Personal Development Tools and Free Course

Chapter 23

Personal development tools come in many forms, but perhaps the most valuable tool available is in reading books that inspire you to act to pursue your dreams. One cannot overstate the value and tremendous gift of reading.

Successful men and women around the world tout the many benefits of being an avid reader and how this has helped them to achieve great things in their field of expertise.


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Is it ambitious to associate with people who inspire you to pursue success and make the most of your opportunities? You bet. So, continually read uplifting books, which stir you to make the most of yourself.

We all know how completely changed we sometimes are after reading a gripping book which has taken a strong, vigorous hold upon us. Personal development experts encourage us to read with an insatiable appetite for knowledge, wisdom and to support us in our quest to pursue our passion.

Millions of people have found themselves through the reading of an influential book, which has opened a door and given them the first glimpse of new possibilities.

If the youth of today learn to feed on the thoughts of the great men and women throughout history, they will never again be satisfied with common or lower expectations; they will never again be satisfied with mediocrity; they instead, will aspire to something higher and nobler in an effort to join the ranks of the great ones they refer to as “mentor”.

The great ideas needed to be taught more in our schools consist of truth, simple ethics, the distinction between right and wrong. We must stress to our youth the honor and value of noble deeds and self-sacrifice.  Books are powerful personal development tools that can help to instill these traits found in great leaders. 

"Inspirational, character-making, life-shaping books are a goldmine for any man or woman looking to grow and become more complete."

- Unknown

Each day we breathe is a single page of the book of life. Do not waste any day any more than you would tear out chapters of a great novel.

The readers who do not yet know the teachings of Emerson, Tennyson, Marden, Hill, and current personal development masters, have yet to enjoy the great pleasures of reading.

Knowledge of all kinds is placed before us in a most attractive and interesting manner through books. The absolute best volumes ever written are available to anyone who has the good sense to seek them out. Only a century ago these precious volumes might only be available to the rich.

What a shame it is that with libraries in every town, any youth, foreign and domestic, will grow up ignorant, or is allowed to be uneducated in the middle of such marvelous opportunity for self-improvement. With countless personal development tools so readily available, no child should miss out on the great discoveries that come from reading great books.

Good books elevate one's character and lift us up onto a higher level of thinking and living. It seems almost a miracle that the poorest boy or girl can converse freely with the greatest philosophers, statesmen, warriors, poets and authors of all time with very little or no expense.

It is truly amazing when you think about it, what some books have done for the world, and what they continue to do.

"There are single books that have raised the ideals and materially influenced entire nations."

- O.S. Marden

Carlyle said that a collection of books is a personal university. What a pity that so many energetic and ambitious persons who lost out on the advantage of a formal education, are losing out again by not recognizing the value in self-teaching.

Of the things that man can do, by far the most momentous, wonderful and worthy or your time and effort, is in reading inspirational books.

Think about how books can influence and support your hope for a brighter future; awaken new courage and faith; soothe pain; provide a new vision of life to those whose upbringing was hard and cold. Just think how books bind together distant ages and foreign lands and share with us new worlds of beauty and opportunity.

You are encouraged to seek out all kinds of books that provide insight to yourself and the world around you.  Remember, "Leaders are readers and yearn to learn."

Choose with a clear purpose those books that will encourage you and stimulate your ambition. Identify books that serve as high-impact personal development tools. Let each book serve as a stepping stone to higher ideals and a nobler purpose in life. Read and live up to your full potential!

"To succeed in anything, you need to surround yourself with dedicated, motivated people who put their whole hearts into doing a great job every day."

- Bill Bartmann

Personal Development Tools & Activities

Complete the following exercises...

  1. Describe the content of the typical book you read. Is it a romance novel, or biography? Does it lead you to thoughts of suffering or strengthen your resolve to achieve more? List out the titles of the last 5 books you've read and estimate the value each one has on your personal growth and development?

  2. Explain what one would see if they were to walk into your home or office and inventory the various kinds of books or magazines on hand? What is your library made up of?  Are you satisfied with your quality of reading and how it contributes to your advancement and do you feel your time spent reading serves you well?

  3. Given what you know now about the value of reading and how books can serve as important personal development tools, how much more time do you plan to devote to reading and what kind of books will you choose to read?

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