As I look back on the past couple of years since I began reading avidly again (thanks to Audible and walking to work!), there are 4 books that really stand out in my mind as having had a big impact on me. They are the kind of books that you go back to (I have read all of them more than once), and that resonate long after you finish reading them. I evangelise about them all the time, to my family, friends and anyone who will listen, so here they are along with the impact they have had on my life.

  1. Clarity by Jamie Smart

What do the London riots have in common with the way you feel about whatever is stressing you out today? The way of looking at the world. Find out how to frame your experience of life differently and reap the rewards by reading this book.

How it has changed my life – I now see that everything I experience is down to me – how I think, how I feel and even what I see is through my own unique filter. This has been very significant for me.

  1. The Chimp Paradox

How we act is sometimes a mystery to us, and this book helps to explain the instincts that are at play all the time as our inner chimp control much of our behaviour through the limbic system. If you have ever done the exact opposite of what you want to do, and have no idea why, then this book will be an eye-opener for you.

How it has changed my life – I now understand what is happening when my chimp gets involved, and amygdala hijack occurs (freeze, fight or flight). I am getting better at pre-empting this and reducing the effects which I think is helping me to be calmer.

  1. Just Listen

Listening is something we are not great at as a society, because often those who talk the most or shout the loudest get heard (just watch PMQs to see this in action!) This book really shows the power of listening and how it is fundamental to make the effort to improve.

How it has changed my life – as the youngest child of a large family, I have an in-built tendency to talk a lot! This book has helped me to be aware of the fact that talking is not as important as listening. I am working on it..

  1. The 4 Hour Work Week

Why spend valuable time on things that can be done by other people? Why do some things, (like attending endless meetings!) at all? Why not go and live in another country? It’s all here and more. This book is a clarion call to action for anyone who thinks that there is only one version of success. Prepare to be challenged!

How it changed my life – I now set Dreamlines every year instead of SMART goals. Who said goals need to be realistic anyway? I now see opportunities where I saw parameters, and this has been a revelation for me.

Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I’d love to know about it!