Home Blog Personal Development It's that time of year
It's that time of year

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"It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving." ~ Mother Teresa

"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." ~ Winston Churchill

"A generous man forgets what he gives and remembers what he receives." ~ Old Proverb

Recently I asked my daughter Zoe what she wanted for Christmas. She screwed up her face like she always does when I ask her something she doesn't want to hear, and said "I don't know, Mum. If I want something I buy it myself."

I'm sure that is a familiar experience for you. Sure there are lots of things I could get her, but I want them to be useful or meaningful. We all have so much stuff in our homes (and lives!)

Books are a great gift I think. We can lose ourselves in a great story or learn something new and potentially useful. And it's something we can pass on to share the positive experience too.

My gift to you is to recommend 5 books that I've enjoyed reading, which have been both useful and meaningful for me. Maybe, like Zoe, you could buy one of them for yourself or to give someone you love if it sounds a good fit.

Time to Think - listening to ignite the human mind* by Nancy Kline

As a professional listener, this suggestion from me is no surprise. Nancy is an inspirationl woman with an inspirational 'why' for the work she does. In this book she describes 10 behaviours that demonstrate a 'thinking environment', which dramatically improves the way people think. The cover says 'as change proliferates in our lives and our organisations, we must prize each other's minds above all else. We must learn how to help people think for themselves." In her book, Nancy describes how we can achieve this and presents a step-by-step guide that can be used in any situation.

Drive - the surprising truth about what motivates us* by Dan Pink

Dan's book is an easy read. He explains the limits of carrots and sticks and using science, demonstrates how autonomy, mastery and purpose help us to work smarter and live better lives. There's something in it for everyone, and it's a must for HR professionals.

Mindset - the new psychology of success* by Carol Dweck. (Currently out of print but there is a lot of information on her website)

In this book Carol explains why it's not just your abilities and talents that bring you success, but whether you approach your goals with a fixed or growth mindset. With the right mindset you can reach your own goals - personal and professional, motivate your children and help them improve in school. A great read for teachers and parents.

Kitchen Table Wisdom - Stories that Heal* by Rachel Naomi Remen

An inspirational and thought provoking book, it tells the wonderful stories of many of the people Rachel has encountered in her role as a doctor, as well as the challenges she has faced in her own life. This is both an enjoyable read and a personal development book, recounting stories that offer wisdom, understanding of what it means to be truly human and open to new experience. This is my favourite book on my bedside table, which I pick and read from often.

And last but not least:

Wild: A journey from lost to found* by Cheryl Strayed

A true story, this relates the aftermath of the early death of Cheryl's mother and its impact on her life, resulting in her decision to walk the Pacific Coast Trail in the USA alone. It's a powerful story of battling with the elements as well as her personal demons and has recently been made into a film, which is being released in the UK in mid-January. It's very inspiring and a great read. Zoe thought so too!

She did give me a few suggestions for presents after some further thought...!

*The links to Amazon are purely for your convenience and do not generate income for me.




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