5 Books to Help You Reboot this Summer

This article first appeared on The Coach Space.

Summer is here, which means that half the year has already rolled by. 

For some, that fact brings with it the realisation that you haven’t achieved much of anything you set out to do at the beginning of the year.

But rather than dusting down your to-do list and getting depressed at all you haven’t done, make the decision to start afresh from where you are now.

And there’s no need to do it alone either. Glean some encouragement and words of wisdom from any of these five books to help you reboot YOU over the summer.  

The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness

By Emily Esfahani Smith

You may have started 2019 hell-bent on figuring out the business to build, the book to write, and the life that would finally lead you to the happiness you know you deserve.  And yet, here you are six months on, more downhearted and bewildered than ever before on how to make your life mean something special. 

If this is you, then step back, sit down, and pick up The Power of Meaningby US-based author and journalist, Emily Esfahani Smith. 

In this elegantly written and enriching book, Esfahani Smith draws on deep scientific research, as well as figures in literature and history, to suggest we stop looking for the thrill of happiness. Instead she shows us how learning to work towards simple goals, cultivating connections, and sharing our stories with others helps us to find our power and purpose in the world. 

Braving the Wilderness

By Brené Brown 

One of the biggest blocks to accomplishing your dreams is that you have to be, well, you. 

So many of us are terrified to step out as the people we really are, complete with never-before discussed ambitions, aspirations, or deep-rooted desires to be the next JK Rowling (or E.L. James!) 

Instead, we try to fit in so that we’ll “belong.” But in her New York Times bestseller, Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown argues that true belonging is “not something we negotiate or accomplish with others; it’s a daily practice that demands integrity and authenticity.”

Acknowledging that it takes both courage and commitment to be true to who you are, the oh-so inspiring Brown offers some simple steps to do this: 

Speak truth to bullshit. 

Hold hands. With strangers. 

And remember that people are hard to hate up close.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K 

By Sara Knight

If you’ve spent springtime giving priority to things that ultimately run you ragged, you might want to pop this book in your beach bag.  The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K springboards from the Marie Kondo precept of decluttering. The suggestion, however, is that it’s not stuff you should be ditching but the people and self-imposed obligations that are sucking the life out of you.  

Knight’s premise is simple – stop giving your time, energy, and money to things and people you don’t give a fuck about. 

It sounds like such obvious advice. Yet if we look to our habits and everyday actions, we’ll likely find we’re guilty of giving our attention to too many things that don’t matter in the deeper detail of our lives. Everything from jobs we hate to random comments by strangers on our social media feeds. 

Knight’s advice is to figure out what it is you don’t like doing. Learn how to say no to it. Set boundaries and then, in her own words, “Give fewer, better fucks” to the other things that actually do matter to you.

The Artist’s Way 

By Julia Cameron

Want to get your creative juices flowing over the summer season? Then, you can’t go wrong with The Artist’s Way, a seminal work on creativity. 

Julia Cameron details a 12-week program that explores the link between creativity and spirituality. 

Full of writing exercises and activities as well as sage advice on how to maintain creativity in this busy world, The Artist’s Way is like having a writer’s retreat in the comfort of your own home.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

By Elizabeth Gilbert

A gorgeous and encouraging examination of the creative process by the writer of Eat, Pray, Love.  

Elizabeth Gilbert is so upfront and generous in how she shares her own experience of magic, creativity and living the fullness of her life. She argues that we’re all creative beings and that it’s the act (or the art) of creation that can bring us the most contentment. 

Whether you’re a creative, a coach or an entrepreneur, this book can really speak to you about trusting your curiosity, showing up for your own dreams, and just being OK with enjoying whatever journey you’re on.