Reading Books to Make a Difference in Your Life

I don’t deny I’ve bought a lot of self-help books over the last twenty five years. Yet there are only a few that I regularly read, particularly pages and portions that pertain most to my want to fix my life.

I’m one of those kids that walked around at high-school saying This is a stepping stone between kindergarten and the real world.” No, I never said it out loud, it would have fallen on deaf ears. But since then and still, I firmly believe that.

Pick your Noose!

Some might say that the biggest mistake I ever made was not pursuing further education after leaving High School. Oh, I did a few courses, mostly in computer program studies, a couple of financial-management courses and anything the CES was willing to pay for me to attend. Thankfully it was a time when I could pick and choose.

I still believe that a person can learn all they need to know from a book. The trick is not in the reading, but in the perseverance, the desire and the will to do more with one’s life. I still find it hard to believe that the average kid will learn anything from a teacher ranting at them for 6 hours of a day. (How many hours do kids spend in school these days?) When I was at TAFE, I made sure to ask MANY questions, to question all options, and to suggest alternatives. On two occasions I became a tutor for other students willing to listen. My next course-of-study will either be marketing or small-business management. Guess why?

Today’s article quotes from one of three books that I find the most interesting and informative.

I’m not saying this to change your way of thinking, but merely to remind myself of what I read and what I do with that information.

This first book I purchased in 1998, long before it was fashionable and faved by everyone. I cannot recall if I had it recommended to me, or I just spotted it on the shelf. Either way, I still read it. It’s because of this book that we own several houses around Australia.

35mm Photography For Pleasure

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki and Sharon L Lechter

I never had a rich dad, but I had a dad who knew how to live without having a lot of money. All three boys learnt some invaluable lessons in our teenage years, mostly pertaining to how little money one needs to be happy, why naming farm-animals leads to pain, and how to milk a goat without getting kicked in the teeth. (Oh yeah, that photo to the left is of another book I like. And it made you look!)

Within twenty pages of this book I got kicked in the teeth, hard and painfully:

“…that is not how life teaches you, and I would say that life is the best teacher of all. Most of the time, life does not talk to you. It just pushes you around. Each push is life saying, ‘Wake up. There’s something I want you to learn.’ “

Some might think that is elementary, but you’d be surprised how many times I’d wake up to a new day and do nothing new. There is nothing more boring than doing the same shit, day in, day out, for so many years of our lives.

“If you learn life’s lessons, you will do well. If not, life will just continue to push you around. People do two things. Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push back against their boss, or their jobs, or their husband or wife. They do know that it’s life pushing.”

Castle

It took me many years to realise how true it is: There is no point getting angry with anyone else when the real blame is within oneself.

“Life pushes us all around. Some give up. Others fight. A few learn the lesson and move on. They welcome life pushing them around. To these few people, it means they need and want to learn something. They learn and move on. Most quit…”

Some days I feel like quitting, yet somehow I never reach that chasm. Something always draws me back and reminds me that I only get one life, and that I must find or make the answer to my problems.

“If you learn this lesson, you will grow into a wise, wealthy and happy man. If you don’t, you will spend your life blaming a job, low pay or your boss for your problems. You’ll live life hoping that big break will solve all your money problems …”

The previous quote is why I stopped buying lottery tickets. Well, unless they have massive payouts – and even then I only buy one ticket. My wife and I have established an amount of money we call: ‘Disposable income‘. It’s what we spend on ourselves, not the bank-manager, not the strata-costs on our investment property. We can either spend or save it. At the moment I am saving it up for a new lens and my next block of shares.

“… or if you are the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you are that kind of person, you’ll live your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for some event that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man.
You’ll have lots of friends who really like you because you were such a niche hard-working guy. You spent a life playing it safe, doing the right things. But the truth is, you left life push you into submission. Deep down you were terrified of taking risks.
You really wanted to win, but the fear of losing was greater than the excitement of winning. Deep inside, you and only you will know you didn’t go for it. You chose to play it safe.”

Wow, just typing that out from the book brought out a lot of emotions. Particularly writing “Then, you die a boring old man.” It’s inevitable, we are going to die. But which of us is going to make a difference RIGHT NOW knowing that eventually all of this is going to end? That should be enough to wake up the entrepreneur in everyone!

Orange Buoy

There are lots of interesting paragraphs in this book , I have given you just a few. If you seriously want to change your life, buy it, steal it (kidding), get it and read it over and over. I trust you won’t put it down. Tomorrow I tell you about book two of three that help me get on with life.

Postscript.
There are sites that have discovered that the Rich and Poor Dad didn’t actually exist , that they are fictitious characters. Does that really matter? The fact is, it’s great story, it combines two stories that tell us how people think about money, how they go about making more for themselves, and in the end, this book helps us stop and think before we work ourselves into the grave.

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