40 Books To Read Before You Turn 40

Today is my 40th birthday. Last year I reflected upon some life lessons (which I just updated with my 40th lesson), and this year I'm sharing some of the great books I've read. It's the list I wish I had before I began the journey of becoming an entrepreneur and creating MindBodyGreen.

Rather than try to summarize each book, I chose one of my favorite quotes that I think embodies the message of the work. I hope you enjoy.

"Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally... Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves."

- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

"Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They're huge and abstract. And they're very beautiful."

- Catching The Big Fish by David Lynch

"For many of us, eating has surprisingly little to do with hunger. We eat out of boredom, for entertainment, to comfort or reward ourselves. Try to be aware of why you're eating, and ask yourself if you're really hungry — before you eat and then again along the way. (One old wive's test: If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you're not hungry.) Food is a costly antidepressant."

- Food Rules by Michael Pollan

"No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity."

- The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

"It is appropriate for spiritual partners to remain together only as long as they grow together."

- The Seat of The Soul by Gary Zukav

"You have the power to heal your life, and you need to know that. We think so often that we are helpless, but we're not. We always have the power of our minds…Claim and consciously use your power."

- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

"What we've been given here is precious: majestic in its smallest details and its grandest spectacles. Anytime you feel in danger of forgetting that, I recommend you take a good look at a 50 foot wave. Anyone who can be around something that powerful and not feel humbled has some serious analyzing to do."

- Force Of Nature by Laird Hamilton

"The world we live in is the world we choose to live in, whether consciously or unconsciously. If we choose bliss, that's what we get. If we choose misery, we get that, too."

- Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

"Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you've been through the tough times and you discover they aren't so tough after all."

- David And Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

"You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be."

- Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

"Do what you love; love those you care about; give service to others; and know that you're on the right path. There's a new path waiting for you, too. All you have to do is look for it—then take that first step. If you show up and stay present, that step will eventually become a gigantic leap forward. And then you'll show us who you really are."

- Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

"Without a shadow of a doubt, I had proven to myself that the mind can heal the body."

- Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin

"There are more than one billion bacteria in each drop of fluid in your colon, an environment we call the microbiome. It's a mixture so distinctive from person to person that your individual constellation of bacteria is a more specific identifier than your own DNA."

Gutbliss by Dr. Robynne Chutkan

"In mathematics, two angles that are said to coincide fit together perfectly. The word coincidence does not describe luck or mistakes. It describes that which fits together perfectly."

- The Power Of Intention by Dr. Wayne Dyer

"Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."

- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

"The power of healing is within you. All you need to do is give your body what it needs and remove what is poisoning it. You can restore your own health by what you do—not by the pills you take, but by how you choose to live."

- The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls


"The most we can hope for is to create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome. The ride is a lot more fun that way."

- Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson

"The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised."

- The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

"This process of returning to your natural genetic rhythm is not a thirty-day, lose-weight, look-great-for-a-party-trick. It is about making a profound change."

- Revive by Dr. Frank Lipman

"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."

- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

"Love relationships aren't meant only to be joyrides; they're also restorative and balancing meeting places where negative emotions are calmed and regulated."

- Love Sense by Dr. Sue Johnson

"We can change the expression of more than 70 percent of the genes that have a direct bearing on our health and longevity."

- Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter

"How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top."

- Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

"The greatest benefits of yoga come from relaxing into a pose, rather than forcing your body into it."

- The Seven Spiritual Laws Of Yoga by Deepak Chopra

"The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit."

- The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris

"Brace yourselves, girls: Soda is liquid Satan. It is the devil. It is garbage. There is nothing in soda that should be put into your body. For starters, soda's high levels of phosphorous can increase calcium loss from the body, as can its sodium and caffeine."

- Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin

"In Chinese medicine, health is the ability of an organism to respond appropriately to a wide variety of challenges in a way that insures maintaining equilibrium."

- Between Heaven And Earth by Harriet Beinfield and Efram Korngold

"My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest."

- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."

- Be Here Now by Ram Dass

"When you look back on your life, it looks as though it were a plot, but when you are into it, it's a mess: just one surprise after another. Then, later, you see it was perfect."

- Reflections On The Art Of Living by Joseph Campbell

"In moments where I was temporarily able to suspend my monkey mind and simply experience whatever was going on, I got just the smallest taste of the happiness I achieved while on retreat."

- 10% Happier by Dan Harris

"Advice is one thing that is freely given away, but watch that you only take what is worth having."

- The Richest Man In Babylon by George Clason

"Most of us don't realize that the products we use every day can expose us to thousands of chemicals that are readily absorbed through our skin. The impact on your health? It's not pretty."

- No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor & Alexandra Spunt

"Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped."

- The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg

"It is time to recognize diet as a powerful ally in the healing process."

- The Gerson Therapy by Charlotte Gerson

"The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile."

- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

"Transformational leaders create cohesiveness in an organization and inspire others to achieve greatness."

- Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Grateful Dead by Barry Barnes

"The more I help out, the more successful I become. But I measure success in what it has done for the people around me. That is the real accolade."

- Give And Take by Adam Grant

"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it."

- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

"The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world."

- The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

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