4 Books That Will Help You Build a Life, Not Just a Career

Betsy Ramser Jaime
Apr 2, 2020 · 5 min read
Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash

If you’ve ever found yourself spending years (or decades) with a singular focus on your career, then you’re certainly not alone. However, like many of us, you want more. Whether it’s thriving in your relationships, seeking new hobbies, your health, or all of the above, we need more than our work.

As someone who has consistently read about 1 book per week for almost 15 years, I’ve read A LOT of books, some great, some good, and some bad. The 4 that I’m about to describe are personal favorites, ones’s I’ve gifted and also those that I’ve re-read.

If you want to learn more about yourself, and improve any or all areas of your life, these 4 books will help you do just that, I know, because that’s exactly what they did for me.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

For the past year, this book has without a doubt been my favorite book. This is the perfect non-fiction book for people that don’t like non-fiction. I say this because Lori is certainly an unmatched storyteller. While the book is about Lori’s experience as a therapist and also a therapy patient, it’s uplifting, and shares so many great life lessons and quotes that I regularly refer back to. It’s also quite the page turner so you won’t want to put it down!

Many of us spend our twenties and early thirties rushing to do it all, as though we have to hit all of our life goals by 35. However, the author makes a beautiful point about how the two most profound things in her life didn’t happen until she was nearly 40, becoming a therapist and a mother.

“We tend to think that the future happens later, but we’re creating it in our minds every day.”

“Follow your envy — it shows you what you want.”

“Most big transformations come about from the hundreds of tiny, almost imperceptible, steps we take along the way.”

Photo by Tim Chow on Unsplash

Designing Your Life/Designing Your Work Life

I had to list both here, because both of these books go hand in hand and are worth reading. Unless you’re 100% happy with EVERY area of life, then you should read these books. In fact, these are both worth purchasing because they are great to refer back to every 6 months or year as your life continues to evolve. The authors teach a class at Stanford called “Designing Your Life” and these books are based on that class.

If you’re looking for practical steps and activities to make concrete changes in your life, you will love this book. One of the foundations of the book is thinking of yourself as a “Life Designer” and finding ways to quickly prototype small little changes ASAP.

The authors also correct a lot of the “dysfunctional beliefs” and “gravity problems” that we often carry with us.

“You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are.”

“For most people, passion comes after they try something, discover they like it, and develop mastery — not before. To put it more succinctly: passion is the result of a good life design, not the cause.”

“A coherent life is one lived in such a way that you can clearly connect the dots between three things: who you are, what you believe, what you are doing.”

Photo by Med Badr Chemmaoui on Unsplash

Everything Is Figureoutable

As a long-time fan of Marie Forleo I had a feeling that I would love this book, and I was right. Like many of my favorite books, I found this to be the perfect balance of stories, ideas, and tangible ways to take action. Since I read this book, I’ve started carrying around the idea that “Everything is Figureoutable” into every area of my life, and I have to say, it’s left an impact. When we start to follow the principle that we can figure out anything it really changes the our perspective and the way that we show up in the world.

Sometimes we just find the right book at the right time in our lives, and that’s what happened for me with this one. It was exactly the push that I needed and soon after reading it I found myself FINALLY taking the steps that resulted in increasing my confidence, income, and learning a new language.

“Our beliefs are the root of our reality and our results.”

“Nothing is more of a deterrent to your long-term success than an untrained mind.”

“You must strive to be decisive, clear, and specific. Wishy washy goals get wish washy results.”

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The Top Five Regrets of The Dying

I discovered this book back in 2016 when I was in my late 20’s and was immediately intrigued by the title. When you’re relatively “young” death can seem very elusive and far off, however, the truth is that while some of us will have 80, 90, or 100 years on earth, some will have far less, so it’s never too early to learn how to spend our days well.

If you’re not familiar with the author, Bronnie is a former palliative care worker. Learning from her patients, she was able to take their lessons, applying them to her own life, and also sharing what she’s learned with millions of people around the world.

“Laughter is a very underrated tool for healing.”

“The chase for more, and the need to be recognised through our achievements and belongings, can hinder us from the real things, like time with those we love, time doing things we love ourselves, and balance.”

“Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it”

Photo by Link Hoang on Unsplash

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Betsy Ramser Jaime

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Productivity, Personal Growth + Remote Work Life. 加油: Click here for Weekly Updates at bit.ly/2MZWwvR

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A home for people living and thriving through mental illness and disabilities.

Betsy Ramser Jaime

Written by

Productivity, Personal Growth + Remote Work Life. 加油: Click here for Weekly Updates at bit.ly/2MZWwvR

Flourish Mag

A home for people living and thriving through mental illness and disabilities.

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