For many of us, it seems a lifetime ago when we maintained a diary, or jotted down a few thoughts, or indulged in a little journal therapy. Our lives have been made easier (?) by gadgets, but the lure of writing or expressing oneself in a diary is irresistible, not to mention quite effect, handy and practical as well! Journaling, whether to pen down private thoughts, experiment with art or organise one’s self is making a stellar comeback. You need only look at the breath-taking images from journals on apps like Instagram and Pinterest for proof of some fantabulous work out there!
Bookedforlife rounds up a list of different types of journals that are popular today. Are you all set for a new journaling adventure?
This is the most quintessential and traditional type of journal where you just note down your thoughts. Julia Cameron introduced the idea of “The Morning Pages” in her timeless book on creativity: The Artist’s Way. The morning pages are longhand stream of consciousness writing to be written the first thing every morning. Over a period of time, Cameron believes, and many creative people corroborate, that this process works on the inner creativity. The process of writing morning pages will enhance your creativity and insight. In The 5AM Club, author Robin Sharma talks about the benefits of maintaining daily diaries to be used for reflection in a specially designed slot for the same every morning.
Your reflection journal will be one where you note down your deepest thoughts, musings and reflections. Not only will you feel light at heart, but it will help you magically sort through many issues that you may be facing at the moment.
Point to note: You may choose from a selection of lined journals with thicker pages that stand the test of time.
You may want to note down information and thoughts about specific hobbies and activities. Jotting down details about your plants and garden tips in a gardening journal, or noting recipes in a recipe book or maybe maintaining a record of books you have read; all these are specific journals for specific purposes.
One of the most popular categories here are travel journals. Traveling is a passion for many people. What could be better than noting down memories as you travel complete with little knick-knacks and adding on a few pictures later on? Many of us do not print pictures anymore. Our travels are chronicled online on social media and remain on our computer drives. However, if you are a passionate traveller you may want to note down your thoughts and experiences and capture it in a travel journal. If you’re a nature buff you must have a look at Ruskin Bond’s journals, which you will find tailor-made for anyone who adores nature!
Point to note: There are several tailor-made journals available for specific purposes. Some of these have interesting information and nuggets related to the topic in question.
Sometimes we want to write a journal in order to chronicle our thoughts for a particular person who is important to us, and then gift the journal to them at an appropriate occasion. I wrote a little diary for my parents and gifted the same to them the day I got married and left their home. I know that they cherish the journal! I have written a journal noting down the little details about my pregnancy and year one of my son. There is another ongoing one for him, where I have put in random musings and I plan to gift it to him on his sixteenth birthday.
Point to note: These journals are written with a view to gifting someone else with your thoughts. The design could be slightly fancy and aesthetically appealing keeping in mind the linking of the receiver.
BuJo or Bullet Journaling is quite a rage now! Despite the availability of several scheduling and organising apps, the simple act of putting pen to paper for scheduling still has many takers. Bullet Journaling will help you to organise your time and thoughts in a manner that suits you best. The system is very personal and evolves for you as you use it. While you can read more about the how-to of the process here, you may also seek inspiration from beautifully done up journal pictures online. You can start off with any simple notebook or journal. However, if you want something more inspiring and prettier and adaptable to the BuJo spirit, I would recommend dotted paper notebooks.
Point to note: Dotted notebooks offer a lot of flexibility for Bullet journaling.
Give a free reign to your creativity by executing different art projects in your art journal. You may try out varied art, craft or painting techniques here. Just like your personal diary chronicles your thoughts, an art journal will show you your creative development over time. It gives you a chance to dabble in projects and ideas on a non-judgmental platform before you try it out elsewhere. It can serve as your inspirational board as well.
Point to note: Look out for a journal with thicker paper so that the colours don’t bleed. Also, look for a slightly larger size so you get a wider canvas for expression.
Take your pick and start off your journaling adventure. Don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section!
Daisy Dolls is a beautiful and simple story of a doll maker named Hua. The picture book, written by Cao Wenxuan and published by Karadi Tales, comes to us from a little town in China. It has been translated to English, but the gorgeous illustrations by Zhao Lei evokes a quaint but charming rural China.
Hua is a consummate doll maker, very dedicated to her craft. She works relentlessly to make dolls that make little children happy. Her dolls have their own special personality, and go on to make a big difference in the lives of their children. All her dolls have one thing in common- they have a little daisy stitched on to them, as a nod to Hua’s memories of her childhood.
However, age catches up and when Hua grows old she makes her last doll and keeps her as her own. She treats her doll as her very own child. But, there is one more child who could do with Hua’s doll. Will Hua give it to her? What will this mean for Hua and for the child?
There are many themes interwoven in this little story. It is a story that tells us of dedication to one’s craft, and perfection therein. It also holds the message of caring for others and making a difference to the lives of people around us. No matter how old or young, rich or poor we are, there is always a way to make a difference in the lives of others.
The book also touches briefly, and fleetingly on the concept of death. It is woven quite naturally into the narrative just in the manner it should be- as a simple fact of life.
This picture book is meaningful at many different levels. It will appeal to young children from age 3 onwards up to 6 years. It makes for great gifting as well! Daisy Dolls will be a pleasant read, over and over again!
Housed in a statement making turquoise-walled building, BARO, a striking home décor store is boldly decked in the spirit of an art gallery. The trio behind BARO, Mahesh Mathai, Srila Chatterjee and Siddharth Sirohi, have worked in the realm of film and advertising. However, going further from being a showcase of beautiful art and furniture, BARO has emerged as a cultural hub. Recently, the space bustled with a spirit of a different kind- Mantoness. The occasion was the screening of Manto, a biopic of the famous Urdu author Saadat Hasan Manto, written and directed by Nandita Das.
Manto is Das’s second film after Firaaq (2008). It stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the profound writer who had a very short but extremely eventful life. Manto translated novels, wrote short stories, essays and screenplays. His life in Bombay of the pre-partition days is a topic in itself! He immortalized his interactions with the film luminaries of the times in a book called “Stars from Another Sky”. His challenging life was fraught with issues. Charges of obscenity were often imposed on him. He migrated from Mumbai to Pakistan after Partition. He had a drinking issue which affected his liver. He died in 1955, at the age of 42. Das’s film captures the spirit and essence of Manto, by focusing on a specific period in his life.
Biopics have an unsaid burden of glorifying its protagonists, but I feel Manto would have liked me to portray him with all his warts and blemishes and not put him on a pedestal. For him, beauty and ugliness together make a reality. Manto, through his writings pushed our limits, our morals, our prejudices. In a way, I have tried to do the same through the film – to question our morality and righteousness, our empathy, our ability to be moved without being manipulated. Manto was not sentimental and I didn’t want the film to be either. I wanted to tell the story honestly and let each person take from it what they wanted to.
For me Mantoiyat (‘Mantoness’) is the desire to be honest, outspoken and courageous! I believe all of us have it, whether dormant or awakened. If we carry a bit of that Manto spirit with us after watching the film, I would consider it mission accomplished. The film hopes to make people uncomfortable in a way that they would want to do something about it. After all, we all want to be more truthful, courageous, and free-spirited. And Manto inspires us to be that.
If you make a film on Mozart, it would be incomplete without hearing his music. In the same way, I felt Manto’s life story cannot be told without giving a glimpse of his work. To understand the man, one needs to know how and what he wrote and to understand his writing, one needed to know the person behind it. Also the line between his fact and fiction are blurred, so right from the beginning I had thought of interweaving his stories in the main narrative, almost seamlessly. I felt this form would allow the audience to enter his state of mind, both as a person and a writer.
In the face of all the friction and disharmony surrounding us, and conversations becoming increasingly polarized, I thought I could take refuge in history and in Manto to respond to today. It allowed me to not be didactic and yet convey what I want to say as there is a deep resonance between Manto’s struggle to be himself and our own desires to find our true selves. The times are not too different either, even after 70 years. I think the greatest lessons the audience can take back are Manto’s convictions and his courage. When one’s truth is stronger than one’s fears, courage follows.
If they can read Urdu, then you have Manto’s world at your disposal. If you can read Devanagri, you have his vast collection in the 5 volumes of Dastavez. But if English translation is what you will need to rely on, as I did too in the beginning, then your choice currently is limited. Sadly, I don’t like most of the English translations this far. There is ‘Bitter Fruit’ edited by Khalid Hasan but maybe the better ones for stories is ‘Manto’s Selected Stories’ translated by Aatish Taseer and for his essays I recommend Aakar Patel’s ‘Why I Write‘. I believe some more are going to come out later this year. I am delighted that Manto books sales have gone up considerably, thanks to the films. That’s my two bits in spreading Manto and Mantoiyat.
MORE BOOKS BY MANTO
The Jallianwala Bagh is a very beautiful public garden located in Amritsar, but one which recalls a horrific history. A very touching memorial graces the gates of the park, that hides a dreadful story behind its beauty. The entry to the park is right from a bustling market street where people are shopping and making merry with carefree abandon. But, a poignant sculpture on the street draws your attention. The pristine white memorial indicates the sacrifices of countless people on that fateful day- April 13, 1919, when General Dyer ordered the massacre of innocents who had gathered in the park.
Today, one can enter the garden and walk around, paying obeisance to those who sacrificed their lives on that day. One can view the bullets stuck in the wall, and look down the well where so many must have jumped to save themselves. When the visitor of today, walks around the vibrant garden looking at children playing around and families sitting down and relaxing in the space and taking pictures, it seems so difficult to imagine that the park was a terrible scene of death a century ago.
This year, 2019, the dastardly act by Dyer completes a hundred years. Bookedforlife takes a look at literature that talks about this event.
This is a rigorously researched book where Kim A. Wagner uncovers the experiences of ordinary people, British and Indian, and puts the reader at the centre of the simmering discontent and anxieties of April 1919. This is a nuanced approach to the dramatic events at Amritsar. It also shows untold narratives that shed new light upon the bloody history of the British Empire.
Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the butchering of unarmed innocents, is an event that shook us all. It provokes agony even today. What is the response of literature to this pain? We know that out of great pain, there is literary and artistic expression that arises, as people need an outlet to express a plethora of feelings ranging from pain to anger.
Rakhshanda Jalil, a literary historian and translator from Urdu and Hindi, attempts to open a window into the world of possibilities that literature offers to reflect, interpret and analyse events of momentous historical import. These different ways of seeing and analysing history are expressed through works by Saadat Hasan Manto, Mulk Raj Anand, Krishan Chander, Abdullah Hussein, Bhisham Sahni, Ghulam Abbas, Subadhra Kumari Chauhan, Sarojini Naidu, Sohan Singh Misha, Muhammad Iqbal, Josh Malihabadi, Nanak Singh, to name a few.
The authors are independent historians. They have explored a variety of materials related to the massacre. The book features portraits of key historical figures, political cartoons, newspaper photographs, propaganda posters as well as secretly recorded images that were smuggled out of India in 1919. Alongside the images featured in the book, there are eyewitness accounts to provide context and a chronological narrative covering not only the massacre but also its prelude and aftermath.
The author of this book is the editor of The Tribune. This book brings together essays of some of the best-known authors, thinkers and historians of modern India, alongside priceless articles from the archives of the newspaper, dating back to 1919. With profound insights and personal testaments, martyrdom to freedom is a valuable addition to recorded history.
The colonial atrocities committed by the British on that fateful way have been etched on the minds of generations of Indians forever. These books may be painful to read, but they tell a story that deserves to be heard. It is still important to acknowledge history, terrible as it is, with the sole view of learning from it. We do not know if there will be ever a sense of closure, but we can ensure as we look at historical events after a passage of time, that we understand the lessons that history holds.
I bought “Anusual” way back in 2015 from Kitab Khana, Fort. The book attracted me because of its tagline – ‘The Memoir of a girl who came back from the dead’. I did not realize then that the author of this memoir, Anu Aggarwal, was the scintillating and glamourous actress whom I saw in a movie on T.V. when I was a school kid. When I was very young I was fascinated with the cinema, and loved to watch old films which used to be shown on the television. The movie I loved and adored was ‘King Uncle’ a Rakesh Roshan film. Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff played the main lead. His heroine was the sensual but beautiful ‘Fanny’, who was as I gathered after reading ‘Anusual’, Anu Aggarwal herself.
As far as I could recall, Aggarwal was a really beautiful woman and a charming actress. But after reading her memoir which is captivating, beautifully penned and astonishing, I realized that sometimes a glamorous life is not really all that wonderful. The book is soul searching, shocking and un-putdownable.
I remember back when I was five or six years old in the early 1990’s being told of a very good Bollywood film called ‘Aashiqui’. My mother wanted me to see it whenever it would come on T.V. I never got the chance to watch it, but that was Aggarwal’s first break with director Mahesh Bhatt. Aggarwal was a super model, an advertising diva, a Bollywood successful actress, a glam doll, but as she states in her sensitive memoir, she did not really want to be known as just some glam doll for the rest of her life. The memoir dissects how Aggarwal was always looking inward, wanting to find the truth of life and real happiness. This really astonished me, especially when after making it big Aggarwal left everything to join a yogi ashram, to learn yoga and to meditate.
Let’s analyze this in perspective. In India, every second girl wants to get a break as a model or a Bollywood actress. Bollywood is the lifeline of many cinema crazy Indians both here in India and abroad. Bollywood pays big time. If your movie becomes a super-hit like Aggarwal’s ‘Aashiqui’ did, then you have crossed the first hurdle. Then it’s all up to choosing good movies, playing your cards right, being dedicated to your craft, honing your craft, and with the right advisors, you can become big – a millionaire or a crorepati. When I was reading ‘Anusual’ I was thinking of the lavish weddings of some of the top Bollywood actors and actresses that took place last year 2018; when I heard how many crores they spent on the festivities, I was shocked that so much of money was spent, numbers going into 100 crores plus, and in a country where some people don’t even get a square meal a day.
Where are our priorities? That is answered by Anu Aggarwal in her memoir ‘Anusual’. Being a glam doll is not worth the hype. It’s a hollow life, and we need to set our priorities to make this world a decent place to live in where there are no hungry children due to drought or famine; no slum children who leave school due to financial difficulties; no widows left to fend for themselves because their farmer husbands have in desperation committed suicide; where minors are not sold as sexual slaves; no Dalits still struggling with the still prevalent caste system; where no riots take place over petty issues; where one is not judged because of the color of their skin. And yet, when we see these decked-up dolls of Bollywood – what messages are conveyed to our minds? That a ‘great life’ is the ‘elite way of life’ or is there something more to it? That’s what ‘Anusual’ is about and the reason why she left showbiz and became a yogi in training.
Anu Aggarwal’s journey through the corridors of a yogi ashram is described lucidly and poignantly. Her relationship with her guru, her good works, and how she experienced the truth deep within her, comes out very well in this book. Yoga is the focus of Aggarwal’s life. She has sold everything she has ever owned in the name of taking ‘sanyas’, something that scares me but which she was brave enough to do back in 2001. She has made it her life’s mission to train children and adults in the practice of yoga for free, as part of her ‘sanyas’. She has found her peace. But she was tested in her faith and would been dead long ago.
You see, Aggarwal was a victim of a terrible accident that put her in a coma for 29 days. All the doctors working on her had given up hope and opined that she would die soon. But on the 30th day, she came out of her coma. Struggles continued, but Aggarwal’s determination to rise above her situation and to become one with the oneness in her, won through. It was a miracle, and she felt the miracle was a way of telling her that now was the time to take ‘sanyas’ – to give up everything and follow the oneness, to follow the path of yoga and start the process of collecting good karma. And most importantly—to know that love is more than what the body’s groin can ever understand.
I am an existentialist, but reading books like these sometimes makes me wonder about the power of the human will, mind, and that thing called ‘the soul’. About the woman Anu Aggarwal, there is a lot to say. She is independent, daring, forthright, blunt, beautiful, and radiant and so many other things that you will encounter in her well written memoir, about how she came back from the dead.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you are weary of all the materialism showcased constantly on every media platform in your world, this is the book you should be reading. If you remember the superstar, Anu Aggarwal, and want to know about her change of heart, this is the book for you. For anyone looking for a down to earth and short memoir, this is the book you should be reading next. Yoga enthusiasts, people searching for meaning in their lives, people who are interested in living a more spiritual life, people who are looking for a quick inspiring read, etc., ‘Anusual’ by Aggarwal is the book you should buy right now.
I am so glad I read this book. Believe me, I just couldn’t put it down. It’s a short book, good for reading during the week. Spiritual enthusiasts will definitely love this book as well as anyone looking for something fresh in a Bollywood celebratory memoir. With all the celebratory sham books that are being churned out cheaper by the dozen these days, the story of Aggarwal’s unique and different take on life is like a breath of fresh air.
The book ends with a question about a probable Bollywood comeback. Since I’ve not really paid attention to the movie world for over fifteen years, I may have missed her comeback. I am quite a recluse myself; I hardly get out of my office-cum- writing hut. So, if anyone reading this knows about her comeback do let me know in the comments section.
This post first appeared on www.insaneowl.com
Author: Anu Aggarwal
There is something very specific and strong about the context and setting of the novel, A Gujarat Here, A Gujarat There. The protagonist, Krishna, is a young and sharp woman. It is the year 1947 and despite the momentous event of independence, there is confusion and pain everywhere. Due to the partition, Krishna moves to Delhi where her family resides, from Lahore where she studied. She then seeks a position as a governess in Sirohi, Gujarat, which in itself is in a state of flux. The British have gone, leaving India as a free democracy. But, the princely states may just not have kept pace with the times. Would Sirohi go to Gujarat or Rajasthan? Would the young adopted heir, a child at the time of independence, succeed the throne? Would he be recognised by the newly formed government of India?
The story follows Krishna as she works as a governess to the young prince at the court of Sirohi. Krishna is made of tough stuff. The novel alternates between the pangs of pain due to separation from Lahore, the place she knew as home, then from Delhi where her family now resides and then her move to Sirohi, where she works as governess to the prince. The reader will be amazed at the brave foray into accepting the changes that mark her life. I found her a most delightful character! Her acute understanding of human nature and the politics of the times shines through.
The language that Sobti uses is beautiful and poetic as well, and laced with intelligent humour. For example, “Decisions were not circulated like advertisements and orders from governmental departments; instead they wandered hither and thither like rumours”. Krishna Sobti is not easy to translate, but Daisy Rockwell has done a great job!
This novel is known as a feminist partition novel, and rightly so. The protagonist has to negotiate her way into life not only as a woman in those times, but also as a refugee. Sobti wrote the novel at the age of 92, distanced in time but not in spirit by the partition and the events surrounding it, that make up the backdrop of the story.
The story gives a deep insight into the psychology of a person who has been displaced. In the current context, where displacement of millions due to politics and wars, is so alarmingly common, the book feels strangely relevant. Being ripped from one’s roots and replanted elsewhere is not a good position to be in for any human being. What does this do to a person? How does it completely consume her mind and emotions, and yet how can she move ahead into an uncertain future?
The audacity of the protagonist, her refreshing self-assuredness, and her complete faith and confidence in herself, at a time and moment in history when women were still shadowed by patriarchy, pulls the reader inside the story. Her varied uprootings shake her, but they don’t bring her down. Despite the dizzying changes around her, Krishna is in charge of her life. Her subtle sense of humour and powerful observations about people around her will leave you admiring her intelligence. Even once within Sirohi, she does not give in to what ‘well meaning’ people around her say. For instance, she rejects the housing options shown to her by her employers and demands for a small cottage that is supposedly haunted.
She questions the antiquity of thoughts and customs at Sirohi:
« Ancient teachings for ancient times. Do our pathways change when we ourselves change ? »
However, partition is only the background. The story moves ahead as the governess to the newly crowned prince in an old state of the newly independent country, moves on with her educative duties.
The language is quite crisp. This is one of the unique attributes of Krishna Sobti. There is no room for fluff! The pain and pangs of being uprooted are indeed best expressed through this hard hitting, well-chosen and curated selection of words.
It is really strange to revisit history through lived experiences. Here, I felt as if Sobti’s sharp observations took me back in time. The event of partition, the assassination of Gandhi, Nehru visiting the refugee camps with Lady Mountbattern and few other instances, we see this through the eyes of someone who experiences and witnesses these.
Gujrat is a place in Pakistan and then there is the Gujarat in India, where Sirohi is. This explains the title, A Gujarat here, A Gujarat there. Krishna comes from one Gujarat to another, in a sense. But her spirit is one to look ahead.
Author: Krishna Sobti, translated by Daisy Rockwell
Striking and beautiful images supplement the text as the book expresses the myriad aspects of including living décor within your home. There is a section devoted to practical care for plants. There are tips on watering, giving sunlight, taking care of pests and so on, in view of the fact that the plant is kept indoors. The book then talks about specific indoor plants and the care that each of them requires. Elsewhere as the book progresses, many names of specific plants or categories (such as succulents) come up.
However, the part I found most exciting was the mix and match of the plants with various other decorative or utility items within the house. It is not just about displaying the potted indoor plant by itself. What kind of pot is it in? Where is it placed? What decorative or other items will you place around it? Will you create a story to it? How will it blend in or stand out in the décor scheme of your setting? How will you change and redecorate it? These were some of the aspects that I paid attention to while reading the book- and I got plenty to ponder over!
I also enjoyed the project section which is a recipe-style writeup of how to create specific projects, such as a plant chandelier, a glass globe terrarium, a pumpkin inspired centrepiece and a couple of other DIY projects. The author provides an insight into the concept of Herbariums and how ‘found’ objects such as leaves and flowers can be preserved for décor.
Living Decor is a book that is packed with implementable tips and many images. It will also lead you to discover and identify your unique décor style and understand how your indoor plants can blend in your specific surroundings and décor schemes.
Title: Living Décor
Author: Maria Colletti
Publisher: Cool Springs Press
Genre: Non-fiction, Home and Gardens
Sometimes big stories start in a small way. We are the Gardeners, the garden story of this family begins with a little plant that grows on the windowsill. The plant, bought by the father, becomes the focus of attention. Four little children visit the plant on the sunny windowsill and learn to care for it, water it and even whisper to it. The beginnings of this relationship with a small plant spirals into something bigger and more substantial.
The wonderful lesson of patience comes to them, as does the concept of trial and error. When the children love their plant to death, though zealous overwatering, they are disappointed. They soon learn that each plant is different and most plants have good manners and they ‘like to sip, not gulp’ water. The lessons about the science of growing plants is woven into the story which also talks about the sheer magic of growing a garden.
As their garden graduates from the window sill and spills over to the open space outside, the children have more ambitious plans. But then they share the garden with the world of insects and birds who do their own bit. Slowly, things fit into this humming hive of activity. And, not everything is well all the time. They have to deal with the ‘bullies’ in the garden, aka the weeds. And, they need to handle seemingly innocent animals who love to have more than a fair share of helping from the produce!
Gardens provide a lot of fruit- not only literally but also figuratively. The children experience collaborating with each other as a family to grow the garden as a team. They learn many of life’s lesson right in the middle of their own garden by the mere act of gardening and being a gardener!
The appealing language which explains the eternal lessons that gardening brings to us is most apt and delightful for children. The illustrations complement the text beautifully, adding fun and poignancy to the journey that the child-reader undertakes with the book. I think this is a book that brings the pleasures of gardening into the mind and heart of the reader. Well, you may soon start to grow your own garden story!
Title: We Are The Gardeners
Author: Joanna Gaines and Kids
Illustrator: Julianna Swaney
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
Age group: 4 onwards
Engineering A Life by Krishan K Bedi is a memoir about his roller-coaster life – first his struggle to get an engineering degree in the US and then the dilemma of where to settle with his family.
Krishan Bedi’s childhood in Punjab helps the reader envision how far he comes from his roots to spread his wings. What impresses right away is his determination to complete his engineering studies in the US despite being an average student and not having any inkling of what life in the US was like. Even with financial pressures and high expectations, he lives life on his own terms. Krishan’s subtle humour and candid acceptance of his faults, make him a likable guy whom the reader feels like rooting for.
Though the book is chronicled well, it feels like some impressionable experiences are glossed over. More depth to some scenes would help the reader relate to and understand what was going through Bedi’s mind at that time. It is sensitive that he has refrained from passing any judgments, but this leads to book sounding like a series of activities.
Krishan’s passion to learn not just academics, but from life experiences is inspirational. He proves that obstacles can slow us down, but dedication, perseverance and hard work always win in the end. Our heart goes out to his family when we read about the struggles they face in India after giving up a comfortable lifestyle in the US to settle in the country of his birth. He rightly gives his supportive wife, family and community the praise they deserve in the book.
Title: Engineering A Life
Author: Krishan K Bedi
Publisher: Rupa Publications
There is something soothing about giving yourself some time before the madness of the day begins. A lot has been written about how people can and should capitalise on the precious morning time. One of the best ways of doing that is by developing a morning routine that works for you. Here is a list of books that may just give you a little headway…
A successful entrepreneur is at a crossroad, ready to give up her life. She has experienced tremendous stress and pain. Thankfully, fate intervenes and she ends up attending a lecture that will change her life and thought process forever. At the conference she meets ‘the artist’, a fellow seeker. They listen to the Spellbinder who imparts wisdom. But, something strange happens. What happens when they meet the homeless man who teaches them the secrets of the ‘Victory Hour’ starting at 5 AM every morning? How do they change and evolve as they jet-set around the world with their guide who seeks to induct them into The 5 AM Club?
What I like: A comprehensive story that brings out actionable tips that you can implement in your life.
Read a detailed review of the book here.
“We spend much of our lives on autopilot, and can end up with a life we didn’t consciously create,” says Ashley in the book. The book gives suggestions on how to avoid this pitfall. She looks at successful and accomplished women who she admires and interviews them about their morning rituals. Each chapter talks in detail about the morning ritual of one person.
What I like: The differing and varied morning routines and rituals of so many people give the reader inspiration and ideas to pick and choose the ritual that will serve him or her best.
Read a detailed review of the book here.
Julia Cameron wrote a very successful book on creativity, called “The Artist’s Way”. While this book is not strictly about morning routines per se, the foundation of this book are the morning pages. Morning Pages have proven to be a successful part of the morning rituals of many creative people. The Morning Pages are basically three pages of stream-of-consciousness longhand writing, written every day the first thing in the morning. They promise to connect you to a source of wisdom within. This journal is a special take on the morning pages and focusses on this tool in detail.
What I like: The concept of morning pages is a life-changing idea and this book describes it beautifully. It is also a journal that can be used as the morning pages.
This book is a guide to the early morning habits that boost productivity. It comprises of interviews with sixty-four successful people such as Arianna Huffington, General Stanley McChrystal, Marie Kondo and more. Having seen and read about these individuals in their respective work genres, it is interesting to know how they start their day. This book reads like an informal instruction manual coupled with musings.
What I like: The sheer diversity of the varied routines! A veritable idea menu that can help you craft your mornings in the best manner!