5 Life Changing Books To Help You Through Tough Times

THE POWER OF NOW – Eckhart Tolle 

You have probably heard of this book if you have ever been in search of self-help reading material, as it is one of the bestselling offerings of its generation (1997). Yet, in a time of social media, when everybody focuses on validation and not living in the present moment of their lives – its as relevant a read now as it ever was.

Eckhart Tolle demonstrates in the book how we can learn to live a healthier and happier life by living in the present moment. To make the journey into The Power of Now you need to leave behind your analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind.

Like any self-help book, the inner journey you embark upon while reading is challenging but Eckhart Tolle offers a simple language and an interesting question and answer format to show us how to silence our negative thoughts and create a more liberated life.

“All problems are illusions of the mind.”  – Eckhart Tolle

The idea of the book is simple: Tolle asks you to surrender to the present moment, where problems do not exist. As it is there that we find our joy, are able to embrace our true selves and discover that we are already complete and perfect. It’s not as wishy washy as that may come across, trust me. I read this book in my mid teens and found it truly engaging and helpful. It is great for any age, any time and anywhere in life’s journey. If we are able to be fully present and take each step in the Now we will be opening ourselves to the transforming experience of The Power of Now

DARING GREATLY -Brené Brown 

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will have heard about the Texan Vulnerability and Shame expert and qualitative researcher who went viral following her infamous 20 minute TED Talk (over 10 million views!) which is now on Netflix as ‘The Call to Courage’. (If you don’t fancy reading the book, watch either Ted Talk or the Netflix talk, both are brilliant!)

The general gist of the book is simple and yet very effective. Every time we are introduced to someone new, try to be creative, or start a difficult conversation, we effectively take a risk. We feel uncertain and exposed. We feel vulnerable. Most of us try to fight those feelings – we strive to appear perfect. Brown beckons us to expand our perceptions on vulnerability and shame, thus changing principles on how we live, love, work and parent.

She challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability, and dispels the widely accepted myth that it’s a weakness. She argues that, in truth, vulnerability is strength and when we shut ourselves off from vulnerability – from revealing our true selves – we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” – Brené Brown 

This book isn’t just a self-help – it is an open invitation to be courageous; to show up and let ourselves be seen, even when there are no guarantees. This is vulnerability. This is daring greatly

THE POWER OF HABIT- Charles Duhigg 

I found this book rather interesting as I am a person who is constantly looking at the world around me and asking question after question. One of the most frequent questions I ask is why do we do develop habits? And how can we change them?

Duhigg believes we can always change. In The Power of Habit, the award-winning New York Times business reporter translates cutting-edge behavioural science into practical self-improvement action, distilling advanced neuroscience into fascinating narratives of transformation and intriguing stories.

I especially love this book as I found it a great source of inspiration and motivation to push myself in my work life as The Power of Habit reveals the secret pressure points that can change a life and improve work ethics. From Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to Martin Luther King Jr., from the CEO of Starbucks to the locker rooms of the NFL, Duhigg explores the incredible results of keystone habits , and how they can make all the difference between billions and millions, failure and success – or even life and death.

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” – Charles Duhigg

The book also makes an exhilarating case: the key to almost any door in life is instilling the right habit. From exercise to weight loss, childrearing to productivity, market disruption to social revolution, and above all success , the right habits can change everything. Habits aren’t destiny. They’re science, one which can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives. A truly great read.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS – Don Miguel Ruiz

Let me start by saying this is a book that I also downloaded in audio format on Audible as I found it so incredibly inspiring and helpful that I return to it at least every few weeks to listen to it, it instantly calms me and puts me back in a place of perspective.

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering in a beautifully raw and pure way.

Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. The main principles are as follows:

  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  2. Don’t Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don’t Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

Ruiz distills this Toltec wisdom, expressing with utmost clarity and impeccability what it means for us to live as peacefully in the modern world.

“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are”. – Don Miguel Ruiz

There has been over 8.5 million copies sold in the U.S and it is a New York Times Best Seller. It’s been translated into 46 languages worldwide.  And even Oprah has endorsed it freely saying that “This book by Don Miguel Ruiz, simple yet so powerful, has made a tremendous difference in how I think and act in every encounter.” as well as Deepak Chopra who said  “Don Miguel Ruiz’s book is a roadmap to enlightenment and freedom.” 

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI- Paramahansa Yogananda

This book has been doing the rounds since all the way back in 1946 when AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI first appeared on bookshelves. It was acclaimed as a landmark work in its field and has been named one of the 100 best spiritual books of the twentieth century.

In the book, that is both a self-help and an insight into finding spiritual peace of mind, Paramahansa Yogananda’s remarkable life story takes you on an unforgettable exploration of the world of saints and yogis, science and miracles, death and resurrection. I couldn’t put it down when I began reading it and re-read it again for my grandmother as she lay dying of cancer in the hospice. It too gave her so much peace. So this book is a very special one for me at a very paramount time of my life when I was faced with the death of a parental figure.  

It is full of engaging eloquence and an endearing wit as Paramahansa Yogananda narrates the inspiring chronicles of his life. I adored reading about his childhood experiences including his many entralling encounters with various saints and sages while journeying throughout India for ten years of training as a yoga master and the thirty years that he lived and taught in America thereafter.

“The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.” – Paramahansa Yogananda

A perennial best-seller, this gem of a book has found its way into the hearts of millions of readers around the world, of all ages! This is an absolute must read, a must have in one’s possession and a must download book on audible. It changed my life in ways I was never knew it could and I am all the better for it.