My Best Books & Video for Inspiration & Courage

By Dr Kate Little 

Gone are the days when we stayed in the same job for 20 years. So many of us now change jobs and even entire career a few times over the course of our professional lives.

Many of us combine several jobs in our working lives, known in some circles as a “slasher” career. Not to be confused with horror movies, this term describes the ‘slash’ in the job title of someone who is a X/Y/Z – or journalist/web editor/PR, for example” or the shedding of 9-5 working and one career for life.

Re-invention has become commonplace as we strive to find the balance between work and home life. So, here are some of the books, videos & TED talks that have inspired me in my re-invention journey and given me the courage to take a leap…



  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. This book is amazing. Brene Brown is amazing. Watch her TED talks to get a feel for what is in her. Daring Greatly is about throwing off our armour and showing up in the arena. She shows us how we can embrace our vulnerability and use it as a strength.
  • 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey. This bestseller is not light reading but is truly inspirational and forms the basis for so many self-development books. The “habits” are all common sense but the way he illustrates them is incredibly powerful. He emphasises the importance of discovering your authentic self and living your life as closely to this as possible.

    The 7 habits are:

    • Be proactive
    • Begin with the end in mind
    • Put first things first
    • Think win-win
    • Seek first to understand and then to be understood
    • Synergise
    • Sharpen the saw
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.  Full of interesting observations about women in the workforce, this controversial book talks of careers as “jungle gyms” which allow “great views for many people, not just for those on the top” as compared to a career ladder where “most people are stuck staring at the butt of the person above”. Many traditional careers are typical of this as we wait for people to retire or move on to further progress our own careers.I like Sandberg’s analogy. I picture a more exciting creative path. One where you follow your interests and passions. One that is flexible, where you can swing or jump from one thing to another as the desire or need arises and, very importantly, where there is opportunity to take rest in the shade when needed.
  • The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. Not a book for when you are feeling low – it looks at how every decision you take however small matters and the importance of discipline and healthy habits. I listened to the audio CD very quickly. It is fairly repetitive but illustrates the core message above effectively.
  • What should I do with my life? Po Bronson. I have not read this yet but this has been highly recommended by so many people to me. It has been described as a “fascinating account of finding and following the people who have taken the ultimate challenge of self-discovery by uprooting their lives and starting all over again.”

Inspiring TED talks & You-tube clips

  • Steve Jobs address to Stanford – the 3 important things in life: connectivity (seen retrospectively), love and living each day as your last. Watching this was transformational to me. The concept that people could possibly be wanting to do their job if it was their last day bewildered me completely. I knew absolutely that I would not be doing my job if it was my last day, last month, last year or last few years. Clearly, I needed to make a change!

  • Brene Brown on shame and on vulnerability. This woman is absolutely amazing and so inspiring. A MUST for all who are questioning themselves or unhappy.


If you have any resources that you think that others would find useful please do add them into the comments section below or contact me here.

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