9 Books to Read In 2019 To Become Your Best Self

Hey guys! Happy Monday! I would like to start this post with a disclaimer. No book, person, idea, etc can make you become a better person. That responsibility lies completely with you. You have to open your mind to the world around you and first acknowledge that there is always room for improvement. You must also believe that you are worth improving and that you are capable of becoming a better person. The books listed below are tools to help open your mind and show you another way of thinking.

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Related: 10 Ways to Be a Better Person This Year

1. The Bible - I would say this is true whether you are a Christian or not. The Bible is packed full of wisdom and life lessons. No other book has sold more copies or been as highly revered. No book has stood the test of time like the Bible has. If for nothing else, see what all the hype is about. Savannah + I both read the entire Bible in 2018 (Savannah is just a little behind but will finish soon), and I can say with full confidence that I am a better person for doing so. Of all the books I will list on here there is not another book that will rival the Bible in helping you become your best self. There are a lot or resources and Bible reading plans. We used the You Version Bible app and The Bible Project reading plan to read through the Bible in a year. This reading plan has you read from Genesis to Revelation and it has videos that accompany the reading which help explain each book of the Bible. I read the ESV version and I love how beautiful this Bible is.

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2. The 5 Minute Journal - While this isn't a book per se, it certainly has the power to help you become your best self. Each day gets a page and at the top is an inspirational quote. You write in your journal first thing when you wake up and then before you go to bed. There are spaces to write what you are grateful for, what would make today great, and affirmations for the day. Then the night portion has you write 3 amazing things that happened today and how you could have made today better. I love this set up as it helps you to focus on what is good about the day but also asks you to self reflect on how you could do better. I think this is such a good balance to encourage you and also push you.

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3. Toxic Charity by Robert Lupton - This book will probably make you a little uncomfortable because it opens your eyes to things that seem so good and shows you their dark side. No one wants to think that giving toys to children in Africa is wrong, but it often times is. This book will really help you evaluate charities you give your money to and donate your time to. Honestly, if I could pick one book other than the Bible to have people read, it would be this one. So many well-meaning people give money and donate their time to organizations that are really just making bigger problems. Spending time and money on those less fortunate is a crucial part of being the best version of ourselves, but making sure we aren't doing more harm than good is even more important. Another read that touches on the same topic and that I also highly recommend is When Helping Hurts.

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4. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - I chose this book because it is one of my favorite books I've ever read. Very few books have impacted me the way Homegoing did. As someone who is really trying to grapple with race relations in America and the world, no fiction book was more eye opening for me. I think this book can help you become a better person because it allows you to see how the problems that people have don't just root from one thing. The book follows the lineage of two sisters who had very different life paths and you see how the decisions they made and the decisions of others have lasting effects on generations for decades. Any book that can open you eyes to ______ is a book that makes you a better person.

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5. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson - Again, I have chosen a book that isn't directly about improving yourself. But honestly, I don't think we can truly be our best self if we can't love others well and if we can't see past ourselves and see into the lives of others- even those who are often forgotten by the world. While this book does show you the reality of our legal system and tells you compelling stories of the wrongfully convicted, it does leave you with hope. From Michelle Alexander who wrote the New Jim Crow, "The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice."

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6. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - This book changed my life last year and helped me figure out what I needed to do to take action to reach my goals. There are also plenty of intriguing stories about real businesses (i.e. Target) who have used habits to create ground breaking technology. Sort of creepy technology, but ground breaking. If you can't figure out how to create and mantain new habits in your life, this will break down what you really need to be working on.

7. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend - Everyone needs boundaries and I think we could all acknowledge that. But we often don't put boundaries into practice. Maybe you need to give boundaries to someone else or maybe you need to give boundaries to yourself. They discuss issues like setting boundaries with people you love and dealing with hurt feelings, setting boundaries for your digital life, and why setting boundaries isn't selfish. Setting boundaries can be the single thing that gets your life under control. And when you don't feel like your life is out of control, you have room to be your best self.

8. Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole + Elyse Resch - I think this book is great for anyone. It basically breaks down the way most of us think about food and reframes your mind to stop thinking about foods as "good" and "bad". We could all benefit from a healthy relationship with food.

9. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie - This book is a classic. When I was in sales, every sales company I worked for wanted you to read this book. Because in sales you want people to like you of course. But really this book extends to people in all walks of life with all kinds of careers and in every life stage. It was written in 1936 and has sold over 15 million copies, and it is still as relevant today as it was in the 30s. Read the comments on the book on Amazon and you'll be ordering it right away. This book is all about your frame of mind and it really helps you with self awareness. Outside of having faith in God, nothing is more important than self-awareness. You simply cannot be the best version of yourself if you are not self-aware. I could go on and on about this book, but you get the drift. It's important, y'all.

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