Michael’s Required Reading: “Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul”

As human beings, I think we have an innate desire to achieve, to pursue the quest of doing more and being more. In my book Wake Up Happy, I wanted to take a look at the set of tools I used to do that—the rituals, ideas, and formulas that helped set me up for the personal and professional wins in my life. In the book, I turned to other experts and people who’ve thought deeply and written about the power of positive thinking and transformation, and I’ve come up with a list of books that have become like sacred texts to me. For one reason or another, at some point in my life, these books have all helped me to develop a winning attitude, and to put my most productive habits to work to craft the life of my dreams. And now I’m hoping these books might do the same for you, too. 


In my last “Required Reading” post, I talked about the importance of creating healthy, mindful habits. As you might have guessed, reading is an important part of my routine, especially in the early morning. I always read a few paragraphs of an inspiring book before I get out of bed. One of my favorite morning reads is a book called Journey to the Heart. My friend LG gave it to me, and like the music I listen to in the a.m., it sets the tone for my day. I think about my brain the same way I think about my body: You put junk in, you get junky results. You put something positive in and you get a better result. One of my favorite quotes from the book is this one: 

The mind is connected to the heart. Value the power of clear, conscious thought. Value your mind and its power by valuing the wisdom and power of an open heart. 

I think about that quote a lot throughout the day: when I’m walking to work and someone stops me to take a photo and my first thought is, “I can’t be late to work.” I’ll think about the quote and remember that taking a photo with someone who is kind enough to be a fan is one way to keep an open heart. I’ll think about the quote when we have a guest on GMA or on Strahan, Sara & Keke who is a little reserved, and I have to challenge myself to stay in the moment and keep asking questions, instead of thinking ahead to the next guest and the rest of my day. And I’ll think about the quote when my daughter Sophia calls me unexpectedly and I’m so happy to hear from her that time literally stops and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather do than talk to her. Then after our phone call, I’ll feel how I’m energized—like I just had two cups of coffee—and how I’m ready and happy, clear and consciousto attack the rest of my day. Reading my daily quote grounds me.