Two Books that Changed my Life in 2022
I’ll admit, I didn’t get to read as many books as I wanted to this year, but I’m still proud of myself for sticking to reading after years of not picking up a book (besides textbooks- gross). This year, the books I did read really taught me a lot and two of them left an impact on my life that I truly consider life changing- and that’s not just me being dramatic.
“…He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?
His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.” –Goodreads
Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers was actually SO interesting for a “how to be successful” book. Probably because it was so much more than that. I think we’d all heard the success stories of people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and just assumed these guys got to where they got because of sheer IQ levels and hard work. And while being smart and having a solid work ethic will get you far, it was things I never thought of that made me realize success isn’t that black and white. It’s not just contingent on those two things- if anything, those two things can be the least important factors in whether you make it successful or not.
This is the kind of book that helps you tie in the lessons to your own life because it really made me think about every opportunity I’ve been given, and whether I’d be in the same place I am today if I didn’t get those chances along the way. I’ve had so many opened doors that came when I needed them most, and I honestly owe a lot of my life’s good trajectory to that. And that’s not to discount my own hard work in getting those opportunities offered to me, because I have worked my butt off for them. But sometimes things are just out of your control and you can’t change the circumstances no matter how much you try. If I didn’t get that internship, or transfer schools, or meet that advisor I wonder how different my life would look today. Nobody really knows, and that’s the wonder of it all.
This book also taught me more about variances in cultural communication than an entire college class I took on the same subject. I LOVED learning about why flying is so much safer now than it was in the 1970’s, thanks to experts retraining airline employees from certain cultures where their communication styles were not working efficiently. Culture is such a beautiful thing, but certain cultural norms can be ineffective, and even dangerous in certain circumstances. You can rework the bad without writing off the good, and each culture has both. I loved learning about how much of an imprint on society cultures have around the world. It was just beautiful!
“In this accessible and groundbreaking book–filled with the moving stories of real people–medical doctor and bestselling author Gabor Maté shows that emotion and psychological stress play a powerful role in the onset of chronic illness, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis and many others, even Alzheimer’s disease.” –Goodreads
The other book that blew me away this year and seriously made me reconsider my life choices is When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress. First off, Dr. Gabor Mate is an INCREDIBLY smart man. I can’t believe how much sense he can make in just one page of a book. But I loved this because it was one of the first times I really learned about the connection between mental and physical health. And how much of physical health IS mental health. It was scary to read the research on how different diseases correlate with different stress dysfunctions in the body, but it was a wake up call I really needed to hear. I’ve lived all my life putting the feelings and emotions of everybody around me before my own and this book made me realize how unhealthy that is.
I’ve gotten really good at suppressing how I really feel to keep the peace around me, not knowing how dangerous that is. I’m now working on feeling my emotions 100% when they bubble up, and removing the negative energy of those emotions in a physical way. Throwing stones into the ocean, beating my bed with a bat, scribbling down my feelings in a journal, etc. It’s really hard to unlearn some things that you’ve carried with you your whole entire life, but that’s where growth comes from after all.
Wishing everybody a year of personal growth no matter what that looks like for you! Remember, it’s different for everybody because each person has different goals and journeys in life. Sending you all lots of light and love in the new year! Let’s jump into 2023 ready to embrace the good with open arms! Happy new year friends!