You know that moment when inspiration strikes you? That feeling of exhilaration? It's this bubbly feeling in your chest and your belly and it makes you want to get up and make all the things happen. You're motivated, you have your purpose, and you're ready to tackle it. But the next day? You're feeling lackluster, down on your luck, and you have a hankering to eat all the carbs. There are few things worse than feeling like you're not worth much, which is why it's helpful to have some books that will remind you everything you have to offer on your bookshelf.
Because if there's anything that is guaranteed to get me up and running, it's a book. Even the most random novels, ones you picked up for a light beach read or ones that are catered to children, can really be a hidden gem of inspiration. Everyday, you're told to get out there and make something of yourself. You're expected to change the world, to make a difference, and to be the best version of yourself that you can be. But what if you don't know where to start? What if you feel like you're floundering instead of flourishing?
You pick up one of these 17 books that will remind you everything you have to offer. Because I don't know if you've thought about it lately, but you are totally awesome and worthy of this world. And whether you realize it or not, you have plenty to offer. I know there are bad days. I know sometimes you don't feel like you're ever going to amount to anything or make a difference or stand out in a crowd. But that's why you need to get to reading, OK? And then get to doing.
1. 'You Are a Badass' by Jen Sincero
Being inspired to make the best of your own self doesn't always require a self-help book, but some are just too good to pass up like You Are A Badass. The title says it all, right? If you want to discover the life you can create and figure out how to do it, read this book. You don't have to be a fan of inspirational gurus or rely on some kind of quick fix — this book will remind you everything you have to offer plus some.
2. 'Tuesdays With Morrie' by Mitch Albom
It's a bestseller for a reason. In life, sometimes you need someone to guide you through the ups and downs. You need someone who can help you determine what you can offer and then help you figure out a way to execute that. In Tuesdays With Morrie, you can take a look at someone else's relationship with their mentor and the way it shaped their life. Seriously motivating and compelling, this book will make you want to get up and do it already.
3. 'Wild' by Cheryl Strayed
I'm pretty sure I was the last person in the world to read Wild, but better late than never because this book is worth it. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you hit rock bottom and Cheryl Strayed's journey will motivate you to discover just what it is that you can accomplish and do for this world.
4. 'Orphan Train' by Christina Baker Kline
Motivation isn't found just in self-help books and memoirs, some of your favorite works of fiction actually have everything you need right in the pages. Pick up Orphan Train, a bestselling novel about a young girl aging out of the foster care system and her relationship with an elderly woman who also grew up with her destiny determined by luck and chance. Not only is the story gripping and lovely, but it's there when you're struggling with the obstacles you think are in your way.
5. 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett
For more fiction that will make you get up and go, read The Help. This wildly popular novel is about more than just an unlikely friendship. It's about taking what you have, even when it seems like nothing, and turning it into a bigger, brighter reality than anyone could've ever dreamed. Imagine the work you could do to change the world and those around you for the better, simply by using what you already have.
6. 'All The Bright Places' by Jennifer Niven
A boy named Finch is always thinking about killing himself, but something always seems to stop him. A girl named Violet is living for the future, ready to move on with her life. When the two meet in All the Bright Places, they both learn some big things, including love for themselves. It is heartbreaking and gripping, but it's also a novel that will make you feel worthy.
7. 'The Color Purple' by Alice Walker
Come on, there's nothing as classic as The Color Purple and if you haven't read it, I'm telling you to buy it now. Don't check it out of the library — you need this book. Yes, it is deep and dark and a look at some of the most horrific moments in history, but it is also a testament to the human spirit, to everything human beings have to offer, and it will remind you of all you are and all you are capable of.
8. 'The Gifts Of Imperfection' by Brene Brown
Brene Brown is known for some amazing self-help books, but I am particularly drawn to The Gifts of Imperfection. The title may be long, but it tells you everything you need to know — you are enough. And if you're still struggling with that, this book will help you get there.
9. 'Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert
What is holding you back? A lack of confidence? A lack of resources? A lack of support? All of that amounts to fear, and you can't let fear hold you back from doing what you want and being who you are. That's why Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is such an incredible read. This book will teach you to push past those barriers, to live with more passion and creativity, and to make those dreams happen.
10. 'Adventures For Your Soul' by Shannon Kaiser
It's not enough to exercise your brain and your mind, you also have to get your soul right. Pick up Adventures For Your Soul so that you can get to work on embracing your desires. The book sounds like a boring guideline, but it is so much more than that. It is an easy process that will lead you to where you've always wanted to be.
11. 'Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl' by Anne Frank
Anne Frank wrote in her diary during one of the darkest moments in history as an outlet for herself and a way to preserve her thoughts. But look at what Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl has done for the world. Proof that no matter how little you think you have to offer, you can be sure that it's completely worth it.
12. 'Light Is The New Black' by Rebecca Campbell
Trying to figure out how to thrive? Read Light Is the New Black. Sometimes, you already know what it is you can offer of yourself and what you want, you just need a little help keeping the light on. Think of this book as a guide for the process with a lot of spirituality and practicality to make it last.
13. 'Everything You Ever Wanted' by Jillian Lauren
Jillian Lauren has penned some truly moving works, but Everything You Ever Wanted is my favorite. It is a memoir of identity, of reinvention, and of believing in second chances. Mistakes and regrets don't have to change who you are or what you have to offer — sometimes they make everything brighter and bolder.
14. 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee
Where else in literature can you find characters who truly gave everything they could just to make a difference? It's probably been a while since you've read To Kill a Mockingbird, but the classic novel will inspire you to be the best version of yourself, regardless of how small you think you are. Remember, you matter.
15. 'Recipes For A Beautiful Life' by Rebecca Barry
It's hard to chase after what you want when life is constantly getting in the way. In Recipes For A Beautiful Life, you can relish in the fact that everybody is thinking the same thing — "this is not how I pictured it." But struggles, hardships, and life don't have to stand in the way of who you are and what you bring to the table.
16. 'The Greatest' by Muhammad Ali
Some people thought Muhammad Ali couldn't bring anything to the world. Some thought he was just a boxer. But he was so much more than that and he chronicles it in his autobiography, The Greatest. Unsure if your opinions matter? Scared to open your mouth? Worried that you have nothing to give the world? Read this book. You'll feel better.
17. 'I Am That Girl' by Alexis Jones
Don't get caught up in the comparison traps of social media, OK? You may find some inspiration there, but not like what you'll find in I Am That Girl. You already are the girl you want to be. You just have to find it deeper within yourself and make her shine. The magic is already there, this book just helps you harness it and make it part of your presence.