Books that shifted my perspective in 2018
We all have our own internal monologue, the story we tell ourselves about what people like us are supposed to do, what success should look like and what we’re capable of.
And then there are tales of real adventure, from ordinary people like you and me, who wondered if their internal monologue was off. What would happen if they told themselves a different story? If they told themselves that people like them do do those things? Or at least wondered what would happen if they tried?
These are the stories that help me shift my own monologue. Their courage and gumption rubs off through the pages of the book and seeps deep into my muscles. Soon my mind is whirling, ideas darting to and fro over the line in the sand that says ‘not for you’. My legs get twitchy and a smile builds. I feel restless and uncomfortable with an excess of energy that can only be shaken in one way.
These stories, and their energy, feed my love for life. I don’t act on every idea, but they’re cumulative. They build up until something slots into place just enough to become viable — not 100% doable — but viable enough to get me on the road, or the sea, or wherever they require me to be to unleash my energy.
Not all the books I read are about adventure (although it definitely dominates). I also have a keen interest in creating businesses which shift our world is someway, that delight and by design make our culture better.
Here’s a brief rundown of the 18 books that helped to shift my perspective a little in 2018. I’d love to know which books you read that influenced your internal story…
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Lesson: Nature is our medicine. More people should be prescribed a dose.
Learning to Breath by Andy Cave
Lesson: We can choose our path in life.
Alone in Antarctica by Felicity Aston
Lesson: Focus on getting out of the tent every day, the rest will sort itself out.
Last Man Off by Matt Lewis
Lesson: Never ignore a small leak.
This Road I Ride by Juliana Buhring
Lesson: People want to hear the detail of your story. Share more.
Grey Skies, Green Waves by Tom Anderson
Lesson: Adventure isn’t about far flung places. It’s waiting on our doorstep.
There Are Other Rivers by Alastair Humphreys
Lesson: First and foremost, adventure is not about social media, world records or career potential. It’s about us.
The Hungry Cyclist by Tom Davies
Lesson: Food brings everyone together.
The Man Who Cycled The World by Mark Beaumont
Lesson: Life is not a world record. Your perspective matters.
A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington
Lesson: Show up and have a go.
Just a Little Run Around The World by Rosie Swale Pole
Lesson: Don’t wait for something to run for.
Mind of a Survivor by Megan Hine
Lesson: Curiosity and creativity are the key to life.
Dare to Do by Sarah Outen
Lesson: Nothing goes according to plan. Embrace it.
Unbound: A Story of Snow and Self-Discovery by Steph Jagger
Lesson: It’s our relationships, to others and ourselves, that matter most.
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Lesson: Be generous with your thinking.
This is Marketing by Seth Godin
Lesson: It’s not about everyone, it’s only about us.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Lesson: Have a go and support others to try too.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Lesson: Find your tribe and your goal becomes doable.
Just 2 years ago I couldn’t have imagined reading this may books in one year. But reading, like any other muscle, develops with practice. Through committing to reading one book a month with Adventure Book Club, I slowly found my reading groove and now love that I can experience so many different stories, all prodding me with a stick to challenge my idea of what people like us do.