Won't you come with me to the magical and slightly embarrassing land of self help? C'mon. Don't be afraid.
As a break from the usual holiday fare of gift guides and wish-lists, I'm going to offer up a little list I've been meaning to post for a while. I was spurred into action by this post which I found really thought provoking on so many levels. I started thinking about my own inspirations, and how hard it is to get started (or keep going) as a creative.
Anyway, these are my favorite books from over the past 35 years-- the ones I think of most often, and sometimes even refer back to. Many of them have changed my mindset, helped me protect my sense of self, and helped me as a creative entrepreneur.
The rest of this post continues after the break. Some of these books have cheesy covers. But they all have great ideas. Promise.
OK, I tried to do a fancy thing and break up this post, so if you find yourself HERE and you haven't seen what's up ^^THERE ^^ just scroll up. : )
1. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Swimmy is probably the first book about self-esteem that I ever read. It's a children's book, and my mom and I used to read it together. I loved the story and the watercolor images. In the story, Swimmy is a black fish among a school of red fish. He feels out of place, lonely and strange. Then, one day, Swimmy realizes how important being different is when his unique-ness helps save the school of fish from a dangerous situation.
About the Author: Here
2. Self-Esteem by Virginia Satir
Self Esteem is a circa 1970's book with lovely illustrations and inspirational quotes. Why the hell they redesigned it to make it look like it does now I will NEVER know. If you want to read it, do yourself a favor and shell out for the original 1970's edition which is the real deal.
Anyway, My mother owned this book in the edition shown up here, and I used to look at it all the time, and read through it often - at the time I was too young to realize what 'self help' was... so for me, this book always read as more of a story. The soft, expressive, nature watercolors and silhouettes beautifully accent the phrasing...this is true 1970's I'm OK You're OK fare, for those of you who are self-help connoisseurs, it's a must have.
About the Author: Here
3. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
The Artist's Way is the book that awakened me to the fact that being an artist was my greatest desire, and that I needed to begin serving that desire with every action. This instructional book offers a fantastic program one can follow to help themselves move more into the creative mindset and own it. I highly recommend this book. Among other things, it offers ways to help you protect your creativity, to feel more accepting of yourself as an artist, and to create a life that nurtures you as an artist. Warning: just buy the basic "Artist's Way." This book has been re-iterated into like 1000 different versions like "The Artists Way for Cat Lovers, The Artist's Way for people who are Lactose Intolerant" etc. Just go with the original. : )
4. The Prophet by Khahlil Gibran
A beautiful poem to life, it reads like a religious text but is not. I often think of phrases from the prophet, and they always offer insight. Written in 1923 this is a timeless study in what it is to be human. More about the author here
5. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
Honestly, Do artists really have to be poor??? According to most people, yes. According to this guy, NO. And neither does anyone else. Honestly, I can't tell you how much these ideas have done for me as a creative entrepreneur. More about the author here
6. It's Not How Good You Are...Paul Arden
I can't say this is a bible for me, like some of these others, but it's good for a quick fix and always reminds me to keep it simple and innovate. More about the author here
7. Estée: A Success Story
I found this book in the basement of our building, on the "free books" box, and have now enshrined it on my top shelf. This book is hysterical, because Estée Lauder is SO self assured. This woman never doubted (or at least never showed doubt) that she was going to succeed. Her sense of self and thorough commitment to doing things her way is completely unapologetic and for me, intensely inspiring. It was incredible to read a woman writing this way about herself... because really, women are always "supposed" to be so self-effacing and demure about their achievements. More about the Author Here
8. Excuses Begone by Wayne Dyer
Ok, yes. I know. But really, these ideas are great. When we stop and think how much of our dreams are deflated by excuses..."I can't afford it, "I'm too ___________ (insert deficiency here)", "I'm not ___________ enough", "The world doesn't work like that."... well, you get the picture what happens. More about the Author Here. Also watch this book as a seminar on PBS here.
Anyway, yes, I know this way out of the blue, and shortly, I will resume posting cute stuff I want to buy. But, in the other half of my life, I am an artist who spends much of her time just...well... thinking. I hope if you do have a momentary craving for a good self-help book, OR if you are someone who has been thinking about starting a business, trying your hand at a new creative idea, or just feeling like you need a pick-me-up, you might consider one of these suggestions. None of these books will directly help you balance your budget, sue someone who copies you, make sales, or build a website. But they WILL give you the mindset that if you choose to do any of those things, you might do them with more joy, patience, and purpose. These titles were hand picked by someone who cares. And, I am an accredited self help addict and connoisseur. So, I know what I am talking about.
Also, I should mention that I am NOT getting any kickbacks from any purchases of these books on Amazon etc. This really is just a list I wanted to share. : )
Enjoy! I'm off to finish some design work!