Category Archives: Sleep

My Reading List – Summer 2017


This quarter’s list has some really outstanding books. Option B and Tools of Titans are must reads for everyone – their content is applicable to adults of all ages. If you didn’t see my list from last Fall/Winter, please take a quick look – there are several amazing 5-star books that I’ve already re-read since then, and highly recommend.

My Rating Scale
5 – Simply Amazing: Loved the style and the content; added significant value to me, and will be one I re-read.
4 – Very Good: Engaged with most of the content and found some fantastic nuggets throughout.
3 – Good: Had a great chapter or two; overall was average.
2 – Ok: Had one or two things that I resonated with or found helpful; as a whole was just so-so.
1 – Pass: My time was better spent elsewhere.

5-Star Reads
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Simply an incredible book with wisdom for anyone who has ever faced loss of any kind: death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, unfulfilled dreams. I enjoyed the On Being podcast interview where Sheryl and Adam talk with Krista Tippett about their learnings. I’m already re-reading the book again, it is rich and deep.

4-Star Reads
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
A monster of a book that took me a couple of months to digest, but was well worth the time. I love how he broke it down by the proverbial “healthy, wealthy, and wise.” I mostly resonated with the wise section, but there were fantastic learnings all throughout. There is something in this book for everyone.
Do Over by Jon Acuff
Gone are the days of working the same job for 35 years. Every single one of us will, at some point, face a change in our career. It could be something that we choose for ourselves or something that is thrust upon us. Either way, no one should attempt to navigate the change without Jon’s wisdom.
On the Clock by Tim Enochs
An inspirational novel that spurs thoughts about our assumptions. If you want a good uplifting book that you can read in one afternoon, this fits the bill.

3-Star Reads
Mastering Leadership by Robert Anderson and Williams Adams
One of the most important disciplines of leadership is taking time to stop and assess your beliefs. This book helps us to do so at a deeper level by looking at and understanding our personal operating system, what is at the core of each of us, and how it impacts how we live and lead.
Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
We’ve all felt left out. Lysa shares her own hurts in hopes of helping us to recognize that we’re not alone, and that because we all have similar feelings and experiences that we should draw together in greater community.
Practicing God’s Presence by Brother Lawrence, Robert Elmer
A short book of writings from a 17th century monk who sought to experience God’s goodness and joy through the regular chores and tasks of the day, like washing dishes. It is a perspective-changing read.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire
While not as helpful as I had hoped it would be, there are millions of women who would find Sheila’s style and wisdom helpful.

My Next Review
Below are the books on my current reading list; my January review will include as many of them as possible, and maybe a few others.

Learning to Lead by Fred Smith
The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier
Business Boutique by Christy Wright
The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
Finish by Jon Acuff
To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

What was one of your 5-star books over the past few months?
What are you currently reading?

PS: Rather than doing affiliate links to Amazon and putting cash in my personal pocket if you purchase a book from my reading lists, my Amazon links provide a portion of the sale to be donated to one of my favorite non-profit organizations, The Cupcake Girls. I appreciate you making the purchase through my link to support the incredible work they are doing.

Reduce Your Guilt

It’s become something to brag about; the less you’ve gotten, the more cool and hip you are. It has the similar bragging quality as the number of emails you receive in a day; the more you get, the more important you are.

I’m talking about sleep.

It’s like it’s the new proving ground; if you are getting 4-5 hours a night then you are definitely doing things right and if you are getting 7-8 hours a night then you’re lazy and you are certainly not going to be successful.

Arianna Huffington says, “We’re told…that sleeping less…[is] an express elevator to the top.”

I don’t know about you but I’ve gotten caught up in this and it’s making me tired.

Through a significant change in my career and education situations over the last year I have been sleeping 7-8 ½ hours a night pretty consistently. But that comes after four years of averaging 5 hours a night (weekends included). Frankly, it feels awesome and I am so grateful but I also feel guilty and terrified of “being found out.”

I don’t want my reputation as an incredibly hard worker and ambitious woman to be tarnished, but I also don’t want to go back to being tired all the time.

In an effort to reduce my guilt and allow myself to embrace this new lifestyle of sleeping the recommended number of hours for most people, I spent some time reading up on the topic of sleep and found some great pieces of information from some respected authors like King David, Arianna Huffington, Michael Hyatt, and Angela Thomas.

Michael Hyatt says, “Exercise, diet, and mental focus are all important, but they can’t make up for a lack of rest.” We can will ourselves to do a lot of things and our bodies will cooperate when forced to wake up at an unreasonably early hour, but as Angela Thomas says, sooner or later our bodies “will require payback.” Whether that’s through getting sick, giving us no choice but to rest, or through our conscious decisions to sleep in on the weekends and take naps.

Michael Hyatt says that not getting enough sleep causes a decrease in focus, creativity, resilience, generosity, and productivity. Arianna Huffington adds to this list negative impacts to our confidence, mood, and decision-making. She points out that lack of sleep was noted as factors in the Exxon Valdez spill, the Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, and the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents.

All of this truly gives me pause and makes me think quite seriously about the amount of sleep that I really need and should be getting no matter what my circumstances are, but King David’s words are what bring peace and eliminate the guilt:

“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives to His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2, ESV).