As the holidays approach, one of my favorite activities is to curl up with a good book and expand my horizons.

I totally geek out over personal development literature, and these are the five books that have topped my list (so far). Why? Well, because they’re freaking spectacular! They’re simple in their teachings and yet their impact is huge & widespread. Because of what I learned & applied from these books, I’ve experienced more joy & empowerment than ever before and I’m hoping you’ll find these to be absolute gems as well!


WINTER READS for the soul


The Alchemist
by Paolo Coelho
In this fictional tale, readers follow the adventures of a boy named Santiago as he learns about what it means to pursue his Personal Legend (which is defined as being “what you have always wanted to accomplish”). The boy learns the value in heeding omens and trusting his intuition, while also learning lessons about life and love.

My biggest takeaway: I have a Personal Legend, and when I choose to pursue it, I’ll nourish the world – because I’ll be happy and I’ll therefore spread happiness into the world.

The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz
I love the four simple and yet incredibly significant agreements that Don Miguel shares with the reader. When used separately, each agreement can have a large impact on the reader’s life…and when all used together, it can truly be life changing forever. The agreements are: 1) be impeccable with your word, 2) don’t take anything personally, 3) don’t make assumptions, and 4) always do your best.
My biggest takeaway: The biggest agreement I have learned from is “Don’t take anything personally.” It has truly changed my life to let go of my attachment to taking things personally and to taking ownership for my role in my life.

The Power of Intention
by Wayne Dyer

Dyer describes the seven faces of intention as being: creativity, kindness, love, beauty, expansion, abundance, and receptivity. His description of intention is different than just having a lot of willpower to charge through things, but rather he describes it as a universal source of energy that anyone can tap into. He includes action steps at the end of each of the chapters to align with intention.
My biggest takeaway: I can tap into a never-ending source of energy whenever I want to, and living in intention is the epitome of living consciously and making mindful decisions

The Desire Map
by Danielle LaPorte

Danielle offers readers a new perspective on goal creation — she states that we don’t necessarily set goals because of what we’re going to achieve, but rather because of how we’ll feel when we achieve that goal. So instead of focusing on how it’ll look, she encourages readers to get clear on how they most want to feel, and to step back and open up to the infinite possibilities of LIFE.
My biggest takeaway: The world is my oyster! I know, I know, that sounds totally cliché. After reading The Desire Map, though, I understand the old adage in a completely new way! As I’ve learned how to detach from how I think my life “should” look, I’ve been able to truly see the world as my oyster, and have never felt more free & full of possibilities in my life!

Conscious Language
by Robert Tennyson Stevens

Decades of research have led Stevens to discovering the strong connection between the language we use on a daily basis, and our beliefs about ourselves and the world. When we choose to be aware of the way we use language, we have the key to unlocking our ability to express our truest intent.
My biggest takeaway: Everything in my life is rooted in the language I use, whether I’m talking to myself or to other people, so I want to make sure I’m using clear, concise, and empowering language.

I hope you enjoy these reads and find them as game changing as I did. What books are on your must-read list this holiday season? As we prepare for the New Year, it’s a great time to be focused on becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be (and books are a great tool to help you get there)!

Happy Reading!



Top image via Ali Rahmati on Flickr

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