Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The books you read and the people you meet

About 10 years ago, in a team building/motivational/I'm-just-glad-to-be-off-the- phones-for-an-hour-speech in a conference room in Phoenix, I heard that the only things that will really change your life will come from the books you read and the people you meet. I thought that was a really interesting way of thinking about life. The speaker didn't know who came up with it, but I've found that some version of the quote can be found everywhere.

So, once in a while, I'll take a look at some of the books and people that have shaped me in some way. Today, some books:

  • Anything by Wayne Dyer. I have read at least six or seven of his books, many of them more than once. Reading Dyer, or hearing him speak (on PBS) is inspirational, and educational-- pointing out that we all have the tools to create the lives we want--or Don't Want. I have to continuously read the books to remind myself how my mind is creating "My Life". A few of my favorite quotes:
  • "When you believe it, you will see it."
  • "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
  • Switching gears... It is so important to laugh, and to not take this life so seriously. I love writers who take their own lives and chuckle onto the page so we can laugh with them. Laurie Notaro is one of my favorites-- I laugh so much when I read her essays, even if I had read them 100 times already. David Sedaris is another favorite. Both of these writers point and laugh at the world around them, saying things you yourself are not witty enough to come up with, and would never say out loud, anyway. I admire the lack of fear that comes with that kind of writing.
  • As a kid, I couldn't get enough of Judy Blume. I devoured her books, so relieved to find a mirror of my feelings that was searching for a way to describe and understand. I still see kids reading her books when I'm subbing. When I was a kid, a librarian told me Blume's books would not be considered "classics", so were not worthwhile reading. I knew even then how wrong she was.

Happy Reading! It could change your life!

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