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7 Personal Development Books That Will Empower Your Life

7 Personal Development Books That Will Empower Your Life

For more than two years I taught and encouraged homeless individuals. Books always help with that. Recently, I stumbled upon seven great books that have changed my life and the lives of the students I teach. Here is my current list of books that will empower and support you in creating a life that is passionate, curious and constantly evolving.

1. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Bejamin Zander

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    This wonderful book is written by two musicians driven by a love of music and the need to share it with the world. Unlike many teachers, these brilliant scholars assign the possibility of everyone doing well by determining what that looks like on an individual basis. Each student must write a letter that is to be dated for the end of the semester detailing why they had earned an “A” in the class. When my teaching switched from controlling the information and educational needs to one in which I had people focus on what they could do to earn an “A” in their careers, money challenges and personal lives, the entire course blossomed.

    2. Linchpin by Seth Godin

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      Seth Godin allows the reader to stop waiting for permission to be great. I launched a pilot program that failed for one solid year. Upon reading this book, I figured out how to fail differently. I was being too cautious and refused to try things that were different, uncomfortable or unfamiliar. What I was creating and launching was new which meant my attack had to be new. To paraphrase Godin: If your job description and what you do can be put in a manual that means someone else can do it better and cheaper which means your days at company X are limited.

      3. Taking Responsibility by Nathaniel Branden

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        Although I have been reading his work for years, it was the stem work and the sentence regarding communication and commitment that changed all of my interactions with everyone I knew. Stem work forces those who choose to use it to look at what they do not why they do it. Honestly looking at your behavior takes courage and can lead to some wonderful fresh experiences. We can then choose to change or continue doing what doesn’t work but is familiar and easy.

        4. Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker

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          A financial planner in a straw hat- This was the brilliant tagline that let me know this would be something my students and I would love. The Amish ways of self reliance, “not eating the marshmallow”, community support and repurposing items make for very wise life instructions. It is hard to argue finances with a man who has fourteen children, a house he owes free and clear and $200,000 in the bank. Using this book allowed me to experiment with three radical financial philosophies: cash only for one week, no money spent at all for one week and figuring how to get what I need without money changing hands.

          5. Overcoming Underearning by Barbara Stanny

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            As a teacher of financial literacy, I have heard every excuse imaginable regarding why people’s finances are disastrous. Ms. Stanny’s book breaks down five stumbling blocks that make us feel financially powerless. It also reminds us that with some focus, a commitment to changing our behaviors and some simple to use plans, we can create greatness. A perfect combination of spirituality and down to earth tools this wonderful book will make you feel that you can handle the beast that is financial responsibility.

            I saw changes immediately (an increased credit score of more than one hundred points and was able to buy my first home) and continue to reread this book some seven years later. I have shared this book with colleagues and my mother. The greatest quote is contained midway through: “You don’t have a problem to solve; you have a decision to make.”

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            6. And There Was Light by Jacques Lusseyran

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              Lusseyran was a seventeen year old blind youth who challenged the Nazis by organizing and leading fifty–two boys in a resistance movement. Although not an official personal development book, it encourages us all to look at our self imposed limitations and annihilate them.

              7. Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

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                Gatto’s brilliant manifesto fundamentally changed how I saw education and learning. Whether it is detailing Richard Branson’s sojourn through London unaccompanied by an adult at age four, a nightclub singer who dramatically increased female applicants at MIT or a blind seventeen year old secretly toppling the Nazi regime in France (see book # 6), there are several examples that inspire and empower. What is really pointed out was how hungry we all are for something authentic, daring and real. I often write about burning the manual. This book doesn’t burn the manual it obliterates it.

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                While this is not an extensive list, it provides a great beginning to the power of books and the ways they can change your life and challenge and invigorate your thinking. Read all or a few of them and watch your life expand.

                Featured photo credit: girl reading book at home via picjumbo.com

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                Last Updated on October 18, 2018

                50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

                50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

                Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

                It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

                It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

                Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

                Quotes for self-assurance

                1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

                  2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

                    3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

                      4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                        5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                          6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                            Quotes about positivity

                            7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                              8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                                9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                                  10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                                    11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                                      12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                        13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                          Quotes for work and success

                                          14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                            15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                              16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                                17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                                  18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                                    19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                                      20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                        21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                          22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                            23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                              24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                                25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                                  26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                                    27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                                      28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                        29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                          30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                            31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                              32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                                33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                                  34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                                    35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                                      36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                        37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                          38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                            39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                              40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                                41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                                  42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                                    43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                                      44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                        45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                          Quotes about money

                                                                                                          46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                            47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                              48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                                49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                                  50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                                    51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                                      If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                                      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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