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September Reading List: Books to Inspire and Elevate Your Performance

Stack of colourful old books next to a quote - Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. By Jim Rohn. Copyright Tamara Judge

In the pursuit of personal and professional growth, few resources are as enriching and accessible as books. Books have the unique power to ignite our imagination, deepen our knowledge, and inspire us to new heights of performance whatever our interests, careers or passions.

Whether you're an executive striving for excellence, a parent searching for balance, or someone seeking self-improvement, the following books are a treasure trove of wisdom and inspiration that can elevate your performance to new levels.

Books Are a Great Resource

Books are not just a source of information; they are a gateway to transformation. Here's why I think books are an invaluable resource on your journey to personal and professional excellence:

  1. Knowledge Expansion: Books provide a wealth of knowledge on diverse subjects, helping you broaden your horizons and gain fresh perspectives.

  2. Mentorship in Print: Many successful individuals share their insights, experiences, and strategies in books, acting as virtual mentors to guide you on your personal journey.

  3. Reflection and Self-Discovery: Reading allows for introspection and self-discovery, helping you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

  4. Inspiration and Motivation: The stories and ideas within books can spark your creativity and motivate you to set and achieve ambitious goals. if they can, why can't you? Right?

  5. Continuous Learning: In our rapidly changing world, books keep you updated with the latest trends, best practices, and innovations in your field.

Without further ado, here are four remarkable books to inspire and elevate your performance:

Front cover of James Clear's book Atomic Habits by Penguin Books about how to build positive habits and stick to them

By James Clear

I love how this book breaks down the process of breaking bad habits and building positive new ones in a simplistic way. Some bits might make you think, 'well obviously!' but the way the author weaves them together is where the magic happens!

Great for: overcoming procrastination, creating discipline, sticking to constructive habits, achieving goals

Front cover Greg McKeown's book - Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Penguin Books about how to do less, but better

By Greg McKeown

I bought this book after reading 'Minimalism' by The Minimalists, (the irony of buying another book after reading that is not lost on me) and found it resonated more with my values-focused practice. It isn't about how to do more with less, but how to whittle things out until you are left only with what is essential. This allow you to be more productive at what really matters to you.

Great for: working out how to do less, but better

Front cover of Dr Carol S. Dweck's book - Mindset about resilience and growth mindset

By Carol Dweck

Most people have heard of ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset and have a vague understanding that mindset matters. What you might not know, is that the right mindset can motivate, inspire, create resilience and lead to great accomplishment. This book delves into why praising intelligence and ability actually jeopardizes success and damages self-esteem, and outlines a better path to take.

Great for: anyone who wants to understand how their mind works and how to build resilience to maximise success

Front cover of Rachel Hollis' book - Girl Stop Apologizing! about achieving more from life

By Rachel Hollis

I actually listened to this book on audio first, and I laughed, cried and recognised many of the behaviours mentioned in myself, friends and clients. Even though it's aimed at women, I think there's a fantastic message to everyone within this book. That is, to stop defining yourself as other people see you and stop letting your life pass you by!

Great for: identifying the excuses you tell yourself (yep, it can be brutal!), how to work out what you want from life and plan to get there


I encourage you to explore these books, take notes, and apply the valuable insights to your daily life, then share them with your friends, neighbours and colleagues. Remember that reading is not merely an intellectual exercise; it's a catalyst for positive change!

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Author and Positive Psychology Coach Tamara Judge, a white woman, standing in front of a turquoise background smiling at the camera

Author: Tamara Judge

Bio: Tamara is a positive psychology consultant, coach and the founder of Keystone Coaching. She combines her expert knowledge in multidimensional positive psychology and coaching, with her lived experience of rheumatoid arthritis, to help professionals with chronic illness to thrive in their life and career. Tamara is passionate about raising the profile of wellbeing for professionals with autoimmune conditions, and empowering individuals & leaders to support, actively engage in & value opportunities for self-care.

She is an accredited coach and mentor at Senior Practitioner Level with the EMCC, holds an MSc in Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology from the University of East London and is a qualified Mindfulness & Meditation Teacher and Mental Health First Aider.


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