When I was growing up, I watched my mother fill our home with personal development books. Being an avid reader, curiosity got the best of me and I started to read them one by one. My very first encounter with the genre was Pulling Your Own Strings by Wayne Dyer. The following people sent me on a path of self-reflection through their written and spoken words:
1. Wayne Dyer “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
As I have mentioned before, I was introduced to one of Wayne Dyer’s books early on in my life. I have read almost all of his books but my favorite one remains The Power of Intention. Simply knowing that he was somewhere out there, grounded me. I was shocked when I heard word of his passing in 2015. I thought he would live forever. However, thanks to my husband, I actually got the chance to watch him speak in person at a conference. We were actually sitting right behind his daughters as we had second row seats. Often called “The Father of Motivation”, his first books addressed the psychology of personal growth, while his more recent titles spoke of us as spiritual beings with a purpose.
2. Florence Scovel Shinn “Giving opens the way for receiving."
My copy of The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn is dear to me. It was already well-loved when I collected it from my mom’s bookcase after her passing. We have both read it numerous times. The cover wears stains from my mother’s favorite teacup and the pages are literally falling apart but it doesn’t matter. Every time I read it again, I am reminded to keep my negative thoughts at bay. Florence Scovel Shinn’s quotes help ease my fears in times of trouble, when I would otherwise worry myself sick. I have been repeating, “I cast this burden on the Christ within.” for almost 30 years. It instantly calms me down when I feel a bout of agitation creeping up.
3. Oprah Winfrey “You become what you believe. You are where you are today in your life based on everything you have believed.”
I know. She’s a well-known celebrity and she makes all of us feel like we are her best friend so adding her to my list almost seems cliché. I cannot resist. Her outlook on life is contagious and she is the epitome of the “rags to riches” story. When I was a younger, I watched her show from time to time but I became a true fan in the late 90’s when she switched her focus to personal development and making the world a better place. Her sadness was palpable when she announced that she was ending the Oprah Winfrey Show. I so wish she were still on national television on a daily basis. She has helped and changed so many of us. However, I am pleased with her new platform and she devotes one hour a week to interviewing authors that have written uplifting books on . How cool is that?
Although I chose to name only three of the people who changed the course of my life, my list could obviously be much longer. I would turn to my mother’s books and Oprah Winfrey’s words when I was in need of comfort at the end of a bad day. Although I am a work in progress, I am proud of who I am. The above-mentioned people were and still are great influencers in my life. Who inspires you?