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5 Books Every Man Should Read...Then Give Away!
Free at Your Local Library
“I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was a young boy, even through adolescence and young adulthood, I had a great disdain for reading. As I look back, I surmised that no one modeled it's joy or even offered sufficient reason to invest time inside a book. Reading simply had not taken a place of priority in my earlier musings. I just didn't see how it could replace more important activities like playing baseball, basketball or football. I couldn't understand how reading would help me interpret, convert, examine, comprehend, translate or imagine ideas and concepts of great price, as I do now in the twilight of my life. I did not yet grasp the incredible value I would one day receive through reading the writings of fellow human beings expressing their genius with the world.
Thank goodness fate had a different plan. There are so many obvious reasons to read; for fun and profit; for pleasure and entertainment; for business and scholastic, as well as all sorts of other individual and socially acceptable reasons. For me, however, reading now has two primary purposes. They are: to educate myself and to help others who, similarly, want to experience and express the journey within. So, in that vain I would like to offer the recommendation to read the following 5 books and the reasons each was of value to me on my quest for understanding and my desire to make a contribution to the collective consciousness of our universe.
Thank you in advance for reading this hub. Should reading it effectively satisfy or pique your interest about any one of these five books or just the remarkable value of reading in general, I would ask that you take one action...please share it with someone who might benefit by exploring the content or meaning and to whom it's reading could be impetus for growth. Now, on to the 5 books that are helping me re-shape my world.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success - by Deepak Chopra
There are hundreds, no thousands, of books on success. So what makes this one so different? Well, that would depend, I guess, on your perspective of what success really is. There are as many unique definitions of success as there are books about it. What I was seeking was more than the business version which, though meaningful and highly effective for business purposes, did not serve to fulfill me in the larger framework of living. I was looking for the meaning of success that encompassed all the other definitions.
Without stealing the authors thunder, Dr. Chopra's definition fit for me. It describes how I want to feel about success. He said, "Success is the ability to fulfill your desires with effortless ease." Combined with a definition from Earl Nightingale who said, "Success is progressively realizing a worthy ideal," success becomes a natural path, a method to living. This may seem to go against the grain of those who believe that "success" only comes through hard work. While for some that may, in fact, be true, in my view using my gifts in harmony with nature for the purpose of a worthy goal associated with the natural order would cause one to be lost in their work, and therefore not be work at all.
"Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which come only to the man who has found the work that he likes best." - Napoleon Hill
Discover in this book these 7 spiritual laws:
- The Law of Potentiality (Law of Unity)
- The Law of Giving (and receiving)
- The Law of Karma (Cause and effect)
- The Law of Least Effort - (The most difficult for me)
- The Law of Intention and Desire
- The Law of Detachment (in my words the law of loving non attachment)
- The Law of Dharma (Law of Purpose)
Read this work and you will discover more about yourself, your world and your universe.
A Book and a Movie
Way of the Peaceful Warrior - by Dan Millman
The "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" - by Dan Millman is a wonderful example of an allegory for the evolution of contemporary manhood. Dan Millman is a highly regarded author of works to assist men in re-connecting with and re-defining their true identities. I would liken this to "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho, or "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari," a fable by Robin Sharma.
The "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" was made into a 2006 movie and though I haven't yet seen the movie, the book was compelling for several reasons.
An allegory is a great teaching tool and in this case the lessons are touching, personal and though they are geared towards men, they are indeed powerful all the same. One of the lessons I have learned recently is to be open to new possibilities in connection with achievement, healing and love. I found that when I opened up my heart to the newness of life, much goodness, kindness and accomplishment began to stream into me.
Dan Millman has written several other books that speak to living a life in the now and foregoing the past and the future as a means of identification. This book is an easy read as well and very enjoyable to those who are intrigued by a bit of truth in the world of illusion.
The Phone Rings
Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life - by Gregg Levoy
The title here gives much to think about. Callings in a person's life can purport a number of possibilities, like a religious view of what we are called to do by our creator or by recognizing our circumstances and adjusting to them to determine our life's work. As for living an authentic life, we must ask ourselves one, do I know what I want and two, am I living that knowledge out in reality. Honest answers are often hard to come by yet, working with a uniquely insightful author and an incredibly talented writer like Gregg Levoy can aid in much discovery about our "callings."
After being given this book by a friend to help in my journey I decided to assemble a book club comprised of men who were interested in self discovery too and oh, what a great time we had for almost 6 months of study. The author's ability to provide examples of elements he recalls as he walked the road to his eventual career and life paths were timely and beneficial in creating dialog and fodder for our discussions. Along with interviews of others trekking the sometimes difficult sea opportunities and disappointments, "Callings would be an integral aid to me for helping clarify my own journey, life's work and purpose as well as a tool to help others with theirs.
A Personal Favorite
See the review here
- Book Review - "Take It From The Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience" by Edward
Have you ever had an incredibly euphoric experience that was so clear, so good and yet, so hard to explain? If you would like to know more about this phenomena, read this review of a new book by Edward M. O'Keefe Ph.D entitled "Take It From The Top -
Take it From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience - by Edward M. O'keefe PhD.
As some of you may know I wrote a review of Take it From the Top: What To Do With a Peak Experience - by Edward M. O'keefe PhD. for Hubpages back when this book was released earlier this year. I enjoyed writing that review because I enjoyed reading the book and I knew the value of its message. Dr' O'keefe is a marvelous man and I have always been amazed by his dedication to complete this book, not only for himself and the many people he interviewed but also for his commitment to the message which has the potential, if not to change the world, to grow the consciousness of the soul of just one sole. Who knows...that just might be you or me!
One striking comment made by the author is, in my mind, enough to warrant reading this work. It is this: "it takes only a very small change in perspective, only a slight tweaking of our conscious and unconscious attention, to become aware of very different realities and to allow peak experiences to come." I say, if you don't believe it, try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised!
Inviting Silence is Golden too!
Inviting Silence: Universal Principles of Meditation - by Gunilla Norris
This last book may seem like an odd choice but, Inviting Silence: Principles of Meditation by Gunilla Norris, in fact, may be the most enlightening of all. It has been my experience that those who know about meditation are very, very different from those who practice it. Not too long ago I went to an introductory class to learn about a particular form of "mindfulness" meditation. To my pleasant surprise it was a wonderful evening. I learned enough to prove that those who speak of meditation's benefits were not entirely goofy. In fact, they were alarmingly accurate in their assessment of its mind, body and spiritual benefits.
Meditation is increasingly popular in medical circles because of it's efficacy and growing in popularity in the general public because of the peace of mind it provides to an ever growing number of people burdened with the minutiae of life clambering for attention in our brains! In my work with my clients, I continue to recommend meditation as a vehicle to awareness, the necessary ingredient to clarity of mind. If you want to know what you want, I say, take attention away from the distraction and place it on the focus of your desires...then let it go. It works almost every time.
Inviting Silence offers a magnificently poetic view, a softness if you will, of an art form that has been know for centuries to help those who pursue its purest intents. A sampling here of what other notables have said about the book may interest you.
"This is the single best book I know on the subject of the sacrament of the present moment, and a great work of devotional literature." - M. Scott Peck
"Just reading this book makes you want to sit down, take a deep breath, and refresh your spirit." - Jack Kornfield
Whatever I could say would pale in comparison. I do however recommend it!
One Last Word
I have offered 5 great books here, but I have yet to say why men should read them and why men should give them away. I work primarily with men in my coaching practice and although women would certainly benefit from reading these books, they are aimed at men because it is my experience and familiarity with them. We often seem to need a nudge to share our thoughts and feelings and sharing these works are great door openers to incredibly valuable discussions.
Most of these books can be found in your public library. I do however suggest for those who purchase works for their personal libraries that they do one of two things; either buy a second copy to give away or to give away your personal copy after digesting its meaning for you. (You can also suggest going to the library if that's where you obtained yours and here's why.) We all need a little direction sometime in our life. What happens to me, may have happened to you. What helps me through deep water may also be a life preserver for you. Reading doesn't have to be solitary, it can also be communal and the benefit is for all of us.
"I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that." - Gillian Anderson