21 Inspiring Children’s Books

Children absorb everything, good or bad.

As humans, we spend the first few years of our life in sponge-mode, soaking everything in, before we begin to express our own personality. For better or worse, we’re literally programmed according to what we learn and experience early in life. This is why it’s of crucial importance to instill love and empowerment within children.

This is where children’s books come into play. Children’s books can act as imprints of love, positivity and empowerment that children take with them for the rest of their lives.

So in the spirit of instilling love and empowerment, here’s a list of some of the most inspiring children’s books. Even if you don’t have young children, you too can benefit from a little lighthearted inspiration.

21 Inspiring Children’s Books

1. Oh The Places You’ll Go By Dr. Seuss

 
2. The Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire by Dharmachari Nagaraja

 
3. Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson

 
4. Walk On!: A Guide for Babies of All Ages by Marla Frazee

 
5. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman

 
6. Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

 
7. Incredible You! 10 Ways To Let Your Greatness Shine Through by Wayne Dyer

 
8. Little One Step by Simon James

 
9. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

 
10. Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems

 
11. Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges

 
12. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

 
13. Matthew’s Dream by Leo Lionni

 
14. Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

 
15. An Awesome Book! by Dallas Clayton

 
16. Beautiful Oops! by Barnie Saltzberg

 
17. Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

 
18. Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire by Jane O’Connor

 
19. I Believe in Me: A Book of Affirmations by Connie Bowen

 
20. I Think, I Am! by Louise L. Hay

 
21. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are by Dr. Seuss

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The Visionary’s Creed

This is for the new wave of hard workers, everyone out there grinding towards their vision, not someone else’s. All of the self-starters, hustlers, artists, entrepreneurs, this is dedicated to you to help you keep going. Ultimately, these words are just a confirmation of what you already know deep down; that you’re living your truth.

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I know what I want
I know how to get there
They may think differently
But I know me

Doubt arises
I set it aside
I know in my heart
That I’m walking in the direction of my truth

I see my vision
Crystal clear clarity
I meet it with persistence
Bringing dreams into reality

Fear grabs a hold of me
I hug it with courage
It fades back into illusion
Propelled by my truth
I keep moving

The path may be difficult
The road may be rough
Obstacles will present themselves
Unforeseen challenges may delay me
And my route may shift
But that’s a part of the pilgrimage
The challenge is where the magic is

It’s not about where I end up
It’s about who I become through the journey
More of myself

 

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.





 

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The Purpose Formula

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What’s your purpose in life?

Why are you here? What drives you? What keeps you going?

Have you ever thought about it?

Do you even know the direction you wish to head in?

As humans, we need some sort of purpose in order to be truly happy and have a deep sense of fulfillment in life.

Without a clear purpose, we find ourselves floundering, paralyzed by indecisiveness, drowning in existential dread and living out other people’s dreams instead of our own.

Life is a journey and purpose gives us a direction to travel in. It provides a central theme to our journey.

The journey of life is filled with mystery, unpredictability and spontaneous changes. So while it’s crucial to have purpose, it’s also important to surrender to the process.

Your purpose isn’t fixed. It can change and evolve as you change and evolve. The only constant is change, so it’s a good idea to periodically reevaluate your purpose, especially when starting new chapters in life.

Your purpose can be very simple as well. It doesn’t have to be something grandiose like being president or being a billionaire (those things don’t necessarily make life fulfilling anyway), it can be as simple as cultivating a beautiful garden or as familiar as being the best parent you can be.

Here’s a hint regarding purpose: Your purpose is most likely going to involve helping others in some way. We’re social beings and giving just feels good. If you get really honest with yourself, you’ll realize that the things that give you the most fulfillment have something to do with giving, sharing and connection.

For a clearer idea of your purpose (or purposes) in life, I highly recommend reading the following article and truthfully answering all of the questions: Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.

The Power of Purpose

Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.
– Viktor Frankl

 
It’s incredibly important to find meaning in life, as a sense of purpose is an undercurrent to genuine happiness and fulfillment. Research in positive psychology shows that people who feel a sense of purpose (or meaningfulness) have less physical pain, less anxiety, less stress, less depression and have reduced tendencies toward substance abuse. It’s no coincidence that one of the major commonalities of centenarians (people who live over 100 years) is a sense of purpose. With centenarians, purpose is often tied to religious faith, but it doesn’t have to be. Anyone can find purpose no matter what their beliefs are.

Purpose is like a magic wand. If you feel stuck in any area of life, wave your magic wand of purpose. If you feel depressed, reevaluate and reestablish your purpose with conviction. If you feel anxious, shift your thinking towards your purpose. And really feel it too. Feel that sense of purpose in the depths of your nervous system, igniting your body, mind and spirit. By focusing on your purpose, you naturally shed everything that’s not in alignment with it.

Find a real purpose that’s going to give you the strength to keep it going, no matter what the fuck you go through; no matter what obstacle presents itself.
– Crooked I

 
When in doubt, focus on your purpose. It works.

Mark Twain why you were born

The Purpose Formula

I came up with this technique, which I call “The Purpose Formula.” It is designed to give you a clear sense of purpose and how to move in that direction on a daily basis. Here’s what to do…

The Steps
1. Write down your personal mission statement for your life (in one sentence). This is your big picture purpose to always keep in mind.
2. Choose 6-10 major categories in life (see my example below).
3. Write your purpose for each category (there can be more than one per category).
4. Next to each purpose, write down a habit, routine or tangible things you can do every day (or every week) to move in that direction.
5. Do it! Implement the habits you’ve outlined, focusing on your most important one first.

My Purpose Formula

(Note: I wrote this first, which actually led me to develop The Purpose Formula, so I’m sharing the prelude which created the catharsis for me as well)

Now, since I’m beginning a new chapter of my book, I want to set clear intentions. I want to set a clear direction to head in, to use the metaphor of a road trip.

I need a big picture purpose, but also something that translates into tangible daily actions.

Personal Mission Statement:
Continuously expand my perspective and inspire the hearts of others.

Health:

  • Eat natural, local food – Go to Farmer’s markets at least once per week.
  • Balance alcohol consumption – Limit 2 drinks (good craft beers of course) per night out then switch to water or club soda.

Fitness:

  • Get even leaner and stronger – HIIT every morning, walk a lot, bodyweight workouts 5x per week (improving each workout).
  • Become more flexible – Stretch every morning, yoga at least 2x per week.

Spiritual Progression:

  • Meditate more – Meditate every morning upon waking and afternoon/night as well.

Writing:

  • Continuously improve and express myself through writing – One blog post per week, work towards the completion of a book every day.

Career:

  • Writing – Continuous improvement, expressing potent truths, inspiring and entertaining (daily practices outlined in Writing section).
  • Inspire more people – Through writing, making videos (every day), creating more courses and just living my truth in daily life.
  • Expand my healing abilities – Meditate more, promote my online coaching and Reiki practice. Spark that brilliance within people in a one on one setting
  • Other – Getting involved in other projects that resonate with me to earn more money, learn new skills and broaden my life experience (ex/ freelance writing opportunities).

Relationships:

  • Attract a beautiful partner to learn and grow with – Embody the qualities of a person I wish to attract, do things I love and don’t hesitate to say hi or reach out to people.
  • Attract or find a tribe and deep relationships – See above.
  • Deepen my connection with friends and family – Speak my inner truth. Embrace human connection. Reach out to people. Genuinely be interested in them. Be there to help. Show gratitude. Never hold back genuine compliments.

Travel:

  • See more of the world – Visit places that are calling me. Plan an interesting trip within the next 6 months.

Nature:

  • Hike more – Hike a mountain or trail at least once per week.
  • Connect with nature – Visit a cool natural place at least twice per week (park, body of water, hiking, ocean…etc.).

Knowledge:

  • Read more books – PhotoRead at least one book per week. Read every night too.

A Note on Habits

Attempting to establish multiple new habits at once will just overwhelm you. So if you outline your Purpose Formula and see that you have several new habits which you want to implement, focus on one habit at a time.

Also, make sure that the habits you outline are as simple and easy as possible. If habits are not simple and easy (especially at first), they can become intimidating and you probably won’t stick to it.

Set one habit in one area of life as your priority and focus on creating that habit first. Once it becomes embedded and is second nature to you, then move on to implementing a new habit. Habits take 66 days to become automatic, so implement a habit for at least 66 days before starting a new habit. Remember, your purpose is the epitome of a long-term endeavor, so there’s no need to rush.

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.
– Bill Gates

 
Know where you’re headed and embrace the journey.

Now I’ll leave you with the obvious question: What’s your purpose?

Much love.

– Stevie P!

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Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great remains ad-free and I’d like to keep it that way. As you probably know, a lot of work and focus goes into maintaining a website and regularly posting publishing quality, life-enhancing articles from the heart. If you find value in this content, please consider supporting Feelin’ Good, Feelin’ Great. You can become a monthly contributor with the amount of your choosing.


 

How to Channel Your Inner 2pac and Ravenously Create

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Taking a step back a few days ago, I found myself muttering, “Now I know how 2pac felt.”

I’m in the midst of the most productive weeks of my life. By a long shot. And to be honest, I almost feel like a superhero with newly attained powers; sure-footed yet surprised, and impressed to the point of slight skepticism regarding the sudden jump in abilities.

I have a burning desire to express as much as I possibly can, blended with a deep-seated sense of urgency to create, create, create. Then create some more.

Due to a deluge of techniques and lifestyle hacks I’ve employed, inspiration is hitting like a young Mike Tyson and creation has transformed from a “should” to a “must.” It’s an extended version of the “flow state” that so many artists talk about. Something that the late, great Tupac Shakur was intimately familiar with.

The King of Content

2pac had an insane work ethic, to the point of it becoming a form of modern mythology. The amount of material he produced in his short life is absolutely stunning. He would write and record ravenously, diving into sessions of intense focus like he wouldn’t live to see tomorrow (which eventually came to fruition, as it does for all of us).

In contemplating what drove ‘Pac to be a such a creation machine, I was able to distill it into three key points…

1. Sense of purpose

2pac had so much to share with the world. He was immensely intent on sparking people’s brains and instigating positive change in the world. This is why he touched on such a multitude of topics and dabbled in almost every form of artistic expression.

This quote encapsulates his innate sense of purpose…

“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac Shakur

If you have an intrinsic sense of purpose, absolutely nothing stands between you and what you wish to accomplish. When you live for something greater than yourself, there is no such thing as being tired. There are no complaints. The phrase “I can’t” doesn’t exist.

Purpose is what fuels that burning desire that exists deep within all of us.

I wrote extensively on finding purpose in this article, “Reveal Your Life’s Purpose by Asking These 15 Questions.”

2. Death as motivation (A deep-seated sense of urgency)

2pac put in work like his demise was imminent (even well before it really was).

We’re not promised tomorrow. Death is the only certainty in life. Most people mentally comprehend this, but they live in denial of this fact. Truly knowing and feeling it on a deep level is what drives that kind of motivation that 2pac and many other great creators had.

If you were to die right now, would you be satisfied with what you did here on Earth? Ask yourself that.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

With death as motivation, there is no time to waste, there is no time to procrastinate, only time to fully express, from the depths of your being, what you truly need to do.

Create, create, create. Express the brilliant wisdom of your heart. Because you never know when you’re going to withdraw from your physical vessel…

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

3. Sticking to “systems.”

Building off of the last two points, which are more like states of consciousness, you must consistently take action to create at a high level. Action is the currency of our reality. It is what you must exchange in order to achieve anything.

The most effective method for continuous creation is developing systems. What a system is, is a regular routine with a purpose. As an example, here’s what I did to write every book of mine… I focused on doing something every day, no matter how small. Some days I got in the zone and wrote pages upon pages. Other days I edited one sentence (true story). I just focused on doing at least something every day, and before I knew it, I had a finished product. This technique is infinitely more effective than just saying “I want to write a book.” Most new years resolutions (and goals in general) fail because people merely dream of a goal, without implementing a system or routine to propel themselves in the right direction.

2pac didn’t have a fancy, detailed system. His system was simple. He just wrote and recorded every single day. That’s it. He had a vision and a purpose which he executed by hurtling headlong into daily action. At one point, he was recording as much as 3 to 4 songs a day. Now that’s impressive.

It seems obvious, but most people severely underestimate the power of consistent action. Relentlessly pursuing progress and persistently taking action results in gargantuan growth over time.

“Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.” -John Di Lemme

A note on time management:
You might say “I don’t have the time to create.” Which is a bullshit, disempowered excuse. If you incorporate the above techniques, you will make time. As Gandhi once said, “Actions dictate where priorities lie.”

With a higher purpose, a deep sense of urgency, and a system to take consistent action, you too have the capacity to channel your inner 2pac and become a ravenous creator.

We all have brilliantly unique gifts to share with the world. The greatest tragedy is dying with yours inside.

Don’t hesitate, create.

– Stevie P

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How To Be An Alchemist When Faced With Rejection

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Rejection helped propel me to where I am now.

It was borderline comical at one point… I faced so much rejection and missed opportunities with women, to the extent that I thought something was wrong with me. But before I threw my hands up in defeat and hurled myself into to vicious cycle of self-pity, I used rejection as a major catalyst for self-improvement.

The story goes…

I was a virgin until I was 21, and not by (conscious) choice haha. I wasn’t comfortable with myself, desperate to fit in, had no genuine confidence and the assertiveness of a limp noodle. The perfect recipe for great (un)success in the female department. But on top of that, because of societal conditioning, I was hopelessly dead set on “getting girls.” It was like an eagle living on the ground just because all of the other creatures are doing it.

During college, I had a streak of (almost) sexual encounters that were painfully close to coming to fruition, but nothing happened. It was frustrating to say the least, but the Universe was welcomely whispering to me that I needed to be more self-confident and assertive.

I took heed. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, this series of experiences became a catalyst for my personal growth and development. It sparked something deep within, and I’ve been on a journey of continuous growth ever since.

Literally everything changed once I cultivated self-love and started to become comfortable in my own skin.

As Ralph Smart says, “love yourself 100%” because that’s the point from which everything else falls into place.

Note: I’m not saying that I changed and went all Wilt Chamberlain. I just honed the genuine confidence to go after what I wanted. Nothing was done out of spite, fear or ego, which is why I’m still on good terms with every woman I’ve had an intimate relationship with (oh heyyy, if you’re reading this). And this improvement carried over into every other aspect of life as well.

What actually sparked the idea for this post was an interesting weekend I recently had. I went out Friday and Saturday night in Portland, Maine (great little city btw). I must have talked to 30-40 different girls over the weekend (young women, if you want to be politically correct), but nothing came to fruition. It was a bit disheartening, but these so-called rejections are actually a blessing in disguise. Why? I’ll get to that soon.

The main point is this… Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” ― Steve Maraboli

 

It never seems like it in the moment, but with hindsight that quote always proves true.

Now let’s get to the action items…

How to change your perception of rejection (and become a ‘rejection alchemist’):

1. Don’t take things too seriously.

Why are you taking things so seriously? Let go and enjoy life. Drop all the self-created fear and step into your true potential. Not taking yourself, or the world too seriously, is a major factor in cultivating genuine happiness and self-confidence.

Have fun with your life, and you’ll end up attracting kindred spirits (see #3).

“I asked the girl at the coffee shop out on a date. Unfortunately she said no, probably because I asked her out to coffee.
” ― Jarod Kintz

 

2. Rejection is a tremendous learning opportunity.

Rejection reveals great opportunities to fine-tune yourself. It shows you of any character flaws you have, guiding you along the path of self-mastery.

It’s also an opportunity to stop overanalyzing everything; a sign to let go and unleash your unique brand of awesomeness.

“Bad luck with women is a determined man’s road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.” ― Criss Jami

 

Use rejection as fuel for self-improvement. It provides a golden opportunity to get better at something, or a lot of things. Rejection lays out the path to continue growing into the greatest version of yourself.

3. You attract the same energy you put out.

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

 

Like attracts like.

Sometimes those people just aren’t compatible with you on an energetic level. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong places. This is why I don’t have much “luck” in bars. Because the setting usually (though not all the time) attracts people with a certain energetic/mental-emotional state. And that state isn’t too compatible with where I’m at right now. I’m probably better off meeting women at a yoga studio or something like that. (Where my yoga girls at!?)

Be who you want to attract, live your own truth and reality eventually conforms.

4. Sometimes it’s just them.

Maybe they were too consumed with their own inner turmoil to see your awesomeness. Most people are too preoccupied with their own dysfunction to effectively interact with others. So don’t take it personally if people don’t respond well. Just don’t be captain creeper, of course.

Be yourself, without harming yourself or others, and let go. That’s what allows everything to naturally fall into place.

Every rejection presents potent opportunities to better yourself…

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Just as this blog is the mental/emotional manifestation of ‘rejection alchemy’, this picture is the physical manifestation. Self-improvement > self-pity.

 “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” -Lao Tzu

 

Our society focuses on manipulating or changing others to get what you desire, but changing yourself is the only way to bring about change.

Be grateful for everything you have, while continuously improving. Always grateful, never complacent.

Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

Swords are only forged in intense heat. Diamonds are created only through immense pressure.

Uncover your inherent greatness.

Infinite Love.

-Stevie P!

Why Meditation Is An Indispensable Tool For The Information Age

Why is meditation so necessary in this age of information saturation?

Because it’s a break. A break from absorbing. A vacation from the state of mental-overload.

You temporarily halt the assault of data input through your senses.

Metaphor #1:
Think of it like when the star of a basketball team gets a much-needed 2 minute break on the bench. All they need is a little time to catch their breath, then they jump back into the game, giving it their all until the sound of the final buzzer. Without a short break, fatigue would accumulate and his/her performance would suffer. Your mind is the star player, and meditation is the much-needed short break.

Most of us are constantly absorbing, leaving us with no “break”, let alone an opportunity to create something.

Metaphor #2:
Our minds are like a mop. A mop absorbs liquid and cleans a floor. Our minds absorb information and we act on that information. Mops periodically have to be squeegeed before they become over-saturated and lose functionality (turning the floor into a big, dirty puddle). Our minds have to be cleared before they become over-saturated and lose functionality (ie paralysis by analysis, information overload, anxiety, over-thinking…etc). We need to clear our minds regularly in order to maintain optimal functionality.

Meditation is cleaning the mind clutter.

Meditation is a break from the constant external bombardment of the information age.

And this break I’m talking about allows for 4 things:

1. Inner peace, joy, harmony, love- You know the feeling when it strikes. You just know.

2. Inspiration– It clears all of the noise (input) and allows inspiration to come through. This is when you can get great ideas. People come up with their best ideas when they’re relaxed and at ease. Meditation is the epitome of that state.

3. Self-resetting- Meditation is a reset for your entire being. Mind, body, and spirit. It’s a reset button that leaves you feeling refreshed and anew.

4. Increased focus- When you clear your mind, you allow it to function at its full capacity. The mind doesn’t function well when it’s constantly cluttered, preoccupied, and tired. It’s so much easier to focus on the task at hand when you regularly practice meditation.

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I came across the following lil gem while writing this:
“…and if we don’t actively reset ourselves, then we miss out on the joy that is life, and we overlook the astounding beauty that lies in each moment. Life is a gift and a treasure, and the best revenge truly is living well.” -Dylan Charles

Here’s a quick guide on the basics of meditation. And remember, meditation can come in various forms. Whenever you’re in a state of no-thought, just simply being, that’s meditation.

Break and create!

Once you “free your mind” you’ll get all kinds of inspiration out of nowhere. So much that you’ll feel an insatiable urge to create. And what you create will be completely up to you.

Relax your mind. Be a creator.

Stay feelin’ good, feelin’ great.

-Stevie P