Every now and then, Afroz and I go on a special date. Not just any date. It's a date that doesn't involve a romantic dinner or a stroll by lake. It's a date at Barnes and Noble, where we spend a couple hours reading through books and magazines and being total nerds.
Some of you are probably wondering, "Man, that sounds terrible."
Well, it's pretty freaking fun for us.
Afroz always goes to the cars section or the technology section. Sometimes, he'll be in the business section. I used to always run to the architecture and design section immediately, but then I saw a few books from the corner of my eye that drew me to the business section and also the self-help section. I never thought I would have any interest in reading a book about either topics. But during the last few Barnes and Noble runs, I came across a few books that I fell in love with. These aren't fiction or mystery novels, nor are they gushing romantic novels. They are straight up wonderful books that make you want to get up and do something awesome with your life. The authors don't fluff anything up to make their books sound deep and emotional. They look you in the eye and tell you the truth--what they did and didn't do and how you can learn from their experiences. So here we go, in no particular order:
The Happiness Project is a book by Gretchin Rubin. I previously wrote about how awesome this book was in this post here. She talks about the simple steps she took to make herself happier. Whenever I think about self-help books, I think about how the author is going to go on about some huge life changing experience. That kind of book isn't for me. I like hearing about the small steps, because jumping to one huge change doesn't work for everyone. Rubin talks about the little things and taking time out to figure out what makes each of us feel more positive in our daily routine. She figured out what would make her happier and then she tackled one goal every month. What I love about her book is that she shares her failures along with her successes. This made the book more relatable for me and had a much bigger impact on me. The Happiness Project isn't the kind of book that makes you feel like you have so many problems and the author has the answer to them all. She just shares her two-cents and made me realize that I can totally be happier if I just try to be happy, like literally have that exact intention in mind. It made a big difference for me.
Remember that Dove commercial that impacted the way many people thought about beauty? Everyone and their mother shared it online and it was pretty mesmerizing to watch? If you don't remember, click here. Well, Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk are the two people that brought that commercial to life. In "Darling, You Can't Do Both," they talk about the struggles of being women in the business world. This book wasn't completely relatable for me in the sense that I completely agree with everything they're saying, but it still opened my mind to many aspects of being a woman in the workplace. They mention things like motherhood being an asset and not a liability in the business world. They also talk about taking risks, the importance of networking, and to be less hesitant when sharing ideas.
Every girl on Instagram had a photo of this book on their page. I had no interest in it until I eventually decided to see what the hype was about and I loved it.
Sophia Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school— a job she’d taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Flash forward ten years to today, and she’s the founder and executive chairman of Nasty Gal, a $250-million-plus fashion retailer with more than four hundred employees. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she’s written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers (Source).
This book has motivated me so much with INKMADE. She's so straightforward with her advice and covers a bunch of questions and struggles I've had. I definitely recommend it!
So, next time you're on a date at your local Barnes and Noble (or doing something more normal, like checking out books on Amazon in your PJs), be sure to check out these titles and get inspired to go do something awesome.