As much as we’d all love to be motivated all the time, there’s the occasional week where you just need a kick in the pants. Sometimes this is in the form of a motivational story other times it’s a bit of tough love but one of my favorite & very reliable sources for helping me break through a rut over the years has been books. So today I’m rounding up the 5 best books for motivation aka the extra boost you need when you just can’t make it happen. Let’s dive in friends!
When I first stumbled on this book a while back, I wasn’t really sure why it called to me. I’d never really struggled to push through hard things. In my mind, I’d survived my fair share of them. And yet I was at the crossroads of a season I’d never encountered.
I’d hit my 3-year threshold for a project and felt like I was miserably failing. I didn’t want to get off the ride. I still felt like there was so much to be done. But I also knew that I needed to understand perseverance in a new way: enter Grit.
Now I’m very much someone who believes in listening to their inner voice and trusting the process. However, there can come a time when the doubt we think we’ve been quietly carrying along has actually overtaken our ability to believe in ourselves. As Angela says, ” Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” (1)
If you’re looking for clarity, the ability to break through your current block, or just want to understand how you can endure when right now it feels like everything is working against you, Grit is definitely one of the best books for motivation. I would 100% recommend the audiobook as well. Sometimes we just need a little pep talk in our day.
Over the last year and a half, I’ve spent time examining my personal relationship with alcohol. Do I like wine? What does it mean for me to drink? How does my body respond to this? Etc. I’ve done a podcast episode on it as well if you missed it.
But for me, Quit Like A Woman offered an opportunity to reevaluate things. And as far as the best books for motivation, it probably doesn’t seem like the most likely candidate. Yet it’s been one of the biggest blessings for me over the last year. Here’s why:
I’m a big believer in habits. The things we do intentionally. The things we have no idea that we’re doing. I’m all about tweaking and changing my daily life so that it happens automatically and in my favor. But I can’t examine the habits I don’t realize I’ve normalized without an outside perspective (thank you Quit Like A Woman).
I’m not going to be the person that condemns drinking. I enjoy the occasional glass of wine knowing that I need to be extra picky about it since a vast majority of wines on the market have added sugar. However, more often than not, it can be challenging for someone to stop drinking or say they need space from alcohol without feeling condemned.
Maybe it’s become a coping mechanism. Maybe it’s the thing that is everywhere and we’ve never thought to question why (ps. this is a fascinating piece to learn in the book).
Nevertheless, sometimes the thing we need to be motivated again is a new perspective on something that’s become so normal/bland that we lack any distance to see how it’s impacting our lives. Quit Like A Woman is a great opportunity to examine this for yourself and learn a bit in the process.
If I’m honest, I could write an entire blog post plus 100 micro-posts on this book and Amanda’s work. It’s like changing (and I pretty much do/have). When I stumbled upon all things AF a few years ago, I wasn’t quite ready to dive into a conversation about energetics and money and trusting your desires. I was curious about her and her work. Someone I followed spoke highly of her course. Still it felt like a reach for me.
Jump to me 2 years later and I have SO much to say (which will come in a few months when I feel like I’ve really manifested all the things). But let’s talk about Rich As F*ck. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read through comments on tiktok or some other platform where money has TRIGGERED some people. I got a few interesting responses when I posted this book on stories.
And yet, if you read the book and do the work, it becomes about so much more than money. Yes, you can be rich AF. You can manifest money. You can build the life you dream of. But you can also heal your relationship with money so that you don’t spend years in a guilt cycle. You can reframe how you think about debt. You can choose to live a new way that not only allows you to make more but allows you to create a life that maybe you were too scared to say you wanted in the first place.
Listen. Amanda has a lot of great content. Whether you’re a fan of hers or just looking to change your perspective on money/having the life you want/healing your trauma, this book will serve you. It’s that good.
When I picked up this book at my favorite local bookstore a few months back, I had zero ideas on how obsessed I would become with it. Who knew the story of a Disney CEO would be so fascinating? And yet, I found myself so inspired by his words. If you want the super-short version without all the really good details, Bob Iger’s masterclass is fab. But if you want to really dig in, you need to read this book.
Bob started on the ground floor in television. It was much different than it is now. But his ability to work up the ABC ladder and pivot and pivot again and end up as the CEO is incredible. It’s also a very realistic story of what Grit looks like long term.
However, the thing I felt most inspired by and what led me to add it best books for motivation list was his willingness to take a risk. To have tough conversations. To be honest and say this isn’t working, we need an entirely new plan.
Without that courage, Marvel wouldn’t have become what we know it. No Captain Marvel. No Black Panther. No Disney/Pixar. Hell, we may not even have Grey’s Anatomy (Shonda created the show knowing Bog Iger was looking for a medical drama). Bob was willing to lead in a way I don’t think we often see/get the privilege to read about. And to do that journey carrying the legacy of something as big as Disney is something I can’t even fathom.
Oh James Clear, where would be without your wisdom and guidance? Truthfully, this book added so many tools to my mental toolbox it’s insane. We all have habits. But we might not like all of our habits. So how do we change them? How do we actually create that life that’s in our heads and place it in reality?
After I read Girl, Wash Your Face a few years back, I immediately picked up the Power of Habit. And of course, I assumed that this book would closely mimic that one. I was terribly wrong.
James tells a story about heroin-addicted soldiers who come back from Vietnam and are able to eliminate their addiction almost overnight. The study sparked the discovery that “addictions could spontaneously dissolve if there was a radical change in the environment” (2).
So often, we attribute habits to things we do without understanding why or how we do them. They run so much of our lives but changing them seems daunting/we don’t know where to start/we have a track record of failing. The list is endless. With Atomic Habits, you can really dig in and unearth the pesky bits that are keeping you stuck and unmotivated.
I can’t say that Atomic Habits will motivate you off the couch. Some days that’s really the most appealing thing you can do. However, if you want to understand how to dig into your mind to change things for the better, this is the book.
Alrighty, friends, I think you have a lot to read now. Let me know in the comments below which one you dig into first. And if you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them. If you want a bit of weekly motivation dropped in your inbox, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter. Until next time. Xoxo, Savvy
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