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5 Books That Changed My Life

boys-readingI hated reading growing up.

At school the choice between a book and a basketball was an easy one. My heroes were Michael Jordan and Brian Lara not Dickens or Tolkien (I did think Roald Dahl was cool though – Boy was one of the only books I read cover to cover as a kid).

But as time passed, and my world began to open, reading became a staple in my life. If not to satisfy my appetite for knowledge, to help shape how I see the world.

I love the ‘exchange’ that takes place while reading. Authors are able to share their ideas on the topics we love based on research, history, convictions and experiences and us, readers, are able to uphold our pre-conceived ideas on that topic against what they’ve written, either challenging us to shift our thinking or to reinforce the beliefs and ideas we hold onto.

This is why I’ve grown to love books (I’m unsure of what this love of books does for my street credibility – but this is my truth).

So of all the great books I’ve picked up so far in my life – these titles are the ones that have had the greatest impact on me.

5 Books That Changed My Life

Tribes by Seth Godin

A book urging people to form tribes around their passions. Seth Godin is a world renown blogger / business innovation thinker. Tribes is written from a business angle but the principles can be applied to the rest of your life. Great read for people looking for that last ounce of inspiration before stepping into pursuing their dream line of work. A classic.

Orthodoxy by G.K Chesterton

A champion of the early twentieth century writing and speaking curcuit, G.K Chesterton lit up packed houses of his day with his wit and thought-provoking life concepts. He wrote in a way that made life’s seemingly mundane – moments of magic. One of the most challenging books I have ever picked up. Concepts so complex that like me you may only be able to read the book one concept per day. For people who want their worldview blown out of the water.

Leading with a Limp by Dan B. Allender

My favourite book on leadership. Dan Allender proposes a new idea on leadership, that adjacent to focusing on your strengths as a leader, some of our greatest leaders led out of the transparency of their weaknesses. A challenging and refreshing take on an important topic.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

Inspiring book about hope in hopeless situations. The book is framed by the story of a warrior who against-all-odds defeats enemies in impossible situations. Great read for people who themselves are battling some form of opposition: work, relationship struggles, depression etc.

The Bible by Various Authors

In my eyes, the undisputed champion of literature. Can’t be imitated, neither underestimated. The most controversial book of all time. Premise for some of the worlds greatest acts of grace and worst acts of tyranny. Above all books this book has shaped my worldview more than any other. So complex and simple it has kept me in continuous intrigue since I first picked it up. Haven’t put it down since. The heavyweight champion of books in my eyes.

So there you have it – 5 books that have changed (and are still changing) my life. I hope that they are able to impact you in the same way they impacted me.

What books have changed how you see the world? Would love for you to share. I’m always keen to have my worldview challenged.

Happy reading.

Photo credit: http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/creating-readers/creating-reading-culture/boys-and-reading


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Online Marketers and Organisations: Don’t Be ‘that guy’.

steve-1The best party’s I’ve been to are the ones where guests sub-consciously understand and play by the party’s rules.

Rules like – we’re here for fun. We’re here to hangout. We’re here to get away from the mundane day-to-day and enjoy ourselves, spend time with our friends, see what happens.

These sorts of rules frame 99% of social settings – enjoyment, the opportunity to relax and the ability to just ‘be’.

Unfortunately this is something that is lost on a lot of online marketers  and organisations wanting to make their mark in the social media world. It’s their lack of sensitivity in the space and for a lot of organisations their ‘corporateness’ that causes them to fail. Badly.

Social media is like a party. People are there for different reasons but primarily the general public are there to have fun, lighten up and spend time with trusted friends who they know won’t shove their agendas down their throat.

At parties, it’s those who come across as having strong agendas that are the ‘annoying ones’ – they cause people’s eyes to glaze over and then ultimately to look for other groups of people who are lighter, and there to have a good time.

Social media is a place for friendships, for a laugh, to be entertained. So tip for online marketers and organisations: laugh with people, be entertained – and as the friendship grows and conversations deepen you may get an invitation to speak. And when you do – be ready.

When it’s your turn to speak don’t be pushy, be charming. Be attractive. Be warm. The pushy guys generally lose out at a shindig, and same goes in the online world. It’s the guys who share cool, fresh stuff in conversations and tell great stories about the difference they’re making in the world through their work that normally get invited to tell their stories again. And again. And again.

So online marketers and anyone who wants to succeed in the social media space – it may be time to look at social media through different eyes. Don’t forget that social media is like a party. Don’t be ‘that guy’. Play by the rules.

Photo credit: http://images2.nick.com/

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