Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Duckworth was often talked down to by her scientist father for lacking “genius.” By after a long career of teaching, business-consulting and neuroscience research, she’s come to believe genius is far less useful than grit. In this bestseller, Duckworth delves into the meaning of grit, and its indiscriminate power to bring success and happiness to those who harness it—from spelling bee champions to Seattle Seahawks to CEOs.
North by Scott Jurek, with Jenny Jurek
Stories from the Appalachian Trail are often fascinating (*A Walk in the Woods*, anyone?) but none are quite like Scott Jurek’s. In the spring of 2015, he ran nearly 50 miles a day for seven weeks to beat the trail’s speed record—on a vegan diet, no less. Told from the perspectives of Scott and his wife Jenny, North is a superhuman story filled with adventure, endurance, love and the strangeness of “elective suffering,” as Scott puts it.
Yoga Gym by Nicola Jane Hobbs
The most valuable piece of fitness equipment is the human body, according to Nicola Jane Hobbs. Her “simple, strong and stretchy” workouts utilize 150 yoga poses, combining gym-worthy strength and endurance training with the mindfulness and flexibility of yoga. Equal parts fat-burning and soul-enriching, Yoga Gym is a fun way to cross-train.
It takes a village to raise a child, and a village to make a runner. Friends Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea have created a worldwide village with their bestselling books and podcast, encouraging women of all ages, whether they’re running to get fit, fight depression, spend time with friends or lose baby weight. The pair bring on special guests—from Olympians to cardiologists—discussing everything from nutrition to what to do if you get your period on race day (hint: wear black shorts).
Recorded out of Fairfield, Iowa by Rick and Irene Archer, *Buddha at the Gas Pump* features stories from the “awakened”: religious leaders, scientists and everything in between. “Perhaps those listening to these interviews will become convinced, as we are, that genuine and permanent spiritual awakenings are not just a pipe dream, but are real and are becoming relatively commonplace,” the Archers say. After soaking in more than 450 episodes, you’d be hard-pressed not to believe in enlightenment.
If you can muster the motivation to listen to this podcast, the next mental steps towards your goals should come more naturally. The 10-20-minute episodes are released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (thus the MWF in the title), with renowned life coach Rob Dial discussing how to meditate, dream bigger, delay gratification, conquer jealousy and regret, confront fear of death, quit a bad job and much more.