Must Read, Influential, Life Changing Books
5 LIFE CHANGING BOOKS
BOOKS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE
I used to be a voracious reader. My parents would have to chase me outside when I was young. I was that kid (ok adult) who stayed up all night reading “just one more page”. Those were usually novels, definitely nothing life changing.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Affiliate Disclosure Page for detailed information.
It’s been years since I’ve been able to sit and read. Now I listen to Audiobooks as I clean house or exercise. Reading can open up other worlds, whether real or imagined. They can also change your life.
I grew up in a conservative, middle-America household. My dad worked, and my mom kept the home. Not at all the norm now, but that’s a different topic for a different time. My parents have now been married for over 60 years. I thought I knew everything about relationships and marriage and myself.
I married my high school sweetheart after 5 1/2 years together, so of course we’d live happily ever after. We got married at 22, and had our first child at 24. We were young and quite self-centered. I felt unappreciated being a stay-at-home mom, and he probably felt the same way. So off to counseling we went, and that’s when I read my first life-changing book.
MY TOP 5 CHOICES
I had no idea what healthy boundaries were in relationships. I mean, I kinda knew, but not really. “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend helped me recognize unhealthy coping mechanisms, especially as I went through the workbook. Let me give you some examples.
Have you been in a relationship with someone who is passive aggressive? Women are experts at this. Husband works all week, and wants to play golf all Saturday morning. Wife is fuming, because she had other priorities. But instead of just talking to him about it (ok sometimes whining), she bangs dishes, talks in a clipped tone, or gives him the cold shoulder all weekend. Sound familiar? I’ve done all of those things.
Or have you ever experienced Triangulation? This is another unhealthy coping mechanism. Two people are in a relationship, let’s say a mom and her daughter. The mom is having a conflict with this child. But instead of talking to her about it, she talks to her son about the issue. She enlists his help, either overtly or subtly, to apply pressure or talk to his sister. So instead of the two people in the relationship resolving their problem, a third person is involved.
I felt unloved in my first marriage. I know he loved me, and took care of myself and our daughters. But I wanted to feel loved. I wanted that “Honeymoon” phase to last forever. Our counselor gave us “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. He explained that there were five main ways that people receive love.
People are rarely one language. There’s usually just one or two that are dominant. Unfortunately, I swear I’m all five. It’s like I need a balanced diet of them all, and of course with sincerity and knowledge. What do I mean by knowledge? I mean that I want you to do things that you know I specifically like. I am not into generic. Don’t buy me roses for Valentine’s Day. It’s a huge waste of money with those jacked up prices. Make me a handmade card and take me to my favorite restaurant. Leave the flowers to a random day, and let it be a single wildflower you picked on the side of the road.
I wrote a whole post about this book. You can read about it here. Basically I learned that motivational leaders and great companies all start with “Why”.
I was fortunate to not only read this book, but to participate in a course. It was fascinating and practical. One of the most important things I learned was how important a person’s name is to them.
Great! I’m horrible at remembering names. Like as in you can introduce yourself, and two seconds later I have no idea what your name is. But this point really hit home with me. And I have become much better at remembering and using a person’s name. This last year I had around 125 students. I was positive that I would fail at recalling even a quarter of them. Amazingly it took me less than two weeks to remember 75% of them.
I was raised in the church, but somehow it wasn’t real. I didn’t have a faith that was mine. But then life got tough, and God was the only one I could turn to.
I moved to another state to be with my Air Force husband. I lost custody of my daughters. Weeks later he deployed. I knew no one, and I felt like I had nothing. I went to this welcoming church, and I gave my life to Jesus. I was a born-again Child of God. This became my life’s verse:
So those, my friends, are the five most important, life changing books I have ever read. Do you have a recommendation? If so, please let me know. I’d love to hear what influential books you’ve read. Don’t have one yet? Give one of mine a try, and let me know what you think.