5 life-changing books for 2019
By K.J. Matthews
New Year’s resolutions and goals are always popular around this time of year. Everyone wants to find time to do better or be better in one way or another. Some even want to check items off their bucket lists.
We all know that being inspired and motivated can help us achieve our goals. One of the best places to get that mental stimulation is in books. And there is no shortage of books out there to inspire, educate, inform and teach. But a few books, new and old, really stand out.
Here are five life-changing books to read in 2019.
We all know that hard work, talent and a little luck can help you achieve success. But did you know that passion and perseverance are more important? University of Pennsylvania psychologist and author Angela Duckworth makes that very case in her book Grit. Duckworth interviewed dozens of people from all walks of life to see how and why they were successful in their fields, when others weren’t. Duckworth learned that what helps people accomplish their big goals is the ability to persevere and continuously put in the effort over the long run. She says that matters more than talent alone. This book is a wonderful reminder to everyone that success is in reach for anyone willing to apply themselves for the long haul.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is one of the best books around when it comes to figuring out how to create great habits to succeed, while eliminating bad ones that seem to sabotage us. This books shows you just how a habit is formed over time and why it can be so difficult to eliminate.
The author, New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg, writes that every habit is essentially a habit loop which consists of three things: cue, routine and reward. These are things we often do without really thinking about it. Brushing your teeth in the morning or driving in a certain direction to work are both part of our habit loops. These are things we do without even having to think about it. But Duhigg argues there are bad habits like addictions that are also part of our habit loop. Duhigg’s book gives concrete ways to break free from our bad habit loops to excel in life.
To say David Goggins is a rare human being would be an understatement. Goggins is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, an ultra marathon runner, a triathlete and oh yeah the world record holder for the most pull-ups in 24 hours. I know it seems he is genetically gifted when it comes to his physical prowess, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Goggins was raised by a single mother and he watched his mom suffer at the hands of an abusive man. He was raised in a town where were few people looked like him, and was often called racial slurs in school. All of this affected his self-esteem and self-worth by the time he reached adulthood. It even led him to balloon to nearly 300 pounds. But through it all, he managed to turn his life around and transformed his body in order to join the military. Goggins argues that doing hard things every single day is what pushed him to become better than he ever thought he could. Can’t Hurt Me is not only a memoir about a man who endured pain and prejudice that radically changed his life, but how every single one of us can do the same.
This book needs no introduction. Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming is the best-selling hardcover book in 2018. Not bad for a book that just debuted last month. Since then, many media outlets have reported on some of the most provocative parts of her book, like her passages about President Trump, the birth conspiracies surrounding her husband President Obama, and her lack of desire to run for office. But the best parts of her memoir are what she writes about her upbringing, her Ivy League education and how she forged her own path as the first African-American first lady. It provides great insight into what it really takes to become a successful woman married to a successful man, all while the world is watching.
Rachel Hollis has the “self-deprecating” memoir category down pat. In her best-selling memoir, Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be she takes off her mental mask. She reveals what her life has really been like while helping readers with inspiring and motivational words. Hollis admits on the outside she looks like an attractive woman who has it all together. But she reveals she has lived through the pain and anguish of her brother committing suicide, post-partum depression and lots of marital problems. Hollis’ book makes it easy to identify with her by reminding everyone that they are here for a greater purpose and never to give up.