It is said that a mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimension and from my own experiences, I find that the saying holds true. A little over three years ago, I made a commitment to personal and professional development which led me to reading over 30 books across various topics to-date. Most were good, but some – particularly these five – altered the direction of my life in a tremendous way.
I consider a book to be life-changing based on two key factors: the action it compelled me to take and the new ways of thinking I developed as a result. Additionally, because I have re-read all these books at least 3 times each and listened to them in audio format for hundreds of hours, it would be safe to assume that they were indeed an influential part of my life.
“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” – Zig Ziglar
In 2013, I decided that I needed to get my life together and this was one of the very first books I read following that decision. After finishing the book, quite literally, nothing was ever the same again. I remember the experience of reading Rich dad Poor Dad being akin to having a blindfold I’d been wearing all my life finally taken off and being able to see for the very first time.
Not only did I gain tremendous insight from this book about how the rich thought about money, I was inspired to take action. I taught myself how to invest, and though I was broke and unemployed at the time, I even started planning for my retirement and buying stocks at age 21 – things I knew nothing of and had never considered prior. This was, and still is, one of the best decision of my adult life and the beginning of a catalyst that led me to becoming a Financial Educator.
Somehow, back in 2013, I had stumbled upon the author’s website and had 3 complimentary chapters of the book emailed to me. I couldn’t stop reading them and immediately purchased the full book afterwards. Talk about being gut punched! Reading this book was something like being slapped so hard, my mind completely shifted. It was quite…an experience. In my opinion, this is one of the best books of this generation on mindset, business and entrepreneurship – bar none.
Prior to reading TMF, I had become very unhappy in my corporate job and was desperately searching for a successful way out (like most others are). After completing the book, though it took me another few weeks to leave my job, not only was I ready for the journey into entrepreneurship, I also felt equipped with the exact knowledge I needed to take a chance on myself – and so I did.
I became intrigued with this book for no reason other than 50 Cent being its co-author, and though I never quite knew what to expect, what I got was more than I imagined I would. Even before finishing the introduction, I felt like a dark veil was slowly being removed from my face. I became vividly aware of exactly how much of my life was spent living in a shell of baseless fear – fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of fear itself, and the list goes on. My entire demeanor changed.
The amazing part about realization is that it empowers and guides action. At the time that I read this book, for more than a few reasons, my self-image was very poor and I decided that that was going to change. And change it did! I became a different woman from then on – one who was no longer afraid of “rocking the boat” or simply speaking up. What a difference that made!
This is a book of fundamental and practical personal finance principles and I never conclude a finance-related speaking engagement without including it in my top 3 recommended reads; that’s how good it is. This book of parables, an all-time classic, is one of the simplest books I can remember ever reading. Unfortunately, because the principles outlined are so simply and seemingly obvious, they are easily and often ignored.
And after much ignoring on my part, I finally decided to start following the principles in this book, particularly 7 Cures for a Lean Purse and The 5 Laws of Gold, which helped me to climb out of financial hardship at a time when I knew struggle so well, it started to feel normal. Up to today – especially today – I continue to follow these principles.
This book was published over 100 years ago and remains in print today because though it is old, it truly is a book of substance. Simpler put: It is old because it is good. The primary theme of this book is “doing things in a Certain Way“. That is, thinking in accordance to definiteness of vision and purpose while holding steadfast to faith and gratitude – but in a very practical manner.
While not everyone holds the belief that our thoughts carry energy and the power of manifestation, I personally do and hence why this book was a key read for me. Since reading (and re-reading over 20 times), I became very cognizant of the thoughts I hold and appearances that I accept as “truth” which changed my life significantly.
Additionally, The Science of Being Great, the second book in this series is also a fulfilling read.
Note: Because no two persons have the exact same experiences and perceptions, no two persons will ever read the same book. However, I do hope that you will find value in these five books (if you haven’t already) and that they will have as great of an impact on you as they did on me.A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Click To Tweet