2 Game Changing Books
Are you a reader? Even though I read slowly reading is one of my favorite activities. I get a lot of reading done by listening to audiobooks and having the computer read to me using text to speech on Apple devices and specialized software on Windows based devices...this is a habit I picked up from my dyslexic husband. On a typical day I will read news services when I open my eyes and check out a few articles from the Financial Times (and other platforms) throughout the morning. In the afternoon, I usually go out for an hour long walk (my dog enjoys it) and listen to books (or podcasts) 3-5 days of the week.
For a long time I used to only read nonfiction. However, nowadays I enjoy fiction the best and lap up stories like a thirsty dog drinking water. Good stories allow me to escape to an entirely different world and challenge my thinking (they also make me a better writer). On the other hand, bad stories take me forever (I am talking years) to read.
At last, finding a good and memorable book can be hard. There are so many options and so little time. That's why today I thought I would share two books that have left a very strong impression on me. They are: Letters to a Young Poet by Maria Rainer Rilke and Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns. Both of these books saved me when I was young (in my late teens and early 20s) and battled depression.
Changing My LifeDepression is tough. Anybody who's been there knows it. When you are young and romantic but disillusioned with life it can be exceptionally difficult to carry on normally. I've been there. In fact, I spent so many years of my life there that I can hardly believe I am here today. The loneliness which I felt was recently brought to mind while watching the first season of Mr. Robot. It's a terrible place to be and I hope no such pain even on my enemies. Maybe that is what triggered this post.
I don't remember when I first read David Burn's cognitive therapy book, Feeling Good, but it's exceptional. It's possibly the best book I've read on how to get out the negative mind space all depressed people live in. It's even better than going through a series of mediocre shrinks (I've done that)! It gives you exercises on how to become aware of your negative thought patterns and filters, and how to replace them with more positive habits, ideas, and become aware of your filters. It's brilliant but, more importantly, effective at empowering yourself with the tools you need to beat a depressed mind!
Similarly, Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke did an extraordinary job at putting at ease my existentialist angst. Letters to a Young Poet made me feel in good company and understood. It's romantic, poetic and reminds me that all you need is love and persistence. Perhaps it can do the same thing for you!
A third book which I would also highly recommend is Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich. It gives you a break down of basic leadership skills we all need to become effective adults. The truth is adulting is hard. This book kind of breaks down the task into chunks. The book also does an extraordinary job at pointing out the importance of finding a life purpose and sticking to it. All meanwhile stressing the importance of developing a kind and compassionate character. As a side effect, you might become rich in the process. Who wouldn't want that?
What are some game changing books you've read?
P.S. I also love humorous and science fiction books but maybe that will be a post for a different day.