Five books to give your start to 2022 a little more direction

After a challenging start to the decade, many of us are revaluating how we live and work, and are looking for a nudge in the right direction to help us do so. Business Chicks Premium member, facilitator, and podcast host, Steph Clarke, leads us through her reads for starting 2022 with the right tools for a reset.

Reset your relationship with productivity ...

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today by Madeleine Dore

Hands up if you’ve felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, or even shame when you didn’t get done what you ‘needed’ to get done on a given day? Me too. Madeleine Dore’s beautifully written book is a salve for this feeling. Her gentle prose is like a long conversation with a friend and she will have you relinquishing your self-sabotaging belief that we are what we produce, embracing the creative approach of being a ‘day artist’, and leaning into the wobbles and distractions that can shape our days. A joy.

Quote: Just as no two of us are the same, neither are our days and the moments within them. Embrace them as they are, and as you are.

Reset your brain ...

Stolen Focus by Johann Hari

The system is rigged against us. In another exceptionally well-written book from Johann Hari, he travels around the world to discover why our attention spans are rapidly diminishing. He finds himself shining a sobering spotlight on the business models of big tech, food systems, and the evolution of how we work. Yes, there’s a role for individual responsibility (turning off our notifications and choosing nutritious food), but we can’t outrun the systems designed to disrupt our attention. It’s equal parts frightening, funny, and fascinating.

Quote: We are all living through something like a denial-of-service attack on our minds.

Reset how you think about life ...

4,000 Weeks by Oliver Burkeman

Oliver Burkeman has questioned the meaning of our ‘insulting short’ lives and how we spend them. Life is short, so everything matters and nothing matters. We almost certainly won’t complete everything on our lists – and that’s a good thing. It’s an incredibly liberating read that had me really questioning how I define ‘a good life’, and what I want to spend more (and less) time and energy on.

Quote: What would you do differently with your time, today, if you knew in your bones that salvation was never coming – that your standards had been unreachable all along, and that you’ll therefore never manage to make time for all you hoped you might?

Reset your set-backs ...

The Rejection that Changed my Life by Jessica Bacal

In this book, Jessica talks to dozens of incredible women who have experienced some kind of personal, professional, or societal rejection, and (importantly) have lived to tell the tale. Most of these women acknowledge that whilst painful at the time, the rejection forced them to come back even stronger; either to dismantle the systems that put up the barriers in the first place or course-correct their own journey for the better. Inspiring stuff.

Quote: I think I realized in some way that if you don’t get what you want in the way you want, you can still have it. You just have to tolerate a different path.

Reset everything ...

How to Begin by Michael Bungay Stanier

If you struggle with traditional goal setting and need a refreshing alternative, master-coach and author Michael Bungay Stanier (aka MBS) can help. How to Begin takes you through a three-step approach to setting your own ‘worthy goal’, including a healthy dose of uncomfortable truth-telling, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Goal setting books rarely inspire me to action but I made pages of notes going through these activities, and it brought me to a much more meaningful outcome than a lot of the overly saccharine or overly-simplistic alternatives.

Quote: You’re right to feel a little unsure. A Worthy Goal is Thrilling, Important, and Daunting. Few people feel fully ready for that from a standing start.

Steph Clarke is a Business Chicks Premium member, leadership and team facilitator and graphic designer based in Naarm (Melbourne).  She is also the Host and Chief Bookworm of Steph’s Business Bookshelf podcast, where she shares the three big ideas she’s learnt from the best business books she’s read.

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