Books That Have Inspired Me

While I do not profess to be a daily reader, I do enjoy having a book on my nightstand. I am probably the slowest reader that I know and will often take months to read a book cover to cover. There are times in my life when I need just a few paragraphs to inspire and motivate me.

And I often wonder if it is by chance or divine intervention that causes me to pick up a book at my local Barnes and Noble. I remember about 2 years ago, picking up a copy of Bob Burg's "The Go-Giver" and being so inspired by the words in his book that I emailed Bob directly. Bob's almost immediate response and his willingness to provide guidance to me has inspired me to do the same for others that have entered my life. To this day, I update Bob and he has become a valued source of information and leadership in my life.

Each book has a special place in my life and I would encourange you to pick up copies of these books, but I will share with you the importance of feeding your brain with inspiration and positive thoughts. Turn off the television and take time to fill up with good stuff that will advance you professionally and personally.

The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard (Amazon description): The One Minute Manager is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. The book also presents several studies in medicine and the behavioral sciences that clearly explain why these apparently simple methods work so well with so many people. By the book's end you will know how to apply them to your own situation and enjoy the benefits.

The Present by Spencer Johnson (Goodreads description) The Present is an engaging story of a young man’s journey to adulthood, and his search for The Present, a mysterious and elusive gift he first hears about from a great old man. This Present, according to the old man, is “the best present a person can receive.” Later, when the young boy becomes a young man, disillusioned with his work and his life, he returns to ask the old man, once again, to help him find The Present. The old man responds, “Only you have the power to find The Present for yourself.” So the young man embarks on a tireless search for this magical gift that holds the secret to his personal happiness and business success.It is only after the young man has searched high and low and given up his relentless pursuit that he relaxes and discovers The Present—and all of the promises it offers. The Present will help you focus on what will make you happier and more successful in your work and in your personal life, today! Like the young man, you may find that it is the best gift you can give yourself.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch Living your life to the fullest. (Amazon description) What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy? When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living. In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill I was first given a copy of this book in 1992 at the age of 26 by my father. I was out of a job and trying to figure out my next move in life. This book changed my life (Amazon description) Think and Grow Rich has been called the "Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature." It was the first book to boldly ask, "What makes a winner?" The man who asked and listened for the answer, Napoleon Hill, is now counted in the top ranks of the world's winners himself. The most famous of all teachers of success spent "a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort" to produce the "Law of Success" philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized in this one.

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann Inspiration, motivation and lessons about why giving more will ultimately reward you more. (Amazon description) The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman. Over the next week, Pindar introduces Joe to a series of “go-givers:” a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial adviser, a real estate broker, and the “Connector,” who brought them all together. Pindar’s friends share with Joe the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success and teach him how to open himself up to the power of giving. Joe learns that changing his focus from getting to giving—putting others’ interests first and continually adding value to their lives—ultimately leads to unexpected returns.