Quality Reading

For a few years I have been reading posts by Chris Pearson over at Pearsonified. His site-design is less cluttered than many, thus making his articles easy to follow and read. His posts are always informative and teach old-tricks in new ways and in a different light. This may sound like what every one is doing these days – but Chris puts a particularly good spin on everything that entices you to read on!

Creative Thinking

A recent post of his says “Really good, really smart people actively seek out those with whom they share an intrinsic kinship.” . Later it says “You want to catch the attention of the other intelligent people out there who will listen to you and appreciate you because of who you are? … Be an anomaly.

This is a great idea, but it reminded me of an old adage: “It’s hard to fly like an eagle when you are surrounded by turkeys.” In order to get noticed, one needs to be recognised/seen by people who care and/or understand what it is that makes you believe you are great.

If I sound in anyway negative, it’s because I have lived long enough to know that the “I am great therefore I am” method is only one step in the equation. Believing you are something is one thing. Making others believe is whole new ball game.

When I finished high school in 1986, I honestly had no conception of where life was going to take me. I didn’t have any plans, or any real concerns about the future: I was prepared to let life drag me along without direction. The words “self-belief” were not in my vocabulary. (Hell, “Vocabulary” was not in my vocabulary!). Wondering about where I was heading didn’t even rate as a concept in my way of thinking.

For a short time (1987-1989) I spent time at TAFE doing a “Associate Diploma in Architectural Drafting“. However, for some silly reason -which is not worth mentioning – I quit. How stupid was I?! Do not answer that. All the what-if’s in the world won’t bring back those few years of my life.

Anyhow, I dragged my carcass along life’s freeway of dole-bludging for a few years, working in a MOBIL car wash for some time (If you know the Adelaide CBD, you’ll know the place!), and numerous odd jobs. I even worked as a door-to-door salesperson. It was during these odd jobs that I met and talked with some of the most interesting people anyone would want to meet. In some cases, people I really wish I hadn’t met. But the experiences taught me about self-belief, motivation, inspiration, gaining confidence, and aspirations.

During 1990’s I started purchasing books that would hopefully inspire me. At that time the CES allowed me to attend free training for a few months a time. Consequently, I had the opportunity to listen to some public speakers, both local and national. During one session we watched a video (anyone old enough to remember BETA?) of Anthony Robbins telling us how “Small Changes can Make a Difference“.

He also convinced us to purchase his book: “Giant Steps“. (Which somehow always reminds me of the movie “Baby Steps” – The idea that we should not concentrate on the final goal, which may seem impossible, but rather focus on the small attainable goals on the way to your final destination.) Yes, I bought the book. I even read it. From cover to cover? No. There is only so much ‘Robbins a person can endure per hour of the day.

But there is one page that is most important and relates to motivation and ongoing personal performance: PAGE 143: “A fundamental law of conditioning is that any pattern that is continuously reinforced will become an automatic and conditioned response. Anything we fail to reinforce will eventually dissipate.”
Any good web-designer will tell you this is an absolute fact. In order to learn the correct methods of applying CSS to HTML, or using non-deprecated HTML, meant using the same methodologies time and time again – until it became the only way.

Then I went on to purchase many more books:

(Actually these books were either gifts, bought at retail, bought at garage-sales, or acquired after family-deaths throughout the last two decades.)

  1. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – at Work – Simple Ways to Minimise Stress and Conflict While Bringing Out the Best in Yourself and Others by R.Carlson
    I was advised to read this. Now I advise EVERYONE to read it.
  2. Everyone Remembers the Elephant in the Pink Tutu – How to Promote and Publicise Your Business with Impact and Style by M.M. Cronin and S. Caplan
  3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by R.T. Kiyosaki
    The bible for any businessman, either beginning or on the journey.
  4. Secrets of Power Persuasion – Everything You’ll Ever Need to get Anything You’ll Ever Want by R. Dawson
  5. Extreme Success – 7-Part Program That Shows You How to Succeed Without Struggle by R.Fettke
  6. Giants of Enterprise – Seven Business Innovators and the Empires They Built by R.S. Tedlow
    Very informative. The story of Andrew Carnegie is always fascinating.
  7. Getting past NO – Negotiating with Difficult People by W. Ury
  8. Secret Men’s Business – Manhood: The Big Gig by J. Marsden
    More amusing than informative.
  9. Mediations from the Road – 365 Daily Lessons by M.S. Peck
  10. Begin It Now – You Have a Purpose by S. Hayward
    Read this in the early 1990’s. A must read.
  11. Live and Learn and Pass It On by H.J. Brown, Jnr
  12. The Millionaire Mind by T.J. Stanley
    Always reading this one. Sits next to the bed so it infiltrates my dreams…
  13. Bag of Jewels by S. Hayward & M. Cohan
  14. “Just Do It – Inspirational & Quotable Gems” by H. Mills
  15. “Giant Steps – Small Changes to Make a Big Difference | 365 Daily Lesson in Self Mastery” by A. Robbins
  16. When They Zig, You Zag – How to Achieve Success, Health and Happiness by Doing the Opposite to Everyone Else by S. Reynolds
    I might be the only owner of this book, but I like it.

Don’t get me wrong!! I have NOT read all of these books in full. I probably never will. Some might say I really should – but there is only so much time in the day. I view each of them like mini-bibles: Open them up to any page to find words of inspiration. “It’s true!

Although there are many good motivational books, there are only two books truly worthy of reading. I go so far as to say students should read these during their final year of secondary education. These books will influence how a person will turn out. Forget reciting Shakespeare and contemplating Plato – read these two books:

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  2. The Official Guide to Success by Tom Hopkins

Life has changed considerably since 1986, the year I finished High School. I was unable to attend my high-school reunion a few years back, but it got me thinking about those things that had the most influence on the person I have become today. Was it the books? The people? The experiences and free-training? Was it the persistence in learning web-design – or just parental persistence?

Anyone else got any good books worth reading?

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