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77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More

77 Books That Changed My Life and 3 Recommendations to Help You Read More

If you want your life to be different… READ!

Words are thoughts that when shared are accepted as good ideas or bad ideas. Every single word you hear or read consciously or subconsciously shapes your beliefs and therefore they shape your life. Below you will find seventy-seven books from my personal recommended reading list. These books have changed my life. I am grateful to each author whose words shaped my soul. If you want your life to be different… read!

Allyson Lewis’ Top 10 Must Read Books
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    1. Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Acct of Operation Redwing & the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Lutrell
    2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankle
    3. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
    4. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Norman Doidge
    5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    8. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John Mann
    9. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
    10. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

    Biography

    Who do you admire? Imagine what you can learn from reading the biographies of some of the best and worst men and women in history.

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      1. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
      2. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing
      3. Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters by Major (Ret.) Dick Winters & Cole C. Kingseed
      4. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen Ambrose
      5. D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Battle for the Normandy Beaches by Stephen Ambrose
      6. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
      7. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
      8. John Adams by David McCullough
      9. Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
      10. Abraham Lincoln (Pocket Biographies) by H. G. Pitt
      11. Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden
      12. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson
      13. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
      14. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

      Attention / Neuroplasticity

      Neuroplasticity: the brain is plastic or changeable. Do not miss this section! Yes, some of these books read like text books.   The brain science of neuroplasticity has fascinated me since the moment I first read about how you can re-wire your brain to increase your attention span and sharpen your concentration and ability to focus.

      Personal Development

      You can be different tomorrow than you are today. Reading books is one of the best ways to learn from the wisdom of others.

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        Psychology

        Happiness, sadness, creativity, logical thinking, planning, dealing with anxiety, stress, depression, courage, motivation, new challenges. This set of books will inspire and educate you.

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          Business

          The business world changes at the speed of light… but, some of these books are decades old.

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          Business tumblr_mztssdgEgU1sfie3io1_1280

            Fiction

            What novels will you read to sweep you away?

            Fiction

              Faith

              We all believe something. These are books that have inspired hundreds of thousands. Slow down and enjoy a book to reconnect with your soul.

              FLOWER tumblr_myb1y3Ilmy1sfie3io1_1280

                Three Recommendations to Help You Read More

                As a time management strategist I offer three recommendations to help you find the time to read more books.

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                  1. Read 10 Pages a Day

                  Books are not usually intended to be read in a single setting. Create a daily reading strategy, set a time where you will read ten pages of a book every day. If you want to learn more about leadership, read ten pages of a biography a great leader. I you want to be inspired, read ten pages of an inspirational book.

                  2. Listen to Books

                  Some people have difficulty sitting and reading.  Therefore, my second recommendation is for you to download books to your smart phone or to your computer and list to books as you exercise or clean house or while you are waiting in a doctor’s office.  Many libraries now allow you to download books electronically for a couple of weeks at no charge.  And, there are several other great ways to download books like Audible.com.

                  3. Read Books Aloud

                  This is one of my favorite recommendations to help you read more books.  This idea came from a friend of mine, Lindsay Penn, who said when she and her husband go on a trip she will pick a book and read it aloud. I have strong memories of my elementary teachers reading books aloud to our class and when reading time was over we would collectively beg for her not to stop reading.

                   Do you have a library card?  Make time to go to your local library today – what book will you read first?

                  Featured photo credit: Allyson Lewis via flickr.com

                  More by this author

                  Allyson Lewis

                  Allyson is a nationally acclaimed author, motivator, speaker, time management, productivity strategist, and executive coach.

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                  Last Updated on October 14, 2019

                  12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons

                  12 Inspirational Speeches That Teach You the Most Valuable Life Lessons

                  The most valuable thing an experienced person has is their experience. People make mistakes, learn from them, and adapt their life around them to become better people. Those people would then tell tales to others to help teach those lessons so that others would not have to make the same mistakes.

                  People still tell these stories today but in a slightly different format — they use speeches to express their experiences. Here are some valuable life lessons you can learn from some of the greatest inspirational speeches:

                  1. JK Rowling teaches us to not fear failure no matter how bad things become

                  It is a well-known fact that JK Rowling’s now-famous Harry Potter series was turned down by several publishers before it was finally picked up. Those publishers are likely kicking themselves in the pants right now. However, before that, JK Rowling was in a fairly dire situation and was on the brink of failure. Despite being turned down time and time again, she kept trying. Her efforts paid off. Harry Potter is now a ubiquitous character in today’s world culture. Despite failing over and over again, Rowling kept trying and fulfilled her dreams. You can watch her deliver some valuable life lessons in her Harvard commencement speech video above.

                  2. Steve Jobs teaches us to never settle

                  Steve Jobs had a fairly tumultuous life. He co-founded Apple, was kicked out of the company, came back, and then re-defined the mobile phone space with the iPhone. Even if iPhones aren’t the rage they once were, its iconic value is forever written in stone. One thing Jobs never did was settle. He lived life on his own terms and was rewarded for it by being dubbed one of the most revolutionary voices in technology of our time. In the Stanford commencement speech above, Jobs explains how you should never settle for what someone else wants out of your life. It’s your life and you should do what you want with it.

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                  3. Admiral William H McRaven teaches us to make our beds every day

                  Anyone who has gone through the basic training of a military service will tell you it’s pretty difficult. However, every seemingly obnoxious step is actually a life lesson in disguise. This even applies to flawlessly making one’s bed every single morning. As Admiral William H McRaven teaches us, recruits are taught to make their beds every morning to remind them that even the little things in life matter. After all, how can you be expected to handle the biggest obstacles in your life if you can’t even handle the small and the mundane like making your bed every day? You can watch the entire speech in the video above.

                  4. Author David Foster Wallace teaches us that we’re a part of a greater existence

                  David Foster Wallace found fame in 1987 with his book The Broom of the System. Nearly 20 years later in 2005 he game a commencement speech at Kenyon College that is worth listening to at least once. In his speech, he reminds us that was are but a part of a huge, dynamic, ever changing interaction of life forms. In order to truly experience life, we need to leave our personal bubbles and interact with others even if it’s in an unpleasant way. Wallace states, “It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.” You can watch the whole speech above.

                  5. Stephen Colbert teaches us that life isn’t something you can plan

                  If there is anyone who knows about improvisation, it’s comedian Stephen Colbert. In his commencement speech at Northwestern University in 2011, Colbert reminded students that you cannot plan life. Life throws too many curve balls. There are too many unpredictable things that can happen. The most successful and happy people are not those who have a plan, but those who can roll with the punches and overcome the obstacles. He goes on to site his time as an improv comic and how all of the actors working together to create a scene out of literally nothing are all working for one another. He states that like improv comedy, you don’t know what happens next in life. You just make it up as you go along. You can watch the whole speech above.

                  6. Kurt Vonnegut teaches us to not sweat the small stuff

                  Some of our younger readers may not know Kurt Vonnegut. He is a famous author that found of of his success during the middle of last century. In 1999, Kurt Vonnegut was at Agnes Scott College giving a commencement speech. During the speech, he mentioned that in order to live a more complete life, people needed to let stuff go. He argued that you cannot reasonably expect others to forgive you for your mistakes if you cannot forgive others and that you cannot live life fostering a personal vendetta against others.

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                  7. Neil Gaiman teaches us that success can be distracting.

                  Neil Gaiman is most known for his work in a number of literary mediums including journalism, comic books, and novels. In 2012, Gaiman gave a speech at the University of the Arts where he talked about success. He stated that when you become successful, you may be unintentionally swayed from performing the actions that made you successful. Gaiman recalled his early success and how he felt pressured to answer emails all day long and it actually prevented him from writing as much as he wanted. So he reminds us to keep doing what makes us successful and to not let others get in the way.

                  8. Barack Obama’s life lessons teaches us that you really can beat the odds

                  We know that not everyone likes Barack Obama but that doesn’t mean the man can’t deliver an amazing speech. In this 2004 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convenction, Obama reminds that it is possible to beat the odds and become something great. He cites his own upbringing as an example and how he was never expected to make it as far as he did. It shows that when you’re passionate about something and when you try hard enough, you can accomplish almost anything. It’s important to note that Obama talks about this in 2004 and would become the President of the United States just four years later.

                  9. Robin Roberts reminds us that we each have the courage to overcome challenges

                  Robin Roberts knows a thing or two about courage. She is a breast cancer survivor and has done battle with a rare blood disease called myelodysplastic syndrome. Her sister once had to donate bone marrow just so Robin could remain alive. She was also ESPN’s first African American broadcaster in the early 1990’s. She’s a woman who works in an industry predominately populated by men. So when Robin Roberts takes the stage at the ESPYs and delivers a short lecture on having courage, we would do well to listen!

                  10. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that some things are more important than success

                  We all know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. So much so that we have a day of the year to celebrate him as a national holiday here in the United States. Most of us have listening to segments of his famous speech where he told the world about a dream he had. The main message of his famous speech is that racial inequalities needed to end and he was absolutely right. However, he also reminds us that there are things that are more important than success such as equal rights and treating each other with respect and kindness. If you somehow made it through school without watching the famous speech, we’ve got it linked above.

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                  11. Jim Carrey reminds us that even if you keep it safe, you can still fail so you might as well go big

                  Jim Carrey delivered a commencement speech at Maharishi University recently that went absolutely viral. You may know it as the one minute video that will change your life. They weren’t lying but they weren’t telling the whole truth because the speech was actually 28 minutes long. During the speech, Carrey talks about his father who wanted to be a comedian but decided to take the safe route and become an accountant. As it turns out, his father was laid off and his family ended up poor anyway. With that, Carrey tells us that you can still end up failing even if you play it safe so you might as well swing for the fences and do what you want to do.

                  12. Bill Murray teaches us that it’s the hard times that determine if someone really loves you

                  You may have heard the story about Bill Murray crashing someone’s bachelor party and delivering a speech. It turns out the speech was both short and fairly epic. During the speech, Bill Murray challenged the bachelors to travel around the world with the women they love and go to places that are difficult to go to and deal with. He says if you can get back to the United States and you still love each other, then you should get married right then and there. It’s a great message. It’s easy to love one another when times are good but do you still love each other when the times are bad? If so, that’s true love according to Bill Murray.

                  Final thoughts

                  Inspiration comes from everywhere and from anyone. There are a countless number of speeches and stories that can teach us an incalculable number of life lessons.

                  All these speeches almost share the same message: Don’t be afraid to fail and keep trying.

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                  If you also want to live your best life like the above successful people, this is what you should start doing:

                  You’ll Only Live Your Best Life Once You Step Out

                  At the end of the day, everything is inspirational. It’s just a matter of finding the message that we need to hear to change our lives.

                  Featured photo credit: Miguel Henriques via unsplash.com

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