Welcome to my first quarterly book report!
This month we’re talking about going deeper on ambition and goal setting.

Whenever I get a bit of free time to myself, I absolutely love sinking my teeth into a good book. I have to admit; I’m a little bit of a reading and data nerd. As a result, I wanted to find some way to keep myself accountable on my reading, so I decided to organize these quarterly ‘book reports’ for you, and pull out highly useful information that you can apply to your life.

I see myself as a player in ‘the ambition business,’ I’m truly passionate about helping women think bigger and play bigger, but it’s often difficult to clarify what we actually want. Perhaps it’s because women are so often raised to be accommodating and people pleasers, I often work with women to ‘un-enmesh’ what other people want for us from what we want for ourselves. So this month I looked at three books, The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine, The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, and The Crossroads of Should and Must, and pulled out what I think can help you, if you’re looking for new insight on your own path.

And for those of you who want a few short and sweet takeaways, here’s my top:

The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine

  • Having many interests does not mean you won’t be successful! What you need is a strategy for which to focus on now.
  • Attention is a resource that cannot be infinitely subdivided. Choose 4-5 ‘focal points’ , eg. current passions or interests you want to focus on right now. You can always swap them out later but committing now is good.
  • If your work is not fulfilling your interests, at least find a way to align it with pushing one of your focal points forward, whether that’s a subject connection, or a resource, like free photocopying you can get access to.




The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte

  • Feeling empty after reaching your goals? Perhaps you need “goals with the soul,” eg. goals based on your core desired feelings—how you want to feel.
  • Feeling performance anxiety before a big pitch or conversation? Focus on how you want to feel during the experience instead of the outcome.
  • Hustling and hard work is powerful, but some leaps in life take working less hard and simplifying rather than more nose to the grindstone.



The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

  • Getting clear on what the ‘shoulds’ in your life are—versus the ‘musts’ (what you really, deep down inside want your contribution to be) is a jump but it can be done!
  • Not sure what your musts are? Look back to childhood for clues, try out a few activities that push you out of your comfort zone, or sit down and have a conversation with your ‘should’ to understand how it works and might be constraining your thinking.
  • It’s never ‘too late for you.’ If you ever need inspiration on this fact, there’s a page with each decade and a person who started something in their life during that decade…if marathon runners who started in their sixties can start, don’t ‘cry over the spilled milk’ in your life.



Has this been helpful? I’d love to know.

Hi I'm Maya

Mia Scharphie , career coach, headshot

I’m a career coach and strategist with a secret power (I mean, past career) as a designer. I love road trips, graphic novels and helping people like you design the career you love on your own terms.