10 Books That Will Change Your Life For The Better

It's National Wine Day!

The self-help section of any book store or library can be overwhelming. You want to change your life, get a new perspective and make some positive steps forward in you life but, where do you start? Which guru, life coach or expert’s advice should you follow?

The following is a list is a great place to start. These books are all inspirational and offer some amazing advice, techniques and ideas that really can be life changing. They range from classic books to newer best sellers but, also has some lesser known titles. However, each one equally offers some life changing ideas. Reading is a great way to expand your mind and with todays technology it is super easy to your hands on some amazing books. Wether you prefer e-books, paperbacks or audiobooks all these titles will be sure you offer you some great ideas to move your life forward.

  1. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transform the Way We Live. Love, Parent, and Lead. By Brene Brown

Brene Brown is a very inspirational author. Her books tend to take basic ideas like vulnerability and courage and put a new spin on them. In “Daring Greatly” she focus on taking risks and using our vulnerability to grow and expand in all areas of our lives. She uses real life examples in business, relationships and parenting to demonstrate just how to use our courage to its full potential.

2. The Success Principles: How To Get From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be 

By Janet Switzer and Jack Canfield

This book focuses on how to be successful in any area of your life. The advice offered can apply to anyone who wants to expand their skills, live life on another level or has goal they have the desire to accomplish. It dives deep into things like finding your passion, expanding your career and tackles financial success. If the author’s name sounds familiar its because Jack Canfield is on the people behind the wildly successful and inspirational book series “Chicken Soup For the Soul.”.

3. You Already Know How To Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock your Greatest Potential By Alan Fine and Rebecca R. Merrill

If you are looking for  a different approach to self-help, this book is for you. The author, Alan Fine uses a technique to unlocking potential and build confidence that is so simple and inspiring. He is straight forward and uses an approach that focuses on overcoming mental blocks that stop success from happening. His ideas can be used in all aspects of life and shows you exactly how to achieve any goals.

4. The Power of Story: Change Your Story, Change Yours Destiny in Business and in Life By Jim Loehr

Jim Loehr, believes that the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what has happened to us are what determines wether we are successful, happy and emotionally fulfilled. This book challenges not only how we think but, also how we define ourselves and our lives.  He demonstrates why we use these narratives in our lives and how to leverage them to find success and change our world for the better.

5. The Undervalued Self: Restore Your Love / Power Balance, Transform the Inner Voice That Holds you Back, and Find Your True Self-Worth By Elaine Aron

This book is amazing for those who need to work on confidence and self esteem. Elaine Aron, is extremely empathic in her approach to self worth and building one confidence.  She talks about tough topics like depression and shame and how to change these patterns into something that impacts your life positively. The books shows practical ways to love yourself and honour your strengths to leverage your inner power to make positive changes in your life.

6. You are A Badass : How to Stop Doubting You Greatness By Jen Sincero

For those looking for a no nonsense approach, this book is perfect. Straight to the point and funny, the chapters are filled with everything from inspiring stories to blunt advice. Jen Sincero, holds nothing back and covers a lot of topics like finances, living you dream and creating an awesome life.

7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen R. Covey

“The 7 Habits” is an tried and tested self help book. By focusing on our habits, values and principles this books makes the connection between our character and our success and happiness. The ideas in this book will help you see the world and how you interact with it in a new light. Living by the habits and ideas suggested will help immensely in changing your life for the better.

8. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself By Michael A. Singer

This books is not your average self help book. If has a deeper and more spiritual approach to traditional ideas about how to reach inner peace and happiness. The undertone of this book is one of calm and peace. It challenges our ideas about self and our own consciousness and shows how to live a life of awareness . It focuses on mindfulness and self awareness and shows use these ideas to help achieve greatness in all areas of our lives.

9. Ridiculous Bliss By Matthew Ferry (Audiobook)

For those who need a dose of happiness and blissfulness this book is amazing. Its fun, lighthearted approach makes self-help easy. It focuses on how to use our thoughts to become happier and overcomes fear based thinking. It covers everything from work, to family and even getting out of debt. Its ideas help with managing stress, runaway negative thinking and worrying thoughts and change your life to one of ridiculous happiness.

10. Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill

“Think and Grow Rich” is a classic self help book. It was written in the 1930s but, the ideas still hold really true in today’s world. It is goal focused and shows readers step by step on how to create a the life of their dreams.This book is one that can be read over and over again and is jammed pack with practical actions steps and ideas. It is perfect for those who are looking for a blueprint for success in business and personal achievement.

 

 

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Time to grow up and get some style…

Ever meet someone one that has literally have NO sense of style? They wear leggings everyday with crazy prints of them.They can’t do a proper “messy bun” and they had to google what winged eyeliner was. They have collections of onesies, sweat pants and high top sneakers. Oh, and this person also cannot pluck their own eyebrows to save their life.

Ya, I know a person like that….I am that person! I pretty much dress like I’m 14 and I’m in my thirties. And since I’m in the confessing mood, I also do not know how to properly blow dry or straighten my hair, I don’t know what bronzer is for ,  I don’t know how to wash my make up brushes, or how to make a high pony tail.

Now before I go on I want to make something clear. I don’t think I’m flawed, ugly or less of a woman because of these things. I don’t personally believe that I need a face full of make up, perfect hair and a flawless outfit to feel beautiful. I am very content in my  heart PJS, my messy hair and my make up free face.  I very much enjoy my carefree approach to fashion. I kinda don’t give a f#*^ about the latest trends or craze. The reason, I have “get a sense of style” on my goal list is simply because I WANT to learn to do my own make up, dress a little nicer and straighten my hair properly for the days when rainbow leggings are just not okay.

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This is my “HELP!!” face…

I  want the choice wether to get glammed up or be lazy. I want to now how to put a Pinterest worthy outfit together.

You see,In my dream life I am the CEO of my own amazing knitting company. Also, I have an amazing walk in closet that make Barbie jealous, so I need to fill this closet with pretty clothes. When I’m all in a super important meeting with some knitting company or I’m at a glamorous party, I kinda wanna look like I know what I am doing. I want to be taken seriously. And no one takes you seriously when your wearing Batman sweat pants and its looks like a 3 year old did you eyeshadow.

 

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My make up haul from wal-mart….now to figure out how to use it all!

I LITERALLY do not know how to do any of this “girly” stuff, yet I dream in the colour pink and I secretly wish I could put glitter on everything. I don’t own a pair of heels or a little black dress. So, although I will always choose PJS and knitting over parties and fake eyelashes. One day, when I’m on a night out with my girl tribe I want to look amazeballs. I don’t want someone to take pity on me and apply my make up for me when we are getting ready. I want to do it myself because, thats what bad ass knitting CEO would do. They would look like a million dollars and when the day is done they go home and chill, in their rainbow pjs.

So,  here’s the plan!

I’m going to be “researching” on YouTube, and Pinterest I will be watching, reading, pinning and taking notes! Basically I’m trying to find the best tutorials, outfits and hairstyles that match what I’m going for. Think fun, colourful and awesome. It also has to speak to who I am. Meaning there is gonna be a whole lot of pink.

I’ll be looking for outfit combos and trying to find something similar to add to my wardrobe! Online shopping, anyone? Then I’ll be using tutorials and books to improve my make up and hair skills.

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So to give an you an example, this is my Pinterest account. It’s awesome by the way.. but I have a bunch outfits, hairstyles and make up ideas pinned on there…( and a whole bunch of knitting stuff too).

There is one outfit In particular I’m trying to recreate and I’m halfway there so far.

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Jean Jacket Girl!

Jean jacket, London bridge girl is pretty much how I envision myself. I already have the jean jacket and grey shirt…So, now I need black ripped jeans, the sandals, the bag, and the sunglasses So, this month I’m scouring the internet to find those items to make this outfit complete!

I’ll probably be also working on pink hair, and a kick ass make up routine so, trust me you are gonna wanna stick around for that..cause in all honesty, there’s probably gonna be some epic fails!

In the meantime thought does anyone know where I can get some black ripped jeans?? I need them badly!!

Lots of love!!

Ashlee

Cause sometimes your life needs a soundtrack

Ever notice how in movies there is always music playing in background of key scenes. For example…. win an argument, get a kick ass song; Finally get the love your life, get a sappy song; Get the winning touch down, get a winning song. Etc, Etc, Etc.

Well if your like me you kinda wish this happened in real life.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE music. I’ve been super obsessed with it since I can remember. I spent my youth hanging out in HMV buying every CD I could possibly afford with my minimum wage, part time job. Nothing made me happier then popping on my head phones that came with my disc man and solving my teenage problems to music. Since the invention of iTunes and Spotify, I am able to basically walk around with an insane amount of songs in my pocket. and create own epic soundtrack/ playlist fairly easily.

Because I live in the age of  digital music, my first order of business in creating my Best Life is…. to make an epic playlist.

So, here is my step by step process to on how to make an epic playlist.

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My epic playlist.

Step One: Pick an epic theme.

A good friend recently pointed out to me how important self love and self acceptance is. You really can’t make any major progress in your life goals without first loving who you are.  So my epic playlist theme is about self love and self acceptance.

Step Two: Pick an epic name to match your epic theme.

I have named my epic playlist “ How To Love Your Bad Ass Self.

Step Three: Add epic music to epic playlist.

The songs I added are all about self love, learning from the tough moments in life, being your own best friend and just generally being awesome.  I love pop music so, there is apperances by, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera and Nicki Minaj, to name a few.

Step Four: Arrange epic songs in an epic order.

Put your favourite song on the top and then just go from there. Don’t be like me and over think it (unless you also secretly wish you were a DJ).  And you even could skip step four and just “shuffle” your music, That is, if your like  your life full of surprises and uncertainty. I do not.

Step Five:  Test out epic playlist.

Put on some headphones or sync your playlist to your car and carry on with your day! Deeply analyze for hours if the feelings your feeling match your theme? If so, yay! If not go back to step two.

Congratulations you just made a soundtrack to your life.

Now, you don’t always have to make a playlist, you could use someone else playlist. (Because sharing is caring.) there is thousands out there to choose from on just about anthing.

If you want to see my epic play list on Spotify click here. and since its mostly complete I am all officialy all set to be a bad ass and conquer my goals and dreams with a soundtrack.  I would consider that an EPIC  SUCCESS.

Now go forth and be awesome!

Ash

My Best Life

I am in my 30s and there is so much I haven’t done with my life. There’s are things most people know how to do that I don’t. There’s also a lot of things I have done that I am very proud of. Nothing has come easy or natural for me. In fact, the only thing I am “natural” at is feeling lots and lots of emotion. Call me a highly sensitive person, an empath, overly emotional or whatever else you want. I have learned in the past few years that this emotion is a gift and it does have its place in this crazy world.

I know I am not the only one who is searching for answers and who is a highly sensitive soul. I know I am not alone. I started blogging about all this for a few reasons.  I want to sort out the clutter in my brain and start accomplishing my goals. I no longer want to be ruled by my emotions and instead use them as guide.  I want to be THE BEST VERSION of myself.

I want to document it all so I can inspire others to sort out their own lives and stop being afraid. I want to inspire myself to grow and reach my full potential and beyond.

I definitely won’t be perfect at it and I will have massive downfalls,  I hope that at the end of the day I can make an impact on the world by being the most honest, authentic and best version of myself.

So what exactly is my best life?

The best version of myself is confident. She is fearless in her pursuit for happiness. She wants her home organized and clutter free. She is a goal setter. She is an entrepreneur. She is always learning. She is non judgemental but, she doesn’t take any crap. She is an amazing inspiring mother, friend and wife but, she knows how important it is to keep her own needs met. She is beautiful on the outside but, what matters more is her soul and her inner beauty. She emotional and vulnerable but in control. She is too busy persuing her life to care or worry about the little things. She trusts there is a universe that has a plan.

Self-development is great. Wether its through books, videos or audio, I think the pursuit of knowledge is essential. In fact, I am obsessed with the knowledge that is in the self help section of any book store. The thing is though, you can read all you want but, at the end of the day, you have to be willing to walk the walk and do the things actually suggested. This is my version of “walking the walk”. I’m putting all the book knowledge I have into actual motion. And I am doing that by starting with goal setting and determine what I really want out of this life.
My Top Ten Goals

  • Have a cleaned, organized, beautifully decorated home.
  • Have some style. Update my wardrobe, hairstyle and make up.
  • Create an amazing self care/self love ritual.
  • Travel, first by myself, then with my spouse and then have a family vacay.
  • Improve my driving skills.
  • Create my very own girl tribe of amazing, inspiring and like minded women, who  grow with me. Just by being in their presence and knowing them, they help me become the BEST woman I can be.
  • Grow my business (Smashlee Stitches) and be the most kick ass knitter I can be.
  • Create a work/life balance that includes friends, family and work time.
  • Fall in love with exercise and healthy eating
  • Get really really really good at Scrabble!

These goals may seem all over the place and even a bit “out there”. They may not even seem relevant or “list worthy” but, the thing with goals is that they are deeply personal.

I don’t think for a second that getting good at scrabble will improve my life dramatically or that the key to happiness is high heels and make up.  But, each one of things I have ALWAYS wanted to do, so why not?

I hope you will stay tuned to see my progress along my journey to my best life. You can look forward to posts about my process on obtaining my goals but also, I want to share my thoughts some of my favourite inspirational books, movies, people etc. My hope is my readers will be inspired to start living their best lives away!

Keep Smiling and don’t stop being awesome!

Ash