10 books that changed my life

I was asked an incredibly powerful question the other day by a friend who I hadn’t seen in years that wanted to catch back up to re connect. The question hit me because strangely enough, I realised not many people had sat in front of me before and asked it .. “Where did your journey start?”. Simple yet powerful. What was great about that question however was I could answer it pretty simply – as I knew she was looking for inspiration for her own journey. “With a really amazing book” I said. It’s true. My journey started with books. I knew the person inside of me needed some more strength and courage to come out so I found those who had done it before & started to read. As Anthony Robbins says – who is just so the author of the very first book I read to kick start it all – “Success leaves Clues”. Whatever you want to do, whoever you want to be, whatever you need assistance with in life – more courage, strength, goal writing assistance, being the best version of you – their is an extremely powerful and inspiring book out there to help you along the way. 
Below are the 10 books that have helped me on my journey of living a life of joy and fulfillment and when anybody comes to me asking for book recommendations every one of these bad boys get thrown on a hit list for them. 

1. Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins

The book that started it all for me. Game changer, energy shifter, comfort zone bringer down. This book will help you realise just how in control of your life you are and help you take back control of your mental, emotional physical and financial states. It goes through teaching you how to get what you really want, ten emotions of power, mastering your life values and makes you focus on some serious bad ass goal setting. I took it down South with me for a few days of self discovery and devoured the whole book over those days whilst immersing myself in the exercises. I still, to this day, use most lessons from the book when breaking down doubt, busting through fear, shifting out of my comfort zone, setting goals – and every other amazing principle he goes through in the book. I ONLY suggest this book if you take it seriously and will truly do each of the exercises at the end of each chapter. Read the book + do the exercises + acknowledge your power = a new exciting life for you. 

2. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey

I devoured this book with gusto and enthusiasm and constantly refer back to it by chapter for a little re inspiration or motivation with projects I need to complete in my life. It is, quite literally, a step by step framework to create real and lasting (& holy shit big) kind of change in our life – of the good kind. Each principal  is simple in it’s theory but so powerful if implemented. I learnt a lot of new stuff I hadn’t learnt in a lot of the other books I’d already read and truly couldn’t put it down. The 7 principles are; 1. Be Proactive, 2. Begin with the end in mind, 3. Put First things first. 4. Think Win/Win, 5. Seek first to understand, then be understood. 6. Synergise. 7. Sharpen the saw. The principles have truly heightened my sense of business and life understanding and even occasionally implementing these principles (understanding first then trying to be understood) has made me a calmer person personally, but especially professionally. This book IS a game changer and needs to be on your hit list. 

3. The Success Principles – Jack Canfield

This book will re connect you to believing in yourself and affirms throughout the chapters that your thoughts, your actions and your responses create your destiny (not external forces). It will take you through chapter after chapter of the fundamentals of success that you can’t help be inspired and connect to – like “Be clear why you’re here”, “Believe it’s possible”, “Unleash the power of goal setting” and “Experience your fear and take action anyway”. Let’s just say this book made me realise I truly honestly without a shadow of a doubt can have my dream life with exactly who I want in it and what, I just have to believe and trust in that (+ work hard at making it a reality). Soul defyingly inspirational and a MUST have in your bookcase. 

4. Spirit Junkie – Gabrielle Bernstein

If you want to connect deeper to your source, amp up your spirituality a lil and learn ALL about how we should be operating from a place of love not ego – then you need to go and buy/download this book. This was the first book that started my deeper journey in to source connection, spirituality and trusting my inner guide/gut/ing (whatever you want to call it). The book is Gabrielles guide to the heavier book “A Course in Miracles” and you will connect with her words, messages and lessons page after page after page. If you’ve suffered in life, from heartbreak, drugs, alcoholism, comparison’itis, self hate, if you want to break down the barriers you’ve placed in your own life from guilt and fear…and you want to break away from it, learn love, genuine joy and about how it’s easy to operate from a place of love, not ego – this is your book, my god is this your book. 

5. The 4 Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

This book will be the most soul soaked love lesson to yourself you can possibly ever learn. There are 4, just 4 principles to follow in the whole book, that if implemented and followed correctly will truly create love and happiness (& in my opinion, peace) in your life. The hardest part of reading this book however is following the agreements. It is literally my life purpose to follow them, and it challenges me almost daily – but how powerful to have that guidance in your life. The Principles are; 1. Be impeccable with your word, 2. Don’t take anything personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. I urge you to go and read the book to delve further in to each of those principles and learn the lessons of true peace and love by truly mastering them in your life (think of how free’ing and beautiful the world would be if we could all follow these principles!) 

6. The Fire Starter Session – Danielle LaPorte

When I finished reading this book, I put it in my lap, took a few deep breathes and the tears came flowing it was truly THAT powerful. It changed a lot for me. It helped me hammer down limiting beliefs, build up new ones, declare my super powers (one of my fav chapters in the book) and know that I am worthy, it is achievable and to give give give of myself and my gifts in life. The header for the book sums it up better than I ever could so allow Danielle to explain “It’s the permission slip you’ve been waiting for — to fully want what you want and go for it, to expand your consciousness and your cash flow, to up the ante on your dreams, to be incredibly generous with your love. This is a modern-day pep talk and soul-centered Q&A for people ready to shine brighter than they ever have.” BOOM. Just.go.read.the.book. I promise it’ll be worth it. 

7. Unlimited Power – Anthony Robbins

This was the book Tony actually wrote before ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ and a book I equally got powerful lessons and life changing results out of (My mum is reading it for a second time as we speak and I get texts and emails from her SO excited by the principles she is re learning from it). Tony is a NLP genius so a lot of what he discusses in the book and how to break down limiting beliefs has its roots in NLP. The book is ALL about your own life mastery. How to dream of the life you desire then go after it. It helped me nut down to what I really wanted, how to stop self sabotaging myself due to my own un necessary fear and disbelief I and others had taught myself and how to learn to be successful from those who had done it before me. (Other amazing chapters from the book just to really lure you in include; “How to find out what you really want”, “The Seven Lies of Success”, “How to reprogram your mind in minutes to elimate fears and phobias”, “The Secret of creating instant rapport with anyone you meet”, “How to duplicate the success of others”, “The Five keys to wealth and Happiness”.

8. The 4 hour work week – Timothy Ferris

I have read and re read this book 3 times now each time getting something new out of it. Tim is (to me) the epitome of living life by his own design and he wants to teach you how to do it too. The 4 hour work week teaches you how to work smarter (not harder), how to free up your time to let you do more things you WANT to do and how to negotiate better work agreements for yourself (i.e. working from home so you can travel more!) He is the man behind the concept of not working yourself to exhaustion, retiring at 65 then realising you have no more time left to enjoy your life – he champions having ‘mini retirements’ your whole life (Morgs & I goal) and enjoying life when you want to with who you want to where you want to (Brazil? Thailand? Chile?) This book will inspire you to at least starting thinking of living a little more out of the box if anything else and is still one of my favourite books when I need to be reminded of what I want and how to get it. 

9. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L Hay

This is a little different to all the other books as it’s more emotional wellbeing / spiritual based vs business or life inspired but I have had this pocket of goodness with me since I was about 17. Mum gave it to me when I was suffering with self love, confidence and just general self respect (she’s a gem I know). I threw it to the side thinking what would she know (as any snotty nosed “I know everything” 17 year old would). Not until I was 23 did I pick it up back and weep as I read through how I had the power to change for good and pains that I felt were cues from my body trying to gently nudge me in the right direction. It helped me find my self love again and also STILL helps when I have aches and pains. What do I mean? The other week I was suffering shin pain where my ankle met my foot – so I went straight to my ‘bible’ (this book). It explained for that exact pain the probably cause was “Breaking down ideals” (as shins represent the standard of life”. It also gave me a new thought pattern “I live up to my highest standards with love and with joy” – I said it every morning and night with belief and weeks of frustrating shin pain – disappeared. Its pure and utter magic and this book should be on every persons bedside table. 

10. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T Kiyosaki

The book that WILL teach you financial freedom and help you simply understand the difference between an Asset & a Liability. In it’s simplest form though this book taught me two HUGE lessons I have taken with me in my life. 1. Pay yourself first. 2. How to live with a rich mindset. I credit Morgs & I’s 4.5 month luxury Europe trip of a lifetime in huge part to this book – in it, Robert says he learnt from his own mentor to “always pay himself first” – i.e. save. And not save whatever you had left after all your outgoings – pay your savings FIRST and then you will work even harder or be even tighter to make all your other ends meet. Read it. Just read it. You will never regret it. It’s the one book that as soon as my kids are of an age where they can read – I’ll be putting it in their hands. 


There you have it gorgeous. My hit list. If you want to make a remarkable difference in your life, read. Read. Read. Read. I heard at a conference the other day “if you read a chapter a week for a year of inspiring books, you will not be the same person at the end of that year than you were at the start”. It’s true – books can’t help but inspire and switch on that YES desire inside of you to do better, be better feel better. Start with one. Whatever resonates. Just pick one, and read even just ONE chapter a day (a little in the morning and a little at night). Hey – even take it to work and start using your lunch breaks more productively.

I’d love to hear any books that you love that I have left off this list, share in the comments below! (I have hundreds more I’ve read but for these are my top 10 to help in one way or another).

New find; Words of Inspiration

You know when you find a website or a brand or a shop where you get stopped dead in your tracks with shock and awe at a) how the hell had you never hear about this / found it sooner and b) how ‘YOU’ it is and how much you love ALL their stuff? 
This doesn’t happen to me too frequently but when it does I will always share it as I know somebody else will get just as much love, enjoyment and pleasure out of it. 
I stumbled upon the website ‘striking truths’ following a photo I saw Rach post on her blog. It was not just a beautiful quote, but it was a beautiful background with bangin’ font – quite simply, quote nirvana for me. 
When I went and visited the website, I found hundreds more of the same goodness – in fact the website by- line is; “A manifesto a day” – literally my idea of heaven. 
I think they describe what they do best themselves however, so I’d love for you to meet Bernadette & Sian…

“We wanted to find a way to gather those loose threads of inspiration, bottle that wisdom and make it shareable. We wanted the words to live on after the last page was turned. We wanted to create inspiring declarations of our own too, and share them in a beautiful and compelling way each day, so we created striking truths.”
We’re Bernadette Jiwa and Sian Richardson by day we help entrepreneurs, big ideas people and brands to tell their stories. By night we work together on striking truths.”
Wonderful balls of creative energy right? I know! You can buy their beautiful creations over at their website but here is a round up of a couple of my favs…
Enjoy beautiful’s x
p.s in no way shape or form is this a sponsored post – I’m just a gal who saw and developed an immediate love affair with their work and felt compelled to share x
{ source }

2012; An Ode to my best year yet

2012. You have been my biggest and brightest yet, no doubt about it.

Looking back over the past year has my emotional self well up with happy tears. Most that follow the blog could stand back and say any year that involves 4.5 months of travel (& going on to 6 months of no work) would make for anybodies best year…but that is only part of it.

Sure. The first half of my year was full of organising the final parts to our holiday, scrambling even, to make sure everything was perfect before we embarked on our trip of a lifetime. It was certainly Busy with a capital B. And yup, there were nerves about leaving our comfort zone and challenging our relationship with living in each others pockets 24 hours a day 7 days a week, both of which ended up being why we loved travelling so much. But that’s not just all.

There has been so much change and transformative growth both personally and within Morgs & I’s relationship. I turned from an ‘almost didn’t care of what other people thought but still let it affect me’ to a ‘hey I’ve got this, I just need to trust and love myself and the rest will sort itself out’ kinda gal. My trust within myself got kicked up to a whole new level and 2012 was the year I let my intuition and gut guide a lot of big decisions – & guess what? It worked a treat. I also learnt how truly important it was to base my goals around what I wanted to feel vs what external gain I would achieve from them – & oh baby has that been a life changer.

2012 was the year I started to harness the energy inside me and try to use it for as much good as possible – be that with a positive word, some loving advice or genuinely and enthusiastically showing up and being present in life for myself and for anybody else who I came in to contact with.

It has been a ginormously g-r-e-a-t year with goals, friendships, love, travel and general feel good kick assed’ness internally with growth and understanding

The biggest change of all though was this. I let go. I let go of worrying about rejection and judgement from others and started to be 100% myself. I started living authentically. I stopped second guessing myself. I  I ensured I tried whenever possible (nobodies perfect) to live and love with good intentions so by being myself I knew confidently that if anybody had a problem it wasn’t me, it was there own fear or misunderstanding.

And you know what happened? I felt more free than I have my whole life. Good things, GREAT things started to come in to my life. New beautiful friendships, amazing job opportunities, beautiful moments of peace and genuine happiness like I’d never experienced.

2012 was the year I had hoped, tried & manifested it to be but what’s even more exciting is there is SO much more growth, learning, laughs and goal attainment for 2013.

I truly believe 2013 is going to go off with a Sonic BOOM and I for one and ready to go in to the year feeling aligned, energised, excited and spontaneous.

Below are some of the highlights of my big, beautiful 2012…

p.s here is when I did my look back at my 2011.

Eat.Yoga.Self Discovery trip to Bali 


February saw me whisk myself away to spend 7 magical days in a women’s retreat in Canguu Bali. I set out on the trip with a goal to ‘find’ myself, do a lot of yoga, eat good, wholesome food and do a tonne of journalling – all of which I did..a LOT of and came home with a calm and belief in my belly like never before. I know without a doubt that this solo trip was the start of my journey to letting go and working out just what I’m all about and who I want to be. Thank you universe for that one!

You can read all about it: 

Bali Trip – Day 1
Bali Trip – Day 2
Bali Trip – Day 3
Bali Trip – Day 4
Bali Trip – Day 5
Bali Trip – Day 6

Rottnest Island with my bestest girlfriends

March I was surprised with a day trip to Rottnest (or ‘Rotto’ for those of you Perthies that know the slang!) by 4 of my gorgeous girlfriends. This was the first ‘wowza the universe DOES have my back’ moments as having lived in Perth for over 11 years, I had never taken the short 40 minute ferry to this beautiful little island…I decided to slap it on my ’25 things to do before 25′ that I hadn’t yet shared, and 2 weeks later, I was there as an amazing surprised by the girls pictured above. I had one of the best days of belly laughing, swimming and chatting about life, boys and the universe.

Celebrated 5 years with the love of my life

April was a month full of love as Morgs & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We had an amazing day – believe it or not we went to Rottnest too, funny how the universe delivers as soon as you ask! – full of laughter, talking, swimming, eating and reflecting over how far we’d come in those 5 years. It was an extra special anniversary for us as we had felt such a huge shift in our relationship towards positive and bigger things. 
You can read all about it:
5 Years

The blog getting in the newspaper

May was an incredibly exciting month for the Blog & I as I got my first write up in a newspaper! When starting lifesshinyprettythings I never thought in a million years things like getting approached by an editor to feature in a newspaper could happen, I was just an unknown Perth girl writing about things I loved after all – but it did and it was beyond exhilarating  It was a special moment for me in 2011 and there is more to come from this in 2013 – so stay tuned for that!
You can read all about it:
Media Spotlight – In the press

Doing something extraordinary for Morgs

July was special for me as not only were we on a hugely exciting countdown to our trip of a lifetime, I got to cross off number 3 on my list of 25 things I want to do before 25, which was ‘Do something extraordinary for Morgs”. I still have a separate post to come for this as I want to do posts for each thing I tick off my list but let’s just say it involved lots of surprises  hints, spoiling and his favourite things. It was SUCH a fun day and something he says he’ll remember forever.

Traveled Europe on a trip of a lifetime with my soul mate

August all the way through December saw us put a big ole’ tick against this one. My blog has been consumed the past almost 5 months with travel stories from our adventure so most will be well aware that this has obviously consumed most of our year. There was so much saving, sacrifices and planning to go along with it but it was all more worth it than I can ever express as we got to see things, experience things and share things we could never have deemed possible or imagined in our wildest dreams. The trip truly was in every way, shape and form made of magic and was a once in a lifetime kinda experience (although we hope to do it all over again for the U.S and South America!). It made my 2012 a completely unforgettable year and one I’ll reflect on with future generations of my family to come. Moments like watching sunsets I never imagined possible, becoming emotional in amazing flamenco shows in Spain, swimming with dolphins in Dubai, walking the Cinque Terre, eating and drinking our way around Italy, immersing ourselves along the South of France, falling in love all over again in Paris and seeing snow fall for the first time in Switzerland are all things that filled my heart with happiness, gratitude and pure joy. 
So there it is. 2012 in all it’s big beautiful glory. A year I grew in, learnt in, fell in love with, and started my new journey on living more authentically and purposefully with love and gratitude. 
I am literally bursting out of my skin with excitement for 2013 and can’t wait to share with you lots more inspiration and bigger things to come. 
Thank you, thank you thank YOU from the bottom of my big joyful heart for being part of my little ole blog and sharing in all of lifes excitement and inspiration when it comes to stopping by to say hello, leave a comment or even just quietly read a post. You gorgeous readers are what keep me writing and I want to give you even more bright hope & help with posts in 2013. 
2013 we’re all coming to you with a Sonic Boom & I can’t WAIT and 2012 I will NEVER forget you. 
Lots, and lots and LOTS of love,
Anna xx

psst – Another huge thing happened for me in 2012 that I am yet to share on the blog but will be coming this week.

Photo source – found here