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5 Inspiring Books to Achieve Success in Life

Updated on February 23, 2016
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Books have a strange way of coming into our lives. Often we might be looking for something and we catch sight of a book, open a page and the solution to a problem pops out of the page! It also happens that we walk into a room and book just calls out us and that will be the very book we need at that point in life. Have you ever experienced it?

Books on selling, on character building, self-help, financial management, and even mystery stories have all come to my hand when I most needed them and I have learnt a lot from them. Books can inspire us to achieve success in life both in our professional life as well as personal life. It is very important to pause and reflect on the direction we are going. Books can help to resolve issues, point out the strengths and weaknesses in the strategy we are using and they can plain inspire us to take action.

If I had to choose among all of the books that can inspire a person to get out of the comfort zone and achieve success I would choose the following:

8 Secrets of Success - Richard St. John

Making It Happen

– Turning Good Ideas into Great Results – Peter Sheahan

This year I was searching for a book that would help me take a focussed direction and I found Making It Happen in the central library. This book has helped me gain a different perspective about Effort and Result. How to turn ideas into results and what is needed to achieve it.

The most important thing I learned is about 'deliberate practice' and I have even started writing a blog to further explore it. He also mentioned the book Talent is Overrated - What Really Separates World-class Performers from Everybody Else.

In Making it Happen Peter Sheahan writes about five steps to accomplish our goals:

  • Packaging
  • Positioning
  • Influence
  • Acceleration
  • Reinvention

He explains all of them in great detail and shows us how to put them into practice to make our business successful. He also uses real-life examples to illustrate the five steps.

The Theosophic Life – Annie Besant

This little book was originally published in The Theosophist in March 1909. By putting Annie Besant's suggestion into practice my whole life changed miraculously. The following paragraph became a reality once I started following its suggestion:

...so wise is the Good Law, the circumstances round you are the very best that the wisdom of an archangel could plan for your growth and unfolding. The peace that that knowledge brings to life it is impossible to describe. All fretting vanishes, all worrying ceases to be, anxiety for something different no longer gnaws at the heart. A complete, absolute, perfect content comes down upon the soul, and in that content the lesson of the trying environment has been learned, and it will gradually modify itself.

I wrote a Hub, Just Be: Accepting Life As It Is, so that it would help others as well.

The book Theosophic Life has two chapters, 'Reincarnation' and 'Karma: A Continuing Creation'. From the chapter on 'Karma' Annie Besant describes what is the Theosophic Life:

The Theosophic Life must be a life of service. Unless we are serving, we have no right to live. We live by the constant sacrifice of other lives on every side, and we must pay it back; otherwise, to use an ancient phrase, we are but thieves and do not repay the gift. Service is the great illuminator. The more we serve the wiser we become, for we learn wisdom not by studying but by living.

Such a simple message and so profound in effect. I used always try to control the direction of my life and used to fall sick and get depressed. After applying the above principles I am happier and have more courage to face my circumstances.

At the Feet of the Master

At the Feet of the Master – Alcyone (J. Krishnamurti)

This is one of three Theosophical classics invaluable to aspirants on the Spiritual Path, the other two being The Voice of the Silence, and Light on the Path.

It was written down by J. Krishnamurti (Alcyone) in 1909 and contains the teachings given by his Master to prepare him for his future work. Its extreme simplicity has touched thousands of hearts. It has four chapters:

  • Discrimination
  • Desirelessness
  • Good Conduct
  • Love

Good Conduct

The chapter Good Conduct is further divided into more headings:

  • Self-control as to the Mind
  • Self-control in Action
  • Tolerance
  • Cheerfulness
  • One-pointedness
  • Confidence


The book has practical suggestions for each of these qualifications and it is easy to keep in mind in the course of our daily life. Many things we might consider unimportant is not so in the spiritual life. For example in the chapter Discrimination Alcyone writes:

When your body wishes something, stop and think whether you really wish it.

Here attention is drawn to the fact that we have to be aware that we are not the body, but something else within us who actually can exercise control over it. We should also learn to distinguish between the more important from the less important because in our lives we can get carried away doing something that in the long run is not so important.

This little book has helped me apply spiritual teachings in daily life and hence has changed my perspective of the world. It helps to focus on the real issues, be relaxed and deal with them one by one and achieve success gradually.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

– What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor And Middle Class Do Not! – Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter C.P.A.

I entered a bookshop in Kolkata, India and my eyes were drawn to this book on the shelf. It seemed like the very book which I needed at that time. That is how we find books sometimes.

It made me realize the importance of being financial independence and how to achieve it. This book has ten chapters and financial principles are explained in a story format.

The most important lesson I learned was that we will always be dissatisfied with our income when we work for others. We will always feel that we are being paid less than what we deserve. But when we work for ourselves we have a more positive attitude. We can still work for ourselves even when in a job by remembering to pay ourselves on pay day.

Another lesson learned what that the Assets should be more than our liabilities. Anything that costs us money is a liability and anything from which we can generate money is an asset.

This helped me with a different perspective on things and stopped me from desiring many things because I knew they would cost me to have them. How is that for having Peace of Mind?

The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff

This book is one of my favourites. It came to me when I most needed it. I was bed-ridden with a weak back and could not read for more than ten minutes at a time. Winnie-the-Pooh and his habit of eating honey at five to eleven helped me realize that it is important to be in the now and do what needs to be done. I learned about the Pooh Way and have been practicing it ever since. Here is a quote from the book:

When you work with Wu Wei , you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole...Wu Wei doesn't try. It doesn't think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn't appear to do much of anything. But Things Get Done.

Wu Wei is an important concept of Taoism (Daoism), that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. (Wikipedia)

How much more profondly simple can it get?

Life is a mysterious thing. We get help from different media such as television programmes, movies, people we meet, and of course books. Nowadays, it might be something we come across while browsing on the internet or some application that makes our life easier. We are changed forever when we come across something that we need at that moment to help us move on to the next step. Books certainly change lives!!

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    • Kevin6779 profile image

      Kevin6779 

      6 years ago from skylark20770@netzero.com

      Oh my apology, Sushma. I can see now that the Pooh Way goes a long way--even beyond childhood.

    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for sharing the list of books you loved reading. Mahatma Gandhi, Arthur Conan Doyle (Hound of Baskerville) and Fredrick Forsythe (Day of the Jackal) are all my favourite people too.

    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Kevin, it was not when I was a child. It was a few years ago. I had over-strained my back due to working long hours on a computer and not taking enough breaks. It is only now I learned about ergonomics and periodic breaks. That is why I wrote a hub on Free Apps to Avoid Eyestrain - Mac and Windows. The same software can be used to remind us to get up from the chair and move around every 20 mins.

    • profile image

      Girish Bhat 

      6 years ago

      6 books I loved, off the top of my head:

      My experiments with Truth = mahatma Gandhi,

      To kill a mockingbird

      Hound of Baskerville,

      Three men on a boat

      Day of the Jackal

      Silence of the Lambs

    • Kevin6779 profile image

      Kevin6779 

      6 years ago from skylark20770@netzero.com

      I was especially touched and amused with your tidbit about "The Tao of Pooh" when you were bed-ridden as a child. Laughter, in this case, really IS the best medicine, for the mind and the body.

    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Kevin, I like the work serendipity that you have used. I was thinking of using synchronicity but thought it would be too cliché!

    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Girish, there can be something positive learned from anything. I agree with you that Rich Dad Poor Dad might be good for capitalists. I came across this book when I was looking for ideas on financial management. Since then I have read many others.

    • Kevin6779 profile image

      Kevin6779 

      6 years ago from skylark20770@netzero.com

      I've read a lot of books, mostly fiction, and I find myself being inspired by more and more new authors or authors that are new to me! I totally agree that books have a way of making an impact in your life sometimes by nothing more than pure serendipidy.

    • profile image

      Girish Bhat 

      6 years ago

      Books are of course entirely personal things, and normally I like ALL books that I pick up, but Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of the vilest pieces of offal that I ever made the mistake of picking up.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/number_1/2002/0...

      http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

      Re: how to plan, how about SMART -

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

    working

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