Reading, visiting bookstores and libraries has always been my haven. When I was young, my grandmother bestowed a gem of wisdom into my spirit that changed my relationship with learning and books forever. She passionately expressed “George, you know, back in the days of slavery, the plantation owners used to put their money in books and put them up on the bookshelves,” because their banking system wasn’t as sophisticated as it is today. I said, “Well, grandma, why do they do that?” She said, “Because they didn’t have to worry about the slaves stealing the money because the slaves would never take the books off the shelf because they couldn’t read.”
From that moment forward, I began to understand that, as long as someone can control your mind, they can control who you are in your body. I decided that I was never going to allow myself to be in a position where someone could control my mind and control my body because of my lack of information and knowledge. I decided that I was going to seek to read and learn as much as I possibly could on a continual basis because I felt people would have greater respect for me if they respected me intellectually.
The following eleven books have had a profound impact on my holistic personal growth this year. These phenomenal thought leaders have taught me tomorrow belongs to today’s curious mind and that challenges are opportunities for growth while struggles are positive possibilities.
Leading yourself and leading others will always challenge us daily to distinguish between the vast distinction between being busy and being productive. Being busy is not enough. It is what you are busy doing that counts. I have used this year to focus more on being intentional with how I am managing my time, energy and environment to leave more precious opportunities to engage with extraordinary books like the ones below.
As you close out 2018 and embark into the New Year, know you may encounter some defeats, but you must not be defeated. Do not be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Life will always remain a self-discovery journey of pushing the boundaries to reach your outer limits.
The following books are not in any specific order. They are all truly brilliant works. I trust the wisdom and lessons within these pages will positively change the way you think, behave and perform in your living. May you continue to explore the outer depths of who you are in 2019 while being a positive difference maker. There is No Finish Line!
Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock and Tahl Raz
12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
Do Big Things: The Simple Steps Teams Can Take to Mobilize Hearts and Minds, and Make an Epic Impact by Angela V. Paccione, Craig W. Ross, and Victoria L. Roberts
The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story by Christie Watson
Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Jeff Howe and Joi Ito
Educated by Tara Westover
Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder by Chip Conley
Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone
This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See by Seth Godin
Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari