Can a Book Really Change Your Life?
Written by Tony Clark of Success From the Nest.
"Ever read a book that changed your life? Me neither." ~ Jim Gaffigan
How often have you heard someone say that a book changed their life?
Besides Oprah. Or all the reviews at Amazon for self-help books -- by authors at the same publisher who are required to pimp each other's books.
No, I'm talking about your friends, family, colleagues, or customers.
How about you -- has a book ever changed your life?
I'm going to say "no," because a book can't change your life.
Waiting For a Fire to Start Itself
I've known lots of people who rush out to buy the latest "30 Days to [Enter Results Here]" book, read it in a few days, and then are pissed off that their life hasn't changed.
30 days later, they are still waiting for a new life -- and are even more frustrated.
"What a waste of money," they say. "That book is a scam."
The problem is that no matter how powerful the ideas and concepts contained within a book (or audio program, or video series, etc.), it's worthless if you don't put them into practice.
That requires action on your part.
Reading a book, and expecting some life altering thing to magically happen is like waiting for a match to light a fire on its own. Granted, there are circumstances where a match can spontaneously combust, but there are some factors there that cause it to ignite.
A fire requires a catalyst and a trigger. Until then, it's just potential.
It's the same with life changing events.
A Book as a Catalyst for Change
It's been said that knowledge is power. It's also been said that it's not knowledge that's power, but knowledge plus action.
The ideas and concepts presented in the right book, at the right time in your life, can be a catalyst for change. The book itself provides the starting point, but you are the one that is making the change. You are taking steps to put the ideas into practice.
Over the years several books have provided that catalyst for me. Books that came into my possession at a point where I was ready for their particular ideas to set a change in motion. For example:
- 5 Rituals of Wealth by Tod Barnhart provided a framework for me when I needed it.
- Is Your Genius at Work? by Dick Richards is one of the few books I recommend to everyone looking for some insight into themselves.
- Work Less, Make More by Jennifer White gave me the perspective and tools to take my business to the next level. Sadly Jennifer passed away suddenly in 2001, just an hour after her 33rd birthday. Yet her words continue to inspire. I credit her strategies for getting me into action, and inspiring me to make some key changes in my entrepreneurial life.
There is real power in the sharing of knowledge and experience. Ideas can generate the trigger and action needed to move your life to where you want it to be.
But a book, no matter how powerful it's message, can't change your life.
Only you can do that.
Photo by Shots By Me.
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