Books & more that inspire!
I’m always looking for books, quotes, videos – ANYTHING – that inspires me! Two of the books noted below – The Gentle Art of Blessing and The Last Lecture – are two of my favorite inspiration books and the other – One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You – was recently recommended by a friend. I’ve ordered it TODAY and can’t wait to read it because I have a feeling it is exactly what I need to read and read soon! (I’ve included the book summaries published on Amazon and the book titles are links to their Amazon page.)
Who among us isn’t looking or longing for inspiration right where we are? The many details of our day-to-day life can become consumed and overwhelmed with trying to get by, get past, get done with whatever needs to be accomplished. But sometimes we need to take a little break – a time-out. It’s usually during these moments when I wish I could run away and escape, such as going to the beach – my favorite place to take a time-out. Since that isn’t always possible being that the ocean is about a thousand miles from my house, taking moments to look for and find inspiration in books, quotes and videos suffices. Of course, a trip to Starbucks can help, too!
Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long–and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!
How can a blessing change the world? According to Pierre Pradervand, making the conscious choice to bless every person or being around you can truly make a world of difference in yourself and in others around you. In The Gentle Art of Blessing, Pradervand shows that the practice of blessing has the power to create more than just a renewed perspective. It unleashes tangible benefits throughout your entire life — through your daily interactions, your life-long relationships, and in the way your approach your place in the world.
Pradervand describes blessing as genuinely wishing the best for another person through seeing their individual worth and honoring them for it. By looking at several different perspectives — providing spiritual inspiration from Hinduism, Taoism, the Koran, the Bible, and other important spiritual sources — The Gentle Art of Blessing explores the potential in shifting one’s attitude from confrontation and negativity to acceptance and enthusiasm. A powerfully simple way of perceiving and shaping our surroundings, blessings can reflect the unconditional love and acceptance that is necessary for world — and inner — peace.
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.