My quarter-life-crisis is almost here! My 25th birthday is next month, and while I am ramping up to have an exciting quarantine birthday, I am also reflecting on all the ways I grew from a wee 20-year-old. For one, I started reading motivational books.
When I was kicked out of my house, I found myself totally lost and confused about what to do with my life. It was at that moment I opened the nightstand of the guest room I was staying in and found “Conversations with God.” It was one of those rare moments in life that felt serendipitous in an ironic way.
I was reading a story about a man who totally lost his way and found himself at the lowest point in his life, cursing God to give him answers. Meanwhile, I, too, was looking for my own answers.
I felt like a character in the story. I devoured that book. Then I devoured more inspirational books. I think I read 20 books that summer.
Ever since, I’ve been an avid reader and listener of motivational books. I encourage you to find inspirational books geared towards women in their 20’s. Hopefully you will find the books that guide you and connect the dots in your world.
I want to share the list inspirational books that have helped me navigate the first half of my 20’s. Here are my Top 10 Favorite Motivational books of all time. Add these to your reading list!
GRIT – by Angela Duckworth
“Grit” is a must-read for anyone who has ever had trouble staying committed to their goals. Duckworth studies what makes people successful and why. Her primary focus is on people who stay committed to a goal over a long period, the high achievers. In this book, she explains what it takes to be successful. Passion and perseverance are the two main characteristics of high achievers. Sustained persistence towards a long-term goal is the foundation for success.
If you want to accomplish your goals but are asking yourself, “how do I stay committed, the answer is to develop grit.
The Defining Decade – Meg Jay
Your 20’s are your developmental “sweet spot.” Jay stresses the importance of figuring out what you want in your 20’s and not just wasting time. She emphasizes that “claiming your 20’s is the simplest yet most transformative thing you can do”. Whatever it is that you want to change about yourself, you have the opportunity to do it in your 20’s. After 30, everything gets a little bit harder.
This is an essential read if you are in your early twenties and aren’t taking the time to figure out what you want. If you are always saying that “you’ll do it later” and “now isn’t the right time,” Now is the time! It’s the most defining and important time in your life.
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things- Jenny lawson
Jenny Lawson puts a new twist on depression and managing mental illness in this comedic autobiography. Depression isn’t something we’d typically laugh about, but Lawson makes a serious conversation light-hearted, honest, and at times funny. I have never laughed so hard than I did reading this book. Within the funny moments, there is also a more profound message about accepting yourself and all your flaws.
Designing Your Life – Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
People at many different stages in their lives find themselves stuck. A substantial amount of people don’t have careers in what they majored in in college, but even worse, they are miserable in their jobs. People end up going deep down a path that they think will make them happy and find themselves miserable and desperate for answers.
“Designing Your Life” digs deep into the questions of how people end up living a life they are unhappy with and what they can do now to change. “Designing Your Life” is a great book to read in your 20’s because you are at the beginning of the design process. You still have so much untapped potential. Now is the time to make sure you have a plan and are on the right track to designing a fulfilling life.
Never Split The Difference – Chris Voss
Voss is an ex FBI hostage negotiator. For a lot of people, negotiation is stressful, most people would rather accept less than they deserve than speak up and negotiate what they want. Voss examines the importance of negotiation, never splitting the difference, approaching conversations with empathy and understanding. After reading “Never Split The Difference,” not only will you feel more confident in your ability to negotiate, you’ll want to go out and find things to debate.
Conversations with God – Neale Donald Walsch
Despite the title, this novel isn’t about religion as much as it is about spirituality. It is a new aged look at all of the questions we have about life, from the perspective of God. Walsch’s novel has been very controversial, and the center of criticism because the traditional ideas of Christianity and religion are disembarked.
New ideas about who we are and why we are here are given life to in this book. Explaining that all the answers you need are within you.
Flat Broke with Two Goats – Jennifer McGaha
A story of a woman living a comfortable life – beautiful cape house, kids in private school, only to have it all come crashing down. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in doubt, McGaha moves to a shack in the woods where she eventually finds herself raising goats –
Flat Broke With Two Goats is an emotional story about what it means to start all over. This novel puts into perspective that there is only an illusion of security, at any time we could lose everything. What we find in the most difficult moments of hardship shows us who we really are.
The Miracle Equation – Hal Elrod
Not only is the miracle equation a testament to goal setting and personal development, but it is also a moving story about Elrod’s journey to finding the equation. Elrod is a unique person, to say the least, defying not just the odds but death twice and coming out all the better for it to share his experience. He is a beacon of hope and a powerhouse of inspiration.
In The Miracle Equation, Elrod gives a step-by-step process to achieving your goals by demonstrating that the key to achieving anything is unwavering faith and extraordinary effort.
You Are A Badass- Jen Sincero
Sincero addresses some essential life lessons. Lessons that we all eventually learn, but learning them in our early twenties can save us unwarranted stress and anxiety. Sincero covers everything from finding your thing, to dealing with procrastination, and where your negative beliefs came from. Personal growth books can be corny and over the top, but Sinero writes from the perspective of a woman figuring her life out.
A Curious Mind – Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
Grazer defines the significance of curiosity and asking questions. Saying that there is a connection between one’s curiosity and their ambition, determination, and courage. Asking questions is essential in your exploration of knowledge. While you should never stop seeking knowledge, it is especially crucial to be curious in your twenties. Find mentors, ask questions, learn everything there is to know.
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