I became aware of personal development about two years ago, during my senior year of high school, but I didn’t really apply it then. I didn’t quite understand the correlation between reading and an improved lifestyle, so I pushed it aside and ignored it.
When I was younger, I loved to read. Then high school happened. I took challenging courses (which, looking back now, were SO worth it) and often felt like I was drowning in homework. I went to school, had cross country practice, ate dinner, and then did homework until 11ish most nights. Reading for leisure was not on my list of appealing things to do when I wasn’t neck-deep in my homework. I’ve always been one to apply myself to academics, but outside of the forced reading, I couldn’t bring myself to read more.
Now, as I’m nearing the end of my junior year of college, I’m beginning to better understand the importance of leisure reading. One of the companies I work for in my spare time encourages us to read 10 pages of a good book a day, and I really started to take that seriously this past year. At the last conference I was at in September, I made a goal for myself. I wouldn’t let myself go to the next conference (this week!!!) if I didn’t average one book a month.
Well, my bags are packed and I’m hitting the road tomorrow! I met my goal and it feels so good. I think it is safe to say that I’m a different person now than I was during high school, and I can attribute a lot of that to the books I’ve read. Since September, I’ve read nine books (I’ll post the list at the bottom of this post).
As I’ve read, I’ve tried to apply what I’ve learned to my life as a student and as an entrepreneur. Personal development books have a way of telling you exactly what you need to hear, no matter where you are in your life. Here are a few key takeaways:
- You are the average of the people you spend the most time with, so surround yourself with people who will be totally honest with you, inspire you, teach you, motivate you and make you happy.
- Don’t waste your time with people suck your energy or waste your time.
- The little things you do every single day make a difference; over time, you’ll see a trend based on your decisions, so it’s up to you to make it good.
- Find mentors in numerous aspects of your life, not just for your career.
- Your biggest opponent is inside of your head.
Here’s what I’ve read! I wish I had a nice picture of them all lined up on a bookshelf, but the reality is most of them came from the library or were audiobooks (a great way to get your daily dose of personal development)! I’ve linked them all to their listing on Amazon so you can get more information.
•The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson* (for the second time)
Do you have a favorite personal development book? Share it with me in the comments!