Stillwater Staff Share the Books That Changed Their Lives
Looking for some fresh reads to help make 2024 your most fulfilling, inspiring and productive year yet? Our staff at Stillwater are dedicated to our vision of Changing Lives – and that includes our own lives too! We asked our team to tell us about one book that had a significant impact on the way they think, live or lead. We’re not just talking about memorable reads, but books that truly inspired positive change in their lives. Scroll down for Stillwater’s top picks for what to read in 2024.
High 5 Habit by Mel Robbins
Through an extremely real, honest and vulnerable point of view, the author shares her unique habit where she gives herself a high-5 in the mirror every morning. She shares her story of struggling with anxiety, ADHD, and family, alcohol and marriage problems, and how this little morning habit was a catalyst for turning her entire life around. This book has helped me grow as a person as it has made me realize the implications of my own negative self-talk. The author uses scientific research to teach readers how they can retrain their brain to maintain positive thinking and break the cycle of negativity. It's a little weird but I high five myself everyday now and which has changed my outlook on life. I see now that bad things end and opportunities are everywhere if you are open to them.
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
I read this book when I was 18 and it helped me think in a very different way and played a role in one of the best years of my life. It inspired me to say yes to lots of things and choose to be myself, or who I want to be. I became more confident and had a lot of fun as a result. It’s on my list of books to reread 19 years later.
The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin
Rick Rubin gives a unique voice to things that we know but don't necessarily understand. This unique book is written in very short chapters - some only one sentence long. I find that I'll pick it up and read 1 or sometimes 2 chapters and walk away with a new perspective on a creative issue I'm working through. There's so much wisdom in these pages and it has changed the way I view the world.
Happier Hour by Cassie Holmes
This book had such an impact on the way I think about time and moved me out of a time scarcity mentality. It’s packed with tons of practical tips and relatable experiences as the author shares her UCLA course on happiness with readers. I now plan my days more thoughtfully and see each week as what the author calls a ‘mosaic’ of time where I can first prioritize the activities that are most meaningful to me in the available slots, before those precious windows get consumed by scrolling, streaming, or seemingly urgent tasks.
A Confession by Leo Tolstoy
This book is the autobiographical account of Tolstoy’s existential crisis. As an adolescent and young adult I struggled to assign meaning to my actions and lacked purpose. This book was impactful for me because I discovered it at a time when the subject matter was relevant to my life. It confirmed that my feelings were valid, that they were felt by others, and that it would be possible to regain a sense of purpose if I continued trying. I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with feelings of meaninglessness.
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
What I enjoyed most about this book were the conversations around how to approach transparency as a leader and when to be cautious about oversharing. This caught my interest because I've always prided myself on being a transparent leader (across all the leadership positions I've been in), so it was helpful to learn about when that isn't actually beneficial and opened my awareness up to the importance of adaptability and recognizing different situational needs. The author brings up an interesting perspective on selfish leadership – the times you're just sharing for yourself (oversharing before you have all the information, specifically) vs. sharing for the good of your staff/team.
Grit by Angela Duckworth
I love the way that the author weaves her easygoing nature and personal experiences into this scientific concept. This book taught me that success is more about grit (effort and practice) than it is about talent. It is so inspiring to know that we can get better at anything we want to with sufficient effort. I also love that the words we say to others can encourage them to continue to build up their grit by acknowledging the effort that they're putting in. Knowing this has influenced the way I parent and the way I lead.
There you have it. What You Should Read in 2024.
We hope this provided some inspiration on what to read in 2024 to make it your best year ever! Looking for more resources and tools to help start your year off right? Check our our freebies page for worksheets, webinars and audio content that will bring you more happiness at work, and in life.