At the beginning of a new year, I like to review the past year and think about positive things in my life that I might want to repeat and expand upon. I also think about mistakes that I made that could be avoided in the future. Above all else, though, I think about the simple truths of life.
In this pensive mood, I started thinking about books that had commonsense information and that helped guide me through the years. Here are eight of my favorites—eight since that number turned sideways represents infinity. The advice these books offer is not bound by time.
1. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie
This is the first and probably the best book I have ever read about getting along with others. Dale Carnegie claims, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
2. ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill
A list of principles for achievement common to highly successful people is presented in Napoleon Hill’s book. He notes: “Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
3. ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life’ by Richard Carlson
This book tells you how to keep the little things in life from driving you crazy. Richard Carlson says, “The first step in becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you’re creating your own emergencies. Life will usually go on if things don’t go according to plan.”
4. ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change’ by Stephen R. Covey
As the title says, this book offers seven habits that help the reader to solve personal and professional problems in a consistent and sensible fashion. Each chapter in the book is titled for the habit it discusses in detail. A quote from Stephen Covey’s book is “to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know.”
5. ‘Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success’ by John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell sees failure as the stepping stone for success. He writes about the old adage that says, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Failure is not irreversible. He notes, “The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”
6. ‘The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment’ by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle talks about the importance of living in the present moment and avoiding dwelling on the past or future. His statement, “Accept—then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
7. ‘Attitude Is Everything: Change Your Attitude … Change Your Life!’ by Jeff Keller
The underlying theme of this book is that if you want circumstances in your life to change, then you must change your attitude and follow this with the necessary actions. Jeff Keller stresses, “You have greatness within you … and your attitude is the key to unlocking that potential.”
8. ‘Enthusiasm Makes the Difference’ by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
This book, as the name suggests, is about the advantages of approaching life with an enthusiastic point of view. Dr. Peale states, “Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.”
I wish my readers an enthusiastic year with the hope they find their own simple truths to enrich their lives.
Linda Wiegenfeld, a retired teacher, welcomes readers’ ideas about what simple truths are important to them. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org