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Knowledge is Power: Life Changing Books

Knowledge is Power: Life Changing Books

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life. It outlined the power of perspective to be able plow through obstacles like it ain’t no thing. Per usual, I also poked some fun at myself, putting the spotlight on my deep abhorrence toward the Olympic Lifts and how they are my kryptonite as a strength coach. At the same token, I wrote about embracing your weaknesses, instead of using them as a mental crutch that detains you from becoming your greatest self. The truth is: I suck at Olympic Lifts. But instead of playing to this weak spot, a major lightbulb went off when I realized I can still coach them to my athletes. My loss is also a win. Alas, life goes on… 🙂

A positive mindset takes work. Rewiring our brains to formulate empowering connections in order to prevail when we hit rock bottom is something that doesn’t come with the bat of an eyelash. It takes consistency. It takes practice. It takes daily effort. It takes LEARNING.

My journey to cultivate a crisp, enlightened mindset has been a three year process of surrounding myself with positive souls, burying myself in passion work (coaching, writing, training), and getting my hands on mentally elevating books.

Seriously, though. THANK YOU, BOOKS! I owe it to the psychology, business, relationships, and coaching books for serving as the impetus to become a total badass.

Instead of listing only a few articles, I’m going to outdo myself this week for my Knowledge is Power portion. Here are 10 books to stock up on as we enter the holiday season and have a bit more wiggle room to chilllllll. Enjoy:

1) The Noticer

In the life of Erica, the Universe always has its sneaky way of sending the right people to me at the right time. I was recommended this book by a stranger in the aisles of a bookstore. As I was rummaging through the psychology stacks, the man approached me and handed me The Noticer, asserting it would be one of the best fiction books I ever read on the power of one’s attitude. Andddddd he was right! Shoutout to the strange man who I stumbled upon. The Noticer sheds light on seeing the broader playing field of life. Sometime’s a little perspective is all we need to deal with meager life stressors.

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2) The Future of Love

Ready for me to get a little mushy and cute on you? When I turned 24, I was lucky enough to experience true, unconditional love with a man – a love so pure that we didn’t place expectations on one another, we lived spontaneously in the moment, we avoided long-term and unrealistic future plans, and we embraced each other’s essence rather than physicality. Did we have the title of boyfriend-girlfriend? HA! No. Actually, we flowed gracefully with the oscillation of our relationship, but stayed loyal to each other regardless of the absence of a title. No one even brought it up! It was beautiful and stress-free. At first I was astonished by the ease of the relationship and the immense amount of trust, but after reading The Future of Love, soul powered relationships without egos, jealousy, and expectations do exist. We just have to realize we deserve them, set some standards, and not rush into anything. 😉

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3) The Slight Edge

Newsflash: Rome wasn’t built in a year. Neither wass your business, your life, your career, your relationships. Sure, we operate under an “instant results” mindset, but becoming a success takes good old-fashioned hard work, conscious decisions, and showing up daily. Even in the smallest of efforts. I love Jeff Olson’s book because he emphasizes the importance of showing up daily, taking small actions, and being consistent to bundle up for the long-haul. Sure, this can be categorized as a business book, but practicing consistency is a mindset.

4) Mindset

Woohoo! More mindset things! In many of my posts, I speak about the fixed and growth mindsets. In the past, I have operated under the former, always surrendering to obstacles and not forging the life I wanted. Something bad happened? I played the victim. Someone said I was incapable? I believed them. Though it took me a while to come face-to-face with my inner demons, Mindset came into my life at the right moment to help me rewrite my story. Harnessing a growth mindset means accepting your weaknesses, but then playing to your strengths to learn, grow, and evolve. A growth mindset says, “It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.”

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5) SuperTraining

This book is GOLD for strength coaches, personal trainers, and physical therapists. If our field could have a Bible, this is it. And it wouldn’t be a bad idea to snuggle up with this book on a rainy night. Though still on page one hundred out of six hundred and something, I’m blown away by the wealth of knowledge Yuri Verkhoshansky spits out in this masterpiece. To say this book is all science is an understatement. There’s bioenergetics, biomechanics, neurophysiological aspects of exercise, general theories of the training process, soft tissue mechanics of flexibility, effects of breathing on strength production, and the list goes ever on. I’ll stop #nerdingout. If you want to be a badass exercise science wizard and sound smart 24/7, this is your jam.

6) Quiet

I already recommended this book in my post on introverts. In the midst of a noisy world, introverts hold some serious power because they are deeply connected with their inner being. This allows them to be creative thinkers, better listeners, and more empathetic friends. And they breathe sexiness (it’s SCIENCE).

7) The Man Watching

As I entered my junior year in high school, I dove head first in the college soccer recruiting process. I played in showcase tournaments, visited college campuses, met with several coaches, and attended summer camps at some of the best soccer schools in the country, including University of North Carolina. Anson Dorrance, head coach of the lady tar heels, has won 90 percent of his games, with 21 national championships in 29 years. He’s a motivator, competitor, and lover of inspirational quotes. Anson’s ability to mold resilient soccer players speaks to the power of relentless effort to build any dynasty.

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8) Daring Greatly

Risk taking is the secret sauce to getting shit done. How true is that?! Daring Greatly has been my top read all year. Even though it’s scary to take a leap of faith with anything in life, doing the daring thing ACTUALLY makes us seen, vulnerable, and LESS STAGNANT. And being less stagnant = more productivity! And I love this quote by Anais Nin: “Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Holy shit. YES.

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9) Loving What Is

When I read this book, my emotional state was precarious at best. So I delved into this book to help me deal with my thoughts. I won’t give too much away, but if you’re willing to call yourself out a bit, realize how toxic and tangled your thinking is on the reg, *but* then problem solve for some mental clarity, this book will do the trick. Get out of your mind and into your body.

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10) The Four Agreements

A client handed me this book in disinterest saying, “Erica, you’re into all that Buddhism crap, so go ahead, take this book.” LOL. To be fair, he is 72 years old and grew up in a different religious environment. I won’t ruin the book and disclose the four agreements, but I was struck by how much truth this piece discussed on how to interact with the world. After I finished this one, changes in my life and relationships became nothing short of magical. 🙂

So there we go. Sure, there are plenty of other helpful books in my stash I could list, but these will do for now. Good luck and let me know how many you can breeze through.

Happy reading, lovelies! <3

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