Valpeo Blog

Holiday Book Recommendations: our must-reads for the festive season

Are you hoping to find some time for a good book this festive season? Or are you looking for a great gift idea? If so, you could probably use some well-thought-out tips. Our partners share their recommendations for what books to read this holiday season. Discover Valpeo Accredited Partner Lorette Theron’s (The Insight Out) must read.

Emotional Agility: Get unstuck, embrace change and thrive in work and life. – Susan David

1. Why is this book a must-read?

This book is a must-read that can have a great impact on reframing how we think about our emotions and how we react. Susan David is a Harvard Medical School psychologist who has been researching emotions for over 20 years. She has found that no matter how intelligent, resilient, or creative people are, when they ignore how situations or interactions make them feel, they miss opportunities to gain insight, getting hooked by thoughts, emotions, and habits that prevent them from reaching their full potential.

2. What is the key message of the book?

Emotionally agile people experience the same stresses and setbacks as anyone else, but they know how to adapt, aligning their actions with their values and making small changes that lead to a life of growth. The book is written like a journey of becoming aware of the following:

  • We are usually in autopilot mode and get hooked on thoughts, which triggers our beliefs and actions. “Getting yourself hooked begins when you accept thoughts as facts” – Susan David
  • Once we get hooked, we have certain coping methods, such as bottling up or brooding about it. The so-called bad emotions, like anger and sadness, serve a purpose and should not be ignored or eliminated with toxic positivity. 
  • We have to show up to our own feelings, thoughts and experiences with acceptance and without judgement.
  • We can step away from our hooks by following a number of steps, such as mindfulness, identifying values and then walking your why. Valpeo’s values orientation survey can help identify those personal values.

We can then move on by applying tiny tweaks and constantly striving towards an optimal level of growth and not falling back into our comfort zones.

Emotional agility is about getting on with life. It involves moving toward clear, challenging, yet achievable goals that you pursue not because you think you have to, or because you’ve been told to, but because you want to, because they’re important to you.” — Susan David

3. Who should read this book?

This is the type of book that will be noticed on the shelf mostly by people who are already focused on understanding their own emotional literacy or wanting to grow. Those who tend to ignore books like this should read this book, so it can be a great subtle gift inside the cover of a crime novel. Since we all tend to go into autopilot and comfort zones, this is recommended to everyone. There are also many supportive resources on that can enrich the reading experience.

Do you want to discover other must-reads for the festive season? Read Stefan Peetroons' blog about 'Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself'.