The Books That Changed My Life

Since childhood I have been an avid reader but my tastes and the time I spend reading has changed dramatically over the years. As a kid I loved detective stories like The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy, in my teens I read mystical fantasy novels like The Mists of Avalon and The Lord of the Rings.

For many years I worked as cabin crew for Japan Airlines and my reading material varied from Cosmopolitan magazine and crime fiction like Potter’s Field. Cosmopolitan was instrumental in getting me to use sunscreen from an early age and taught me how to apply nail polish myself, so that was useful in it’s own way too 🙂

In my late 20s, I became more interested in personal development and most of my reading from then on has been self-development and spirituality related. I wanted to understand my self and my life, and these are the books that helped! I owe the fact that I’m now doing what I love to do, with my singing and teaching, to this literary journey of self discovery.

Here are my favourite books that changed my life!

Autobiography of a Yogi – Parmahansa Yogananda

This is the book that Steve Jobs gave to everyone who attended his funeral. It’s an actual autobiography of a real Yogi who lived in the last 100 years. His life is fascinating – from running away from home to try to find a “master” to witnessing his teacher being in two places at the same time. Best of all this book has an amazing energy that I feel in each and every word. It’s written in Indian English so the phrasing is a little strange but if you skip the big words and just get the “gist” of it as you go along then you’ll enjoy it.

Warning: My hubbie Mike read it and was inspired to go to India soon afterward so it might change your life too!

The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins

This is more a motivational book than a spiritual one. The premise is simple, that we usually don’t really WANT to do what we should do and so we have to trick our minds into just going for it. I love the author Mel Robbins! She definitely is inspirational. I even wrote a song about it called Wake Up but it’s very very cheesy 🙂

Get it Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 mins or Less– Sam Bennett

This is one book that I recommend to people ALL the time. It literally transformed my productivity by making me see that it’s okay to have lots a projects so long as I choose them wisely and I keep taking action. If you struggle to keep track of your passions and side line them for the boring bread and butter tasks then this one is for you.

Self Compassion – Kristin Neff

I changed after reading this book. I don’t know about you but I can be incredibly hard on myself and before I met Mike I would have always second guessed myself in my relationships and given myself a hard time if anything was going wrong. Thankfully I read it before meeting Mike again two years ago. This book helped me love myself and helped me not take things too personally while also being able to reflect on my actions and change them if necessary. The funny thing is that when we are hard on ourselves for our faults, it is almost impossible to love ourselves and change the behaviours that have gotten us in trouble. This book is a gem!

Teachings on Love – Thich Nhat Hanh

This is another spiritual book. It’s based on Buddhist philosophy so it’s sprinkled with some long words but the stories in it are more like parables that help us to deeply understand love. The last time Mike and I disagreed, this is the book I picked up to get perspective. In essence, it reminded me that I want Mike to be happy, not just me. So that meant I could stop imagining that I was right and he should know better, and take a different kind of approach that showed him that I cared more about HIM than about the argument. Powerful stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Destiny of Souls – Michael Newton

This is a book that will challenge everything you might believe about the after life. I read it because I wanted to understand my soul and it’s journey. Up until I read it my feeling about my life was that it had been a series of mainly unfortunate events and I was really frustrated with my life. I had made some monumental mistakes and I really thought life was supposed to be easier. This book explained something to me that made me relax about the process of living. I began to see life as a more organised process that was helping me to evolve as a person. If the lessons were hard the evolution could be even greater.

I hope you find a book in the list that you might like to investigate. I’m reading audiobooks more and more now and I would recommend it if you are time poor. Enjoy!!!

PS I’ve just launched my first on-line singing course Fast Track to Singing with Confidence so that wherever you are, you can learn to sing for fun too!! Click Here to find out more.

 

About Aideen

Aideen Ní Riada is a singer and vocal coach based in Ireland. Aideen is the founder of Confidence in Singing and she facilitates classes and workshops for adults and teenagers who want to sing for fun and grow their confidence. Confidence in Singing was founded based on Aideen’s passion for giving students the confidence to find their voice, face their fears and just have fun with singing. She studied Psychology at University College Dublin which has helped her to develop a teaching style that brings out the best in her “secret singers” and helps students become confident performers and overcome self-limiting beliefs. Since launching Confidence in Singing in 2016, Aideen has been featured on RTE’s Nationwide, Beat 102 103, and South East Radio, with mentions for her work in Ireland’s Own and the health supplement of the Irish Independent. Aideen also produces her own original music and is currently working on new material.

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