for everybody is easier than the last installment. These books will still
provoke thought, but they’re more contemporary than the last edition. So without
further ado, let’s proceed with the “Shift Your Paradigm” list of reading that I
believe should be required for everybody.
How to Forgive … When You Don’t Feel Like It (June Hunt). I’m going to make you squirm by calling it straight – we all know people that use forgiveness as nothing more than a tool. Jesus told us that we’re to forgive “seventy times seven,” and there are people that milk it to the utmost. Come on, admit it – you know at least one person in your life whose smiles, apologies, and sweet talk are nothing more than masks and vocabulary, and they twist this verse to justify continuing the game. Forgiveness is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Christian faith, and Hunt does a great job explaining what forgiveness does and does not mean, on the true meaning of the verse, and on how to establish boundaries and apply it in dealing with people, situations, and circumstances that need to be brought under control – or perhaps even cut off at the source.
Battlefield of the Mind (Joyce Meyer). Did you know that you can control your thoughts, and doing so can change your life? It’s true. The devil’s favorite tool to defeating you is the way you think by striking you with fear and feelings that you believe you can’t control. Well, it’s not true. You can – and should – take dominion over your thoughts, and this book is an excellent guide on how to break strongholds on the things that take most people captive. Be forewarned: changing the way you think is one of the hardest challenges you face, but it’s possible. In fact is the only way to achieve a life of peace, joy and victory. So if you want to win the battle against everything that defeats you and holds you back, then start by reading this book and being mindful of your own mind.
Living Above the Level of Mediocrity (Charles Swindoll). For every overachiever out there conquering the world, I’d hazard to guess that there are three more people that are stuck in a rut. Why? Because we live in an epidemic of laziness and self doubt that has us believing that we can never become more than we are unless we “catch a break.” This is absolute crap. All human beings have a divine purpose, and there’s no excuse for not living a life of abundance and purpose. Swindoll’s book gives excellent advice on how to rise above the fear holding you back, establish self discipline, and overcome laziness and complacency to find the boldness to do the hard work necessary to achieve all that you were meant to accomplish in life.
How To Win Friends & Influence People (Dale Carnegie). Stop right now and tell me one thing that the person in the cubical next to you enjoys doing in their spare time. Can you do it? Most people can’t, and I believe it’s why we have so many problems getting things done. As the pace of our culture speeds up and we become more results driven, we’re losing the personal connections that are conductive to building good relationships, and it’s showing in a degradation of our society. Carnegie’s timeless advice on how to build trusting relationships and showing interest in others and their needs is the key to building bridges that strengthen everything in life. If everybody in a supervisory position were required to read and implement the principles in this book, I’m willing to bet that the entire U.S. workforce and economy would be much better than it is today. But the good news is that it can be implemented at any level, so give it a read. Even making your corner of the world a more pleasant place to live and work can make a huge difference.
1984 (George Orwell). And finally, a warning to where it’s going to head if the country and the world keep going in the direction they are and not heeding the advice in these readings. As life gets more challenging and people become more isolated, those in control grip tighter. Call it fiction with a purpose as popular culture is increasingly pointing out parallels of Orwell’s grim future coming to pass in our present. Are we heading that way? Perhaps we should take a look at the past so we’ll see warnings to guide our future.
There you have it – the last of my 10 must reads for everybody. But never fear, because I have one more special installment, and it’s just for writers. There are so many guides on how to write better and get published, and much of the information is redundant. In my next entry, I’ll give you a list of the best books and guides I’ve found so far to help you write better, get published, publicize your work, and get established as an independent author.
That’s all today. I hope you have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a great weekend.