5 Books you need to read in 2021 to kick start your year

Universally we have all acknowledged that 2020 was (arguably) one of (if not then) the worst years in history and the bar for 2021 has been set incredibly low. Yet, only a few weeks into the new year and we have already witnessed American attacks on the Capitol, another national lock-down in the UK and the inauguration of a new US President.

The chaos of 2020 has seemed to have followed us into 2021. Despite this, each new year brings us a new and rejuvenated sense of hope and a desire to make this year better than the last. Setting New Year Resolutions to change our bad behaviours or break unfavourable habits is common throughout the world, but a 2007 study by Richard Wiseman showed that 88% of those who set a New Year resolution failed despite 52% of his participants confident of success.

We can all relate to failing a resolution; we were too ambitious; it was too hard, or we just forgot. Even if ‘reading more books’ isn’t on your resolution list this year, these 5 books will kick start your 2021 to help set you onto the path to success in your work, in your relationships or help you reach spiritual peace and master mindfulness.

5. “The Last Lecture” – Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture By Randy PauschIn 2007, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon was asked to give a lecture after recently being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His lecture entitled ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’ focussed, not on death, but on the importance of enabling the dreams of others and of seizing the moment because time is all you have and one day you will realise that you have less than you thought. This book is a typed transcript of Pausch’s inspiring lecture, which also was his last. His humour is wonderfully combined with intelligence and inspiration and it will not only inspire you to seize the day, but to seize control of your life aspirations. Pausch’s endearing optimism is perfectly captured in this quote: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”

4. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” – Eckhart Toll

Eckhart Toll’s book serves to teach us how-to live in order to find the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. Using a combination of philosophical, religious and spiritual teachings, Toll guides us to reflect and consider how we can carry some of these qualities into our day to day life. Written in a question and answer format, this book feels as though you are being directly taught by Tolland are comforted throughout your reading journey.

There are even designated ‘rest breaks’ from reading to enable you to reflect upon what you have read. This enables a deep reflection into the self and enables you to truly find your way to peace and mindfulness. Toll’s directness and calmness of his words helps readers to clearly understand and begin to incorporate what they have read into their everyday lives: “The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.”

3. “What a Time to Be Alone” – Chidera Eggerue

what a time to be aloneThe title of this book seems perfectly apt for a year when yet again we are all bound to the confides of our own home and another national lockdown keeps us away from all those that we love.

Written by Chidera Eggerue, AKA the online sensation ‘The Slumflower’, this is a self-help book like no other. This book is a deeply personal ode to Eggerue’s identity and Nigerian mother as it is filled with Igbo proverbs and beautiful original illustrations, making readers feel invited into a safe space to explore our identities and find our inner confidence.

With all the worries and concerns that are burdened upon us with every new year and wondering whether this will be your year, this snippet of wisdom from Eggerue speaks volumes to all of us who have a wonderful habit of putting things off till tomorrow: “Don’t worry about how you’re going to do it. Just do it first.”

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Despite being published in 1937, the advice from this book has truly stood the test of time. The title of Napoleon Hill’s book is deceiving as this self-help book is not only about how to grow your bank account but how to get what you want out of life. Hill’s work examines how personal success is influenced by the power of personal beliefs and his formula puts personal success within reach. One of Hill’s stand-out expressions from his book “what the mind of man can conceived and believe, it can achieve” sets the tone for the inspirational wisdom that is filled within every page of this book and Hill’s own personal success, as an advisor to President Franklin D Roosevelt serves as a wonderful reminder that it really is possible to think and grow rich.

1. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? by Seth Godin

Since Seth started blogging in the early 1990s, he has written more than two million words and shaped the way we think about marketing, leadership, careers, innovation,

whatcha gonna do with that

creativity, and everything in between. This book is six years of his best, most entertaining, inspirational and most poignant blog posts. Godin makes us want to stand up and do something remarkable, encouraging us to think and dream bigger. His writing is wonderfully approachable and at the very least, Godin urges us to speak more honestly in our everyday lives.

Business Week named him “the ultimate entrepreneur for the information age” and his candid wisdom is encapsulated within this quote from his book: “Getting your ducks in a row is a fine thing to do. But deciding what you are going to do with that duck is a far more important issue.”

If this article has inspired you to kick start your reading or writing ambitions, or if you need a little more motivation then check out 5 tips to get you writing