Books that have had a lasting impact on you

There are already a couple of really good threads on book recommendations. There are lots of books that are very interesting and make you think, or teach a new skill (memorization). I’ve read lots of these books. But looking back on the books I’ve read, there are only a couple that I credit with creating a lasting change in me. I want to know what those books are for you. I’ll go first:

“The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” - by Stephen R. Covey

I admit, I’m generally not the biggest fan of the self-help genre. I find there is a lot of “fluff”. But I consider the reading of this book a turning point in my life. I was 19 years old and a lot of things were changing in my life. My life felt chaotic and out of my control, and I was hurt by some people I was close to. I was full of anger and resentment ( which probably is common to a lot of 19 year old boys).

I read things in “7 Habits” that had not occurred to me at that point in life, and it helped change my perspective:

“It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.”

“If I really want to improve my situation, I can work on the one thing over which I have control - myself.”

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.”

“Where we stand depends on where we sit." Each of us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world, not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them.”

It’s been several years since I read 7 Habits for the first time. At the very least, the insights in this book helped a teenage kid change his trajectory.


Viktor Frankl’s “Man Search for Meaning”


In recent years Cal Newport’s Deep Work, which I first read in fall 2016, has had a lasting impact.


Some recent reads that really stood out for me:
1.Constructive living (David K. Reynolds)
2. Four thousand weeks: time management for mortals (Oliver Burkeman)
3. The Law of Attention: Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance (Edward Salim Michael)