Summer is almost here. It is time to kick back, just a bit, get out the chaise lounge, oversized beach towel, tube of sunscreen and catch up on your reading. While you are assembling those must-reads that have been piling up on your nightstand, I have 6 initial suggestions to add to your warm weather reading list.
These are books about passion. No not that kind of passion. Not the heated and lustful kind you will find portrayed in those fifty shades of grey. These are inspiring tomes about passion as related to career, work and life’s decisions. While some have recent copyrights, others are considered classics. Read, share and recommend these to your friends, colleagues and followers. Most importantly, act on what you learn and the important takeaways. Do not think that work and life passion cannot be as “hot” a read as that other kind of passion. Maybe you need to ask yourself which kind of beach-read passion will give you the most long-term satisfaction and benefits once Monday morning rolls around again.
The list is comprised of some of my own favorites and those of clients and colleagues. In asking for input, the potential list of favorites was long. I have edited down that list into the Top 10 recommendations. So in addition to those listed here, in my next blog I will provide you with another listing of top suggestions to fill-out your summer months reading.
Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture
by John Gordon
John Gordon is a master of the business novel. In the tradition of “Who Moved My Cheese,” Soup offers an inspirational business fable that explains the “recipe” you can use to create a winning culture and boost employee morale and engagement. “The story follows Nancy, the newly anointed CEO of America’s Favorite Soup Company. She has been brought in to reinvigorate the brand and bring success back to a company that has lost its flavor and profit and has fallen on hard times. Fatefully, while eating lunch at a local soup shop, Nancy discovers the key ingredients to unite, engage, and inspire her team and create a culture of greatness.”* Soup will inspire you to work in your own company to unleash the passion that delivers superior results. Also by Gordon, related and a recommended read: The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work.
“If we as a company are going to feed greatness and build a world-class company, then we need to infuse passion in our soup and into each other. In the past you could be lukewarm and mediocre and still be successful. Not any more. . . . Your passion and purpose must be greater than your challenges.”
Pursue the Passion
by Brett Farmilole
“Pursue the Passion was inspired by a statistic: 50% of the American workforce is unhappy with their job. During the summer of 2007, four recent college grads were corporately sponsored to travel across America in an RV. Their mission: to find out what makes people passionate about their work. 16,000 miles, 38 states, 300 interviews and 10,000 photographs later, Pursue the Passion profiles the interviews and stories collected from the cross country journey.
Using oral history as the main narrative a wide collection of voices are captured within the chapters of this book. You’ll venture inside the CEO’s corner office, set foot on a rural goat farm, and cringe at the sound of a needle in a tattoo parlor. You’ll join four guys on a road trip as the RV squeezes through Manhattan streets, cruises on open freeways in the Midwest, and takes a break on the California beaches.”*
“Anyone willing to discard conventional career wisdom gains the edge in turning a passion into a profession.”
Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You were Meant to Live
by Martha Beck
“Explorers depend on the North Star when there are no other landmarks in sight. The same relationship exists between you and your right life, the ultimate realization of your potential for happiness. Beck believes knowledge of that perfect life sits inside you just as the North Star sits in its immovable spot [in the sky]. Finding Your Own North Star teaches you how to read your internal compasses, articulate your core desires, identify and repair the unconscious beliefs that may be blocking your progress, nurture your intuition, and cultivate your dreams from the first magical flicker of an idea through the planning and implementation of a more satisfying life. Beck offers thoroughly tested case studies, questionnaires, exercises, and her own trademark wit and wisdom to guide you every step of the way.” * Also related and recommended by Beck: Finding Your Way in a wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want; and Steering By Starlight: The Science of Finding Your Destiny.”
The mere act of goal setting can be very powerful, but achieving those goals will be a long, difficult journey. Life changes are cyclic. Once you’ve created a new life for yourself, you will NOT be settled for the rest of your days. There will be the inevitable NEXT series of changes in your life. The methods and tools to bridge the transitions are contained within this book. Passion plays a role.
30 Lessons for Living: Trial and True Advice from the Wisest Americans
by Karl Pillemer
“30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice From the Wisest Americans by Karl Pillemer is not technically a career book. It’s a compilation of life lessons distilled from interviews with more than 1,000 people 65 and older conducted by Pillemer, a gerontologist and professor at Cornell University. It focuses on such “big” questions as: Are you doing work that matters? As these contributors are looking from the vantage point of long-lived life, their sage wisdom is a gift for those with time still on their side.”*
Embrace a “take a risk” attitude when it comes to making those challenging “time vs. money” choices we all face. Say, “yes” to opportunities. Nothing is worse than looking back in regret.
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life
by Ken Robinson
As a bonus, I am recommending both of these interrelated tomes. “The Element is about the convergence of natural talents and personal passions. It is the point at which the two meet. “When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired. They achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century. “*
His follow-up book Finding Your Element gives The Element readers a practical guide to self-improvement, happiness, creativity, and personal transformation. This book helps apply the concepts from the earlier book. Among the questions that this book answers through application are:
How do I find out what my talents and passions are?
What if I love something I’m not good at?
What if I’m good at something I don’t love?
What if I can’t make a living from my Element?
“Finding your ‘element’ comes at a critical time as concerns about the economy, education and the environment continue to grow. The need to connect to our personal talents and passions has never been greater. Wherever you are, whatever you do, and no matter how old you are, if you’re searching for your Element, find it and make it work for you and provide you with the fulfillment you are seeking.”
Lori Palm is the founder and CEO of Core Passion Inc., a global leader in the measurement and application of passion to career/workforce development and life’s decision-making; careerseeker.com; corepassion.com
*Book summaries are edited copy provided by Amazon.com