I LOVE personal development. I love it so much that I don’t even like using the term “personal development.” It sounds too cheesy for what these books actually do.
I’m sure you’ve heard what I’m about to say a million times: find a mentor to help you reach your goals.
I’m also sure that you’ve tried to find a mentor and it hasn’t worked out the way you’d hoped it would. I know this because I’ve experienced it first hand, and so many people I know have experienced the same thing. You found someone whose work inspires you so much you can’t sleep at night. You listen to their videos, their podcasts, read their articles, retweet their every word… You feel like you’re becoming a better person by osmosis. And then you begin to think you’ve found it. The person. YOUR person. The one who will lift you out of the confusion and frustration of making it to who you’ve always wanted to be.
So you try to contact them. And a couple of different things happen… You never hear from this person. Not even once. Because they’re busy… too busy to actually answer or even read the hundreds of thousands of emails they get every day. They’re completely inaccessible. Or they send you a nice thank you letter - but there’s nowhere to go from there. No way to develop a relationship. No way to start to build that mentor-mentee relationship.
So you pin that lovely thank you email on your vision board, and go back to your drawing board instead.
Or maybe the person has an amazing coaching program that excites you to no end, that you simply can’t afford. And you scratch your head wondering how you’ll ever get that much money when you don’t have the tools to become the person you want to become…. Which is why you’d like to learn from them in the first place.
And no, I didn’t mention the “What do you have to offer this mentor?,” question. Because sometimes, you don’t have anything to offer this successful human being… You just know that their message resonates. You know that when you read their work, tears well up in your eyes because they’ve hit a truth that only your gut can feel.
I’ve got a secret to share with you: Sometimes, your gut feeling is the only thing that matters.
Don’t get me wrong. One-on-one contact with someone who has done it all before can really change your life. I’ve had a couple of teachers have conversations with me that I remember vividly. Conversations that helped me get to the next step in my journey. But… that isn’t always what you need.
These mentors are humans just like you and me. They can only do so much.
So when you find a message that really resonates with you, devour that person’s content. Read everything you can get your hands on. Watch their speeches, and then watch them again and again and again. Listen to their interviews. Become a raving student. Because some of the things they could say to you in person, is probably hiding in their content.
Words are simply a representation of thought. And a thought is just an idea that responds to an experience. An experience is a direct manifestation of a person’s belief system.
This means that when we read someone’s words, we’re really getting a glimpse into their soul. We’re beginning to see things through their perspective… and if we can apply those thoughts to our own experiences, then that is mentorship at its core.
I’ve read a couple of books that have moved me in the way great mentors have moved me in the past. Books that unlike conversations, I can return to at any moment.
Today, I want to share these books with you. I hope you find as much magic in them as I do.
THE SEAT OF THE SOUL!
I love this book so much I had to write the title again in all caps… Seriously. It will change the way you understand your purpose in this world.
I don’t remember when I bought the book or why I bought the book. All I know is that around the time I began to realize that I needed to make a change in my career or suffer drastic consequences, this book popped up. I’d owned it for quite some time but never cracked it open until then.
If you want to make some serious change in your life, and truly get into alignment with your inner-self… this book is the way to go. Reading it lifts my spirit. I find myself nodding like I’m listening to my favorite song - because every sentence packs so much truth.
Here… just look at these quotes and tell me you don’t already understand this life a whole lot better:
Favorite quote #1: “Temptation is the Universe’s compassionate way of allowing you to run through what would be a harmful negative karmic dynamic if you were to allow it to become physically manifest. It is the energy through which your soul is given the gracious opportunity to have a dry run at a life lesson, at a situation that, if you can see clearly, can be removed and healed within the confines of your private world or energy and not spill into a larger energy field of other souls. Temptation is a dress rehearsal for a karmic experience of negativity.” - Gary Zukav
Favorite quote #2: “By consciously serving the evolution of your soul you contribute the most that you can to your world, you become the one who contributes consciously to the well-being and spiritual development of those who share the human learning experience with you.” - Gary Zukav
Favorite quote #3: “Gratifying needs that are based upon fear will not bring you to the touchstone of purpose. No matter how successful the personality becomes in accomplishing its goals, those goals will not be enough. Eventually it will hunger for the energy of its soul. Only when the personality begins to walk the path that its soul has chosen will it satisfy its hunger.” - Gary Zukav
Favorite quote #4: “What does it feel like to remember your soul’s task? When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.” - Gary Zukav
I could keep going, because this book is FILLED with gold mines, but I’ll let you discover them for yourself. It’s more fun that way.
This book came to me at the absolute perfect time. I was roaming through Barnes & Noble (yes the actual store) and in an aisle completely inappropriate for its content. Of course the title spoke to me… Who doesn’t want to get what they want in life?
This book is like the Law of Attraction on Steroids. It's filled with actionable steps, intentions and guidance for every area of your life. It’s not just a positive thinking instruction list, either. It helps you understand the thoughts and energy behind our thoughts, and explains how to bring about that energy in your own life. I love this book so much I always return to it.
Favorite quote #1: “I intend that I am seeing everyone, including myself, in their highest light - happy, healthy, whole, and humming.” - Tony Burroughs
Favorite quote #2: “Before we can have true freedom we have to be able to learn from our experiences. This means that we stop repeating the same behavior that has been causing us discomfort, and instead, change our attitudes and actions. This is how we achieve a different result, one that serves us and every one around us better.” - Tony Burroughs
I absolutely love TGIT. Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder have gotten me through many difficult weeks.
And I also love Shonda Rhimes - aside from the fact that her brain has contributed to my favorite shows in brilliant and creative-genius ways, her transparent interviews have always inspired me to think bigger and dream harder. So when her book came out, it was a total no brainer for me.
My personal copy is now covered in underlines and highlights and tiny messages from myself in the margins. But the overall message is one that benefits everyone: how to say yes to the things you actually want but are too afraid to experience (bonus points if you’re an introvert like me).
Favorite quote #1: “If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.” - Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite quote #2: “Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.” - Shonda Rhimes
There you have it - 3 new mentors to help you build an authentic, wonderful life!
Looks like we’ve got some reading to do. ;)
& yes, some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, which means I'd get commission if you purchase the item. But don't worry! I'm only suggesting these because I personally love them, and I genuinely think they'll be truly helpful to you.