Hello, Lyssa here. I’m going to do something for the very first time so you’re joining me on my very first “Vlog” and I’m very excited to be here. I decided what I would like to do is share with you five books that have blown my mind and hopefully maybe will blow your mind too.

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

The first book that I want to talk about is the book Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert. When I was writing my book, I was really avoiding reading any books that were like my book. What I wanted to do was read other things that they gave me a sense of maybe the layout of books. But also, maybe could support me in the process of writing my book.

For anybody who’s written a book or is trying to write a book, you will maybe empathize with this. It is incredibly difficult, at times, to push through the inertia of seeing a blank page in front of you and feeling inside like, “I have nothing to say.” I was working with my own coach at the time and remember the phone call where I said, “I don’t think I have anything to say or that anybody will care about.”

Your Muse

So, I went through this whole process of learning that that’s these feelings are really, really normal, number one. And, number two, that you have to learn how to push through that. During the same time, I’m reading this book, Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert and I come to the place in the book where she talks about the Muse and how important the muse is. Because if you ignore the muse, the Muse will go off and find somebody else to work with. Because the Muse wants to put out into the world what the Muse is excited about. So, my Muse was at risk of being lost if I didn’t embrace my Muse. That was one thing that really came out of that book for me.

Done is Better than Perfect

The other thing, which I think people can relate to, no matter what they’re doing, is this idea of done is better than perfect. That really honestly, like I can say that all day long, done is better than perfect, done is better than perfect. I can make my mantra out of it. The reality is, in that moment, when I was wrangling with changing this one word, it was so important. Or changing this one segment of the sentence like I had written it 12 times, maybe one more time, it would feel like it would be more powerful and done is better than perfect.

Blew my mind! It helped me, between the two things: listening to your Muse, if it shows up and it is something that aligns with where you are in your life, and you are ready to move, grab hold of that Muse and work with it. And, the other piece being done is better than perfect. For that, I will be forever grateful. If I can show it to you too. Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert, she rocked my world with that particular book.

The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer

Book number two. This is a book that I have had for years. It is called The Untethered Soulby Michael Singer. There’s his name at the bottom, The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer. There are so many elements in this book that have rocked my world that I would just really just have to read you the entire book. It’s not that long honestly, but it’s long enough that you don’t want me to read it to you, in this early dark morning.

Open Up Your Heart and Let Go

One of the things that have rocked my world about Michael Singer’s work, there are several key ideas that really resonate for me, and one of them is noticing when we’re tightening up and closing our hearts and grasping and holding onto things. This being hurt, feelings or pain or suffering and learn to. There it is, notice it, acknowledge it, let it go.

There it is, notice it, and let it go. This concept alone has been so useful to my personal life, to letting go of anger, to letting go of regret, to letting go of the things that keep me from forgiving myself or forgiving others. It is. It is mind. It is not only mind-bending, but it is also like changing.

The Light is Available to Everyone

He also has several other stories like how we go about protecting ourselves, and he tells this wonderful story about how you go into this beautiful field of light and in this field of light. You’re so enraptured by this space that you’re in this. You’re being, a being of light within this field of light and you decide you’re going to build your house here, and as you build your house, you are in your house. You’re loving your home, but it’s kind of light out there. And so you start to close windows down, and you begin to feel safe. Keep you safe because you are the treasure, this light that you have inside of you.

And then you start to create this basically fortress that you live in, and there’s no light coming in, and you’re now. All the batteries have died out of your little lanterns. And, now you’re running out of candles, and you’re in the dark, and you just don’t even know. But as soon as you opened the door, there’s the light again.

The light is available to anyone who needs the light. And I love that idea because I think sometimes in my own life, I would get the sense of there’s not enough and that the light was only available to someone else or that I needed to be so self-protected. I needed to build walls, build walls, no windows, high thick, deep walls to protect me from people who might harm my emotions or my ideas or my feelings. [feelings and emotions are the same thing] But, you get the point which is this self-preservation and self-protection model that keeps us really closing in on ourselves in order to feel safe.

And, it’s an illusion. You shut out your life, and you shut out everything around you. When you tuck into yourself so deeply that you can’t see the light anymore because you’re protecting yourself even from the thing that brings you joy. And I thought that was very important. Multiple, multiple stories in this book resonate for me. I could go on, literally, for hours.

Mindset, by Carol Dweck

This next book is by Carol Dweck, and it is called Mindset, can you see it? I think I’ve got my light in front of me, so it’s a little hard sometimes, but there we go Mindset, by Carol Dweck. And there were several things about this book that were just brilliant and illuminating and really got me thinking about my own, my own way of perceiving the world; and, this idea of mindset as a rigid or a, a nimble, agile fluid thing. Right? And, and this idea that, that there are things that we have very set mindsets on and there are things that we may have opened mindsets.

Which Mindset?

The key here to recognize that people with an open mindset have a thirst and a hunger for learning. They don’t see a problem as a, they see a problem as a puzzle and, “Ooh, can I get in there and sort that out.” So, she talks about two types of children who are, taking a test or solving a problem. There some children who were like, “I don’t want to…” Here it is again, perfect, right? Like if I do it wrong, I won’t be perfect, so I’m just not going to do it. And I think there are as many adults out there who, who live by the same mindset if I can’t do it perfectly if I have any potential for failure, I’m out.

And then they’re the people and the kids in this particular study that got the same problem; they didn’t know the answer any better than anybody else. But they didn’t have the mindset of failure, and they didn’t have the mindset of, of perfection. They had the mindset of curiosity and exploration and figuring things out.

Getting Curious

So, they get the puzzle and they instead of being like, “Oh, I don’t want to do that because I might not show up perfectly there: Instead, they are like, “Ooh, let me tuck into this is going to be so much fun is I figured this out.”

It made me really think there are some places where I have that mindset. And then there are other places where I’m like, Ooh, failure feels final. When I’m cooking. I don’t use a recipe. I taste things as I go and I’m throwing in a little of this, and it’s all an experiment. The cool thing is after, you know, all these years on the planet of cooking, my, my creations typically work really, really well. The downside is I tend to have to remind myself to write them down, or I’ll never be able to recreate anything similar. So this may be like the one time you’re ever going to have this meal.

The point is really, in the bigger picture, how do we look at things. And where are the places where our mindset is clamped down and in a, “It must be perfect. I can’t fail. I need to be right. It has to be the way that I feel and see it in my mind.” Like, that’s so important. Versus the places where we open ourselves up to all kinds of possibilities, because we stay in that mindset of curiosity and openness to the experience.

The IQ Test

She also talks about the IQ test, and I love the IQ test because people get very wrapped up around like, I have this IQ, or you have a that IQ and, you know, blah, blah, blah, IQ, IQ, IQ.

I love in the work that she talks about the whole purpose of the IQ test, which was not to tell kids whether they were smarter. That was not the purpose of the IQ test. It was to figure out how kids best learn so the educational systems could teach children to their learning style. What it’s not about how smart I am. It’s about anybody can go from a 100 IQ to 110 to 120 to 130 to 140. I mean there may be a limit to what you’re interested in, matching up with the IQ test. Because it really is testing for very specific things. But the purpose of the IQ test was not to test intelligence but to find out about learning styles so that we can teach children to show up at their very best. Blew my mind right? Because I had an idea, a very fixed mindset on this idea of intelligence was a thing.

And since then, I’ve really thought about it in all the different intelligences. Whether it is emotional intelligence, social intelligence, conversational intelligence. There is no fixed intelligence. You can change your intelligence depending on what you choose to focus on and how hard you’re willing to explore, how courageous are you to be radically curious about whatever it is that you want to learn because you can learn it. There isn’t a stopping point for anybody who wants to put their effort into it. And, I don’t care if you have an IQ of 70. If you have a passion for something and that passion could be hugs or it could be marine biology. You can grow the way that you learn, you can. You can learn more. You can become someone who knows a lot about what you’re interested in.

IQ is relative

You’ve talked to a four-year-old who loves trucks, and they can tell you all about trucks. I remember when my younger brother went through the dinosaur stage. I mean this was a four-year-old, five-year-old. And I think we can say on a matrix of some sort that he wasn’t as intelligent as I was at that time. I was 15 years older than him, and I had been through school. Yet, I couldn’t keep up with the dinosaur thing the way he did. He could focus on those dinosaurs, and he learned everything about them. There was nothing in the world that told him he couldn’t learn anything he wanted to about dinosaurs.

And, it fits with this whole idea of mindset. What mindset, fixed or fluid, are you bringing into your life and paying attention to that because it really opens up possibilities when you allow yourself to be in the space of open creativity and open curiosity to what is around you and to what it is that feeds your soul and makes you happy.

The Daily Stoic Meditations (2017)

When you think about it. This next one is going to seem a little like a divergence. Because, well, it’s a little bit of a divergence. So, this book, and there’s many different versions of this type of book, but it is the Daily Stoic. In this particular case, it’s meditations. There are many Daily Stoic books out there. I like them because oftentimes they tell us things that we know; but that we have either forgotten because we’re not paying attention to them or because we didn’t see it in a quote box that somebody else had written about.

Here’s an Example

Here’s something from the Daily Stoic, “It is a sad fact that nothing has sunk more creators and caused more happiness than this. The inherently human tendency to pursue a strategy aimed at accomplishing one goal. While simultaneously expecting to achieve another goal, we’ve specifically deprioritized.” Let that sink in.

“Nothing has caused more unhappiness than this. The inherently human tendency to pursue a strategy aimed at accomplishing one goal. While simultaneously expecting to achieve other goals, we have specifically deprioritized.”

My Take

This book is filled with things from Seneca and the different stoics that came out of Greek and Roman philosophy, but these are things that are true. These are ancient truths and ancient, and when I think about that particular one, you know, when I think about my own life and my own times when I’d been unhappy if I were to in my business how one goal exclusively and think that all the other stuff, I wanted was going to come with it. But all I’m doing is prioritizing this one goal. There are all these things that I have deprioritized that are going to fall by the wayside.

So, if I am driven to the one goal, whatever the goal is, success, let’s just say success. Whatever that means to us. If I’m like a straight Arrow shooting straight towards that goal, what happens to all the deep prioritized goals? Have a well-balanced life. My health, my relationships, my, my ability to have other places where I’m impacting the world, maybe volunteerism, maybe it is a cause that I care about. Those things fall to the wayside because we deprioritize them.

What I like about this book is it is a, it’s a powerful reminder to do some critical thinking around what, what is it that you’re dealing, what are you choosing? And these great philosophers had a great deal of insight, which is really typically why you see so many of them quoted on Instagram because they’ve lasted the test of time, so the Daily Stoic in some form or another.

StoryJacking, by Me

So, the last book that is going to blow your mind is my book, which is StoryJacking. So, yes, this is a shameless plug. On the other hand, this book really goes through multiple things that I think are really important for us to wrap our head around. It’s not meant to be read necessarily straight through, although you can do that. It’s more of a book that may have stories in different places that really resonate with what you’re dealing with.

I tell stories about all kinds of different studies that have been done. I talk about the science behind things like visualizations. I talk about the work that David Emerald did around the Dreaded Drama Triangle and how to shift that. I talk about Tiny Habits and BJ Fogg’s work. I talk about I’m really my own experience in the work that I’ve done over this past 20 plus years with clients and what came up and what was useful and what people learned and how to maybe make that applicable to looking at your own life.

Useful to Anyone

For me, writing the book was incredibly a powerful experience. But I think that it has stories and information that is useful for anybody who’s really starting to look at “How does your mind work? What are you doing? What are those parts of yourself that are showing up, the little gremlins that are causing you problems? And, how do you start to transform the story, transform the internal dialogue and the narrative?” It’s a seven steps process to starting to get clarity around what it is that you’re doing inside your own mind so that you can choose something different and hopefully choose wisely.

I hope these five books will blow your mind too. Cheers.

Your Turn...

I would LOVE to hear from YOU!

  • What 1 book do you go back to over and over again and why does it call you?

  • What is one book you have read that has blown your mind?

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