5 books that have had a positive impact on my life

Hi All,

Those of you that know me, know that reading is one of my favourite pleasures in this world. For the first 20 odd years of my life, I got lost in fiction.  Through conversations at work, attending training courses and the internet, I became aware of non-fiction books and their power to help me grow and learn.  I am a Philomath (lover of learning and studying…some higher grade english …lol) so these books have proven to be right up my alley!   Today I want to share with you a few that I have found helpful on my journey thus far.

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
This book was first published in 1937.  The lessons still apply today.  In it, Napoleon Hill shares 13 “steps to riches” that he devised based on his observations of some of the wealthiest people of his time as well as interviews he had with them.   Key messages from this book were that your thoughts play a vital role in your success and that hard work alone will not get you there.
Napoleon-Hill-Quotes-From-Think-And-Grow-Rich-6-e1441227214466
2. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Reading this book was such an eye opener for me.  I excelled in basic accounting until grade 9 but I never truly understood the definition of an asset until I read this book. You will change your understanding of wealth creation once you have read this.

3. Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook.  Put the 9 steps to work by Suze Orman

After reading this I was able to get myself out of debt within a year. I kid you not! While Rich Dad Poor Dad teaches you about the bigger picture, this book will teach you the nitty-gritty of budgeting. How to plan your financial portfolio.  You will also learn how to treat money with respect. You will understand where your money habits originate from and acquire the tools to change them. The most important message for me was, once again, how powerful our thoughts are and how they determine our success or failure in this life.  I don’t think the South African version is in print anymore, unfortunately.  You can still use the American version as it is not largely different.

4. A year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson

Food for your soul. That’s the best way I can describe it. Each day you work through a reflection and, approximately once a week, a devotion. This book helps you view the world through the eyes of love so that you send positivity out and find peace within.

5. Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr

I picked this book up at the airport and held onto it for about a month before I was ready to open it.  To be honest, I didn’t think it would work.  I could not imagine life without cigarettes! I did want to give up smoking however, I wasn’t fully committed to the idea when I opened the book.  I was definitely 90% of the way there though.  I started reading it on a Friday night.  At around 1 pm on Saturday, I smoked my last cigarette.  That was 4 years 5 months ago.  I do still miss the ritual of smoking,  however, I have no regrets about giving it up.  Overcoming addiction of any kind is no easy task but it is possible once you decide to do it.  I wish you all the best if this is your challenge to yourself.  You can do it!

There are so many more books that have touched my life and many more that wait in the queue on my bookshelf :-).  I will continue to share them with you as we go along on our journey together.  I would also love to hear about the books that have touched your life in some way.   They don’t have to be non-fiction books as fictional books are capable of touching us as well.  The Alchemist by Paulo Colelho comes to mind.   Feel free to share your book list in the comments section.  I look forward to learning from you!

Please like, follow and share if you enjoyed this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Bye for now 🙂

 

 

Never too late 

Hi All,

“I wish I had studied that”.   “I am too old for that now”.   “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.  “If only I had listened to my mother/teacher/my inner voice then”.   I have heard this often from friends and peers.  The truth is that IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.  As George Eliot once said: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been”.

I have mentioned before that I am a late bloomer in just about everything.  I cried on my 30th birthday.  I was literally all by myself, my career was not going anywhere and worse still, I didn’t really know what I wanted let alone how to get it.  I felt like such a failure.  Here I am though, 14 years later, in a much better head space.  I have clear goals and am driven to achieve them.  I am enjoying this journey.  It’s quite a ride!

I have shared with you previously in Secrets and Revelations my discovery of the law of attraction and how it helped me move forward.  The one thing it has taught me is to be open to new experiences, take more risks where I need to and trust my instincts.  It has helped me find my passion.   In my head, I was always a very logical person.  I believed that I was probably standing at the back of the line when God was handing out creativity skills.  I was wrong!   I may not be able to draw, paint, create music or design clothes, but I am creative in other ways.  Now that I know this, I feel liberated.  I feel like there is another side to me that I must explore.   When I think back, it is actually a series of seemingly unrelated events that have brought me to this place.

Making the leap to change departments at one point in my career, led to an encounter with consumer research.  Trying to understand the issues that people face daily and providing guidance on product-based solutions touched something deep inside.   My creativity began to spark.  I began to understand what it felt like to have a purpose in life.  This has sent me down a completely different path to any I had imagined.  I am now working towards a degree in psychology.  I have my blog which is helping me get in touch with the writer in me.  I have identified business opportunities that I would like to pursue.  Suddenly, the stock standard humdrum life that I have been leading is filled with exciting opportunities.

If you look around you in your community and in the media, there are many examples of people who only began working towards, and achieving their dreams, later in life.  One of my local role models is my high school English teacher, Oregan Hoskins.  He was studying law at the time he taught me.  He qualified. He practised as a lawyer and went on to become the President of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and the Vice President of World Rugby!  Inspirational examples are out there people.  You just have to open your eyes.  Did you know that Vera Wang became a dress designer at age 40?  Prior to that, she was a figure skater and a journalist.  If you think all the Social Network companies were founded by a kid in college, think again.  LinkedIn was founded by Reid Hoffman at age 35.  He was 43 when it went public. Bram Stoker published Dracula at age 51.

At the end of the day, you have the power to make your dreams come true.  Years ago, at the company I work for, we had a slogan: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” It is actually a quote by William H. Johnson. I am by no means an expert at this, but there is another important lesson that I have learnt.  It’s not good enough to just change direction and believe that everything will just fall into place.  It is going to take a change in mindset as well.  Take your ego, put it in your back pocket and “open your hands”.  Release just about everything you think you know about the area you want to succeed in and be open to learning.  I have found it to be the most exciting and rewarding part of the journey.

So there you have it.  No more excuses. “If it is to be, it is up to me”.  You’ve got this!

This blog is a part of my journey.  Thank you for your support and encouragement over the past weeks.  It has helped keep me on this exciting path.  All the best on your journey!

If you have enjoyed reading my blog, please like and share.  Don’t forget to follow me so that you don’t miss out.

Bye for now

No man is an island 

Hi there,

I don’t know about you but I have had a fantastic week this week! The most important part of it being that my gorgeous tattoo guy and I have decided to work on making a great relationship stronger rather than walking away 😁😁😁.  Lots to look forward to! (Squeaks with delight!)

The other great thing that happened was that I got to enjoy some much needed me time this week. Thanks to my mum and sisters for helping out with my son this week. Even though I wasn’t on holiday myself, it made a huge difference.   I can tell you that letting go of the reins and entrusting others with my son and,  in other cases, me has not come easy for me.  You see I am a control freak.😜 (Chang…Chang…channnng!) 

Yip, I said it. It has taken me virtually all my life to realise that too. The great thing is that now that I know, I can make different decisions everyday that are actually liberating for me. When my son was born, I was determined to be the best mum I could be like all mothers but I was also determined that my son would not have the same hang-ups that I do. I was so determined to protect him and shield him from life that I didn’t let anyone in to help me with him. I am a single mom. This is a challenge on a good day but of course I had to add to my challenges by shutting everyone out while I try and control every aspect of my son’s life as well as my own.  My little family was fast becoming an island. My dad once reminded me many years before that no man is an island.  I hadn’t realised it yet butthat’s exactly   where I found myself to be  and let me tell you, an island is a lonely place to be. 

The thing about isolating yourself is that you are isolating yourself from the people who love you and want to help. I used to see the bewildered looks on my families faces whenever I pushed them away but I was so caught up in my need to control everything and be strong that I didn’t really notice how it affected them. I wanted to do it my way and make my own mistakes. I believed I was protecting my son but I wasn’t. I have learnt that children are resilient. What’s key is that we have to let them face life’s knocks head on and be there to guide them through the resulting emotions and thoughts that will inevitably result. This way they develop a healthy dose of resilience towards life knocks and are better able to see the silver lining around any dark clouds that might float their way.  

Accepting that I can’t control every aspect of his life and that I actually shouldn’t has not being easy but it has been rewarding. Everyday I get to watch him evolve into being a more patient, more understanding and more tolerant individual who is curious about life and is excited to face each day and all it may bring. He is by no means perfect and never will be by society’s standards and thank goodness for that too. He would be such a boring character if he were! 

Now that I am not shutting people out and am able to entrust others with him, I am also rewarded with seeing the joy on their faces after spending time with him and hearing it in their voices. He is such a character that he definitely leaves his mark on everyone that he comes into contact with. In fact life has gotten easier in some ways because now that I have let  others in and have allowed them share the load, my life has gotten easier. “Trust” and “Faith” are the two words that I have learnt to embrace as well as “Acceptance”.  These three are interlinked and, have the ability to bring peace inside in this chaotic world. Trying to control things will probably be my instinct more often than not but that’s ok because it will no longer be my only instinct. 

If, like me, you are a control freak, consider loosening the reins a little bit at a time. There will always be people that will disappoint you but there will be more people who will be delighted to be let in and will bring a richness to your life experience that is not possible when you live in a safe bubble. Go on. Give it a shot.😉

Hope you have a great week! If you enjoy reading my blogs, please follow me so that you don’t miss out. 

Bye for now

Michelle

%d bloggers like this: