Usually, this time of the year, I used to say I was so glad that January was over.  I was terrified I could not face the new, over-ambitious resolutions, and the weather was not helping to maintain a positive attitude.  This January has been different so far. Maybe because I let go of predictions and expectations. Pandemic took a toll on my long-term planning obsession, and some unexpected miracles took place. My boss appreciated my efforts at work. I stick to my everyday exercise routine, and I even liked it! I am not going to bullshit you that it all happened overnight. It took years to hone the skills of positive thinking. What helped me then and is helping me today are the books written by people with a can-do attitude. I hope my book recommendations will make February much more bearable and optimistic!

Unfu*k Yourself: Get out of your Head into Your Life by G. J. Bishop

Don't judge a book by its cover and title! That was my first reaction to John Garry Bishop's Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life. And I do judge covers daily as graphic design is my secret passion. Bishop is a master of action-oriented coaching for those who need the BS-free, straight-forward self-help expertise. I read hundreds of motivational books in the last few years as I was dreaming of becoming a professional coach. Now, I get tired of an over-scientific approach to human psychology. I'm tied up with theory. I need the specific action steps that worked for many people in the past. What turns me off in self-empowerment literature is also the new-age lingo. I don't know if I need to read more of his books. However, in the long winter evenings, I found the idea of urban philosophy he is preaching very endearing. I recommend it to everybody who needs a quick reminder that we are not our thoughts. We are what we do.

There is no denying that Rachel Hollis is the most famous blogger - self-help guru of our times. I turned her first book down ( Girl wash your face) after reading a few pages. However, this winter, I borrowed Girl: Stop apologizing, and somehow it clicked. Maybe, it was just perfect timing. I needed someone to remind me: It's your job to show up for your own life and fight for your dreams. When I was reading this book, I was in awe of Rachel's humility, her ability to admit that she was not a specialist, not a highly educated professional. She was not ashamed to share the nitty-gritty behind her success: the hours, the sacrifice, and the imperfect balance between work and family. It was refreshing as typically motivational books of that kind focus on the after-result and the shiny success, avoiding the unsexy work that led to it. If you want to see how Rachel Hollis built her brand, watch the Rachel Hollis Presents: Made for more on Amazon Prime.

A Year of Positive Thinking: Daily Inspiration, Wisdom and Courage by Cyndie Spiegel

My final choice, A year of positive thinking by Cyndie Spiegel has been with me since the beginning of the pandemic. I know that it will be my companion for many years to come. Pandemic made me anxious and impatient. During the first months of the lockdown, it was challenging for me to focus. My mind kept wandering. This book offered much-needed consolation, everyday guidance in times of uncertainty. It was so refreshing to read inspiring short messages mindfully crafted for each day of the year. Cyndie published her work in Vogue, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Huffington Post. She also founded Dear Grown Ass Women, a community-led platform promoting diversity for women. 

Let me know if you read any of those books or if there are if you have any recommendations that will help us get through the difficulties in the times of pandemic. Stay inspired!

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