5 Books That Changed Our Lives

Post by Ray 2 years ago - Social Business - 0 Comments

Books That Changed our Lives

We all have influencers in our life.

Sometimes they’re who’d you expect them to be – your parents as Randy, Jess and Scott mentioned in our last #RayBunch show or other relatives such as my sister – which was my choice.

Sometimes they’re people we know through their work,  a religious leader, a politician, a teacher.

And sometimes they’re people we don’t know at all, like artists, historical figures and writers.

After having gone through the list of who influenced us the most, I asked the “Bunch” what book influenced the most.

Being a panel composed of marketing and business consultants, I wasn’t surprised that three out of four were business books.

But I was surprised that the choice of our most veteran marketer chose a work of fiction.

Having heard why, I shouldn’t have been.


Books that changed our lives. 

1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich

This was Jess’ selection.

Reasons why she choose it:

“You will get from this book what you need as you read it for exactly where you are.”


Well how cool is that?

To see me for who I am even though you don’t know who I am, where I’m at and what’s going on in my life, you know that I will get something out of this that will help me right now.

You're real wealth can be measured not by what you have but by who you are. ~ Napoleon Hill Click To Tweet


2. To Kill a MockingBird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird


Like Randy, I saw the movie first. But unlike Randy, I grew up on the east coast of Canada and didn’t experience the culture that is at the heart of this book.

Having first read the book at twelve, Randy says To Kill a Mockingbird is the most influential book of his life.

The lessons of that  book provided him guide posts.

Growing up in the south, he’s very familiar with the actions and experiences of the book – racial inequities, coming of age, single parenthood. 

It showed the divisions of classes that could be seen in regions beyond the South.

It addressed conflict between the poor and ignorant and between social classes. It showed how they had to coexist.

The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience. ~ Harper LeeClick To Tweet


3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie


How to Win Friends and Influence People


From thinking it was a book about manipulating people, Scott realized after reading it, that it was in fact, a book about the common sense things people do to get along with each other.

The underlying theme of this book is empathy.

How many times when we talk to people are they looking over our shoulders scanning the room?

Give the person you’re speaking to all of your attention.

Make them the only person in the room.

To be interesting, be interested. ~ Dale Carnegie.Click To Tweet


4. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin


Linchpin Seth Godin


This is a business book that influences my personal life with every reading.

Through it, I was first introduced to “the Resistance” – that part of my brain that wanted nothing more than to be safe, sated and secure.

That pretty well summed me up for most of my life.

My other big takeaway is Seth’s correlation between business and art.

What we do isn’t just a series of transactions. By giving something that will make a change in people’s lives, we produce art.

It taught me not to get all hang up about whatever medium I’m using, to instead think of how I can make art by providing a gift that will make some change in the person receiving it.

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does. ~ Seth GodinClick To Tweet


What book influenced you the most?


Watch the full video here:


5. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein 


Stranger in a Strange Land


Since the title of this post is: 5 Books That Changed Our Lives and I had just noticed now –  having published this a couple days ago – that I included only four, I had the option of:

1. changing the title to: 4 Books That Changed Our Lives or

2. Adding another.

I chose the latter.

Since my choice for the choice for the show was a business book, I took inspiration from Randy and choose a book that made an impact on my still developing mind.

I read Stranger In a Strange Land in High School just before graduation and before I made the move to Toronto from Moncton, NB.

I didn’t “grok” it at first but was instantly attracted to the title. What teenage boy doesn’t feel like a stranger in a strange land?

It was a more complex sci-fi book than I imagined (the reason for subsequent readings).

I identified with Smith’s naivety, how he observed institutions as religion, money, monogamy, and the fear of death from a distance.

The book opened my mind to always ask “why”.

There’s another quote from the book which I have to admit I repeated often…

Were you born stupid, ... or did you have to study?Click To Tweet


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About Ray Hiltz

Thanks for dropping by. I'm the Director of Digital Marketing for Image-24.com. My background in business includes non-profit (performing arts), restaurants and Promotions. Having moved on from my own strategic consulting company, I now write about what interests me. So in this blog, you may read about my thoughts on marketing, health issues and business culture. You can follow me on Twitter @rayhiltz or @image24Call

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