Continued from Part 1…
I was admiring this book from far away for a very long time. As if the theme of self-discovery and soul-searching was not intriguing enough, it is also about travel – a story of how the author Elizabeth Gilbert found herself by getting lost in other people’s cultures. I knew I would like it, but I did not know that I would love it this much. Elizabeth’s magic is her ability to observe the subtlest expressions from both human and nature, to explore the deepest thoughts and feelings of her own, and to transform them into something that resonates with everyone. She is like a soulful singer who sings the songs of self-love and gives wings to all the sorrow, fear, shame, joy, and salvation of life. You really don’t need to have the same life experience to relate and appreciate her work and her as a person.
Another one from Elizabeth Gilbert. I know, I know… Let’s just say that I really want to become a writer like her! This is the book that answered all my questions about living a creative life and gave me the courage to pursue my own version of it. There is no manual or shortcut when it comes to releasing your own creative superpower. It is all about passion, perseverance, and authenticity. On top of the valuable lesson, reading her work is also a pleasant experience. Everything feels like it is naturally and effortlessly flowing from her heart, yet you know that so much hard work has been put into every single word.
This is one of the books that impacted me the most in the past year. Author Carol Dweck, through years of research and study on the successful growth of adults and children, found a simple truth that determines everyone’s future success or failure – mindset, that is whether you have a “fixed mindset” or a “growth mindset”. A growth-minded person takes every challenge as an opportunity to learn and get better, rather than a threat to his or her intelligence like a fixed-minded person would do. The idea is super easy to understand but super hard to implement. In the past year, I have been trying to cultivate a growth mindset by paying more and more attention to my reactions and choices in my life. The result is a big improvement in the quality of my life. I wish I had read it when I was younger but it is never too late because as the book suggests, and as I can personally testify, all of us are always capable of change.
I wanted a book to prepare me for my Indian trip earlier this year. I knew that a travel guide simply wouldn’t be enough and that I needed a deeper cultural experience. I picked up this novel and was not able to put it down since the first chapter. I knew it was exactly what I was looking for, an engaging story, brutal honesty, witted humor, sharp insights, and surprisingly an accurate comparison between my own Chinese culture and Indian culture. Things might be exaggerated in the novel and the picture depicted might be somehow out of date. However, it really took me on an exciting journey of a nation so rich in history and entrepreneurship.
Like how we need different languages as a tool to communicate with people from different cultures, we need to understand each other’s “love language” to be able to communicate our love effectively. Although it is the author’s collection of knowledge on romantic and marital relationships, I really believe that the essence it has revealed applies to all kinds of human relations. It helped me quickly identify what primary love language people around me had and how I can express my love and care for them by “speaking” their love language. Who does not want to love more and to be more loved?
I grew up in an era which saw the world transitioned into a digital reality. I witnessed the prevalence of personal computers, the rise of the Internet, the tech bubble, and today’s Artificial Intelligence. Unlike kids born into all those amazing changes nowadays, I did not take them for granted, but learned to appreciate them and grew curious about them. I always wonder what data scientists are doing with the daunting amount of information we are creating online every day. This book perfectly explained what we are willing to reveal to a virtual world but are trying very hard to hide in real life. It is fascinating to see human nature through the lens of big data. Be prepared to be amazed.
What are the books that have shaped your life? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to read more amazing books with you 🙂