What Book Should I Read?

Making a Daily Investment

I recently did some leadership training that emphasized the need for people to grow, or lead themselves, first. It is in fact our most important leadership challenge, and opportunity. I encouraged the group to own the idea that it is their responsibility to grow themselves. I then challenged them to think about how they might be more intentional about growing themselves, and how they could make that investment daily.
After the training session, a person came up and asked a beautiful question, “What books can I read to grow myself?” YES, AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, AWESOME! I get that question a lot, and I am always excited because it means that they get it. It shows that they believe in themselves enough to want to invest in themselves. I love the question, but it is not always an easy question to answer.
As you can see from the book facts, few people regularly read. Most people’s reading experiences are connected to school memories, and many are not good ones. So, once they graduate high school or college they “think” that they never need to read again. So, if I recommend a wrong book to someone who is taking a step out of their comfort zone and giving reading another try, I don’t want to turn them off by a bad suggestion.
I do read a lot, and I have almost seven hundred books in my library, but that by no means qualifies me as a book expert. Some people like smaller easy to read books, while others like large or more sophisticated ones. Others will connect with specific authors and their way of communicating. And then there is the topic they wish to learn about that must be a big part of choosing what type of book to read.

How do you want to grow?

So, I after congratulated her on the beautiful question, and thanked her for being willing to invest in herself, I asked her, “What specific area would you like more success in?” The answer to that question defines the area you should read about, or grow in. She said, “I would like to become a better wife for my husband.” Now I am even more impressed, not only is she desiring to grow herself, but she gets servant leadership, or the leading by example concept too.
So, I asked her for her email and said that I would look at my library and get back to her with some ideas. Family is very important to me and I have nearly a hundred books related just to family, but many of them are related to men, as fathers, and husbands. So now what am I going to tell this wonderful person who is hungry to learn?
I went to the Amazon website where I buy many of my books and put in the search bar; How to be a better wife? Over ninety options came up including, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands!

After some thought, this is my current list on how to choose a book:

  1. Use places like Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, to research some titles. You can even read part of those books on line to see if they are a good book for you. Once you get a few books that define your interests, they will even suggest other books like the titles you have chosen.
  2. Go to book stores or libraries, and ask people for recommendations in the area you are interested in.
  3. Find people who are successful in the area you want to learn about and then ask them what they are reading. (This is the main reason it is hard for me to give recommendations on how to be a better wife!)
  4. Develop a circle of people who are great resources for books to read. Most of the books that I read have been recommended by others.
  5. When you find authors that you connect with get signed up for their blogs or announcements on future books.
  6. Just buy one. Start somewhere, and if it is not the right one, get another one.

The One Thing!

 So what is that “one thing” that you want more of in your life?

 All of us seem to have a long list of things that we would like to accomplish in life. That is not necessarily wrong, but if we focus on too many things, it is hard to have great success in any one thing. If we pick just one thing to focus on, and we place significant attention in that area, success will be almost guaranteed.

 So what is your one thing? Is it to have more of something, or less of something? It can be whatever you want, it is your life. Don’t leave it up to others to decide what is most important for you. Do you want more in the area of relationships, finance, health, or a planned vacation? Or maybe you want less stress or busyness in your life?

Remember that you only get 1440 minutes a day, so if you add something to your day, you will also need to take away something. Saying yes to something also includes saying no to something else. That is another reason why it is valuable to only pick one thing at a time to work on.

What’s Next?

So now that you have committed to your one thing, what’s next? Don’t move it to your wish list, or to a someday list. And don’t just put it on a to do list either. If this is something that is important to you, treat it that way, and schedule it. That’s right, it is up to you to make it happen. Don’t ask yourself “if” it is going to happen, ask yourself “when, and how” it is going to happen?

If you wish to take steps in the health area, schedule your exercise time, don’t just leave it until you have time. If it is a daily activity, try to do it right away in the morning, if possible. It will keep you from being distracted, and you will feel better about yourself as you go about the rest of your day, knowing you have already done something that is important to you.

So what if your one thing is that vacation you always wanted to take, obviously that is not something that you can do daily, or is it? If that is your one thing, where are you going, and when? How much money will you need? Will you need passports or any other things for this vacation? Will you need vacation time at work, or maybe a babysitter? Once you have all of your questions answered bring that long term goal all the way back to a today goal. What do you need to do today to achieve that specific vacation goal that you set? For example, if you wish to take that dream vacation in two years and will need to have $5000 to make it happen, you will need $48 per week, or $6.85 a day.

 You may be able to just have that taken from your paycheck and be direct deposited in your vacation account. Or you may take on a part time job to earn that $6.85 a day. Most people could also find a way to simply save $6.85 a day, or whatever the amount needed to finance your vacation. If it is a family vacation, get the family involved in going after that one thing.

Personal growth is not an accident

It may also be personal growth you are after in your life. Books are an awesome way to add value to yourself. You may also consider hiring a mentor, or coach, to help you excel, and achieve things you never thought possible for you.

If you really want more out of your life, it can happen, but it likely won’t happen by accident. If you want some good books to read, or wish to get more information on our mentoring or coaching programs, we would be happy to help you achieve your “one thing”.


 In one way all people are created equal.

We all have 168 hours in a week. We all get exactly 1440 minutes every single day. And we all are equal in that none of us can do anything to get back the time that has passed us by. We could get discouraged by the time that is now behind us, or maybe have regrets while thinking about what we wish we would have done differently with that precious time. Both of those activities are not good use of current time. We can do nothing about the past, other than learn from it.

What can you learn about your past use of time? What did you do with the 168 hours that you had last week? How did you use the 1440 minutes you were gifted yesterday? Did you just burn those minutes or did you set out to accomplish something specific, something that really matters to you? Don’t spend too much effort on how you spent yesterday’s time, only enough to hopefully realize that you maybe didn’t accomplish all that you would have liked.

The million dollar question

The million-dollar question that should be pondered is, “What can I do with my future gifts of time, to make sure I have more of the things that I want to happen in my life, actually happen?” There are actually a number of things that can be done to have your time produce more of what you want out of your life. I can’t address all of them here, but I will give you a couple.

First is simply “your” attitude, and “your” awareness, of “your” time. You are the one who has the most control over your time, and how it is spent. Accept responsibility for your 1440 minutes. Don’t try to blame your job, spouse, family, other commitments, or almost anything else, for misuse of your time. You must not only own your time, but you must be aware of how valuable it really is.

What do you want in your life?

Another important thing to do, is think about what you want to have happening in your life. This seems like a monumental task for some people. I am a thinker so this comes naturally for me. Even if you are not a thinker, you must put some effort into knowing what it is you want out of this minute, day, year, season, or life. This could easily lead into the importance of dreams, vision, and goal-setting, but for this lesson we will stick to time management.

 So don’t get overwhelmed by thinking that you have to have an entire plan for your life thought through before you can do anything. I am a dedicated thinker and I don’t have everything all thought out, nobody does. Life is a journey, not a destination. It is a process that will continually be evolving, and we must be ok with that.

So just pick one thing that you would like to have more of in your life. Come on I dare you, just pick one thing. Next “time” we will give you some more tools to make it happen.

Hero or Villain! That’s Your Choice!

If you’re a man and you have ever wondered how important you are, if you’re a dad and have ever wondered about what your impact has been or can be, if you’re a wife or mother and have ever wondered how important the man in your house is, WATCH THIS VIDEO TO FIND OUT!

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