Have you been lacking motivation recently? Feeling like your day job is sucking the life out of you? Need some inspiration from those who have quit their 9-5 for something a little more adventurous? I’ve got some gold to share with you.
Below are four amazing books written by four incredible young Australian female authors. Each have inspired me on my life journey. They have shown me the importance of putting aside what people think of my career or other life choices and just go for it!
Reading other people’s biographies has been one of the most powerful and immediate forms of change in my life. Learning from other people’s experiences, their challenges and successes has helped me learn first hand that anything truly is possible!
It was after reading ‘Tracks’ by Robyn Davidson (no. 3 below) that I made the decision to quit my job and hike the length of NZ for six months. Through the process of reading other people’s story, we are shown what it possible, what can be achieved, and how.
So I highly encourage you! If you’re in a funk, if your day job is draining the life out of you, if you need some inspiration to change, start with one of the four below books. It was a game changer for me.
1. 'Not My Jam' by Kate Dodgson
Kate Dodgson experienced a classic quarter-life crisis. Being highly intelligent, her ambition was to graduate law school and becoming a war crimes prosecutor at the Hague. She amazingly accomplished this outcome by the age of 28.
However, where does one go when they have accomplished their life mission at age 28? Kate soon found herself discontent and disillusioned with her life. But worse than that was the frustration she felt towards herself for feeling this way. She had her dream job, that was not only intellectually stimulating but was meaningful. She was putting bad people in prison. Why was she so unhappy?
This puzzled her and did nothing but make her feel worse about her situation. What she soon discovered is that she wasn’t the only one going through a quarter-life crisis. In an attempt to bring meaning to her own quarter-life crisis she set out on a journey of understanding, firstly by interviewing hundreds of millennials about their own quarter-life crisis.
Kate’s book is filled with people’s first hand account of their navigation through the process of a quarter-life crisis as well as provides resources to help the reader navigate their own crisis. The book is filled with questions you can can ask yourself to help bring clarity to your own situation as well as pointing you in the right direction for further help in a particular area.
It’s the most practical of the four books I have mentioned and is a short and easy read.
I highly recommend this book if you feel like you are going through a quarter-life crisis and you are looking for solutions straight away.
2. 'Thirty Something and Over It' by Kasey Edwards
What I love about this book is how relatable Kasey is. I believe every young professional woman can relate to her in one way or another. When reading her book I thought, ‘yes, yes, yes, she gets it, she gets me!’ Having been in the corporate world for a number of years Kasey hits a roadblock. She goes on an existential journey, or what I like to call her quarter-life crisis and ask herself questions like...
What’s the purpose of my life?
What do I want to be doing for the next 30 years?
What am I really passion about?
Feeling like she has lost her passion, purpose and sense of meaning, Kasey goes on a journey to find herself again. For those of you on a similar journey I recommend you save yourself some time and glean what you can from Kasey’s insights. The book tracks her journey over a twelve month period and reveals what she learns about life, career and what it means to follow your heart.
I highly recommend this book for many reasons but what I love most is she unashamedly faces her existential crisis head on. She isn’t afraid to ask the big life questions and be real with her reader and those who are doing the journey with her. She speaks out what every young woman is thinking, including career progression in a man’s world, the baby issue and whether life would just be easier putting everything in storage and moving to London.
I love that she speaks her mind and by doing reassures the reader you are not alone, you are not the only one who has woken up, and doesn’t want to go to work, ever again. She inspires creativity, passion and possibility for you to pursue your passion, find more meaning in life, and transition into a career you love.
A must read for career women feeling ‘over it’.
3. ‘Tracks’ by Robyn Davidson
If you have an adventurous spirit and love the Australian outback this book is for you.
Robyn Davidson grew up on a cattle station in Queensland. She was a country girl through and through.
In the late 80’s she moved to Alice Springs with the intention of walking from the Centre of Australia across the desert to the west coast 1,600km all up. She completed this task and her story tells of her struggles, challenges and triumphs.
This book is gritty, gutsy and brave. A great example of where a little determination can take a person, I was inspired to reset the vision for my own life. Knowing that this single, young and relatively inexperienced girl was able to walk 1,600kms across the desert made me think, ‘if she can do that, what can I do?’.
So if you need your horizons opened and your mind expanded, this is a great read. It reinvigorated my faith in humanity, the power of the human spirit and that anything truly is possible, if we decide we want it and put a plan in place to achieve it.
Highly recommend for adventurous women who want a fresh injection of inspiration.
4. 'The Five Regrets of the Dying' - Bronnie Ware
Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse tells the stories of those who she has had the privilege of nursing in their dying days. A common theme of her book is how sheltered we are from the reality of death. How we have kept it behind closed doors and hidden it in hospitals. I have found most people shy away from talking about death. Most people live in denial and struggle to contemplate that one day, we will be on our deathbed reflecting on what we have accomplished in our lives and why.
This book is heartbreaking to read. Not only for the many sad stories of patients experiencing ill health, but also to see the struggle of loved ones managing their grief in various ways. The book is a hard hitting reality that one day I too will be on my deathbed. The regret that hit me hardest was this one;
‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.’
Bronnie Ware calls out a common regreet she saw, that people chose to live their lives in accordance with the expectations of others, rather than following their own dreams, desires, and ambitions.
This book is a great reminder to the living, to set your own vision for your life, rather than the vision of your parents, peers, or society.
However, this is easier said than done, especially when the majority of people don’t know what they want in life. Following the direction of others is a lot easier than working it out ourselves. Then we can never be held responsible for our own failings or unhappiness.
This book inspired me to go deep and ask myself, ‘what do I want?’ I had to do some soul searching and get real with myself. I asked myself, ‘what areas of my life am I living out the expectations of others? Doing what I think I ‘should’ be doing. It was the source of inspiration for much journaling and self reflection.
This book offers an up close look at the regret, sorrow and sadness of those who have gone before you, there is much to learn from the lives of others in these pages.
So there it is! My top four books to pull you out of your quarter life crisis rut. I can’t explain how much I love these books and how helpful they have been for me on my life journey. Pick one to start with. I guarantee you will get something from reading it.
PS. If you would like help overcoming your quarter-life crisis today, click here to book a discovery session. I can help you gain clarity and certainty on your future life direction right now.