As the great writer Alan Moore once said, “Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.” Therefore, there are few things more inspiring and motivational than a truly good book. We asked some of our experienced Motivational Map practitioners to select their “most motivational book” and explain to us why they made their choice. So, here are three book recommendations by deep experts in motivation!
My current favourite motivational book is NOT for everyone. Indeed, I hope very few people need to read it. But it’s my current favourite for 3 main reasons which all link to motivation. It’s called, Somebody I Used to Know, by Wendy Mitchell. The first reason is that, unlike virtually every book and ‘helpful’ leaflet about dementia, this book offers hope. In my opinion, HOPE is the no. 1 driver of motivation. When we have hope, we can believe and when we believe, we take action. When that action produces results, we gain a sense of achievement and confidence, and that reinforces and boosts our motivation.
The book is beautifully written by Wendy, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia aged just 58. She describes, in detail, the tactics she uses to maintain her independence. It touches the reader’s heart because it’s so relevant, real, and empowering. That’s the second and third reason. Motivation is emotional, and highly motivated people defy logic, statistics and naysayers. They relish the challenge, and have their ‘eyes on the prize’ because they believe it will be worth it. And that’s why (unlike most other ‘helpful’ guides) it’s a book that I’ve given to my parents to give us all hope, to motivate us all to take action towards being the best we can be.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz:
BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
These agreements remained a north-star for me especially during the pandemic and as we came out of the pandemic. Life happened, and I realised that when people kept saying ‘be resilient’, I could follow and practice these agreements to stay clear, creative, and on track.
It might sound crazy that I am even talking about staying on track, and with these agreements the following were possible for me:
- As soon as I appreciated that everyone was impacted, I pulled myself towards myself and started preparing for beyond the pandemic. Nothing was personal so I choose to take life in my stride.
- I went back to the drawing board and reviewed all my plans. I acknowledged everything that was derailed. I confirmed the damage. I recommitted to the goals that stayed relevant and discarded or tweaked those goals that I needed to attend to. This means I was sitting with revised goals. Once those were in place, I put together an implementation plan and stayed impeccable with my word. I spoke life into everything that I did. 2022 has provided evidence of the integrity that drove my execution.
- No matter how difficult those days were, especially the unpredictability and the heaviness of loss of lives around us, I demanded the best from myself. This carried me. The more I did my best, the more I generated hope that kept me going.
- I did not allow myself to assume anything. I stayed focused on what I saw and was very selective with what I listened to. I took precautions and thanked God I survived with what I did, because I acknowledge that others did not, despite doing their best. I focused on facts. I resisted nuances and stories that were added that impacted clarity. So at all cost I avoided assumptions.
The Four Agreements have become my formula for resilience. Simple yet impactful as a template to deal with curveballs in life.
I’ve been wracking my brain to think which of the scores of books I’ve read on motivation over the years is my favourite. When first asked the question, it triggered my ‘Expert’ Motivator into thinking which one I’ve learnt the most from; or which one, if others were inspired to read, would give them the 1-2-3 of motivation. Having sat with the question for some time, I realised, the book I am compelled to write about is the one which set me off on a different trajectory in life. The one which helped me see the choices I had at my fingertips, rather than accepting the hand I felt I had been dealt. It’s from an author which divides the audience for he is a ‘marmite’ character. Indeed, for years, it is he who I have had in my head when I’ve distanced myself from the ‘rah rah’, ‘walking on hot coals’ type of motivational training. And yet, it is this author who intrigues me enough to vote one of his books my favourite on motivation. Have you guessed who it is yet? Yes, Anthony Robbins and Awaken the Giant Within.
Having dusted the book down off my shelf, why am I so keen to read it again over 20 years later? In a word – congruence. As I thumb through the pages today, I am struck by how many practices, ideas, quotes and theories align with who I am today and the life I am keen to lead. I recognise the influence the book has had on my own teachings, including my own book. It reminds me that the words it contains are easy to read yet take a life time to practice. I so wish I had taken notes on my first reading to compare my thinking now to then. How have I changed? How am I different today? In one part of the book it invites you to score yourself in ten critical areas – including one of spirituality. In the margin, I wrote ‘not sure what this even means’. How different to my perspective today!
Links to purchase these books here: