All the growth you achieve in life whether is professional or personal, starts with one thing: Self-knowledge.As we begin 2019, whether you want to strengthen your relationships, improve your job or enhance your health — you can’t do it without knowing yourself. Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who lived in the 6th century BC, put it best: “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” Self-knowledge is a skill, not a trait, talent, or divine insight. At the Partnership Brokers Association (PBA) reflective practice is a core tenet of our training and practice. Prior to my involvement with PBA I didn’t spend as much time as I do now reflecting on myself, my life, and my relationships. I now know that was a disadvantage.I’m getting better at it and with practice feel I am continuing to improve. And the impact on my life has been significant. I believe that knowing yourself is the key skill that predicts happiness and success in life. I’m happy to share with you two books that have really affected my thinking. I hope they will assist you too.The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreBy Brené BrownNew York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate your courage, compassion, and connection and to embrace your imperfections. The key message of the book - recognize that “you are enough”.Each day we encounter so many messages, images, and stories telling us who, what, and how we should live. It challenges many of us to think, “if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate.” As Ms. Brown states, many of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, “What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself?”In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness. In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.” Powerful words and reflections! 5 out of 5: Highly Recommend.Become What You AreBy Alan Watts"Life exists only at this very moment, and in this moment it is infinite and eternal. For the present moment is infinitely small; before we can measure it, it has gone, and yet it exists forever. . . . You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now."—From Become What You AreThe book was first published in 1955 but holds the same amount of value and wisdom today as it did back then. As a collection of essays and writings, Watts use wisdom and plain language to share his interpretations of Eastern thought for Westerners. He draws on a variety of religious traditions, and covers topics such as the challenge of seeing one's life "just as it is," the Taoist approach to harmonious living, the limits of language in the face of ineffable spiritual truth, and the psychological symbolism of Christian thought. Much emphasis is given on the Changing nature of life.It might sound challenging but I highly recommend this book, especially those who are forming their own paths. 5 out of 5!