Like reading? Like to be inspired by books? Like to have books recommended to you?
Here are a list of some of my favourite books I’ve read that have helped me become the person I am today. They inspired me through hard times and gave me hope and direction when I needed it most.
I hope you find them just as useful. (not in any particular order):
1) The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Also known as “the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States” was a book I stumbled across after reading Robin Sharma’s – The Monk who Sold his Ferrari. It was a suggested, influential read and I was impressed by his plan of 13 virtues that he developed at age 20 in 1726! Quite ahead of his time I’d say. Here they are:
- “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
- “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
- “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
- “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
- “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
- “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
- “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
- “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
- “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
- “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
- “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
- “Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”
- “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”. B. Franklin
2) Robin Sharma – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
This book was given to my travel buddy, Claudia by a friend of ours in Shanghai. Since Claudia was in the middle of another book at the time, I managed to sneak it away from her and found I spent most of our road trip down the coast of Queensland taking notes and getting inspired.
It will give you some thought to your life, your goals, your dreams and how your daily habits reach those dreams.
From this book also come the 10 Rituals of Radiant Living which you may have read in an earlier post of mine (https://bernessameetworld.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/the-10-rituals-of-radiant-living/):
- Spend at least 15 minutes in silence and solitude.
- Practice yoga or another restorative physical activity.
- Eat “live” foods—vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Stimulate your mind—engage in lifelong learning, and read great books at least 30 minutes a day.
- Engage in introspection.
- Wake up early, get good-quality sleep, and start your day off with positive actions.
- Employ the power of music—listen, play, sing, dance.
- Practice mantras or positive affirmations.
- Take daily action to strengthen your character—practice virtues such as industry, compassion, humility, patience, honest, courage.
- Simplify your life. Slow down, unclutter, do less, but do things that you enjoy more.
“You sow a thought, you reap an action. Reap an action, you sow a habit. Sow a habit, you reap a character. Sow a character, you reap your destiny.”- Robin Sharma.
3) James Redfield – The Celestine Prophecy
This book started my interest and appreciation for this particular genre of books, and it’s all thanks to a dear friend of mine who lives in Sri Lanka, Anjali. The book itself is over 20 years old and it’s an American best seller so chances are you’ve heard of it before. It has also been made into a film but I cannot make any judgement on the film as I’ve never seen it.
The main character of the novel undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru. The book is a first-person narrative of spiritual awakening. The narrator is in a transitional period of his life, and begins to notice instances of synchronicity, which is the belief that coincidences have a meaning personal to those who experience them.
“The universe is energy, energy that responds to our expectations.”- James Redfield
4) The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
An incredibly emotional read but fundamental to understanding the lives and the history of South Africa. A man who fought for what he believed, who suffered for the good of his people, who persisted, who believed in equality, who made the world stop and reach out. An inspiration to all and a book that will leave you in awe.
When Nelson Mandela passed away last year (2013), I posted one of my favourite quotes of his: (https://bernessameetworld.wordpress.com/2013/12/06/in-memory-of-a-great-man/)
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”. – Nelson Mandela.
5) Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich
This is not a cover that I would normally pick up, and in actual fact, it was another book that was recommended in Robin Sharma’s – The Monk who Sold his Ferrari. It sounds like a superficial title and really I know there is more to life than money. However, once you get past the title, you’ll discover a motivational self development book intended to help all people succeed in their line of business.
This is one of those treasures you stumble across and end up recommending to everyone you know. I’ve quoted from it, taken notes, completed Napoleon Hill’s worksheets and even put his principles to the test. His 13 principles are:
4. Specialized Knowledge
6. Organized Planning
9. Power of the Master Mind
10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
11. The Subconscious Mind
12. The Brain
13. The Sixth Sense
“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve”. Napoleon Hill.
ENJOY and HAPPY reading 🙂