Well friends, where exactly do I begin? I should probably start at the beginning, a very good place to start…as Julie Andrews would say. I always knew that books were an important part of my life, but I definitely underestimated the degree to which A BOOK could be a link in the ongoing story of my life. After debating with myself about whether to put This Book In Particular at the beginning or the end of this post, I decided it’s such a big deal that I might as well just put it at the beginning. If you’re utterly confused at this point, I’m sorry–I should explain. Just keep reading.
This book showed up in my mailbox this past spring–accompanied by a rather mysterious note with a couple of vague clues. I actually got an email notification for the purchase when it was made, because the gift-giver used my email business address. After a frantic afternoon trying to figure out if my email or my credit card got hacked, I finally relaxed (only slightly) when I realized it was an authentic gift.
“Dear Ms. Lauren, I understand you are an avid reader. This book is an autobiography, but I think there are several principles and such to be learned or reminded of from the Vanauken’s relationship. Hope you enjoy! Cordially yours, Another INFJ”
INFJ? I hadn’t talked about that in ages. Cordially yours? Who was this–Anne of Green Gables?
Who in the world?
The book is an autobiography of the life and love of some friends of C.S. Lewis. It had all the components of a good story…beautiful writing, love, loss, and redemption. All in all, a wonderful book and I very much enjoyed reading it. But even more than that, I was still so curious about who might have sent it.
So, the search began. I spent the next day or two asking/texting/grilling any friends and family members who I suspected might be the gift-giver based on the note’s clues. But they all suggested other friends or other family members. Helpful. Then I turned to social media and asked my Instagram followers if any of them sent me the book. Nothing. I even got in touch with Barnes & Noble but they couldn’t tell me anything because of ‘privacy concerns.’ Cue irritation. After a few weeks of this, I begrudgingly came to the conclusion that whoever it was needed to tell me on their own, in their own way and time. (Imagine that.)
Little did I know this book was about to literally turn my life upside down. How so? Well, meet Drew. Longer version coming soon. ;)
I LOVED this book and the all-caps is not an overstatement. There are so many books out there about having a growth mindset, but this one was truly unique and helpful.
Positivity without proof is just wishful thinking and success without positivity can be even more harmful than no success at all.
The author did a great job of taking all the things we are used to hearing about ‘mindset’ and growth and community and actually meshing all of those things together into a set of practical steps for growing yourself and then helping others around you grow.
I also appreciated the humility and style of the author’s writing. So many business and personal growth books can be brash and crude these days, and this one was a breath of fresh air on many levels.
Awhile back, I was listening to an Eric Metaxas podcast in which he was interviewing Emerson Eggrich, the author of ‘The 5 Love Languages’. He was talking about his newest book, this one, and I immediately bought it. It takes the 4 verses in the Bible that specifically state “this is the will of God” and talks about how committing to honoring God in those areas can free us to choose in other areas. It is so helpful and insightful, especially for those in their twenties. I really liked it.
Early in April, I bought this book because I felt my focus was becoming fragmented. It looks like a short book, but it’s not.
Multi-tasking can come easier to women, but I know I do my best work when I stay on a task for 3-4 hours at a time…especially when it comes to design. It’s almost as if there is a span of time my brain has to get past before it can really settle into a ‘deep work’ cycle. (This book is also great on that topic.)
Also, it’s easy to try to tackle several aspects of business at once when you are a solopreneur or a freelancer. However, this can be detrimental in the long run–often more than we think it is. A great reminder to pick the most important thing and stay at it till it’s done.
That’s all for now! Drew and I are reading a couple of books together, but other than that I haven’t been doing a whole ton of extra reading. We will see how much reading I do this summer. But until next time, keep reading, friends!