Every so often I read a book that changes my perspective and has me saying, “Yes! I can do this!” Other times I’ll find a book that has the right practical information that I need in order to take the next step toward accomplishing a life goal. And then there are the books that help guide me (and often my children too) toward becoming the person I most want to be.
This is a list of those books – contemporary and classic. I hope you’ll find some gems among them to inspire you to live out your life longings. Keep coming back. I’m always reading and the list will grow. Also, if you’ve read a book you believe should be on this list, email me at lkrupicka[at]word-crafter[dot]com. I would be thrilled to check it out and share with readers how it can help them.
100 Places That Can Change Your Child’s Life: From Your Backyard to the Ends of the Earth. This volume from National Geographic makes much of the value of travel in the life of a child. Which assumes that the reader can afford, both in terms of time and finances, to schlepp their child all around the globe. That said, it is a good guide and starting point for creating a list of places you don’t want to miss visiting with your child. Within months of reading it my family had explored one of the places on a day-trip during our annual vacation. And we have enough ideas for vacations to last until our kids are grown.
The Art of Work:A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do by Jeff Goins. For anyone (moms in particular) looking to reshape their work life or find a new career, The Art of Work makes the perfect companion to Bucket List Living For Moms. In it, Goins emphasizes the need to listen to your life for cues about your purpose and calling, a process familiar to readers of Bucket List Living. He goes on to outline the stages involved in finding and fulfilling that vocation, with examples from the stories of how others worked through these stages in identifying their callings. What readers will find most helpful about The Art of Work are the chapters about how to progress toward turning your aspirations into a lifelong legacy.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Researcher Brene Brown does an excellent job of shedding light on vulnerability and the power of risking being real. This book is a super resource for cultivating a mindset that allows you to live fully into all of life. And it prepares you to take the risky steps necessary to name your life longings and then step out in pursuit of them. As Brown says, “In fact, what I’ve heard over and over throughout the years is one clear message: ‘The most valuable and important things in my life came to me when I cultivated the courage to be vulnerable, imperfect, and self-compassionate.'” And that sounds like the perfect makings of a bucket list adventurer.
The Leap Year Project: Learning to Risk & Risking to Learn by Victor Saad. Saad decided that rather than pursue a master’s degree through a university, he could make the world his school. The Leap Year Project documents his process – from quitting a job he loved, to working alongside some of the brightest, most creative people out there. Saad deftly weaves the theme of what he learned each month in with his description of what happened. What I love about this book is Saad’s willingness to think outside the box and leap at opportunities. He includes stories of other “leapers.” And while I don’t expect the average reader will follow Saad’s lead as these folks did, I believe any reader can find encouragement to take steps toward their own life longings.
Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World by Bob Goff. Read this book when you want to be inspired to act, not sit around thinking about acting. The stories of what Goff has done so far in his lifetime are funny, amazing, and just plain electrifying. As Goff says, “Living a life fully engaged and full of whimsy and the kind of things that love does is something most people plan to do, but along the way they just kind of forget. Their dreams become one of those “we’ll go there next time” deferrals. The sad thing is, for many there is no “next time” because passing on the chance to cross over is an overall attitude toward life rather than a single decision.” Among the stories of his adventures and escapades, Goff weaves his thoughts on God, life, and what Jesus meant by “love your neighbor.”
The Me Project. Kathi Lipp balances encouragement to take action toward pursuing our goals with a wide-eyed realism that actually makes attaining those goals seem not only possible, but probable. If you’re looking for practical, step-by-step advice on how to start living out the desires of your heart, this book is for you. With a focus on following God’s lead, Lipp asks just the right questions and prods in the right manner to help any woman begin building “The Life You’ve Always Wanted.” Includes 21 projects to complete that move you forward toward your life goals right now.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. How do you consider yourself and your abilities? Are you smart? Talented in certain ways? Set with what you can and cannot do? Or do you think of yourself as a work in progress, still learning and developing? Those attitudes represent the two ways of thinking about yourself, or “mindsets” that researcher and author Dweck describes in this book: the fixed mindset and growth mindset. How you handle failure, how you treat others, and ultimately how successful you are in life are directly effected by which mindset you have. Dweck lays out information from study after study to make a very compelling case the importance of having a growth mindset. And the good news if you’re starting with a fixed mindset (as she says she did) – you can change.
Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want And Getting It by Henriette Anne Klauser. Wondering about the value of putting your list to paper? Klauser would tell you, “Do it!” What I like best about this book is her description of the mental processes that are ignited by putting pen to paper. The act of thinking on paper helps you orient yourself to being ready to take advantage when opportunities present themselves. Klauser provides the right amount of encouragement and guidance to enable anyone to transfer their lifelong goals to paper. And begin taking action to make them happen. My only caution about this book is that she subscribes to a bit of a magic-making philosophy, claiming that the world will conspire to make your dreams come true if you would just write them down.