Have you been thinking about taking a creative leap lately? Maybe you’ve been contemplating taking up a new hobby. Perhaps you’ve been considering a major step, like revamping your resume, quitting your job and changing your career path, or even launching that new business you’ve been dreaming about. Are fear, self-doubt and society’s expectations standing in your way?
Whatever your leap, no matter how big or small, here are three timeless books that will help you make the decision and show up for the work that you’re meant to be doing. They’re also perfect for gifting to a recent graduate!
1. "The Crossroads of Should and Must" by Elle Luna
“This book is a pep talk to honor that voice inside of you that says you have something special to give. It’s permission to unlearn everything you’ve been told that you SHOULD do in order to learn what you MUST.”
Often in life, we let “shoulds” guide our paths. We “should” go to college immediately after graduating and get a degree in a prestigious major. We “should” get a stable high paying job at an office. We “should” marry at a certain age…., etc. All the time ignoring our “must”; that beautiful gift that we yearn to bring forth into this world.
This book is filled with stories, effective questions and playful exercises that will guide you to finding your “must”. It’s also beautifully illustrated, almost every page is worthy of an Instagram post. It’s one of those books that I keep returning to time and again for inspiration
You might want to start by reading the essay that inspired the book.
2. "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Say that you’re one of them lucky people who already know what their “must” is, then the next question that you must aim to answer is: “Do you have the COURAGE to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”.
We’ve heard it before from the French artist Matisse: “Creativity takes Courage”. In this book, Gilbert shares her personal strategies and tips for overcoming all the fears that may stop you from pursuing your call to create work that nourishes your soul. From building perseverance to choosing the sacrifices or “Shit Sandwiches” that you’re willing to handle for your particular endeavor, she goes through it all.
My favorite chapter though has to be the one titled “Enchantment”, where Gilbert describes ideas as magic swirling around the universe waiting to be manifested through us. How can it not be my favorite, when there’s talk about seduction?
“I will put on perfume in an attempt to seduce creativity.”
3. "Show Your Work" by Austin Kleon
Sometimes you’re already doing the creative work that you’re meant to be doing, but like most creatives dislike self-promotion. Sadly in this day and age, we don’t believe something actually happened unless it’s online. In other words, if it’s not online, it doesn’t count! Well, this book shows you how self-promotion can be done in a way that contributes to your community instead of just pimping out your work.
Instead of wasting your time “networking,” this book shows you how to take advantage of the network. It’s about sharing your knowledge and ideas to influence others by letting them steal from you, then leveraging that network when you need it.
This book is the perfect read for someone who’s working on growing their side project or thinking about starting one.
What books have sparked YOUR creativity? Have you read any of these books before? Which of these books are you dying to read? Let me know in the comments section below!
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