15 Books That Destroyed My ‘Mediocre’ Life

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Someone once said to me that the position we will find ourselves in our life in the next five years will be in direct relation to the people we associate with and the books we read.

Well I can’t introduce you personally to the wonderful people who have influenced my life in the past years, but I can certainly introduce you to 15 books that absolutely and completely destroyed my acceptance of any mediocrity that was hovering under the surface of my life.

So here are just  15  books that, if you read them, and apply the principles taught within them, they will revolutionize your life.  In fact they will mess you up completely for accepting anything less than excellence and the best for you and your family into the future. Sorry about that.

For every one of them has impacted my life in a positive way, and I know that they can do the same for you.

1. The Magic Of Thinking Big

This is the only  book that I have literally worn out from continuous reading(yes the photo above is the version that I own that is dog eared, faded and worn out from over-use). It is the type of book that you can pick up at any page and be inspired to action.  True to its word this book will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and – most important of all – find greater happiness and peace of mind.

The writer of this book challenges his readers to set our goals high and to then exceed them.
Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and — most important of all — find greater happiness and peace of mind.

The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction — but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. This book gives you those secrets!

* Believe You Can Succeed and You Will
* Cure Yourself of the Fear of Failure
* Build Confidence and Destroy Fear
* Think and Dream Creatively
* You Are What You Think You Are
* Make Your Attitudes Your Allies
* Learn How to Think Positively
* Turn Defeat into Victory
* Use Goals to Help You Grow
* Think Like a Leader

I keep returning to this wonderful book time and time again – never growing tired of it’s refreshing content.

2. As A Man Thinketh

Our thought life influences who we are and what we achieve, and ‘this little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise on the much-written upon subject of the power of thought. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth.’ The author, James Allen  presents his brilliant inspirational essays on thought and consciousness in this small volume.

3. The Richest Man In Babylon

Read by millions  – including me, this timeless book holds the key to success-in the secrets of the ancients. Based on the famous “Babylonian principles,” it’s been hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift and financial planning.  This celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of-and a solution to-personal money problems.This is the original classic that reveals the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn even more money. Simply put:  this is the original money-management favorite .

4. Think & Grow Rich

‘During our ten-year association, I learned the missing number to my combination for worldwide successful achievement. The Master Mind Principle: two or more persons working together in complete harmony toward a mutual goal or goals…Napoleon Hill’s philosophy teaches you what you were never taught. Specifically: How to Recognize, Relate, Assimilate and Apply principles whereby you can achieve any goal whatsoever that doesn’t violate Universal Law – the Law of God and the rights of your fellowman…’ W. Clement Stone Chairman, Combined International Corporation President, The Napoleon Hill Foundation

‘During the past twenty-five years I have been blessed with more good fortune than any individual deserves, but I shudder to think where I’d be today, or what I’d be doing if I had not been exposed to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. It changed my life.’ Og Mandino, Author and Lecturer

‘I knew Napoleon Hill in 1922 when I was a student in Salem College in the town of my birth. Mr. Hill came to our campus as the commencement speaker in that year. As I listened to him, I heard something other than just the words he spoke, I felt the substance – the wisdom – and the spirit of a man and his philosophy. Mr. Hill said “the most powerful instrument we have in our hand is the power of our mind.” Napoleon Hill compiled this philosophy of American achievement for the benefit of all people. I strongly commend this philosophy to you for achievement and service in your chosen field.’ Senator Jennings Randolph West Virginia

A must for anyone wanting to improve their lives and their positive thinking. There have been more millionaires and indeed, billionaires, who have made their fortunes as a result of reading this success classic than any other book every printed. Napolean Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is the authors most famous work. This is the COMPLETE Reference Book. A true masterpiece with the fundamentals of the Success philosophy. Napoleon Hill was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” is one of Hill’s hallmark expressions. How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach for the average person, were the focal points of Hill’s books.

5. Acres Of Diamonds

Profound, yet easy to read, this self-help classic addresses the relationship between spiritual and material desires. Delivered as a lecture thousands of times by the founder of Temple University, it provides practical advice on opening your mind and making the most of your circumstances to find riches in your own backyard.

Russell H. Conwell, the founder of Temple University in Philadelphia, was described by the great John Wanamaker as a student, schoolmaster, lawyer, preacher, organizer, thinker and writer, lecturer, educator, diplomat, and leader of men. Conwell was also the founder and pastor of Baptist Temple, one of the largest Protestant churches in America during his day and time. He also founded two hospitals in the City of Brotherly Love. His famous Acres of Diamonds speech helped countless individuals to come into the knowledge of the meaning of true wealth and how to attain it without getting sidetracked by selfishness and greed.

6. How To Win Friends & Influence People

This grandfather of all people-skills books was first published in 1937. It was an overnight hit, eventually selling 15 million copies. How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated. Financial success, Carnegie believed, is due 15 percent to professional knowledge and 85 percent to “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership, and to arouse enthusiasm among people.” He teaches these skills through underlying principles of dealing with people so that they feel important and appreciated. He also emphasizes fundamental techniques for handling people without making them feel manipulated.

Carnegie says you can make someone want to do what you want them to by seeing the situation from the other person’s point of view and “arousing in the other person an eager want.” You learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment. For instance, “let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers,” and “talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.” Carnegie illustrates his points with anecdotes of historical figures, leaders of the business world, and everyday folks.

From an era when ‘self-help’ books had genuine depth, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has influenced the world. No book in the self-help category matters more than this one. Learning to relate to people in the ways Carnegie instructs will help you personally as well as professionally. This book is a classic because Carnegie teaches timeless truths in timeless ways.   –Paul Walker

7. The Power Of Positive Thinking

The phenomenal and inspiring bestseller by the father of positive thinking. The Power Of Positive Thinking is a practical, direct-action application of spiritual techniques to overcome defeat and win confidence, success and joy. Norman Vincent Peale, the father of positive thinking and one of the most widely read inspirational writers of all time, shares his famous formula of faith and optimism which millions of people have taken as their own simple and effective philosophy of living. His gentle guidance helps to eliminate defeatist attitudes, to know the power you possess and to make the best of your life.

8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

‘If you want all insider wisdom on how to personally get and stay rich, read this book! Bribe your kids (financially, if you have to) to do the same.’ Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the #1 Chicken Soup for the Soul series

‘To get over the top financially, you must read RICH DAD, POOR DAD. It’s common sense and market savvy for your financial future.’ Zig Ziglar, world-renowned author and lecturer

Personal finance author and lecturer Robert T. Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective from two very different influences – his two fathers. This text lays out Kiyosaki’s philosophy and his relationship with money. Brilliant!

9. Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude

On one side  of your mind is emblazoned the letters PMA (positive mental attitude) and on the other side  the letters NMA (negative mental attitude). A positive attitude will naturally attract the good and the beautiful. The negative attitude will rob you of all that makes life worth living.
Your success, health, happiness, and wealth depend on how you make up your mind!

When motivational pioneer Napoleon Hill and millionaire CEO W. Clement Stone teamed up to form one of the most remarkable partnerships of all time, the result was Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, the phenomenon that proposed to the world that with the right attitude, anyone can achieve his or her dreams.

10. Seeds Of Greatness

This wonderful book presents the real keys, the seeds, necessary to develop a truly meaningful life. Denis Waitley, PhD Psychologist has trained professional athletes, has debriefed hostages, has coached Olympic Athletes, and has advised top executives of major corporations. He is an author who is recognized world-wide.

11. The Success System That Never Fails

Why does one man succeed and another fail? There is an answer. And it will be found in this book. For there are formulas, prescriptions, recipes-rules, principles, systems-even treasure maps, if you please-which, when followed in proper sequence, bring the good things in life to those who seek them. Often the rules for success are so simple and so obvious they aren’t even seen. But when you search for them, you, too, can find them. And during the search something wonderful happens: you acquire knowledge…you gain experience…you become inspired. And then you begin to realize the necessary ingredients for success.   W. Clement Stone was a self made billionaire who preached what he practiced.

12. The Greatest Salesman In The World

I have personally read just about every one of Og Mandino’s books. I love them. And it is no mistake that he is the most widely read inspirational and self help author in the world. Former president of Success Unlimited magazine, Mandino was the first recipient of the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal for literary achievement. Og Mandino was a member of the International Speakers Hall of Fame and honored with the Masters of Influence by the National Speakers Association. Og Mandino died in 1996 but his books continue to inspire countless thousands all over the world.

13. The Message

Eugene H. Peterson took a hold of a classic and brought it into every day language. I have read many different versions of the Bible, but I continue to gravitate back to this version because of its ease of reading and understanding. The use of everyday language of The Message, delivers a Bible-reading experience that is relatable, energetic, and amazingly fresh.

14. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Turning your passion into a career is the inspiring rendition given by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk in this book. After taking over his father’s local liquor store, Shopper’s Discount Liquors, and building it from a $4 million business to a $50 million one, he created the wine-tasting blog Wine Library TV and discovered the power of the Internet for driving sales. This book shares his experience and step-by-step advice for using Twitter, Facebook, etc., and suggestions for monetizing an online persona, reiterating that the Internet makes it possible for anyone to make serious cash by turning what they love most into their personal brand. Truly inspirational.

15. The Essential Writings Of Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was first introduced to the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson in the depths of a universities library. As soon as I read the first word I had to agree with Walt Whitman – “I was simmering, simmering, simmering. Emerson brought me to a boil.”

As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized “the splendid labyrinth of one’s own perceptions.” More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson’s essays “the most important work done in prose.”

Emerson’s major speeches, essays, and poetry stir you to think, to think hard, and to think deeply.

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