At the start of this year, I kind of went on this big “self improvement” kick. Not like the traditional New Years Resolutions, but like a soul deep interest in improving myself as a mother, spouse, employee, manager, and person. I started tracking Habits in my Bullet Journal, Reorganized my home (and renovated the closet which made organizing possible), and started a self development book club with a smorgasbord of women across my professional organization, gym, & personal life. Each month I read 1 Self Development book with them, we meet up for brunch & booze, and then we tear these poor authors apart. Its a grand old time.
This month in addition to my book club book, I also read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s on our roadmap to read later this year, but I heard great things about it and might’ve gotten a bit impatient. Let me start by saying – the writing style took what I thought I knew about Self Development books and BLEW IT UP. Check your preconceived notions at the door with this one ladies and gents. This book is like nothing I’ve ever read before.
- While it is…instructive, it’s like getting advice from the world’s best barista. Casual, full of colloquialisms and candid delivery, and honestly really fun to read.
- I found around 700 taglines for my life in this book. Even if you didn’t read it, the quotes that could be derived from Gilbert’s expert delivery are enough to make you want to reshape your life.
- I have found that with many Self Development books you take away 1 big theme. For “The Magic art of tidying up” by Marie Kondo (February’s book) it was put stuff away. Oh and fold it. For “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg it was replace your rewards and change your habits. For Big Magic? Be yourself. Express yourself. Push yourself. Allow your own self to flow creatively through the world. Don’t look down on yourself or your abilities. You can do it. Ugh – all the positive feels.
This might be in my top 2 favorite Self Development books (I’m not sure that anything will move 7 habits from #1 for me just because it is so instructive), and something I revisit frequently. Just to showcase for you I pulled some of my favorite quotes/excerpts for you guys below.
- “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world” – Whitman
- “Live the most vividly decorated temporary life that you can”
- “Do whatever brings you to life. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever becomes a revolution in your heart. The rest will take care of itself.”
- “It’s not what they call you, its what you answer to” – W.C. Fields
I love that Gilbert describes ideas as living entities that swirl around in the universe beside us like ghosts, calling upon the willing, open-minded, creative to bring them to life. It seems both grandeur and humbling that one of these ideas could chance upon us and strike through our souls with an innate understanding of how to give that particular idea life. It has changed the way I contemplate expression and creativity.
All in all I highly recommend reading this book. Do you have any other recommendations for me/my book club? DM me or comment if you’re interested in joining the book club virtually.