As the season changes and another school year begins, I think about books. I prefer the non-digital type; the kind where you can dog ear the pages or highlight important stuff like words, sentences or complete paragraphs; the ones where you can write in the margins. Every year, one of my New Year’s goals is to read more for pleasure. I have always gravitated towards motivational, self-help or inspirational books while the Nicholas Sparks romance novels in my bookcase remain unread. I envision reading those types of books while vacationing on a tropical island somewhere; or while sitting in a comfy chair on a rainy day or while snuggled under an afghan as the snow comes falling down. The problem is, I never touch those books! I prefer to read books about Paula Deen and how she went from being “The Bag Lady” who peddled lunches door to door to becoming “The Lady & Sons” restaurant in Savannah, Georgia; Truett Cathy and how he inspired people to “Eat Mor Chikin” by using Holstein cows; Suze Orman’s book on “Women & Money” which apparently did me absolutely no good since I’m still broke and “Onward” by the founder of Starbucks because of my love affair with caffeine and the coffee shop experience. These types of books inspire and fuel the entrepreneurial spirit inside of me. They give me hope and the belief that if these people can do it, anyone including myself can too. I do get a little disappointed however when these highly successful people do not pay it forward by sharing some of their secrets with those of us who are still trying to figure things out. For the second time in the past year, I have just finished reading Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Success Think Like a Success”. He “gets it” and he wants people like you and me to get it too! One of the paragraphs in his book says “Many self-help and inspirational books tell you that you need to get something that you don’t already have in order to achieve greatness”. He goes onto say that “you don’t have to take another class, learn another language, get with a new set of people or spend money you don’t have. To become truly successful in your life, you have to start with your gift. And you know what’s so great about that? You already have it!” Steve Harvey was homeless and living in his car ten years ago. I really enjoyed reading the part about the day after he won his first amateur talent show doing stand-up comedy. He immediately had business cards made with nothing but “Steve Harvey, Comedian” printed on the front of them. The next thing he did was to go into his bosses’ office at the Ford Motor Company and quit his job. Subsequently that’s how he ended up homeless but he was that committed to his dream and to developing his gift. He tells of how he was tired of struggling and doing without; tired of feeling disappointment; tired of not being able to see the potential in himself that others clearly saw; he was tired of living in a rut and he was exhausted from looking outside of himself for the answers. He finally came to realize that the solution to his pain and despair were deep inside of him all along. He was God’s child and God didn’t love those other people any more than He loved him, so why not him? I share those same sentiments exactly and I also ask myself why not me?
So, after I achieve even the slightest measure of success that any of the aforementioned greats have achieved, I will pull out my Nicholas Sparks books and begin to read…on the beach, in the rain or in the snow; wherever I choose. So, what’s in your library?