Updated: Jun 4, 2018
"Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.” –John Green
When I first started in television, books were where I turned when I didn't know the answer to something, especially technical knowledge. I was new in an industry where not knowing something could cost you an opportunity to crew on a production, and asking questions wasn't always encouraged. As a young production assistant, being knowledgeable about many different skills was a definite asset.
Books helped me when I couldn't turn to a mentor or a coach. They were there when I was battling a bad case of nerves before going on camera and even when I was standing in line in the grocery store.
Today, I am still a voracious reader, although the topics typically are not quite as technical. Here are some of my recent favorite reads – so whether you’re looking for a fresh source of inspiration or education, consider checking these out. In the vast sea of wonderful books to choose from, these have been really meaningful to me.
Book 1: Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges by Amy Cuddy
“Too often we approach our lives' biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.
"By accessing our personal power, we can achieve "presence," the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we're making on others and instead adjust the impression we've been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy's revolutionary book reveals, we don't need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.”
A couple of my favorite quotes from this book were “presence comes from believing in and trusting yourself - your real honest feelings, values and abilities.” “We all face daunting moments in our lives that must be met with poise if we want to feel good about ourselves and make progress in our lives. Presence gives us the power to rise to these moments.” If you’d like to get it on Amazon, here is the link.
Book 2: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
"The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives." A couple of of my favorite quotes from this book were “habits can be changed if we understand how they work.” “once you see everything as a bunch of habits, it’s like someone gave you a flashlight and a crowbar and you can get to work.:If you’d like to get it on Amazon, here’s the link.
Book 3: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
"In The Big Leap, New York Times bestselling author Gay Hendricks reveals a simple yet comprehensive program for overcoming our one barrier to happiness and fulfillment, providing a clear path for achieving our true potential and attaining not only financial success but also success in love and life."
One of my favorite quotes from this book was "I expand in love, success and abundance as I encourage those around me to do the same." It's on my mirror and I read it each morning when I wash my face and every evening as I prepare to go to bed. Each time I read it, it reminds me why I do what I do and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. If you’d like to get it on Amazon, here’s the link.
What are some of your favorite books? I’d love to hear them — especially if you’re in a season of transition. Leave a comment below!
Val Brown is an Emmy Award winning television producer, story, visual and personal brand consultant, coach, and speaker. She consults and coaches high performing business professionals and entrepreneurs looking to up their game and increase their confidence and credibility on camera. Val teaches you how to use your story to support your brand in video and photos.
p.s. I’d love to connect on social media and hear your questions and concerns about being in front of the camera.