Monday, November 16, 2015

Three Books That Totally Changed My Life

Stack of books

Have you ever read a book and felt renewed in spirit and energy by the message or maybe even sad that the story was ending? I love getting lost in a good read and am always looking for my next book. I regularly solicit recommendations from my friends and participate in book clubs. One of my girlfriends in Chicago and I even keep a Google spreadsheet of more than 200+ books that are on our reading list that we rate and comment on. Think of it as long-distance book-clubbing.

While I typically find something I like about every book I read, there are three books (the entire Harry Potter series excluded) that I’ve read that completely changed my life. I realize this is a heavy statement, and people always ask me, "what do you mean by that?"

For something to change my life, it has to change the way I think about myself and the world around me. After all, it is our thoughts that become our habits, that become our actions, right?

So read on for the three books that changed my life and why:

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers - I love this book because of the way it evaluates successful people and the connections he makes between seemingly unrelated people. Gladwell takes such a different, yet scientific approach to understanding and defining success that made it so much more palatable for me. If you ever wondered what it takes to be successful, this book provides a pretty good roadmap.

Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken - the story of Louis Zamperini is one we should all read. You could segment out any part of this story, his childhood and rise to Olympian, his Olympic experience, his experience as a POW, or his post-war experience, and it would all be an exceptional read. The fact that all of these things happened to one person is awe-inspiring.  Louie’s story changed the way I think about the human spirit and the human condition. Don't believe me that this is an amazing read? Just check out those Amazon reviews. When was the last time you saw something rated with 5 stars and 25,000 reviews?

Marshall Goldsmith, Triggers - Marshall Goldsmith is my life and leadership guru. He just gets it right every time for me. His approach to interpersonal relationships and communication really ring true for me, and I feel like I learn something new and critically important every time I read one of his books, and behavior change was no different. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking to make a behavior change in their life (who isn’t?).

What books have you read that changed your life and how?


  1. I have only read Outliers. Will check the others out too. A lot of books that changed my life have been fiction surprisingly! :)

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  2. Dear JLW - Thank you! You nice post has made my day! - Marshall Goldsmith



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