I think one of things we’ve all learned in the past few months is that we don’t do well without some sort of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement to keep going. It’s been a rough couple of months, and if you’re still looking for some quarantine inspo, I have a few books that might help.
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Sometimes you read the perfect book at the perfect moment in your life. For me, this perfect book was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
The story follows a young shepherd boy seeking his destiny. This quest takes him on journey from Spain to Egypt and back again. I read this sometime around my college graduation, and it struck so many chords with me that it put me in a reading stale-mate for a few weeks because I didn’t think anything could possibly follow it. I needed to sit with it for a while.
Memorable Quote: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
2. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler’s comedic autobiography made me laugh, yes, but also made me want to dig in. Amy recounts her times living in awful apartments just to do what she loved, and I found that to be one of the more inspiring parts. All too often, we aren’t willing to take the crap that comes with starting out. Even if it’s for a dream.
Memorable Quote: “Because what else are we going to do? Say no? Say no to an opportunity that may be slightly out of our comfort zone? Quiet our voice because we are worried it is not perfect? I believe great people do things before they are ready.”
3. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Anyone who is trying to create anything needs to read this. It is, and I cannot stress this enough, ESSENTIAL! I don’t care if you are an artist or a Wall Street stock broker. If you are trying to create the life you want, to use your skills to the best of your ability, then you need to read this book.
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about her victories, losses, quiet perseverance, faith in her talents, and love for her own Big Magic. Everyone has Big Magic, everyone experiences Big Magic, and everyone is led by Big Magic. You might just not know it yet. Until you read this book.
Memorable Quote: “You must learn how to become a deeply disciplined half-ass.”
4. Quiet by Susan Cain
Ever been curious about your introverted nature? Ever wanted to know more about your introverted friends? Ever wondered what introverted actually means? Well, Susan Cain can explain it all perfectly.
I’ve known about my introverted nature for years, but it didn’t become a real struggle until college when I realized that it is something that can actually hold me back. Susan Cain makes clear why this is and, more importantly, why that’s okay, and how to find a balance.
Memorable Quote: “We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted.”
I know as I continue reading there will be many more books that I have to set down and think about before moving on to the next. But for now, I encourage you all to tackle this list first.