’ continued with insight. This book having more of a focus on our fears around money, where those fears come from and how to analyze our relationship with money, improving it for the better. I started to understand how to feel more secure with my finances and realized what it meant to have an attitude of ‘abundance’. At the end of the day, money is not happiness. Find out your beliefs with money, what truly makes you happy, and how much money do you need to sustain that happiness. That number looks different for all of us. Believe in yourself to reach it and know that it will come to you if you focus on your good intentions and let go of trying to control the outcome. 

2)     ‘The Living Experiment’ is a podcast hosted by one of the creators of the Whole 30, Dallas Hartwig, and health journalist, Pilar Gerasimo. I love the way the two of them play off each other in both knowledge and personality, and they have changed my life with making these topics easier to digest in a shorter amount of time. Dallas is a functional medicine practitioner, sports nutritionist and physical therapist, so he gives a science-based opinion while also having a lot of personal experience to relate. Pilar being acquainted with so many healthy living mindsets and diets through journalism, and the founding editor of a healthy living magazine, can contribute with information of trends and a lot of experience in applying these theories to her own life. You also get a female versus male perspective which can be enlightening since we really are neurologically wired different. The idea of the podcast is not your stereotypical ‘healthy living’ topics. They take an approach to it being a lifestyle versus just dieting and exercising which I personally believe in. How can we be successful in health if we don’t understand what’s important to us, how our emotions affect it and why we are doing it? They always surprise me with the depth they go into and routes they take when I see what the subject matter is. Do not think you know where they are going with a topic before you listen! Some of my favorites are ‘Resistance to Pleasure’, ‘Shame’, ‘Satisfaction vs. Success’, ‘Asking’, ‘Sensuality’, ‘Enough’ and ‘Forgiveness’ (yes I have a lot of favorites). At the end of the show, they encourage listeners to apply something to their own life related to the topic, too. Listening to subjects like this is can of course be helpful in itself, but sometimes when we encourage ourselves to take it a step further with action, it can be surprising what we are unknowingly holding onto or focused on.

3)     ‘Pivot: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life’, by Adam Markel. Sounds pretty awesome right? I enjoyed this read because it again influenced the thought patterns in our lives that directly affect career. Everything is so intertwined and what it comes down to is perspective and self-love. Adam Markel is the CEO of Peak Potentials which is a training and coaching program that assists people in ‘pivoting’ out of careers and lives they are unhappy with into something more fulfilling and purposeful. Something else I really enjoyed about this book is that he encourages any kind of change. Even if you have no idea what you love and what your next steps are, picking something you enjoy to move forward with and discovering it further will get you closer to where you want to be. Sometimes trial and error are our best way to stumble into what we really need. Often times we can think we know what we need but our mind might be limiting us based on our opinions of life thus far. There are endless possibilities out there and I feel his exercises created reflection and allowed me to examine my life at a deeper level. I also saw how my experiences, both good and bad, could contribute to the growth of my future. Of course in writing this post, I now find out he has a podcast!!

One thing I have seen in learning and examining all the subject matter these resources have presented, is that consistency is key. Sometimes I will go awhile without reading or listening to something inspiring. I notice a difference in my thought process and my attitude. I love relating to others and hearing their personal experiences, even if it’s through my headphones. Relatability is important to feel supported and can make a big difference as to when and how we decide to make personal changes. What are some of your life-altering reads and listens?