6 Books to Help You Live Your Best Life

UPDATED: September 1, 2021
PUBLISHED: February 7, 2020
Books to Help You Live Your Best Life

1. Leading with Gratitude

Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

It feels good when you’re rewarded or recognized for your work, doesn’t it? Not only does it feel good, but it can also make your workplace more productive, increase engagement and reduce turnover, write Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. But, they say, not enough leaders show their gratitude for employees’ work, creating a “gratitude gap.”

How do you lead with gratitude? Gostick and Elton’s eight tips include: soliciting and acting on input, assuming positive intent, emphasizing, celebrating small wins, giving, tailoring to an individual, focusing on values, and making connections. The writers not only give real-life explanations how these tools work, but back them up with ways you can practice them and make them stick. (March; Harper Business; $30)

2. Get Out of Your Own Way

A Skeptic’s Guide to Growth and Fulfillment

By Dave Hollis

The husband of a breakout personal development star, Dave Hollis wrote his book for people who have lost their way and want to unlock their potential, he says.

“You can find things short-term to make you happy, but if you want to truly be fulfilled, you need to be growing,” Hollis writes. “And in order to grow, you need to… learn to kick the lies putting limits on who and what you can be.”

What are some of those lies? Hollis tackles 17 of them from “My work is who I am” to “failure means you’re weak.” He shares how those lies affected him, and also what he did to get over them.

The book (excerpted on page 82 of this issue) is an honest and relatable story with tools that can help anyone feeling stuck. (March; HarperCollins Leadership; $17)

3. Optimal Outcomes

Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home, and in Life

By Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D.

An expert when it comes to conflict, Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler, Ph.D., has spent more than a decade studying it, researching it, and helping others deal with it. Conflict is normal, natural and inevitable, she writes. And it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It’s up to us and how we deal with it. Sometimes we even need it.

“Without conflict, the world would be a much less productive, less interesting, perhaps even less worthwhile place,” Goldman-Wetzler writes.

Optimal Outcomes is a quick read, but Goldman-Wetzler offers ways we can apply each practice she covers to really follow through. (February; Harper Business; $30)

4. It Takes What It Takes

How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life

By Trevor Moawad

When you think neutrally, Trevor Moawad writes, “You concentrate when other factors are swirling around in your life…. Dramatic life events tend to introduce a flood of emotion. Staying neutral can help you manage that emotion.”

Moawad says it has helped him deal with his own divorce, but it’s not all about dramatic experiences. It can also help you when facing lofty goals. Moawad gives the example of a marathoner. At the start of a race, a marathoner can’t be thinking about the finish line, he writes. They have to start by pacing themselves for the first mile.

Filled with real life examples, Moawad offers a number of ways to tap into neutral thinking, from being more self-aware to visualizing and planning. A mental conditioning coach to elite performers, Moawad leans heavily on examples from sports. (February; HarperOne; $28)

5. The Calling

3 Fundamental Shifts to Stay True, Get Paid, and Do Good

By Rha Goddess

You have a calling, according to Rha Goddess. Some of us don’t know that. Others know they have a calling, but aren’t tapping into it. How do you live your calling to the fullest? That’s what Goddess wants to help you do.

“Because it’s important to have a set of statements that genuinely reflect the essence of who you are,” Goddess writes. “And because they play such an important role in facilitating your True.”

The Calling is dense, filled with examples and stories that back up each of 18 steps. That might seem like a lot to follow, but stick with it and you’ll find ways to really start leaning into your calling. (January; St. Martin’s Essentials; $26)

6. Suffer Strong

How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything

By Katherine and Jay Wolf

Katherine and Jay Wolf know about suffering. Six months after their son was born, Katherine, then 26, suffered a stroke that prevented her from being able to walk, talk, eat and live at home. The recovery and the experience was trying for the family, but they survived and overcame it all. Now they want to share their story and help others get through hard times. Challenges and trials can take different shapes and sizes, but we all face it throughout our lives, the couple writes.

“Suffering in its simplest form comes in the space between what we thought would be and what is,” Jay Wolf writes. “That tension can rock us to our core.”

In Suffer Strong, Jay and Katherine gracefully hand off chapters explaining what they learned from their struggles and what others can take away from them. (February; Zondervan; $22)

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by Anatolir/Shutterstock.com

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Jesus Jimenez is a staff writer for Dallas Morning News. He eats, breathes and sleeps Texas Rangers baseball. He also enjoys running, traveling and buying cool socks.