Books to Read to Stay Sane, Inspired and Motivated

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November 2018 Reading List. I looked and looked on it again and it still wouldn’t sink in. Is 2018 in a hurry? The last thing I remember, I was just deciding which gifts I should be giving out last Christmas and now I will be doing it again in a few days.

What have I done differently this year? Is my 2018 the year I wanted to revisit and live again? Is 2018 a year I am proud of? Yes! And these books helped my 2018 bearable and a joy to live. When I couldn’t change the situation I am in, I tried to change my mindset and these books helped so much to keep me sane, inspired and motivated.

Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

“Your Boss is crazy!” One of the customers told me when he called to activate his card. I worked for Virgin Money Australia’s Customer Service outsourced in the Philippines and the first thing I’ve heard about Richard Branson was that he is crazy.

That statement was full of admiration and was to be taken as a compliment. I didn’t know so much about him and working for him also didn’t make me so interested about his life and works. I was young, shallow and only cared about being pretty.

When I challenged myself to read non fiction books and memoirs, I came across this and though it is so thick, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. Richard Branson is not just crazy, he’s brilliant. No wonder how he got his riches and enjoyed every single second of doing it. This book is so raw and it bared Sir Richard’s soul. It was funny, inspiring, mind-opening and so touching.

Who knew that I will look up to my previous Boss when I stopped working for him and will make me think like “what will Richard Branson do in such situation?” This is one of the best addition to my reading list. This has changed the way I approach every single aspect in my life which also lead me to crave for all his other books.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

This was not intended for public consumption but only for himself and his self-improvement and the main reason why even if he has written few books, this one doesn’t have a title. Meditations was only assigned as the title to this collection.

This is Marcus Aurelius’ journal that has been simplified to be understood better. Its words grabbed me and still one of my guiding principles. Though “forced” to become an emperor when he only wanted to be a humble student of Philosophy, he became to be one of the last of the Five Good Emperors.

He poured his heart on this journal and told himself that it is okay not to be Plato which left me with a realization that humility and compassion should be something that I should carry with me no matter where in life I will be.

This has made me close my mouth more, observe, learn and listen. I don’t need to be out there to prove myself nor compete. Like Marcus Aurelius, I now always tell myself whenever I want to be jealous of other people’s success that even Marcus Aurelius told himself that it’s okay not to be Plato.

I should not compare myself to others. I am designed to be the unique me like how we all are. We should all cherish our own uniqueness and pick up profound wisdom from our journey no matter how ugly it may all seem.

This book made me ask “what have I learned” instead of “why is it happening to me”.

Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle

Like The Meditations, it doesn’t have to be read all at once. These two books made me read each passage and close my eyes to savor each word. Most of my life and mindset transformation should be credited to these two books.

Eckhart Tolle is also the one who made me understand and enjoy the power of now. Silence and stillness used to make me feel awkward and uneasy but now (this explains my verbal diarrhea), it’s one of the things that I cherish and look forward to. It’s one of the times when I am at my best, when I can think and  do a brain dump on a paper.

Silence has also allowed me to find myself and made me decide to pursue my passion. Silence is not to be dreaded. It’s meant to be treasured. It’s meant to help us connect to our spiritual self.

Silence has made me take a few steps back, surrender all my sufferings, pains, reconnect to nature and take notes of all the profound lessons that I have picked up along the way.

Silence has made me think better. Silence has made me a reasonable adult.

Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break

This is one of the best gifts I gave myself. The break and the book to fully understand why I did it. I couldn’t just say that I wanted and needed a break. I am also frustrated that I didn’t have enough words to fully express why. All I know is that I don’t like how my life was looking like despite a good paying job and all the material things it was giving me.

There was no fulfillment. This book has proven that it isn’t a foreign thing to take a break but not so common where I am from. It’s like when I say that I am on a Sabbatical, I would often get a raised eyebrow as if saying that I don’t have the right to because I am from a poor country or simply because I am poor.

Educated Americans would normally take a gap year or anyone from a first world country but a poor Filipino village girl? Duh?! Surprise Surprise! Anyone can do this. Give yourself the permission to take a break from the life you don’t like living so much and let this book be your guide no matter where you are from and where you are in life.

Why stay the same and be bitter? You’ll learn and you’ll figure out how to fund it. (Shoot me an email at and together, we will figure out what will work best for you.)

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Books to Read to Stay Sane, Inspired and Motivated

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This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission. This is at no cost to you but helps me to provide awesome content regularly. Thanks for your support!

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