Some of you may have had extra time thrust upon you due to coronavirus quarantines or cancellations. The rest of us should use this time as an opportunity to create extra time to refresh, reset, and reload.
As I wrote in this post, we can use this as a time to re-examine the freedom and fulfillment in our life, as well as experience what a true life of alignment looks like.
I’m always a fan of a good bit of fiction reading to help actively engage our minds on something other than the news, social media, panic, and hysteria. If you’re also looking for some good non-fiction reading to help you keep centered in the storm and help you on your journey of mental clarity, I’ve listed some recommendations below (in no particular order)…
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
This 6th century Chinese text provides a treasure trove of ancient wisdom that is still relevant today. From leadership and governance to relationships and self-care, the Tao has you covered. Of particular value to me (I read a passage from the Tao each morning) are the principles of flow, Wu-Wei (unattached action), and yielding to enemies (mental and physical) in order to use the enemy’s energy to your favor.
The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Also part of my morning reading, The Daily Stoic contains daily excerpts of wisdom from the Stoic philosophers (such as Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius) along with meditative readings to help you reflect on and apply the wisdom to your life. In a time of turbulence, Stoic philosophy can be especially useful to tune out the noise and stay focused on your signal. In the words of Epictetus, “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann
When I first read this book, I looked at it as a book about sales. As I re-read it, and the subsequent books in their “Go-Giver series”, I’ve come to an awareness that these are books about life. About relationships. About empathy. About interpersonal relationships. About true prosperity. And, yes, about giving — but not in a “throw money at charity” kind of way. It’s about waking up each day being aware of the fact that you were born with unique talents and the ability to use those talents to make an impact and serve others. Oh, and, learning to be receptive to the giving that is coming your way.
You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Most people don’t realize that the power of mind-altering drugs is in their ability to incentivize our brains to release naturally-occurring chemicals into our body. In other words: Our brains are the alchemists of our bodies and minds. As such, we have the ability to heal ourselves. It starts, however, by reprogramming our doubt, feelings of lack, unworthiness with true belief. Dr. Joe shares his incredible story of healing after a horrific bicycle accident, as well as stories (and brain scans) of others who have been healed, as well. It’s not mystic. It’s not magic. It’s the power of our minds.
Five Pillars of the Freedom Lifestyle by Curt Mercadante (yeah, that’s me)
Listing my own book would only be self-serving if I didn’t believe it was damn good. Which it is. This book contains the stories of individuals who chose to reinvent their lives and/or are helping others do the same. It also contains my five-step process (the five pillars) to define, create, and live your life of freedom and fulfillment.
Whether your are quarantined by choice or by fiat, I hope you’ll use this time to refresh, reset, and reload. Perhaps you can use it as an opportunity to reassess whether you have the freedom and fulfillment you desire and deserve — and formulate a game plan to make it a reality.