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We talk a lot about reading as a tool for growth and self-exploration, but did you know that Myrth Founder and CEO, Emma McLaren, is an intense bookworm? She can plow through a book a day sometimes (she read 85 books in 2019), and she keeps careful notes on all the books she reads. We thought it would be nice to do a series of blog posts on some of the books Emma has read in the last few years.
In this installment, Emma introduces us to 7 of the books that changed her life for the better. Take a peek!
7 books that changed Myrth’s Founder Emma McLaren’s Life for the better:
1. The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff.
This is an introduction to the foundational principles of Taoism, where complex philosophy is made accessible and memorable through a childhood favorite of so many people. Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and their friends help explain the core beliefs of Taoism in digestible stories and snippets.
Emma’s Notes: This is my most gifted book and a book I have purchased repeatedly as I’ve given it away or lost it in another move. I re-read it when I need reminding about slowing down and being less “busybackson” or to be present and remember that today is special for no other reason than it is today.
2. Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
The New York Times bestseller is a memoir chronicling a year in the author’s life after everything fell apart and she had to answer two fundamental questions: who am I really, and what do I want out of life?
Emma’s Notes: This is an oldie but a goodie. I remember how influential Eat, Pray, Love was when it came out. So many women decided to go traveling, and I was no exception. My first big trip was at the beginning of 2007, a year after the book came out. Throughout my travels I would think about Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey and remember the importance of “the act of doing nothing,” sticking with something, and befriending the locals. And no doubt the best pizza I have ever had was at this little joint in Milan where Elizabeth (and then Julia Roberts) ate.
3. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert.
In this book, the bestselling author delves into her own creative process, sharing wisdom and inspiration for readers to explore their own creative lives to their fullest potential.
Emma’s notes: No matter what I’m doing, I am stretching my creative muscles. Big Magic is inspirational and practical — my kind of book. Do what you love to do, and do it with both seriousness and lightness.
4. Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking, by Allen Carr.
A straightforward, no-nonsense approach to quitting smoking that can also help with other addictions and addictive behaviors, too.
Emma’s notes: Okay, so we don’t hear about smoking or smokers as much as we used to. I can’t even think of the last time a self-help guru or social media influencer had smoking as a subject or focus. I was a smoker for almost half my life, a fact that I am both proud of and embarrassed about. I talk about it at Myrth . Allen Carr’s book is revolutionary and a must read for anyone struggling to quit, but it’s not a panacea. Quitting smoking requires you to love yourself and your body enough to resist the addiction — that work took more time, unfortunately.
5. Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant.
If you’re interested in learning how to promote new ideas, get buy-in on teams, and speak up without fear even when your voice is in the minority, this is the book for you. Part scientific review, part self-help guide, this book will help you become more comfortable with your originality and sharing that originality with others.
Emma’s Notes: I read this book at a very tough time in my life. I was being “punished” for not conforming to values and a system that I did not agree with — sexist system and organization that refused to acknowledge the discrimination. I ultimately had to leave the organization, but reading Originals reminded me that I am an outspoken nonconformist who will stand up for what’s right — even to my own detriment. It was a book that chose me at the perfect time, not the other way around.
6. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown.
Most productivity books focus on cramming in as much work as possible into as little time as possible. Not this one. In this book, Greg McKeown shifts the emphasis to doing the most important work and knowing how and when to set other work aside.
Emma’s Notes: If you begin with any book, let it be this one. This book written by Greg McKeown has transformed the way I do business and, quite frankly, how I operate my life. Determining what is essential from what is not has made me a happier and less stressed out human. Start with this one!
7. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, by Tim Ferriss.
This exploration of the habits of successful people is a peek into a world many people never get to explore first-hand, one inhabited by the icons of their respective fields. If you won’t get the chance to ask questions of these people yourself, this is your next best bet.
Emma’s Notes: This is the biggest book ever at around 800 pages — chock full of tips, wisdom and habits of successful men — and I say men because it is 98% so. Even so, this book and the words from all the contributors is the reason I meditate and read every day. It’s also how I got started tracking my habits consistently. I write more about the book here and here.
Do you have a collection of books you return to time and again when you need inspiration and guidance? We’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments.
Originally published at https://www.getmyrth.com on November 23, 2020.