5 Books That Changed My Life

Today, I’d like to share 5 books that changed my life. Since about the age of 24, I’ve been an avid reader.  I try to read at least one book a week. For the most part, I read self-help and business books, because those are the topics that interest me the most.

During these past 16 years, I’ve read approximately 700 books. Most were okay.  A few were exceptional.  A few were horrible.  And, a very select few were life changing.

The Five Books That Changed My Life

In this post, I’ll focus on the five LIFE CHANGING books. I hope you will order a copy of each book, study it, and apply what you learn. I know they can have the same impact in your life as they did for me.  They are listed in no particular order.

Personality Plus by Florence Littauer

We’re all wired differently.  Thank goodness.  It keeps the world interesting.  Some people are analytical.  Others are outgoing.  Some people are funny.  Others are quiet and shy.  And, the list goes on.

In the book, Ms. Littauer discusses the four primary personalities.  They are Sanguine, Melancholy, Choleric, and Phlegmatic. She goes on to say that each person has a predominant personality type, but also has combinations of the other personalities (on a smaller scale).

A Sanguine is someone who is the life of the party. They are outgoing, easy to talk to, and fun to be around.  A Choleric is someone who is a natural leader and doer. They are to the point and results oriented.  A Melancholy is someone who craves order and tends to be a perfectionist. Finally, a Phlegmatic is someone who is easy going, relaxed and calm.

Choleric personalities crave CONTROL.  Melancholy personalities crave PERFECTION.  Sanguine personalities crave FUN.  And, Phlegmatic personalities crave PEACE.

This book helps you identify your own personality type, and teaches you how to get along with the other personality types. It shares what types of things are important to each personality type, so you can form more meaningful relationships with them.

Once you’ve studied the book, it’s pretty easy to identify the personality type of each person you talk with.  This will allow you to relate to them better, get along with them better, and even improve your relationship with them.

The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman

This is the best marriage/relationship book of all time, as I see it. It will help you build better relationships with your spouse, kids, co-workers and friends. In the book, Gary Chapman explains the five different ways people give and receive love. Those five ways are physical touch, quality time, acts of service, gifts and words of affirmation.

In most relationships, the two people have different love languages. That means they express and receive love differently than the other person. The easiest way to figure out your own love language is to think about what you do to show other people you care about them.

For example, I’m a words of affirmation guy.  Tell me you love me or believe in me, and I’m good to go for a while.  In addition, I’m always telling people how I feel about them.  It just comes naturally for me.

On the other hand, my wife is an acts of service type of person. She shows me she loves me by doing things for me, such as making meals, keeping the house clean, and making my life easier.

What I’ve learned from the book is that it’s important to express love to the other person in the way that they receive it.  Therefore, instead of telling my wife “I love you” all the time, it’s important for me to express my love via “acts of service” which is her love language.  Does that make sense?

This book also talks about the difference between love and lust and why so many relationships fail.  I honestly hope that every person reading this post will study this book and apply what they learn in their own personal relationships.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

This book is beyond epic. It will teach you how to become a people person, something that will benefit everyone.  It will help you become more likable and build stronger relationships with the people you interact with.

Let’s face it, we all interact with other people every single day of our lives.  It’s our relationships that give us meaning and purpose. It’s our people skills that play a big factor in how far we move up the corporate ladder, and in life. Knowing how to get along with all types of people is one of the most important skills a successful person has.

This book will teach you people skills.  Before I read this book, I had a bad attitude. I wasn’t very likable. I had a chip on my shoulder and was hard to get along with. After reading this book many times, and applying what I’ve learned, I’ve become much easier to get along with. I’m also a lot happier now.

I now see things from the other person’s perspective. I now do a lot more listening than talking. I try to stay positive at all times and never criticize, condemn, or complain. I check my body language, posture, and attitude every single day.

If you struggle to get along with people, or simply want to improve your people skills, you’ve got to read this book.

The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwarz

This is a classic book by Dr. David Schwarz.  It was written more than 50 years ago.  I learned a lot of valuable lessons in this book.  A few things that really stand out to me include:

  • Action cures fear
  • How to think big
  • How to keep a positive mental attitude
  • How to set goals
  • How to turn defeat into victory

Of all the books I own, this book has more passages underlined and highlighted than any other book.

This book will really benefit people with low self-esteem, people who are overly critical of themselves, and people who want to step out of their comfort zone and change.

Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This list wouldn’t be complete without this title on it.  Other than the Bible, this book is often referred to as the # 1 self-help book of all time.  Written by Napoleon Hill nearly 100 years ago, this book shares the findings of interviewing 100 of the world’s wealthiest people.  He shares 17 success principles that are completely life changing.

Some of the key lessons I learned in this book include:

  1. Thoughts are things
  2. Desire is the starting point of all success
  3. The importance of specialized knowledge
  4. The power of the mastermind
  5. The importance of planning
  6. Persistence
  7. The power of the subconscious mind

This is one of those few books you could read over and over and over and still learn something new every time you read it.  I try to read Think & Grow Rich at least twice per year. I’ve probably read it 20 times now.

If I could only recommend one book on this list, this would be it. If you haven’t read “Think & Grow Rich” do yourself a favor and order a copy. Even though the information is nearly 100 years old, it’s still relevant today.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are the five books that changed my life for the better.  How about you?  Have you read these books before?  If so, did they benefit you as well?  Also, I’d love to know about any other titles that had a huge impact in your life.  Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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