Five Books that Changed My Life

I love a good book. I typically have 2-3 resting on my bedside table at all times. I attribute my personal growth, joy, wisdom, and abundant lifestyle to the powerful teachings I’ve gleaned from books. And while I have read many great works, several have profoundly changed my life.

The Final Forest by William Dietrich

I have always been fascinated by the natural world, so I was drawn to The Final Forest merely by its title. Each chapter was written from a stakeholder’s perspective on the controversial policy to protect the endangered spotted owl. Prior to reading this book in 1996, I saw everything as black and white – my way was the right way and anyone who disagreed with me was wrong. This book allowed me to see the value of listening to all sides of an issue. I learned to build bridges rather than walls. The Final Forest has help me find common ground with individuals I vehemently disagree with – a lesson I still carry with me today.

One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant

In 1997, I went through my first major break-up. Stumbling through the bookstore with tear-stained cheeks and puffy eyes, I searched through the self-help book aisle searching for something to “fix” me and mend my broken heart. I found much more than that when I discovered Iyanla Vanzant’s book, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. Her words were comforting and empowering. The book was emotional and spiritual medicine for my wounded heart. My soul did open up and I rediscovered my self-worth (something I had lost in the relationship that had just ended), which eventually led me to confidently running a multi-million dollar organization.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

When I discovered that my thoughts and beliefs created my reality, my life radically improved. Circumstances no longer happened to me. I, along with God, created my destiny. The Secret introduced this idea to me and from there I uncovered many other teachings (including that of Jesus’) that supported this truth. I have countless stories of holding a vision in my mind and then manifesting it in my life. The teachings from this book have been a life-saver and game-changer for me.

Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping

Several years ago, I had to make the heart-wrenching decision to leave a job that no longer served me. I felt angry and bitter towards my colleagues. I blamed them for my job not working out. I read Radical Forgiveness the week after I left that position. Colin Tipping shifted my mindset from believing I was a victim to understanding that the experience was allowing me to learn and grow. Instead of feeling victimized, I began feeling grateful for the lessons and saw my colleagues with new eyes. I suddenly had compassion for them and recognized the struggles they were going through too. Whenever a challenge arises now, I look for the lesson rather than seeking to blame.

Lessons In Truth by H. Emilie Cady

I love women who shake things up! Published in 1896, Emilie Cady had wisdom and insight well beyond her time. I like to think of this book as The Secret on steroids. Cady so eloquently emphasizes a truth many of us have forgotten – we were created in the image an likeness of God and are therefore divine beings in the flesh. When we align with who God created us to be, magic happens. Cady reminded me that all things are possible with God and I truly believed and began embodying that after reading this book.


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