6 Books That Shaped Me

I wouldn’t be where I am today or do what I’m doing without the help of some pretty powerful books like The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, and the one that catapulted me to the next level, The Secret to Success by Eric Thomas. Reading these books have given me new life and I’m incredibly thankful for the journey that they’ve taken me on. They’ve allowed me to develop a skill that I once despised. Reading has allowed me to believe in things that I didn’t think once were possible. There are hundreds of books and articles that I have yet to track down but I will continue to get inspiration from reading, and reading daily. Again, the key is to apply what I read to my everyday life. This process is going to develop my creativity and help me with that next big business plan or habit that’s going to better me as a person.

Growing up, I hated reading. I was really invested in my athletics so used that as an excuse of not diving into a good book, that very likely could have helped me during my sporting career. I just didn’t see the benefits, nor did I have the patience at the time. I had every excuse in the world when it came to not reading, like believing I got bored easily, I couldn’t retain the information, or I was just wasting my time. I wish I could go back and kick myself for thinking like that that. Reading is just like any other skill needed to perform, you need to PRACTICE in order to get better. Right now, I don’t consider myself a good reader but the more I do it, the more I can see myself remember what I’m reading and actually understanding the concepts from each page.

Every book I read now, I’m taking notes and highlighting things that I believe to be important. It’s easy for me now to go back and think about a concept or idea the author elaborated on because of the note taking habit I developed. In addition, I also try to write how I interpret each message. It may or may not be the correct explanation but it allows me to get my thoughts down and it allowed me to challenge myself. Again, I wouldn’t say I’m a good reader but I definitely am taking steps towards being one. I also understand that so many books and articles are packed with knowledge. Without knowledge, how do we learn?

An important concept I am working on is taking action on the things that I learn through reading. My favorite genre is personal development and when I first started out reading these types of books, I would just read them quickly without analyzing the important themes. I didn’t take the time to really engage or take what I read and I apply them to my daily routines. After a while of not really getting the results I was after, I started taking the approach or mindset that if I read about a concept that would better my relationship with my peers or a skill that is going to get me a promotion, why wouldn’t I apply what I’ve learned to those relationships or in my current job? I’m not really going to know what works or what doesn’t work without trying anything so why don’t I see and go from there. Reading does only take you so far but it’s the process that allows you to develop your brain and imagine possibilities.

What type of books do you enjoy reading? Any life-changers in there for you? Any on your bucket list? If you enjoyed reading this, head over to my blog for more!

Stay inspired and read often!