Over the past few years, I have developed quite a habit for reading. I believe that through reading, you learn things that you can never pick up in a class. I have read all sorts of books, but mainly self help/personal development books. Ever since I start reading, I have gone through an extreme personal development. Even people outside my normal circle have noticed the change in my attitudes and behaviors over the last few years. And I can pinpoint the book that started this journey for me.

But before I tell you, I want to set up where I was at so the people out there in the same boat that I am can relate. In 2003, I had some bad things happen in my life that were outside of my control. I lost everything in a wildfire and had to start living from scratch. I had 2 choices presented to me after this situation; I could feel sorry for myself and move backwards in my life, or I can man up, realize what happen was bad, but learn from it and start running forward. I chose the latter. However, I was not educated, determined, or persistent enough at that time to make a lasting change. Over the next few years, my life was a roller coaster. I hit high points, then drop to low points. Nothing was consistent. Not school, not work, not friends. The only thing I had consistent in my life at that time is the woman who is now my wife.

Oprah Changed Me

Not really, but kind of in a way. My wife, like many women, is an Oprah freak. She was watching a show while we were eating dinner and there was a group of people on the show that swear this new book out change their life. They get whatever they want. They have better jobs, better houses, better lives, just from reading this book. My ears perked up. Man, I could sure use a better life at this point.

The book was The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I went to Amazon.com and ordered the book. Read it. Then read it again. Then read it again. I was hooked, but not on The Secret.

Honestly, The Secret isn’t that good of a book. Yes, it has some amazing points that I took away and will always hold with me. However, most of the content was too far fetched for even me to try to grasp. I believe it was more based on religion that self help. But this post isn’t a book review.

What The Secret did do for me is start a hunger inside of me for more information. From The Secret I read “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” by Wayne Dyer. Then I went onto “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. Then came Robert Cialdini’s books on influence and persuasion. Then “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, followed by “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Then came Tony Robbins. Then more NLP books, more money management books, more influence books, more persuasion books, more motivations books, more business books, and more personal development books. I was, and still am, hooked. I have over 100 books waiting on my amazon wishlist to read and am always adding to it. I am always reading a book.

So why am I telling you this?

Despite what you may think, it isn’t to show you I am a heavy reader. It is to get YOU to be a heavy reader. People write books based on their own experience, their own knowledge, their own skill set. Chances are, whatever you are going through, there is a book out there to help  you conquer whatever you need to overcome. Money issues, relationship issues, health issues, car repair issues, whatever it is, you can read about it.

And, many people don’t know this, but there is a cool place called the Public Library where you can get almost any book you want for free. And, you can always to the “read inside Barnes and Noble” tactic so you never have the purchase the book.

Take away message: Read. Always develop yourself and your skills. You are either more forward or moving backwards. You are never standing still. Keep moving forward.