Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. -Joseph Addison
Are you making or adding to your summer reading list these days? If so, this post is for YOU!
I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid, I never left home without a book in hand. I went on to study English in college and ended up teaching high school English.
I’ve read a lot of books and right now, I’m obsessed with personal development and growth books.
I fell into my fitness career after daughter #3 came along. When my path crossed with two amazing CEOs—Chalene Johnson and Carl Daikeler—as a master trainer and online entrepreneur, my reading obsessions turned from the latest John Grisham novel to the latest John C. Maxwell leadership book, and have stayed there ever since.
If you’re not already a personal development junkie, let me share a bit about why I think it’s so important.
Working out and eating healthy is mission-critical to optimal living, for sure, and equally important is the stuff we’re consuming mentally. If we aren’t intentional about what goes in our heads, we likely aren’t living our best, healthiest life.
As much as we have to move our bodies, we have to “move” our brains, too.
As much as we have to fuel our bodies, we have to fuel our brains as well.
Yes, fitness is a catalyst for life change. But that workout that happens between our ears when we read amazing books!? That might just be the most important workout of all.
It’s also so important to have the right tools in our toolbox to deal with whatever life throws our way. Life feels a little crazy right now, right?! Diving into a robust personal development book might be the piece that grounds and centers you when everything else feels chaotic. (Hint: Having a supportive, incredible community around you matters a TON, too! Why not just combine the two and host or join a book club?!)
I recently did an IGTV highlighting a bunch of the amazing personal growth books I’m digging, and I’d love to share some of those recommendations with you here, too!
Here are just a few of the books I’m loving right now…
- I’ve Been Thinking… by Maria Shriver
One of my coaches gave this to me, and I love this book so much! Maria comes from an incredible family and has achieved a lot on her own. In this book, she dives into critical topics like listening, empathy, being a woman, and the power of positive thinking. It’s set up like a daily journal/meditation, but I read several sections at a time at night before bed because they’re short and digestible.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
You’ve probably already heard people raving about this book, because it’s THAT GOOD. Michelle is an icon—and simply put, a brilliant human. I love how she combines story and learning in this book. Her writing makes us think differently and want to be a better overall person.
- Untamed by Glennan Doyle
Here’s another bestseller that you’ve probably heard about. I have just started my copy but my daughters and so many other women have recommended this to me. Glennon’s been called the “patron saint of female empowerment” for good reason. (And if you haven’t read Wolfpack, by Glennon’s wife, Abby Wambach, you must!).
- Ask for More by Alexandra Carter
I had the pleasure of hearing this author speak on one of our national company-wide calls and she was phenomenal. I knew I had to pre-order her book before that talk even ended. I love that it’s all about negotiating and how negotiation applies to everything in our life from relationships to our careers.
- The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork by John C. Maxwell
Maxwell asserts that success is entirely dependent on teamwork, and nobody knows more about leadership and teams than this man. I’m a huge fan of his work and consume as much as I can from him. I actually read this book previously, but am eager to gobble it up again. My team of coaches and I have massive goals for 2020 and I want to be the best possible leader for them that I can.
Watch the full IGTV to get the rest of my list (including what I consider to be one of the most pivotal books of all time). I guarantee you’re going to want to run to the nearest bookstore (or pull up your favorite online book retailer) when you watch this video.
I’ll leave you with one final bit of advice: There are a billion books in the world. Don’t read something that doesn’t speak to you or fuel you in some way. When you were in school, you were probably being told what to read, but as an adult, it’s up to you!
Whatever you read, just read SOMETHING that will grow, stretch, and inspire you. I promise you’ll be better off for it.