A few months ago I hit a bit of a slump. Or maybe I hit a bump? Or fell into a slump? I don’t really know the right metaphor. Basically, I just felt a little purposeless. So, I started digging around for some reading that might inspire me to feel otherwise.
Whether you’re looking for something to get you motivated for upcoming New Year’s resolutions or you’ve just run out of good Netflix shows (seriously, why aren’t there more episodes of The Crown?) during this hibernation season, I’ve got six books for you.
I’ve listed them in order of best to worst. But my opinion is, well, just that.
Born to Run
If you have even a passing interest in running, this book is for you. It’s story after story of some of the most challenging runs on earth and the greatest runners alive. It culminates with a run that takes place in remote mountains of Mexico. The writing is great. The topics are fascinating. I’m seriously already thinking about re-reading it.
You are a Badass
Honestly, I judged this book by its cover and I thought its cover was kind of stupid. But then I saw one of my favorite Instagram influencers post about it being life changing so I read it. (Speaking of stupid.) I really loved it. Yes, it can get a little cliche self-help-y. But it’s honest and funny and it makes you want to change your life for the better.
Eat & Run
Ok, this one may be for those who are a bit more fanatical about running. Or eating. Or both. Scott Jurek is one of the greatest runners alive. He’s also a vegan. This book is filled with stories of his runs and his recipes. It briefly made me consider becoming a vegan. (It’s hard to explain how brief this was. Like, I was reading it one afternoon at my parents’ house, announced I was becoming vegan, they announced we were having Chick-Fil-A for dinner, and I changed my mind.) But the point is that it will make you think about that stuff. (Like, sometimes now I eat slightly less cheese.)
Living With A Seal
This book is an insane story of a guy who hired a SEAL to live with him and train him for a month. It was the first of these books that I read and I really enjoyed it. I would absolutely never do half the stuff they do. But he makes a point repeatedly that most of the time when we think we’re pushing our body to the limit, we’re really at 40 percent. I now think about that when I’m working out/walking three feet.
Tools of Titans
Tim Ferriss is the guy who wrote The 4-Hour Workweek. I loved that book. My boss did not love how much I loved that book. This book is basically Ferriss’ notes from interviews with people who have done very cool things—billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It’s a massive book. But it’s not really designed to be read straight through. It’s great for those of us with short attention spans who like to just learn random facts about impressive people.
My feelings on this book are really mixed. It kept my attention the whole way through and it’s a really interesting sociological study as far as the treatment of obese people in today’s society. But it’s not necessarily a book that inspires or teaches you. And when I finished it, I went to look up the author to see what she’s doing. She’s gained back all the weight. And she’s unhappy. It bummed me out a lot. So, unless you’re super into dramatic weight loss stories, I’m not sure I’d bother with this one.
Have any game-changing inspirational books you want to share? Tell me. I just ordered How To Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci because my boss has mentioned it like six times around me. And because thinking like a genius seems cool.
I’ve never been great with the whole resolutions thing. But if anyone can help you resolve stuff, it’s Oprah, right? So this is my 2017 New Year’s Resolution in one quote—to use my gifts and passions to serve others.