The books that changed my life.

I am re-editing my own book, Via.  A friend of mine, who happens to publish books, wants to publish mine.

I was advised to include, in the new edition, books that have inspired me.

I will be adding the list to the newest version of Via.  In the meantime, I need a place to store my thoughts.  I will be storing them here in this blog post for a while.  Updates could be constant over the next week, or so.

In no particular order… here goes:

Books that changed my perspective on life:

Goals, by Zig Ziglar.  My wife brought this series home from a yard sale one day.  She had bought the set for one dollar.  There were two cassette tapes.  I literally wore the series out.   I was at one of the lowest points in my life.  I am not exaggerating when I say that this series turned my life around.  Thank you, Zig.

See You at the Top, by Zig Ziglar.  After listening to Goals, I read the print version of this book.  More good stuff.  If you are low, Ziglar can bring you back up with his stories, his positive attitude, and his irresistible cheer.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.  Mr. Covey’s explanation of the four quadrants gave my life direction.  I have not viewed the world in the same way since the day I discovered those quadrants.  Every day, as I script my day, I assign each task to a particular quadrant.   80% of my efforts go to the first quadrant.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.  This is what they should be teaching in school.  Have you ever noticed how much of the New Testament is just about dealing with other people?  We need to spend more time teaching kids people skills, and less time teaching them Algebra.

21 Great Ways to Manage Your Time and Double Your Productivity, by Brian Tracy.  I used to listen to thisover and over again while working out.  

Rich Dad / Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.  After reading this book I knew that teaching would never rescue my family financially.  I knew I had to do something else.  I could still teach, but I had to add something else or we were going to sink.  I took a job with an apartment management company/construction company.  I need the extra money, and I wanted to learn more about real estate.  I still have that job.

The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley.  This book could easily be taught as if were commentary the Biblical book of Proverbs.  The surprising truth about the financial successes in America?  They stay married.  They drive older cars.  They live in modest homes.  They start businesses.  They really don’t look that rich.  They are frugal.  They are cheap dates.   Like the millionaires in America… this book is rather dull at times.

The Four Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferris.  By the time I read this book, I probably didn’t need it as much as I once had.  Still, there is much to learn from this book.  It was Tim Ferris who inspired me to  jettison my fears and move my family to Israel and Greece for four months.  Warning.  This one is not for the kids.  There is a lot of swearing in this book.  And, it can be strangely crude.

The Pledge, by Michael Masterson.  If you read one book from this list, read this one.  I don’t know how many times I have read this book.  Dozens, at least.  During a financially dark period of my life, I read this book every month.  I would listen to it on audio while working at the apartments where my family lived.

Incidentally, I agree with about 90% of this book. It’s good. One my favorite books. However, I am a Christian. Michael Masterson is not. With no uncertainty, he attacks my faith in the book from time to time. It’s pretty rare, though.  I still say the book is worth it.

The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield.  The title sums it up.  If you are a creator, an artist, or a writer, this book will remind you to get out of your own way.  I read Pressfield’s book while writing Visual Latin.   I need the motivation to push through.  Pressfield provided motivation.

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice, by Brendon Burchard.  Like The Pledge, by Michael Masterson, this is a book I have listened to many times.  Brendon extremely encouraging.  This alone makes the book worth your time.  But, Brendon is also extremely practical.  He teaches you exactly how to get your message out to the world.  His product breakdown was a breakthrough for me.  I can get overwhelmed before I ever begin a major project.  I tend to look at the entire picture.  Sometimes, this habit hamstrings me.  Stuck in my own planning, I cannot move forward.  Brendon breaks the process down into sizeable, manageable parts.  He then teaches you how to tackle each part.  His book was also most helpful in teaching me how to monetize each part.  

Buying Right, by John Schaub.  Mr. Schaub is a real estate investor from Florida.  He believes that you can make it big on little deals.  You don’t have to become a millionaire.  You just have to figure out a way to become financially free.  He shows you how he did it with single family homes.