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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

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                  Allyson Lewis

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

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                  Published on April 7, 2021

                  6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                  6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

                  Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

                  While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

                  1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

                  Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

                  If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

                  In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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                  2. They Make Everything Transactional

                  Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

                  For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

                  Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

                  A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

                  Some statements to be wary of include:

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                  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
                  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
                  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
                  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

                  3. They Criticize Everything

                  One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

                  However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

                  Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

                  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
                  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
                  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
                  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

                  4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

                  We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

                  For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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                  This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

                  5. They Socially Isolate You

                  Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

                  Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

                  This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

                  In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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                  6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

                  It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

                  Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

                  Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

                  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
                  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
                  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
                  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

                  Final Thoughts

                  It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

                  More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

                  Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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