Four Books That Inspire Me to Live My Best Life

Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood
Black Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

"Before I left home I cut my hair close to my scalp so I could be a free woman with free thoughts, open to all possibilities... I didn't know what I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be the kind of woman who was bold, took chances, and had adventures." - Eden, protagonist fromBlack Girl in Paris by Shay Youngblood

I never understood how a book could change your life until I picked up Black Girl in Paris for my freshman English class at Howard. I was literally inspired to cut my hair in 2010 because of Eden, and every year I reread it for inspiration. It's a powerful and poetic reminder to always live the life I've imagined for myself.

Over the last couple years I’ve added new books to the New Year rotation:

Firestarter Sessions

The Fire Starter Sessions is an empowering reminder to dream big and stay true to yourself and your purpose. Eden showed me the kind of woman I wanted to become, and Fire Starter Sessions is my roadmap. A fave quote:

“Sometimes the courage to be true to yourself comes in the form of an out-loud declaration, a rebellion, or a love-drenched vow. Other times it’s a quiet conviction that we can read in your eyes. Mighty or discreet, authenticity is the muscle that helps you shake up beliefs, policies, and restraints, and gives you the strength to do the things some say can’t be done.”

Gifts of Imperfection
Gifts of Imperfection

Gifts of Imperfection is one of those books that I vowed I would give to everyone I loved in my life. The most important thing I took away from this book is how to be more compassionate with myself. A fave quote:

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”


Lastly, How Will You Measure Your Life makes inspiring connections between living your best life and being a successful business woman. A fave quote:

“I used to think that if you cared for other people, you need to study sociology or something like it. But….I [have] concluded, if you want to help other people, be a manager. If done well, management is among the most noble of professions. You are in a position where you have eight or ten hours every day from every person who works for you. You have the opportunity to frame each person’s work so that, at the end of every day, your employees will go home feeling like Diana felt on her good day: living a life filled with motivators.”

What books do you continuously lean on for inspiration?

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