5 Books That Have Inspired Me

Jim Rohn said it best: “The book you don’t read, won’t help.”

For as long as I can remember, reading has been one of my greatest joys.   I definitely read for pleasure, but the books that I love and treasure the most are the ones that inspire me to expand my thinking and become a better person. I keep my favorites stacked at the edge of my bed, so that I can always go back to them when I am looking for inspiration.

These five books are some of my favorites: filled with insights, observations, true stories, and research on everything from creating better habits to finding meaning and purpose, and becoming healthier and happier.  Each of these books has impacted me so profoundly that it’s my great pleasure to recommend them to you!

1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl

A life-changing book for me. During the Holocaust, Frankl spent three years as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps. This first part of the book is a memoir.  A retelling of the unthinkable experience of living in the concentrations camps and the power of the human spirit to transcend suffering.  The second part of the book explains Dr. Frankl's philosophy of psychotherapy which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then imagining living that purpose in your mind.

My favorite quote:

"The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love."

2. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

My best friend Anna gave me this book many years ago and it is one that I love to revisit over and over again.  According to author Miguel Ruiz, four agreements in life are fundamental steps on the path to freedom:

My favorite quote:

“Be impeccable with your word.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t make assumptions.  Always do your best.”

 

3.  THINK AND GROW RICH, BY NAPOLEAN HILL

One of my favorites to recommend!  Quick Summary: "What the mind can conceive, and believe, it will achieve."  Written 80 years ago after the author spent 20 years researching the accomplishments and common characteristics of the 500 most successful people of his time. The book sets out the 13 key principles for success identified through this research.

My favorite quote:

“There is no substitute for persistence. The person who makes persistence his watch-word, discovers that “Old Man Failure” finally becomes tired, and makes his departure. Failure cannot cope with persistence.”

4.  The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Habit Change is fascinating to me and is central to all of the work that I do with my clients. How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop shopping addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to stop at the post office after work?   Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business.

My favorite quote:

“The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building successful companies and achieving success is understanding how habits work.”

5.The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Also given to me by my best friend.....She always knows what I should be reading.  The most important and profound message that I got from this book is that we are NOT our thoughts, we are actually the “observer” who hears the thoughts.

My favorite quote:

"The best way to free yourself from this incessant chatter is to step back and view it objectively," Singer writes. "There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind--you are the one who hears it."

Right now I am reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and I love it! 

Here is the description from good reads:  "Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together."

 

Your turn:  What book has inspired you lately?