I know there are many great motivational books out there to encourage people to pursue their talents or jump on the path to entrepreneurship, but the titles listed below are ones that I have read and definitely recommend. A handful of these are geared more towards Christian creatives and contain a lot of valuable insights.
The List (In No Particular Order)
1. The Art of Work by Jeff Goins
I used to think that your calling was about doing something good in this world. Now I understand it’s about becoming someone good—and letting that goodness impact the world around you.
This is my favorite book written by Jeff Goins to date. Jeff is so relatable, honest, and encouraging. The stories he shares about others’ experiences and how they pursued meaningful work despite challenges are definitely inspiring.
2. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
The more important a call to action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel about answering it. But to yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be.
Do you need a motivating wake-up-call. Read this! It’s a fairly quick read and will have you battling any self-doubt that’s been weighing down on you.
3. Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.
I’m a big Derek Sivers fan. For those of you who aren’t familiar, he is the original founder of CD Baby which has tremendously helped independent musicians. He taught himself programming and created this company by himself. When I start to get overwhelmed by the thought of not knowing how to do something, his words and example truly inspire me to move forward and figure it out! His overarching message is that you can create your own “utopia.”
4. The Artist’s Suitcase by Kent Sanders
Artists are agents of hope.
I came across this neat, encouraging book last fall. Kent takes the reader through an A-Z journey of challenges that creatives often face and offers helpful and practical advice. I highly recommend this for any creative who may be struggling a little bit with self-confidence and whether or not their artistic work has value.
5. The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly
Whether you are sixteen or sixty, the rest of your life is ahead of you. You cannot change one moment of your past, but you can change your whole future. Now is your time.
This is the first book on the list that I ever read and I have read or listened to the audio book 3 times since then. You won’t be able to find an excuse to not become the person God has called you to be after reading this!
6. Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
Chances are you have already read this book or you’ve at least heard of the best-selling author, Brene’ Brown. Her research on shame and vulnerability is life-changing. If you’re ready to get deep and insightful, share authentically, and create amazing connections with people, read it now! I just finished it a couple weeks ago and it’s definitely one of my favorites.
7. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life.
This book is a little different than a typical all-text book, so it definitely wins some uniqueness points. I’d describe it as part instagram feed, part sketchbook, and part manifesto. Are you feeling some fear about getting more serious about your creative endeavors? Pick this one up.
8. The Life God Wants You to Have by Dr. Gregory Popcak
When you are struggling with your own sense of limitation, frustration, and disappointment, God is standing there, quietly cheering you on. “I have given you what you need to rise above this. Use your gifts. I know you can.”
This book came into my life at the perfect time about two years ago. I actually stumbled upon it by half-jokingly typing a search on Google, “What does God want me to do with my life?” This book came up as the second article on the page. I figured that meant I was supposed to read it, so I did! If fear and anxiety about the unknown is keeping you from making decisions and moving forward, I highly recommend this book as Dr. Popcak gives some great things to think about when discerning whether or not to take creative risks.
9. Make It Happen by Lara Casey
The enemy of taking action is the false belief in “someday.” Do the good you know you ought to do-and start now. Do it knowing that you might not have as much time as you think. The alternative is to do nothing, and that does, well, nothing. Don’t wait to live.
This one is more for the lady bosses in the house. Laura keeps it real by sharing her story and offering plenty of encouragement along the way. If you need the world’s biggest pep-talk from a relatable girlfriend who used to struggle to keep her priorities in order, you’ve found the perfect book.
10. You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holly Gerth
What I do know is that there are two kinds of pain in this life: risk and regret. I’d rather live with the first than the second.
Here’s another one for the ladies. Sorry, guys! Holly is the encouragement queen! She reminds the reader that if our dreams seem easy to achieve by ourselves then they’re probably not from God. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a dream that’s been placed on your heart, check this one out!
Have you read any of these books? If so, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter!
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