Ep. 95 – The 5 Best Books for a Breakthrough

New year, new look.

Did you see the new podcast art?Think Enriched PodcastThink Enriched - 2018 Podcast Cover

Let’s talk about it. New logo defining the show more completely.

That’s my FACE on there now!  I feel a bit nekkid putting my face out there for the whole world to see.  It’s just one more step to not being holding myself back.  It took about a year for me to get off my duff and do this.

Also, you may have noticed that’s an elephant topping the “I” in Think.  The elephant runs in a matriarchal order.  Not that I don’t appreciate men, I just come from a long line of women taking care of more than their share.  I honor those women, and each of us, who lead families, work teams, organizations, and share our influence with the world in that image.

Thank you to my designer, Jason Clement, for helping me put more me into the conversation.

Then you see my name a little structured and maybe a bit mischievous. That’s me.  I learn more when I’m playful.  It’s the balance of the structure and the creative that makes me who I am.

You can find out more from Jason Clement at http://jasonclement.com/podcast-covers/

The 5 Best Books for a Breakthrough

This started out as “The end of the year booklist.”  But this is more than that.The 5 Best Books for a Breakthrough

This is the list for you, you smart, ambitious woman, when you are ready for a breakthrough.

But every challenge requires a different kind of breakthrough.

I’m not a fantasy reader.  I don’t get into to fiction much, because, I have more practical things to take care of.

And that’s what my list of books has brought me.  Practical solutions.  Excellent reads.  Lessons and strategies.

I like to implement directly.  In fact, I’ve been told I just run with an idea like a horse out of the gate.

This is the list that helps you crash through that door and stand tall in your place.

Here is the criteria to make it on this list.

1. Every book here I read in 2017.  That means it is fresh and current in my mind. The notes, ideas & lessons are applicable today.

2.  Every book I read at least twice. Most I listened to the audiobook first, then read the Kindle version. (Our family has a daily commute to school and I listen to books on our drive.)

3. Each book listed comes with a direct recommendation for a particular point, challenge or struggle that a woman faces right now.

Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes is a powerful read to help you realize that you are not being sensible, safe or living smart…you could easily be living in fear.  And not even know it.

Shonda shares her insights on how she decides to stop saying no and for one year, just one year, she will challenge herself to say yes.

A perfect read for the woman that:  Is ready to start her new year and step out of her comfort zone. She’s not quite sure where this will take her. The leap of faith is what she needs.

Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown

Brene Brown makes me realize I’m not alone in my challenging thoughts.  Braving the Wilderness is as the tagline reads, the “Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone.”

If there’s one thing we have learned in 2017, it’s that people think differently than we do.  That should be okay. Using the internet, we can polarize ourselves on issues and create battlefields that hold us back.  This book helps us find an understanding and be willing to discuss the issues in peace.

People are hard to hate close up.

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are.”

A perfect read for the woman that:  Wants to understand the other side.  She is ready to have a conversation without judgment.  She yearns to be more comfortable standing alone and ready to participate in a bigger conversation.

The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks

This book had been on my list for over a year. One little nudge from Ray Edwards podcast to get me to read it.

Read in the month of November, I’ve re-read it 3 times now.  That’s saying a lot for me.  The Big Leap takes a deep, deep dive to on how each of us can hold ourselves back.  There are many reasons we believe we are unworthy.

A perfect read for the woman that:  Achieves in many facets of life, but continues to struggle with one specific area.  She is ready to cancel all the self-sabotage holding her back.  She seeks opportunity to work in the zone of genius.

Wrecked, Jeff Goins

In our interview with Jon Stolpe, he mentions this book.  I devoured this book in a couple days. Wrecked touched my spirit. it is so easy to be involved in your own life, that looking out for other’s needs doesn’t seem to be the top priority.

Service, compassion, and giving are great topics at the holidays and sometimes missed throughout the year.  This book shares poignant moments that touched me deeply.

A perfect read for the woman that: Seeking new insights, tools, and find ways to serve & have more compassion in the daily routine. She is ready to “get over herself,” and have a more humanistic view of the world, then put her talents to use in some capacity in that.

The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins

This is the book a lot of us need.  The 5 Second Rule is the book that helps us overcome that space from, “Yes, I know I need to do this thing…” and “I am doing this thing.”

That space is where we can get so stuck.  We think about accomplishing that thing.  Then we talk about it.  We have a pretty good plan to make it work.

A perfect read for the woman that: Has had the same resolution for the past few years.  She knows precisely what has to happen but she just doesn’t feel like it. She wants to change, really change, but gets stuck in her head.

What book would you add to the list?

Breakthrough Today and You Can Die Empty

Living your enriched life is something only you can create.  You have the power within.  You know what is in your heart, what you desire to leave to the world. I’ve been thinking about this concept for a long time.  Only when listening to a podcast did I realize that this is the purpose of this blog.

See, each of us has a huge amount of potential to create and give something to the world.  You have that “je ne sai quoi” to leave a legacy.  It may be quilting, acting, creating fantastic code to innovate the web, or working with teenagers,  it doesn’t really matter what it is. What matter is  when you think about it, talk about it, write about it, you are on fire! It is one of your passions.  I don’t believe that you have just one passion. You and I have topics that light us up, and which topic we choose to spend time on becomes a passion.   That passion inspires others with what you, and only YOU, can give to the world.  And you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?  You know what that passion is.

So I’m a nerd.  There I said it.  Whew.  Glad we got that out of the way.  I buy books like some women buy shoes.  Every once in a great while, I find a book I have to have.  I have to get to the core of the issue and not just read, but embrace it, absorb it, take in the very stuff that it is and make it a part of my mind.  My very center.  This is not a philosophy to consider, a business model to pattern, or another study full of data points and logarithms for further evaluation.  No, this concept rings true.  This is a piece of literature that invokes a pattern of thought I have been pondering, questioning, and asking about for quite sometime and I hunger to hear and study more.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, by Todd Henry
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, by Todd Henry

I’ve found that the podcast has been the most effective method for me to take in new information as I’m folding laundry, washing a dish or two, or cleaning.  Chores have become immensely enjoyable.  Whodathunk?  It’s not just a chore now, it’s a workshop of thought while my hands are busy on the mundane.  Oh, the power of the podcast.  Chris Ducker, powerful entrepreneur, interviewed Todd Henry and asked so many questions about his book, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day.  And I was in awe.  This spoke straight to me. There were so many times I was nodding and vocally agreeing with comments.

In essence, his message is tend the soil you have been given, and CREATE a harvest for the future.  Plant the seeds for those you leave behind. Leave a legacy. But, how do you create a legacy today?

How is your legacy created even with the mundane acts of daily life?

"Be fiercely curious." Todd Henry
“Be fiercely curious.” Todd Henry in his book “Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day”

First, find what is holding you back.

Henry is quoted, saying: “Be Fiercely Curious.”  Ask a lot of questions.  Challenge the assumptions you have had in life.  Are you like me and have been thinking, “Well, I’ve always been a big girl. I come from a big family. I don’t think I’ll ever be fit.”  What is that?  How has that assumption molded my daily behavior?  Why didn’t I see that before? What other assumptions on my life are holding me back?

What assumptions of your life are holding you back?  Do you have to do that task every day or are you doing it because you’ve always done it that way?  Is there another way to create an environment that you love?  Do you think that you’re stuck financially and will never be out of debt?  Can you hear the self-fulfilling prophecies created by your own voice?  Could you earn money in a very different way AND help those around you?  Can you create something better today? It takes a completely different mindset to start thinking this way- but that’s where the magic happens.  That’s where life becomes exciting!  Todd Henry explains it like this:

We don’t like uncertainty… We prefer the certainty of immediate results, rather that the potential that will expend a lot of effort and on the other side of the effort there will be nothing.  But that is where breakthrough comes from.  The process itself is worth it.  The process of making something, the process of risking, of trying things in and of itself is worth it if we want to contribute and build a brilliant body of work over time.

-Todd Henry, Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

This is EXACTLY what WomanEnriched is all about: breaking through.  I was finding myself doing the chores, getting the jobs done, and checking things off the never ending list of  to-do items.  This is good; however, I needed to breakthrough.  I knew that there was MORE inside me.  There was much more that I wanted to create.  More I wanted to give to the world.  But it took RISK.

I want to share my thoughts, my friendship, my heart with the world in a very personal way. I want to cheer people on, remind them of their value and help them achieve even more than they had believed they could.  Why?  Because I believe there are others who need these thoughts. I trust that there are good people in the world who want to read this content and share their insights with me.  I consider the people who read these posts as not just people, but friends. Real friends.  Even if I never meet them in person. I appreciate them immensely, for they are doing a considerable amount of good in the world. Don’t they deserve a shot of Vitamin B (Or Vitamin Blog as I like to call it) and some homemade sunshine from one that cares? Can someone inspire them to do a little more?  Can I?  I want to.  Only time will tell.  But that’s what I want to be.

 Second, Take small risks every day.

Want to write a book?  Tell one friend today and once you hear that cheering you on, will help you have confidence to tell two more.  Want to be a screenwriter even though you are working 10 hour days?  You’ve got 30 minutes of peace before you go to bed.  You do.  You could write down some key thoughts you have on a sticky note, then when you sit down to work you just go to work.  Want to be a potter?  Find a class in the community.  You can do this.  You really should do this, too.

Because at the end of the day, will you wonder about your choices?  Did you live a life having a breakthrough or did you play it safe? Did you spend time giving value to others?  Were your relationships the warm, rich ones that ooze happiness in your life? Did you give it your best? Only you can answer these questions,  don’t check out of life with regret.  Todd Henry sums it up this way:

Based on conversations I’ve had with people, based on research done by others, the things you will regret are the times in your life when you chose to do the safe thing instead of doing the thing that your intuition told you was right.

Listen, at the end of your life, when you lay your head down for the last time, if you’re not purposeful about  your life you will have a lot of regrets. But if you are purposeful about structuring your life in such a way that your spending those four finite resources: focus, assets, time, energy in a meaningful and purposeful way you will lay your head down for the last time pointing to a body of work and saying, “Yes!  That represents me!” and you will die empty of regret, but you will die full of satisfaction for a life well lived.  And I think that’s all any of us can ask for.” 

Todd Henry

Third, Consider this TED Talk by Candy Chang.


Powerful stuff, huh?  I can’t stop thinking about what that enormous chalkboard for the whole world would look like with everyone writing down that thing they want to do before they die.  Every one has a passion.  Now, let’s break through.  Complete strangers posted their life’s goal on a chalkboard to share with the world. Write yours down on a sticky note, may be you post it on the bathroom mirror so while you are preparing for day, you are keeping your mind focused.  Perhaps it’s at your cubicle, so you remember what you are doing there.  Maybe it’s on the fridge. And, show it to me.  Take a picture and put it on Instagram using #breakthroughtoday .

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Tell me, how do you work on your passion and keep up with the daily minutia?