We all need someone in our corner.
Someone who helps guide us to a better life with understanding, compassion, and fresh ideas.
Motivational books aren’t for everyone. But, as you move beyond treatment and in a more positive direction, you may find resources like these beneficial for keeping you on track with your sobriety and your new choices. Here are just a few to try to better connect with yourself and others.
Rising Strong by Brené Brown
A social scientist on the principles of shame, courage, vulnerability, and authenticity, Brown’s perspectives were first introduced in this TED talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Instead of thinking of vulnerability as a weakness, she said, we must recognize the courage to be in that place and what we can learn from it. In Rising Strong, one of her many books, she explores what it’s like to “walk in our stories of hurt, and how the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged.”
For an example of what the book addresses, download this free reading guide.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson
If you’re the kind of person who believes a happy life is built from more than positive rainbow affirmations written on the mirror, this book is for you. Manson, a personal development consultant, believes you’re fully capable of gaining control over your actions and reactions, but first you have to face “uncomfortable truths” to find the courage and forgiveness necessary to move forward. Most importantly, he stresses the importance of “learning to accept the occasional unhappiness.” His adult language and no-nonsense approach appeals to many people in search of realism in the world of self-improvement.
Listen to his perspective in this article, “Stop Trying to Change Yourself.”
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
When someone is going through failure, what is she thinking? How can she push forward? That’s the approach psychologist and researcher Duckworth takes in this book, featuring numerous people who recognize the importance of effort in order to make it through a challenge or frustration. She believes people with grit focus on the things they can change due to an enduring level of interest, tenacity, and hard work.
What is grit and how can you learn it? Here’s a fun interview with Duckworth conducted by the Spartan Up podcast team.
The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope
The core concept of this book is simple: when we lose our connection to self, we forget about our inherent gifts. This breeds doubt, confusion, indecision, and misdirection. Cope, a renowned teacher, writer, scholar, and yogi, is also the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. He believes we lose our way when we can’t “find and embrace our true calling.” People who are drawn to more holistic aspects of guidance, especially yoga, will appreciate the historical roots of this book and its demonstration of how to reveal your purpose.
The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford
A primary level of acceptance of your recovery journey is to acknowledge that you have both negative and positive components of your personality. Perfection isn’t possible, but progression is. To know what it is to be fully human is what Ford explored in this release from 2010. It examines what happens when we waste energy judging or being fearful or feeling guilty—and how spending time with emotions like these may help us come to terms with what we’re really lacking.
Ford passed away in 2013, but much of her work carries on through the Ford Institute. There are numerous discussions of her coaching online, including this interview with Mariel Hemingway as part of the Spiritual Cinema Circle.
Gun, Needle, Spoon by Patrick O’Neil
“I shot dope, sold drugs, did crimes, went to jail. It doesn’t mean I have to continue living like that.” For people who build their individual inspiration from the redemption stories of others, this hardline look at O’Neil’s life is a good choice. He wrote a powerful memoir during one of the most traumatic times in his life, and as a professor of creative writing, continues to use the craft to explore what it means to be human.
In this interview with UrbanAMA, O’Neil he talks about hitting bottom before going through Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous “to change me and how I viewed the world.”
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
The author of The Corporate Mystic and Five Wishes presents techniques to move past false beliefs and fears and create a better path to success. This book features a concept called the “Upper Limit Problem”, which is “a negative emotional reaction that occurs when anything positive enters our lives.” Hendricks, a former psychology professor, believes this is the “ultimate life roadblock”, and provides a program to help move it out of your path toward finding your “zone of genius.”
In this videocast with Advantage, Hendricks describes a bit of his approach.
Mountain Laurel: Committed to Your Success
Whatever tools might help you create a rewarding life of sobriety, the staff at Mountain Laurel wants to provide them. Working together to develop a relapse prevention plan might be the first motivational action you take.