Lifestyle Coaching | Books That Have Influenced My Life - Tonia Noland

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

I’m a firm believer that exposing our minds to perspectives and ideologies outside our own is imperative. There is never a time we will stop learning, growing and stepping outside our comfort zones. It’s continuous. Books are the primary source of knowledge that feeds and grows our minds. We feed our minds like we feed our bodies. At times, we may have to try new foods in order to nourish ourselves. Have you ever tried spirulina? It’s a green powder, derived from bacteria found in fresh and saltwater. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? It is known to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Taken alone, in water, it’s not so good. I wouldn’t recommend it. However, when added to a smoothie or baked good, it’s great!

Same goes for books. Your comfort zone is that place where sitting with a book feels good, familiar and safe. Getting out of that comfort zone may feel a bit like trying spirulina. Uneasy. However, you may gain that same amazing nutrition for your brain by reading something that makes you a little uncomfortable. And afterward, you feel even better having read something new. Pair a comfy book with a not-so-comfy book.

I shared in my post, my personal development journey, taking the time to invest in ourselves is a conscious choice. Everything we do helps or hinders the trajectory of our lives. Reading is a way I invest in myself. The books listed below have been game changers in my journey toward entrepreneurship, self-help, mindset, and mental health.

The Slight Edge by John David Mann
Everything we do either enhances or inhibits the outcomes of our lives. The Slight Edge is a way of thinking and acting on information that influences our seemingly simple daily choices. It’s the difference between spending our lives just dreaming and instead breathing our dreams into reality. It’s one of the first books I read when I was starting out as an entrepreneur. It’s an ideal book for anyone who’s ready to take accountability for their own personal success.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Personally, this is my favorite book by renowned author, Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s full of empowering and inspiring messages to live life outside the box and in alignment with your own creative inspiration. This is one of the books I gift to all my clients when they sign up for my private coaching packages, because it’s all about living vibrantly and aligning with our inner creative power.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
I love everything by Brené Brown (much like Elizabeth Gilbert). This book, in particular, holds a special place in my heart, mind and conscious as an introvert. After reading this book, I felt empowered to show up in life more authentically and vulnerably. It helped me grow my businesses by leaps and bounds due to a gained confidence. I was able to meaningfully connect with my clients, friends, family, coworkers, peers, and the people I meet and come into contact with each and every day. This book is ideal for anyone who’s shied away from embracing their true self.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
I stumbled across Robert Kiyosaki at a personal development conference in 2013. The mindset he teaches in this book has literally and figuratively changed how my husband Dane and I view getting paid, retirement, “financial freedom,” creating our own wealth, and creating lifestyle freedom. Because of what we’ve learned and applied, my husband and I now own our first investment property and are working toward accruing more to achieve our goals for financial freedom. In the book Kiyosaki shares the story of his birth father (his “poor” dad) and his best friend’s father (his “rich” dad) and how both men shaped and forever changed the way he thought about money. This book is ideal for anyone who wants to understand the mindset behind shifting from trading your time for money and instead how to have your money work hard for you.

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
This book defines the title as: setting your own rules to live the life you want and change the world. This book covers everything about lifestyle design that I’ve come to love. It includes discussions on becoming an entrepreneur, living a location-independent lifestyle, setting powerful and intentional goals, and overall embracing life’s adventures and tackling them with your own rules, mindset, and definition of what success means to you.

Start With Why by Simon Sinek
I discovered Simon Sinek through his Ted Talk about starting a movement and leadership. His book delves even deeper into what it takes to start a movement. This is a powerful must-read for anyone seeking to understand the bigger meaning behind why we do what we do. The “start with why” process has helped make some of the biggest decisions of my life. I no longer do anything in my life “just because.” Instead I always ask myself, “why am I doing/not doing this?” More meaningful results start with asking more powerful questions.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
This is probably the most well-known book by Tim Ferriss. It will help you start thinking about how to be more efficient with your time so you can enjoy life to the fullest and find success in the process. This book, along with Rich Dad, Poor Dad, forever ruined my mindset as an employee. It woke me up to the reality that we don’t need to play by someone else’s rules, especially if we want to get extraordinary results. In this book you’ll learn all about the concept of lifestyle design, how to travel and work, and how to maximize your efforts in half the time most people spend sitting in a corporate office. We all get one shot at this life, we might as well equip ourselves with the tools necessary to enjoy our hard work by utilizing some unconventional lifestyle hacks.

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
If you haven’t heard of “Gabby” Bernstein I highly recommend you check out her inspiring story. She is a hip, new-age spiritual and mindset guru who helps her readers embrace their energy and vitality within to move through emotional and, oftentimes, physical stumbling blocks to achieve a richer sense of direction, purposes, and fulfillment. After reading this book I felt less alone in my inner struggle for immediate measurable and visible results. Gabby shows readers how to transform fear into power and live more aligned to their inner compass to feel more happiness, clarity and direction in their lives. This book is ideal for anyone seeking peace of mind and freedom by choosing to embrace new mindset shifts that will help you as you embark on your energy work journey. If you’re feeling deflated, I encourage you to pick this book up as a gentle guide to help step into your true power. It could just be the thing that helps you find the mental and physical strength necessary to unleash the endless possibilities of life.

Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Marie Forleo is a powerhouse thought leader and passionate entrepreneur. I’ve been an avid follower of hers since 2014 when I joined her online business school program called B-School. In her new book she offers practical applications for how you can retrain your brain to face fear, move forward and ultimately live your dreams by implementing new belief systems into your day to day life. It’s not just “woo-woo” theories, much of what Marie references throughout her book are backed by scientific studies. Everything is Figureoutable has become a mantra in my life and I hope you’ll find a place for it in yours too.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This is a powerful book for anyone who is ready to take a deeper dive into how our minds work and why our minds are typically what’s holding us back from reaching our fullest potential. This is not a light read, but it is a powerful one that will help you discover and understand your true, authentic self.

Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry
Understanding and cultivating our sense of emotional intelligence is essential for anyone who works and interacts with people. Whether we realize it or not, we all are operating on different levels of emotional intelligence. Some of us were born or raised to have a slightly higher level of emotional intelligence (or emotional IQ) than others. This book creates self-awareness and social awareness. It’s a must read for anyone who works closely with people – a manager, in a leadership position, sales professionals, life coaches, therapists, teachers, and more. I promise, after reading this book, you’ll find yourself tuning into things you’ve never noticed as you observe and interact with people each and every day.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
This was one of the first personal development/self-help books I read in my early entrepreneurial days. It was key in helping me think outside my comfort zone and start visualizing the bigger possibilities life has to offer. When we stop dreaming or thinking outside of our day to day lives the chances that we can achieve what we’ve always wanted drastically start to decline. It becomes harder and harder to land that dream job, start your own business or side hustle, achieve financial freedom, or even feel fulfilled and rewarded by our day to day. The secret, according to Schwartz, starts in your mind. This book will help you reframe your mindset as it supplies useful methods to shift your perspective and start seeing measurable improvements in your career, life, relationships, and personal sense of self. How we think, and in turn behave, can have detrimental or beneficial effects on the trajectory of our lives, and it all starts in our minds.

I hope this list has you planning a trip to your nearest local bookstore or adding these titles to your wish list on Amazon. Each book brings an entirely different perspective and well-rounded blend to nourish your mind, body and soul.

Please let me know what you discover and any “ah-ha” moments you have while reading these books – I would sure love to hear! And if you need any one-on-one personalized help don’t forget that I’m here to root you on. All you need to do is schedule your Complimentary Consultation Call and we’ll dive in and face these roadblocks head on together.


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  1. Sussana says:

    “Reading is a way to invest in myself” – love this!

    Such a comprehensive list of personal development books, I have definitely noted down a few to read – The Art of Non Conformity, Chris Guillebeau; Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo; Emotional Intelligence, Travis Bradberry & The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle.

    Thank you Tonia

    • Tonia Noland says:

      Thank you for sharing Sussana! I’m so glad this post resonated with you, and yes, those are some great books to start with. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you on your journey towards investing in yourself!

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