Readers are leaders! That is what my mother would tell me over and over as I was growing up. While she was quite aware of the benefits of reading for children, I can’t help but think she also hoped my 5 brothers and I would read in order to get some peace and quiet in the house. Regardless, I thank her for the many trips to the library growing up!

 

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As an adult, I’ve always been into self-improvement books. If I wanted to have happiness or success or purpose in my life, I knew it would be an inside job. There are 4 books that really, truly changed my life, not because it taught me new information in business or nutrition, but because it taught me how to change my thoughts, my attitude, my confidence, my surroundings, my support system, and my goals.

With summer upon us, and more time for reading, I am sharing the 4 books that you should read if you want to change your life 😉 (That sounds aggressive, but it is actually true!)

THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES by Jack Canfield 

I read this book right before I started All Access Internships back when I was 21 years old. I will never forget how I felt while reading it. “LIKE OMG. THIS IS AMAZING. I’M GOING TO DO EVERYTHING JACK SAYS. JACK IS THE BEST. WATCH OUT WORLD, BECAUSE I AM A NEW PERSON!”

This book has over 60 principles that you can apply to your life. I’ll find myself re-reading various chapters of this book multiple times throughout the year.

Quick story time….In 2012, Jack Canfield was the keynote speaker at FNCE in San Diego. I sat in the front row and made a sign with my friends “WWJCD” meaning “What would Jack Canfield do?” It was our mantra for our mastermind group that Jack inspired us to create. Anyways, when Jack asked the audience who wanted the book in his hands, I sprinted to him and grabbed the book. He then went onto explain that this was an example of a success principle he mentioned in his book. If you want something you have to go and GRAB IT! Awesome, right?! After his presentation, I was able to meet him and get my book signed. It was a dream come true!

YOU ARE A BADASS by Jen Sincero 

I turned 30 this year, and thought, what is my life?! Am I really that great?! Am I doing the right things?! And Jen slowly but surely guided me to realize that yes, I am a badass, and you are too. The sooner you really believe it, the better.

BONUS: She just released a new book called YOU ARE A BADASS AT MAKING MONEY and I listened to it (because I’m all about audiobooks now). It is really freakin’ good, and a great follow up once you officially realize you are a badass.

THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP by Maria Kondo

I’ve always erred on the side of minimalism in my life. It may have been because I grew up in a big family (6 kids), and we didn’t really have the space for a lot of clutter. I remember when I was in college and moved into my dorm. I had about half the belongings as my friends, but yet I was still able to function in life. Their possessions actually stressed me out. The fact that they had to fold or hang up that many clothes gave me the shivers.

So when THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING because a viral sensation, I was not surprised. There is freedom in minimizing the material, and really focusing on quality (what “sparks joy” as Marie says) over quantity.

Marie gave me the exact instructions for how to change my environment and tidy up my space (for good!), and it secretly led to applying the question of “what sparks joy?” to other areas of my life, like my job, social circle, and more. She actually says at the very end of the book something to the effect of “don’t be surprised if you want to change more than your home”. You are both sneaky and clever, Marie. I LIKE IT.

THE BIG LEAP by Gay Hendricks

This book was the slap in the face I needed at the exact time I needed it. Now you might be wondering, “who wants to be slapped in the face?” and I am here to tell you that everyone needs it! Gay Hendricks was really more of a life coach who knows what is best for you and knows why you aren’t getting it. He reveals this awesome concept called the Upper Limit problem, which is basically your way of reverting to your old ways or having something always stop you from REALLY breaking through to the other side, where your highest levels of happiness and love and abundance exist.

I read this book right before deciding to leave a full-time job, and take THE BIG LEAP to doing All Access Internships full-time. Once I did that, amazing things started to happen and everything worked out (even the income that, at the time of the “leap”, I had no clue how I would make).

 

So there you have it! If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them!