Books

Top Posts Of 2017

It's pretty wild how fast a year can whip on by. 2018 is here!

Many friends & audience members have been asking me where the hell I've been lately. I more or less disappeared from all online platforms since July.

Truth is I've been doing some deep inner work that I plan on sharing at some point, but not quite just yet...

Nonetheless, to close out the year I figured I'd do a highlight reel of some of my best pieces I've composed over the last year. I figure it's a good reminder to myself that I'm just getting started as a blogger/writer.

Plus, I am sure new and old readers alike will discover something new that they can benefit from as all of my creative work is done with the guiding principle of "empowering people to transform & self-actualize."

Some of these are personal favorites and some just got a lot of traction online (and some are both favorites & popular). I've broken them into categories to make it easier for readers to get to a topic they want to read about.

All of these are good articles to use in planning & executing upon your best year yet!

Alchemize Life Top Posts Of 2017:

FitnessHow To Be An Ultra Fit Entrepreneur

This is my overarching philosophy & daily/weekly strategies for being in incredible shape year round.

Meditation: The Four Universal Forms of Meditation

A guide that shows that there are more ways to meditate than just sitting.

Self Knowledge: Rebel With A Cause

I believe that self-knowledge is one of the premier aspects of living an awesome & empowered life. Here is a framework that empowers you to discover how you respond to inner & outer expectations. Super powerful.

Relationships: How To Find Your Twin Flame

We are all looking for love. Here is how I found mine.

Habits: Habit Stacking

We are defined by our habits. Here is how to get more out of the good ones (and the bad ones too).

Life Hack: Physical Alchemy

The body is powerful & wise. Use it to alchemize your life.

Books: Books That Radically Transformed My Life

These are books covering creativity, human potential, money, healing, spirituality & more that have had a huge impact on my life.


Wishing everyone an incredible New Year bursting with love, laughter, family, friends, success, abundance, health, healing, growth, transformation & magic!

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

ALN2: What's Your Vision?

When the communication & contact between self & the Creator become pure, then this we call Vision.
— Stalking Wolf 🐺

Greetings my dear Life Alchemists! 🙌🏼

Here are 10 things I thought were worthy* to share:
*worthy defined as having the potential to alchemize/transform your life in some positive way if you take action on it.

SPECIAL NOTE: Several readers brought up the point that my last newsletter was very "dense." To graciously clarify: it is designed that way so that you can go back to it again & again throughout the month whenever you need some empowering energy for your life. I do NOT recommend trying to read & do everything in one day. Just bookmark the html version and pop it open whenever you need some creative fuel.


1. For my 35th birthday last month I went on a Vision Quest. I wanted to kick-off a new phase in my life & this was the most powerful way I could think of. This experience included an entire week spent in the wilderness. For 4 of those days I was FASTING (water only) in complete solitude & silence. This is an ancient form of experiential transformation. And oh my God! It was the most powerful experience I've ever undergone! Curious? Send me a message with any questions. I am compiling my thoughts on Vision Quests and would love to cover any common questions/concerns. Also, I would be happy to refer you to where & with who I did my Quest if you feel the call. I highly recommend going on a Vision Quest if you feel lost or stuck in life.  They are designed to make you remember why you came here (to Earth). If you want to do your own research here is an awesome book on Vision Quests (opening quote is from the book).

2. I finally started vlogging (video blogging) and I am loving doing it "Live" on Instagram & Facebook (please follow me to see my "Live Stories" -- always full of empowering content!). Here is one episode I saved & posted on embracing fearmistakesfailure & creating empowering meaning in your life:



3. My most popular Instagram post in the last month. A short snippet about "choosing your possibility." 

4. My current favorite tool/toy... a fat-loss monitor! I use this to track trends in my body-fat levels. They say "what gets measured gets managed" & I can attest to this! By tracking & logging my body-fat daily I've managed to stay well under 10% body-fat (visible 6-pack) for over 2 years.

5. Why it is so empowering to have people that are HONEST with you (aka Why I Was Killing My Relationship & My Life). Especially when you are in a rut (yes, I am human and fall into slumps as well).

6. Monthly homage: Shout-out to my dear friend & fellow blogger Kevin Gao (also serial entrepreneur). He was absolutely pivotal in my personal unfolding as a blogger. He is brilliant, funny, a very deep thinker & is always sharing life-enhancing material. Check out his creative work at kevinhabits.com!

7. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins - book I'm re-reading for awesome personal growth & development. 🔥 Yup, still re-reading this! Old me used to rip through books as if speed was the only way to read. I still consume massive amounts of books but lately I have added slow & deliberate re-reading into my personal growth repertoire. I was inspired by Kevin (above) to do this. I will read 1-3 pages and deeply think, write & talk about what I read and learned. I personally discovered that this facilitates deep learning (meaning I actually use the ideas/concepts in my real life AND they stick with me).

8. Speaking of books I finally put together my personal list of Books That Have Radically Transformed My Life! 📚 Do you have any life-changing books that are NOT on this list? If so, please share with me! I am looking for the next epically life-impacting book(s)!

9. Here is an awesome & brilliant short read about The 6 Human Needs. Two of them are: (1) Certainty & (2) Uncertainty... LOL! No wonder we always feel so conflicted in life!

10. My biggest recent learning: Experiment, test & play with everything that you think may even have a slight chance of empowering & enhancing your life. You never know what will really "work" for you until you try it. This has been a game-changer for me! It unlocked me from only writing & creating on my blog. My sense of creative freedom jumped ten fold. I have been testing (and playing) with every publishing platform I can get my hands on. I've completely fallen in love with Quora and still learning how to best use Medium LinkedIn. And yes, totally obsessing over Instagram & Facebook stories (Live & otherwise)

Your alchemical opportunityDo something today or this month that SCARES you! Explore those edges! That is where all the awesome growth & transformation happens! 🤘🏼

Thanks for reading! If you liked this newsletter and want to support it please forward it to a friend! 🙏🏼

If you're seeing the newsletter for first time, you can signup here.

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒

P.S. If there was one thing I could write, podcast, or make a video about what would it be? Email me or send me a tweet with your suggestions! Use hashtag #ALN (Alchemize Life Newsletter) for any tweets or Facebook & LinkedIn posts!

P.P.S. If you missed the April edition of my Newsletter please check it out here! Plenty more awesome material to EMPOWER YOUR LIFE! 🤘🏼

Books That Radically Transformed My Life

Reading is one of the things that brings me the most joy in life.

Reading also happens to be one of the most transformational growth-inducing activities I do daily.

I've been thinking about putting together a list of books that have radically transformed my life for the better for a long time.

I finally realized that I may as well start because I will never be done. And I can always come back & update this as I see fit.

Special note: This is a living-resource that I will continuously curate so don't feel the need to go through all of these as fast as possible. Just pick one book that catches your mind's-eye, take your time with it and come back here for the next one when you're ready!

So, without further ado, here are...

Books That Have Radically Alchemized (Transformed) My Life:

Creativity

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron is one of my biggest mentors. This book was groundbreaking & truly life-changing. It unleashed me as an artist, creative & writer. It taught me to fall in love with journaling--one of the most empowering transformational tools I have in my repertoire. It also linked creativity as a pathway for spiritual communion. This paradigm radically alchemized my life in infinite ways.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Goden

Seth Goden is a brilliant writer & thinker. This book unbound me from own creative suppression. It gave me permission to create & share and naturally allow an audience to form around my creative work.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing & Life by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite writers. This book makes me laugh, cry, reel with delight, soar in intellectual & emotional brilliance & so much more. Her writing makes me desperately want to write. Inspiring and great life advice even if one has no interest in writing.

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

Mason Currey showed me that art & creativity and the work that goes into producing it comes in all shapes, forms, sizes, colors, shades & walks-of-life. There is no one right way. There is a way that works for you. Our job is to find & harness our unique ways that empower our personal creative process.

Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things No One Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon

This book gave me permission to "steal" the work of others, combine it with other works in all fields & topics, and alchemize it all together to make it my own. Short. Fun. Powerful. Read this.

Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon taught me that it is not only okay but actually an integral part of the creative process to show your work even as your are developing it (aka before it's "done"). He empowered me to stop hiding my vulnerability & instead use it as a strength & pathway forward.


Human Potential, Personal Development & Money

Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

First read this as a teenager. Radically transformed my life for the better. Went from loaner & playground bully to powerful social force for achievement as well as leader in all areas of life (school, sports, family, etc). It truly unlocked my potential. Aided me getting to Stanford University & beyond. Re-reading again in my 30s and diligently studying & applying. Having same effect it did when I was teenager.

Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

Same case as above with Awaken The Giant Within.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

Foundational. We are our habits. Everyone should read. Also recommend the teenager version written by the author's son.

Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

This book gave me an obsession with habits. Game-changer. Amazing parenting advice as well. 

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

One of my favorite books on habits & optimal conscious habit-design for your unique temperament. 

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Probably one of the most timeless & popular success books ever written. There is a reason it's on so many incredibly successful people's must-read book-lists.

The Master-Key To Riches by Napoleon Hill

This is a lesser known gem by Napoleon Hill. Short & straightforward, yet you could study it daily for the rest of your life.

The Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman

Dan Millman and this book made me realize & finally "see" the woman of my dreams. For this I will be forever deeply grateful. It also happens to be a life-changing book in many other ways.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere & Join The New Rich by Tim Ferriss

I read this when it first came out in 2007. I instantly thought to myself "Finally! I understand who I want to become!" My vision was similar to Tim Ferriss with the human potential & positive transformation leadership, but with my own alchemical fashion-forward spiritual-hipster twist! Ten years later I am finally living that vision. Forever my deepest gratitude to you, Tim Ferriss for helping me understand, see & live my own personal vision.

Psycho-Cybernetics Maxwell Waltz

Read this at a super young age (thanks Dad!). Awesome book about harnessing your subconscious & building self-esteem.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Incredibly dense book. I don't agree with everything in it (in the sense of actually using the power to my advantage), but I can see how some people operate from some of these more questionable power-paradigms. That said, I strongly believe that having knowledge & awareness around power-dynamics is paramount to creating & protecting the life you do want to live.

Creating Money: Attracting Abundance by Sanaya Roman & Duane Packer

This book finally gave me the spiritual-connection to money that I had been seeking for so long.

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Classic. Another book that is on many super-performers must-read lists. No matter what field of business you are in this will be of the utmost service to your life-journey.

Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success by Carol S. Dweck

For a "recovering-perfectionist" like myself this book was life-transforming. I recommend this book to all students (those in formal schooling like high-school & college as well a life-students) and anyone who has kids or ever wants to have kids. This book teaches you how to learn & grow. It teaches you how to cultivate a learning/growth-mindset in your children. Powerful stuff.

Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This book gifted me with one of my core-values: grit (defined as passion & perseverance). A great companion to Mindset (above).

The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday taught me to "follow the process, not the prize." This led me to fall in love with the journey of writing, blogging, business-building, etc. It is also an essential book to pick-up & re-read whenever one is feeling blocked by an obstacle.

A Guide To The Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine

A practical guide to the life philosophy of Stoicism and how to apply it in our modern world. The amount of joy I've experienced on a regular basis after reading this book & incorporating the lessons within it has been nothing short of AMAZING! If you read nothing else, just read the part about Negative Visualization. It will change your life for the better!

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide To Creating Success On Your Own Terms by Danielle LaPorte

This book really helped me get clear on what success really deeply means to me personally (versus being lost to yourself by defining success on other people’s/society’s terms). Great book that leads one to greater Self-Knowledge which is crucial to living a life worth living for!


Healing, Intuition & Spiritual

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay

If I could only give others one book for the rest of my life this would probably be it. It taught me to truly love myself. Get the gift addition (I swear the artistic & colorful pictures empower the healing process).

Prayers to the great creator by Julia cameron

This is a book of prayers & declarations for a meaningful life. My Spirit is stirred just about every time I pick up this book & read from it aloud or in my head.

The Four-Fold Way: Walking The Paths Of The Warrior, Teacher, Healer & Visionary by Angeles Arrien

Life-changing tools & easy-to-read guidebook on harnessing & building within these four archetypes (warrior, teacher, healer & visionary). I grew up with this book thanks to my Mom. It holds a special place in my heart.

The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice by Deborah Adele

Incredibly applicable way to live the philosophy of Yoga in modern-life. Super easy & fun read too.

Voyager Tarot: Way of The Great Oracle by James Wanless (plus Voyager Tarot Deck)

I've been practicing Tarot since 2009 to cultivate my own intuition & build deep self-knowledge. This is my favorite Tarot Deck & its in-depth companion guide.

The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols by Angeles Arrien (plus Thoth Tarot Deck)

This is my favorite book on Tarot which is based on Aleister Crowley's Thoth Deck, my other favorite Tarot deck.

Animal Spirit Guides: An Easy-to-Use Handbook For Identifying & Understanding Your Power Animals & Animal Spirit Helpers by Steven D. Farmer Ph.D.

Spiritual Hipster incarnate. Yes I am! I traverse this magical world with my pack of Power Animals by my side. My family & friends call me "Dragon" and there is very deep meaning behind this. Want to discover your own power animal and/or develop your own totem animal pack? Read this book.

The Book Of Stones: Who They Are & What They Teach by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ashian

A key part of being a Spiritual Hipster is working with gemstones. I've studied this book in-depth for years and know I will constantly go back to it for the rest of my life. Check it out if you've ever felt the energetic call of the enigmatic crystal-allies.

Women Food & God: An Unexpected Path To Almost Anything by Geneen Roth

For much of my life I abused food like a drug. As a result I had an incredibly damaging relationship with both food & my body. This book was an integral part of the healing process. It was written for women, but if you have any food-issues this book will hit-home.

Awakening Spirits: A Native American Path To Inner Peace, Healing & Spiritual Growth by Tom Brown, Jr.

This book inspired me to go on a Vision Quest -- one of the most powerful transformational experiences I've ever undergone. The experience of the quest still continues to unfold its awesome power in my life every day. It also includes the teaching of a very powerful & easy-to-do meditation.


Fiction, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

My favorite Fantasy series of all time. Bar none.

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

My favorite Dragon-themed fantasy series. Dragon is my main power animal so this series holds a special place in my heart. There are also Elves. Another magical soft-spot of mine.

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss

Probably my second favorite fantasy series. It's not finished yet (only two books so far).

Redwall by Brian Jacques

This was the fantasy book that started my lifelong love-affair with fantasy (my favorite form of pleasure reading). I still vividly remember reading this during a childhood multi-day river-rafting/camping trip.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This book taught me to trust the journey and process even when what I am currently doing in life doesn't seem to be leading me where I am supposed to go. It is, it's just in disguise patiently waiting for me to understand, become aware & embrace the journey.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

My favorite Sci-Fi book and the book that caused me to fall in love with Sci-Fi. Ender's Shadow is just as good. I like most whichever I've most recently read.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I made fun of my mom & younger brother for about a year for reading "children's books" (how I ignorantly categorized the Harry Potter books). Then I finally began one and I was hooked. Read the first 3-4 books in about a week. That's how good it was. It also happens to be one of the few fiction series I've read in entirety more than once.


And that's it!  For now... 🤓 📚 🙌🏼

Do you have any books that radically changed your life that are not on this list? If so, please share! Leave me a comment (scroll all the way down), email me, or send me a tweet with your suggestion! 🙏🏼

I am always on the lookout for Life-Alchemizing books and I would love to add your favorite to this list after falling in love with it myself!

In alchemy & service,

Justin David Carl 🌒