Everyone has their own sources for inspiration. In working as a corporate consultant with a variety of professional people starting or revitalizing their businesses, I created a list of reading material to help get them moving forward in their personal and professional life. The list covers the gamut, as it should. No book is perfect for everyone. One of these books may set a fire under you, others may leave you wondering what it is all about. Give a few a try and see what bits and pieces of magic you take with you.
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One of the world’s most motivational writers, Og Mandino’s books on connecting spiritualism with the business world will inspire and motivate you more than you can imagine. Most of these books have sold millions in many different languages, changing lives around the world.
His books continue to inspire, but in a very unusual way. They aren’t so much about finding inspiration from without, as they are about finding inspiration from within. “Seat of the Soul” revolutionized the way we think about our inner “spirit” and how the choices we make guide us and damage us.
LIFE MAKEOVER, by Cheryl Richardson
If you want to improve the quality of your life, to improve your focus, ability to concentrate, find your life purpose, develop your personal and professional skills, this is the book. Part of a one-year program, it features a short chapter with small homework assigns to be read and done once a week. Over the year you can’t help but find all the parts of your life improving and getting a better handle and clarity on your life and abilities.
TAKE TIME FOR YOUR LIFE, by Cheryl Richardson
The forerunner to Life Makeover, this book helps you take the steps to take back control of your life and to concentrate on what is really important in your life. A simple, easy-to-read book, it takes you step-by-step through a several month process to improve the quality of your life.
SELF MATTERS, by Dr. Phil MacGraw
Similar but different from Cheryl Richardson’s books, Dr. Phil MacGraw gets into your psyche and helps you to figure out how you tick, why you tick, and whether or not your tick is working for you. If you want to really get in touch with you, the powerful and creative you, tackle this book with 100% full participation. You will find your work and life filled with power, self-confidence, and strengths you’ve forgotten you even have.
CHOP WOOD CARRY WATER, by Rick Fields, Peggy Taylor, Rex Weyler, and Rick Ingrasci
A guide to finding spiritual fulfillment in everyday life. This book continues to inspire and motivate, to see beyond the limits and to the potential. Available as a book and recording.
WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL, by Mark H. McCormack
Notes from a street-smart executive. Look inside public relations and advertising, find out how the big execs make their choices and “shoot from the hip”. This book includes excellent business tools and information that will help you make your business a success from an insider perspective. McCormack’s book, “Never Wrestle a Pig”, is another excellent business resource for those who missed out on their MBA. In fact, I think a few MBAs should make these part of their homework!
VOICE OF THE PLANET, by Michael Tobias
“A book that must be read by every person interested in continuing to eat and to breathe,” says William Shatner. You will laugh more than you will cry, but you will learn more than you know in the book “Voice of the Planet”. I reread very few books and I think I’ve read this at least three times. It continues to amuse me, and its vast information on nature inspires and overwhelms me. Every nature lover should read this.Micahel Tobis is an amazing author when it comes to writing about nature and nature subjects. I highly recommend all of his books.
IF YOU REALLY KNEW ME WOULD YOU STILL LIKE ME?, Eugene Kennedy
This is an excellent book for tacking self-esteem issues. While designed for teenagers and young adults, it is wonderful for everyone, working with building confidence in yourself and your abilities. Been in print since the early 1970s. I was given this book as a teenager, and I have never had the heart to remove it from my library, even when we moved into the trailer and our vast library of books were shrunk down to a very precious few due to weight restrictions. This slender paperback continues to speak to me about self-confidence and esteem. When I check on Amazon to see if it was still available, maybe as a used book or something, I was astounded to find new and used copies available. If you have teens, pre-teens, or post teens, this book is an absolute must. But make sure you get a copy for yourself!
LIVE YOUR DREAM!, by Joyce Chapman, MA
Discover and achieve your life purpose. Joyce Chapman revolutionized the process of coming to grips with your “dream” and passion and her step-by-step books teach you how to set up the plan and make your “dreams come true.” Learn the value of focus and goal setting by relying on your life’s purpose.
BOOKS BY JOHN-ROGER AND PETER MCWILLIAMS
The books by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams go beyond inspiration and motivation. They help you set out new “life rules” that open your eyes to a new way of thinking, the way you should have been thinking all along. I can’t praise these books enough. They are a MUST to have. I live their lessons almost every day. Their “Life” Series helps you examine how you look at life, perceive it, and deal with it. Most have a very humorous side to them, which makes them entertaining to read, but these are life changing books.
THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, by Jane Wagner
The Broadway Smash hit starring Lily Tomlin. This may be a script for the Broadway play and later the movie, but it is a wonderful examination of life, the universe and everything else. While it seems like a strange book to feature for nature photography and writing inspiration, the wonderful look at the “universe” and the characters in it offers an interesting perspective and insight. Whether you are writing about people or animals, trees or flowers, finding the “character” in your subject helps bring some magic and interest to your story. This book is a great example of the ability to find “characters” in every corner.
“TRUDY: I know what you’re thinkin’; you’re thinkin’ I’m crazy. You people look at my shopping bags, call me crazy ’cause I save this junk. What should we call the ones who buy it?”
YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE, by Louise L. Hay
Disease is called just that: Dis-ease. This is a great book on examining how we do indeed make ourselves sick and how to turn that process around with proper mental input to create a happier and healthier life. All the books by Louise L. Hay will help you move ahead with a healthy outlook on life, and when you feel good, you tend to do great things.
JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL, by Richard Bach
One of the most brilliant and inspirational “small” books in the world. Need a kick to inspire you to new “heights” pull out this classical treasure.
ILLUSIONS, THE ADVENTURES OF A RELUCTANT MESSIAH, by Richard Bach
Bach describes it thus: “…the things this (Messiah) told me: that we magnetize into our lives whatever we hold in our thoughts, for instance – if that is true, then somehow I have brought myself to this moment for a reason, and so have you. Perhaps it is no coincidence that you’re holding this book…” Why do things happen to us? Why do we let them? The author of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” strikes again with a truly delightful book filled with inspiration.
BOOKS BY DOUGLAS ADAMS
The books of Douglas Adams are cult favorites, but they also offer a unique perspective on the values and systems of the world today. If you’ve read them before, they are worth reading over again.
DR. NORMAN VINCENT PEALE
Dr. Peale continues to inspire and motivate people all over the world. This particular book gives you a “push” of motivation every day of the year. Anything that helps keep the juices running day after day is worth every penny.