As anyone who has read my blogs knows, I absolutely love to read books and I think they have made a huge impact on my level of success. I really enjoy recommending my favorites to other advisors, especially if I know they have the same love of reading. Last year, I was able to add 43 books to my ‘finished’ pile by creating time each day for at least an hour of reading. Though there was something I learned or enjoyed in every one of those books, 12 stood out as my favorites. In Part 1 of this series, I discussed books about fighting your ego, limiting distraction, and developing solid priorities. The books I’ll tell you more about in this post will help you create a more balanced, fulfilling life.

The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departed by Bronnie Ware

The meaning of life is an enormous question that has been on every philosopher’s mind since the beginning of time. And who better to explore that question than a woman working in palliative care who encounters death and dying on a daily basis? This amazing book shows how Bronnie Ware began to realize that most of her patients had the same regrets when their time had come to an end. First in a blog and now in this book, Bronnie shares with us what her patients taught her about having a meaningful life.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

In our health and nutrition-obsessed nation, you would think we would all be healthy and slim—but we aren’t. Michael Pollan has written a very important book about how our culture has come to value ‘nutrients’ over ‘food’, and how this has not only taken away our enjoyment of eating, but it’s also making us fatter and more prone to illness. In this book, he boils it down to these simple instructions: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. He shows how this way of eating will bring back the joy of a good meal and also make you a healthier person.

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

No matter how smart you are or how many strategies you use to reach your goals, nothing matters if you don’t possess one single attribute: willpower. By being able to focus your strength and resist temptation when the going gets hard, you can achieve almost anything you set your mind to. The authors show this through both scientific evidence and through anecdotes that will help you see why willpower is so important and what you can do to strengthen yours.

The Man’s Guide to Women: Scientifically Proven Secrets from the “Love Lab” About What Women Really Want by John Gottman, PhD and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD

One of my favorite books of all time is The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by the incredible couple John Gottman, PhD, and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD. It not only helped my marriage, but it had an impact on my other relationships as well. The authors have created another ground-breaking book in The Man’s Guide to Women. Insightful, highly researched, and powerful, every man who is in a relationship or wants to be in a relationship should read this book.

I believe that knowing yourself is one of the most noble journeys you can ever embark on. Books can play a major part in helping you achieve your goals and learn more about yourself and those who are important to you. I hope you’ll pick up one of the books on this list and, as always, I’d love to hear if you have a book that helped you in your career or other area of your life and that I should put on my TBR list!

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