5 Books that Changed My Life (Or Mind) in 2020

Hey, how are you holding up these days? Me? It hasn't been blue and cool and wonderful. My body clock is off-kilter. I have been sleeping during the day and wide awake during the night like an owl on the hunt.

No matter how much I painstakingly force my eyelids to shut close and exercise with much gusto to tire out my muscles, my mind would rebel and wander and speed off to places, to settings and scenarios, thinking a gazillion thoughts of peripheral nature.

I'm tired of it! Since I'm not one who likes to waste time lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling, and waiting for the sleep fairy to come over and sprinkle sleep-inducing dust on my mind, I read lots to direct my attention and convert my hours into a productive one, fattening up my mind.

Perhaps you're like me. Or not. It doesn't matter. Our common love for books automatically makes us kin. ;)

If you're looking for ideas on your next read, then you're in the right place. Here I'm going to share with you the 5 Books that Changed My Life (Or Mind) in 2020.

Note: These books weren't published this year but they have accomplished their intended purpose nonetheless.

5 Books that Changed My Life in 2020
[Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash]

1. Girl, Wash Your Face & Girl, Stop Apologizing by Mrs. Rachel Hollis

Her writing style is friendly. Her message is on point, clear and direct. And she is genuine about her flaws in a world saturated with perfection. The read is like talking to a cool, amazing friend over coffee (or bubble tea) and point after point, she hit it right at the core.

Of course, not everything is canon. Take what resonates with you and ignore the rest.

Takeaways from the book:
  • But whether or not you choose to see this moment is preparing you for the next. But whether or not you choose to see this time as something wonderful— the time when God is stretching you and growing you or maybe forging you in fires hotter than you think you can withstand — all of it is growing you for the person you’re becoming, for the future you can’t even imagine.

  • You could spend forever planning out your someday when right now, today, this second, this is all you’ve got. Someday isn’t guaranteed!

2. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell

You can never go wrong with a John Maxwell book!

Like the rest of humanity, I have many fears of my own, of failure, of making blunders and mistakes, of losing everything I have. But this book changed it for me. It reframed my meaning of failures, adversity, and challenges. I will never see it differently after this. The read was life-changing and definitely worth the time.

The takeaway from the book:
  • People don't work hard because, in their conceit, they imagine they'll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they'll wake up someday and find themselves rich. Actually, they've got it half right, because eventually, they wake up.

3. Think, Learn, Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life by Dr. Caroline Leaf, Peter Amua-Quarshie, Robert Turner

Before you shut it down as nerdy, technical, or scientific, why don't you give it a chance? You'll be surprised it's actually easy to grasp. You don't have to be someone in the neuroscience world to understand the terms in the book because the author watered it down well for readers like you and me.

I was fascinated to learn what happens to the brain when we think negatively or positively in a congruent way. I say 'congruent' because positive self-talk can be unhealthy unless it's true to you.

Here's an excerpt for that,

Using a positive affirmation like “I am brilliant and successful” may backfire if you don’t truly, deeply believe it at the nonconscious level. To effectively reconceptualize your thinking and your resultant words, rather, consider who you are becoming, focusing on your progress. A more realistic positive statement would be something like “I believe I have the potential to release the brilliance inside of me, and each day I will spend one to three minutes consciously and deliberately working toward achieving this goal.” So you put a positive spin onto the honest reality of what you are feeling now in the moment.

The takeaway from the book:
  • When you start speaking positive words, words that are rooted in honest thinking, you literally destroy the old toxic memory and grow a beautiful new memory to replace the painful and oppressive one. Of course, you will still remember what happened to you in the past, but the memory has been reconceptualized—it no longer rules your life. Instead, it becomes a rich part of your character.

4. Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement by Tony Robbins

If you're looking for a fitness book for the mind, this one is for you. I use the breathing technique he shared here whenever I'm under the weather, though it's old, it does the job.

Note, it takes forever to finish this. This is because you're not reading a book, but two books in one. Tony doesn't deny that. But if you're hungry to devour its meaty contents, you'll have to labor for it.

The takeaway from the book:
  • Success is the ongoing process of striving to become more. It is the opportunity to continually grow emotionally, socially, spiritually, physiologically, intellectually, and financially while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction. It is a progressive course, not an end to be reached.

5. He Sat Down (So You Can Too): How to Receive the Peace of Jesus in a World that Stands by Wes Raley

I'm a Christian. It's no mystery why I read books about what I believe in. I do it to fan my faith in flames. The teaching shared in this book, blew my mind. It's about the power of resting in the finished work of Christ.

The author expounds on the importance of staying seated in our hearts in a world that stands daily and strives for the fruit that could only come from a life of trusting and resting in Christ alone.

The takeaway from the book:
  • We do not find the peace of Jesus by trying to mimic His peace but by receiving it. And we can receive it by believing the truth of what is written in Scripture—that His peace belongs to us by virtue of His finished work on the cross. And we cannot experience true peace unless we realize that “He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). So the more you have of Him, the more you have of Peace.

How about you? What books changed your life (or mind) in 2020? Share them in the comment section below.

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