Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!
I’ve been feeling SO motivated and happy, even in these sleep deprived newborn days. Rather than only letting my own light shine, I want to help YOU too.
First I wanted to share a few mindsets that I TRY my best to live by. I’ve grown a lot over the past few years and here are thing that have shifted for me:
You can convince yourself of anything. One thing I’ve realized is that you can easily convince yourself you’re right about something and then find people that will back you up. You’ll seek these people out to tell your tales to and avoid the people that might just tell you the truth. You can go on FOREVER like this or realize, wait…maybe sometimes things are MY fault. Maybe I’m part of the reason our friendship is struggling. Maybe I’m half to blame for this fight I’m in with my husband. If in your stories you are ALWAYS the person that is WRONGED or EVERYTHING bad is always happening to YOU…you’re probably partially to blame. It’s pretty game changing to start asking yourself what you did to contribute. I think this is called self reflection. 😉
It could be worse. Last year, it seemed like everything in our house wanted to malfunction or break at the same time. I believe the saying goes, “Everything and the kitchen sink” and we literally needed a brand new kitchen sink. My husband was complaining about it one night and I said, “Babe! We are SO lucky to have this house. SO many people don’t even have a house or the money to be able to fix these things.” He said, “Can’t you ever just let me complain?” 😉 My mind is always thinking that things could be worse and that helps me to stay positive and keep things in perspective.
Why wait? I wish ya’ll could’ve heard my conversation with my friend Natalie yesterday. I was smiling ear to ear the entire time because we’re just on the same page about SO many things. Including how to keep ourselves positive and how to create our best lives. She reminded me of something that fits perfectly into this post. She said she’ll often think about her life 10 years down the road. Not in job interview question type of way, rather in a personal reflection type of way. Here are the types of questions she asks herself: What am I doing RIGHT now that would make my 41 year old self proud? What personality traits will I be happy to pass down to my children? And WHERE can I improve? What would I not be proud of and how can I change that? We agreed that we are works in progress and that you CAN change the things that you don’t like RIGHT NOW.
With all of that being said, we’ll all have bad days. Days that we don’t feel positive and that’s okay too. I just don’t want to live my life LIVING in that place. I want to challenge myself to as many times as possible, pull myself into a more positive place. Do you?
Onto my BEST book and podcast suggestions:
I constantly listen to audiobooks and podcasts. You might be asking, where do you find the time? Well, everywhere. You can replace TV and the radio with these uplifting little nuggets. If I’m feeling down or stressed, I pop on an audiobook as soon as I can. If I’m uninspired or unmotivated, I pop on a podcast. One the most cathartic half hours of my day is when I’m cleaning the kitchen at the end of the night and listening to a podcast. And ya’ll, we all know that I don’t even like cleaning. But, with my headphones on…I just get to be in my own little world.
For me, this is one of the main ways I stay positive. A lot of the following recommendations give tips on how to train your brain to be a more positive space.
If you want to be POSITIVE, you need to surround yourself with POSITIVE. I always love to share that I haven’t always been this way. After college I was definitely dwindling and felt more down than I did up. I had to change some habits: I starting drinking MUCH less, working out MUCH more, letting go of conflicts and blame, and started to train my brain.
First: do yourself a favor and get a subscription to audible. Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks.
Audible Free Trial benefits:
• Get two free audiobooks to start — after 30 days, get 1 book each month for $14.95/month
• Get 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
• Cancel anytime. Your books are yours to keep, even if you cancel.
Audible Gold Membership benefits (THIS IS WHAT I HAVE)
• One audiobook per month for $14.95/mo
• 30% off the price of additional audiobook purchases
• Cancel anytime. A member’s books are theirs to keep, even if they cancel.
Next, get a great pair of noise cancelling headphones so that when you’re listening to your uplifting message you can be in your own world. These are the ones that I have: Bose SoundLink Wireless Headphones II. I love them because they go around my whole ear, are comfortable, are wireless, and WORK well!
Without further adieu,
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero:
Why I love this book: The title is the perfect summation of the goal that we’re trying to accomplish here ya’ll. This book is SO uplifting, it is like drinking positivity. It is also hilarious. I love when the authors read their own books on audible because it gives it such a zest. Jen is hilarious and dead serious about helping you get out of your own way to improve your life. I would read this immediately if I were you and up level your thinking and mood.
Quote I love: “Because if you base your self-worth on what everyone else thinks of you, you hand all your power over to other people and become dependent on a source outside of yourself for validation. Then you wind up chasing after something you have no control over, and should that something suddenly place its focus somewhere else, or change its mind and decide you’re no longer very interesting, you end up with a full-blown identity crisis.”
Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Ariana Huffington.
Why I love this book: Man oh man, if you want a wake up call…this could be it. What are you living for? What are your priorities? Are you taking care of yourself? Ariana literally collapsed and hit her head from EXHAUSTION and realized she needed to make changes. I’m SO glad she took us on her journey. This book also unloads a bunch of facts and was very research drive, which I love.
Quote I love: “Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success?”
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequest
Why I love this book: We’ll all go through hard times and Shauna brings us right alongside of her as she trudges through hers. If you are going through a harder time, maybe this is the one you start with.
Quote I love: “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Neiquest
What I love this book: I truly felt like this was a true game changer for me. Like a CHANGE the way you live right now type of read. I just thought, “Why wouldn’t I glean every bit of knowledge from this wise woman and change my ways right now?” I knew for so many of her lessons, I didn’t want to wait until I was 40 to learn them or adjust. I also loved experiencing Shauna’s growth from her aforementioned book Bittersweet.
Quote I love: “It’s easier to be impressive to strangers than it is to be consistently kind behind the scenes. It’s easier to show up and be a hit for an hour than it is to get down on the floor with your kids when you’re so tired your eyes are screaming and bone-dry. It’s easier to be charming on a conference call than it is to traverse the distance between you and your spouse, the distance you created.”
Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness for the Female Entrepreneur by Cara Alwill Leyba
Why I love it: If you are struggling with feeling competitive or jealous of a girlfriend, sister, coworker…read this! It was SO helpful for me to understand how to be supportive of the women in my life while realizing that there is room for ALL of us to succeed.
Quote I love: “No matter where you are in life, you’ll save a lot of time by not worrying too much about what other people think about you. The earlier in your life that you can learn that, the easier the rest of it will be.”
Love Unending: Rediscovering Your Marriage in the Midst of Motherhood by Becky Thompson.
Why I love it: This is the marriage book I ALWAYS talk about it. Drew and I can honestly say we’re in a better place with TWO babies and this book definitely has something to do with it!
Quote I love: “He looked over his shoulder to make sure my momma wasn’t coming, and with a twinkle in his eye and a sly little smile, he whispered, ‘Every day when I wake up, I tell myself it is the first day I am married to your mom.”
I listen to my podcasts via my iPhone. I just search what I’m looking for in the Podcast iPhone app.
Happier with Gretchen Rubin
Why I love it: Insightful and USEABLE. Gretchen and her co-host of a sister give you tips that you can implement immediately into your life. They are very reflective of places they can improve and I love the nuggets of wisdom they share/what they consider their upcoming goals. ALSO: They have little 2-3 minute episodes where they tell a story that could help change your perspective! I use them when I only have a few minutes, but could use a boost. Such a unique and awesome idea. You could listen to one or two of the short ones when you need a quick boost.
Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert
Why I love it: The author of Eat, Pray, Love. I love the encouragement I get from each episode. I also love the variation. She might have another author or inspiring person on the show, a listener that she is helping to coach, or a show jam packed with one subject. Just like with Happier, she gives you suggestions you can actually and quickly put to use.
Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
Why I love it: I find this podcast to be SO intimate. These are longer podcasts episodes (many over an hour), but I love how they dive right in and get to know the guest SO well. Jonathan interviews everyone from the two podcasters above (Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Gilbert) to more everyday people. In the last episode I listened to I was thinking, this is perfect. ANYONE could find a guest that they connect with on a deep level. The conversations go SO deep: talking about a parent’s death, manic depression, what it is to grow up as an only child, etc. etc.
NPR: How I Built This with Guy Raz
Why I love it: What is more inspiring than hearing about people who have succeeded in their entrepreneurial efforts? What is the common link between SO many of their successful guests (and we’re talking like Starbucks CEO successful or Spanx founder successful)? Resilience. People that had 300 declined pitches before they heard their “yes”. I love this podcast and you can learn SO darn much. It inspires me to never give up on the dreams that I’m chasing.
Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher
Why I love it: This is a great one to listen to for anyone that has a little side hustle (blog, Etsy shop, etc). She shares incredible marketing tips, but ALSO shares a lot of her life. For example, she has gone through two miscarriages and dives deeply into the impact, sadness, fears that those have brought her. She also has incredible guests on the show!
I hope that you have found some inspiration from this post! I think it is one of my favorites that I’ve ever written.