Books That Changed My Life

I will never forget the day I chatted to a cashier while he swiped my groceries. This is how our conversation went…

Me:  “How long have you been working here?”
Cashier:  “7 Years!”
Me:  “Oh, so you like it here?!”
Cashier:  “Noooo! It’s just my job!”
Me:  “But what do you want to do with your life?”
Cashier:  “I really want to go into management.”
Me:  “What kind of management.”
Cashier:  “I don’t know…”
Me:  “What are you waiting for?”
Cashier:  “I’m waiting for opportunity!”
Me:  “Why should anyone give you opportunity?”
Cashier:  “I know how to work with people.”
Me:  “How do they know that?”
Cashier:  “I don’t know!”
Me:  “What books are you reading?”
Cashier (laughing nervously):  “I don’t read books!”
Me:  “I’ve got really good advise for you.  You need to start loving your job, because you are going to be here for a very long time!”
Cashier:  “Why?”
Me:  “Because you have no plan.  You are waiting for others to figure out your life.  You are waiting for opportunity and you are not planning your life!”
Cashier:  “What books should I be reading?”

I suggested a list of books to him that day that changed my life.  I’ll tell you later what happened to him.

Something that took me far too long to realise is that the only way I will get better, is by learning and growing daily.  There are an endless number of people on this earth knowing far more than I ever could.  If I want to grow, I need to read books and learn from them!

Reading books – and I mean personal and spiritual GROWTH books (not “shady” books…) – opened the world to me.  It literally expanded and increased my potential in all areas of my life!  Let me give you examples of the books I’ve read that changed my life.

1. “StrenghtsFinder 2.0”  – Tom Rath

We are all born with natural talents. These are things that we can do easily without much struggle. When I picked up this book and did the test for strengths on their website, it increased my ability to do what I do by 100%!

(You can buy a code on their website to do the test online at I highly suggest this test for teens, 15-19 and all adults.)

Knowing my talents changed my life completely!  All of a sudden who I was born to be made sense to me.  What I love doing, made sense.  I knew how to lead my life to live my strongest life!  That is truly powerful!

Can you imagine what you can do with your potential if you know where to focus it? If I focused my energy on singing for instance, I would NEVER have gotten the results I now experience daily! My results are much higher, because I know what to concentrate on!


2. “The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth” – John Maxwell

This book absolutely changed my life forever and because I read it and teach it, I see people’s lives changing daily! In fact, this book, apart from the Bible, has made the biggest impact on my life thus far.

This book was like a bucket of cold water in my face! I realized more than ever before that I was wasting away my life as I was merely existing and not living fully! I didn’t grow intentionally. I was just “hoping” for opportunity to come my way.

This John C. Maxwell book is worth every hour you will spend reading it. No surprise that John Maxwell has an entire shelf in his office of books that changed his life!


 3. “Leadership Gold” – John Maxwell

After reading and studying this book, I believed that it would be the only seminar I ever needed to teach on leadership! “Leadership Gold” is filled with “golden nuggets” of leadership and John vowed to only write it after he turned 60, after he had 40 years of experience in leadership.

If you want to grow your leadership skills, I could suggest all John’s books!


4. “Born to Win” – Zig Ziglar

I honestly wish I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Ziglar. He passed away in 2012, but something that I learned about potential from his life, is that if you grow yourself and start growing others, your potential never dies – even when you do!

What? It sounds crazy, but let me explain. I never knew about Zig Ziglar till after his death! Yet, his teachings, videos and books are still changing people today. This must be one of my biggest desires:  die empty, because I gave it all, but leave enough of what I did behind to continue to influence generations to come!


I have another favourite way of growing that I would like to share with you: watching videos and listening to audios. Get a notebook and pen and switch on YouTube. BUT before you do, take a conscious decision that you will be disciplined with your viewing – only searching growth material and leadership experts.

Almost daily I watch a video on YouTube to help me grow. I search the following names and devour all their teachings:

  • John Maxwell
  • Zig Ziglar
  • Jim Rohn
  • Bruce Wilkinson
  • Marcus Buckingham
  • Les Brown
  • Chris Gardener (The movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”, based on his life is one of my favourite movies. A great movie about personal growth!)

…and many more.

So what happened to that cashier? Well, a couple of weeks later I ended up in his line again. When he recognised me, he immediately said: “I am reading books!!”. Then he continued to tell me something that brought me to tears:

Cashier:  “I’m not just reading books. I am making jewelry boxes and photo frames out of wood. I’m selling these and I’m saving money. I’m going back to college!”

What an amazing story! That young man has started his growth journey. When we grow intentionally, we might become experts like the people I mentioned above. That is our potential! Let’s go get it!

#PotentialMatters #IntentionalGrowth