Books That Have Changed My Life

Sometimes when I’m feeling down all I need is a little perspective to realize how good I really have it. The key to gaining this wider and more realistic worldview is through education, or more specifically for me, reading a specific genre of book.

You see, I believe that North American culture, while it has many positives, clearly has some downfalls as well. One of the most obvious is the obsession with materialism and the rat race that this produces.

As a result, it’s common for people to compare themselves to others, which can cause everyday unhappiness. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say that comparing ourselves to other people is the number one source of unhappiness in the average ETR reader’s life.

This theory is confirmed in the current book I’m reading, “Plutocrats” by Chrystia Freeland. Freeland reports that poor people tend to be happier than people in Manhattan making a couple of million dollars per year.

How’s that possible, you might wonder. Well, while research suggests that the more money you make (up to a certain point) increases happiness, in poor societies, everyone is poor. No one has anything that others don’t have. Therefore, they don’t become unhappy by comparing themselves to others.

But in Manhattan, those people making even $10 million (which is, as one New Yorker in the book is quoted as saying, “Is ONLY $5 million after taxes”) find themselves constantly unhappy because they are comparing themselves to others – the so-called Plutocrats for which the book is named – that make even more money.

You’ll find that unhappiness-by-comparison phenomenon anywhere there is an income gap, and yes, it’s the traditional phenomenon known as, “trying to keep up with the Joneses.” This bad habit has been around since the beginning of time, I’m sure. Nothing new to you or me, I’m sure.

And yes, I’ll be honest; I’m just as susceptible to this ‘disease’ as anyone else. So when I catch myself feeling down because I haven’t yet been offered my 7-figure book deal, I quickly catch myself and realize that my unhappiness is because I inadvertently compared myself to someone else.

Worse, when I was younger, I had the terrible habit to look upon someone else’s business or success with envy. It’s a personal flaw, and one that I hope you don’t share, but one that I’ve worked hard to correct. It is only human, I suppose, but certainly of no benefit.

But if you do sometimes get frustrated with how life is turning out, perhaps this lesson will help you.

What you need to do is turn to the history books. That’s my “odd” secret for getting a better perspective in life.

Specifically, I turn to any book written about World War I or World War II. This slap in the face and two-shoulder shaking to “wake up!” makes me realize that my life is so incredibly easy and fortunate.

For there, but for the Grace of God go I, hip deep in a shell crater outside of Ypres in 1917, waiting for a trench mortar to land in my vicinity and blow me to smithereens, or worse, horribly maim me and leave me to slowly die – alone – in the wretched fields of mud where so many young men died for naught.

I know it sounds odd, maybe even a little macabre, perhaps.

But when I realize that I will never (knock on wood) suffer from such a horrible fate of dying in conflict or living like an animal, as young men did in both World Wars, then my mindset is corrected.  After all, any struggle I have each day is laughable compared to what those before me have dealt with, which is comforting.

Young Erich Maria Remarque, author of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” would likely have traded anything to be out of the war and back at home sitting behind a desk during the years he fought as a German soldier in the First World War – a war that was generally fought for nothing and solved nothing.

Imagine the helplessness. You don’t know why you’re fighting. You don’t know how you’ll die, but you know you probably will, in one horrible way or another.

Remarque’s book is a classic, and it’s worth reading for so many reasons. I blazed through it in just a few nights this month, reading in bed again for the first time in years, long past when I should have fallen asleep.

What brought me to this book was seeing it listed in an ad for one of those “Great Courses” audio programs. It’s on the list of “Books that Made History.” These books of history will constantly remind you of how good you have it.


[Ed. Note. Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. He is also the co-creator of the Early to Rise $100,000 Transformation Contest. Though this round of the Transformation Contest has closed it’s not too late to access to all the helpful tools and advice that helped many people make a positive change in their lives. Get started on your major life transformations today.

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  • Peninah Kahia

    The Pain to Power e-book by Sasha.
    It taught me that the negative things I have gone through are to be celebrated as they are to make me strong if I learn the lessons intended in them but they are not to make me weak.

  • James

    Craig, the book that changed my life is the Bible, written by God through the pens of ordinary men. He used this book to show me Himself. In it, I came to see that I was a hopeless sinner who stood in offense and opposition to the God who made me, and thus, I was awaiting my self-condmnation in eternal suffering in Hell. But…..thats just the bad news, the good news however is that the God who created me chose to not leave me in my dire predicament. Instead, He chose to become a man and live a perfect life, and at its end, He freely took a thief’s death and punishment on a Roman cross so asto pay the penalty for my sin. But it doesn’t stop here either. For on the 3rd day after His burial, Jesus raised Himself from the dead in utter victory over sin and death to never die again and to return to His esteemed place of honor back in Heaven.

    What this all makes possible for you, me, and everyone else, is that if we believe that Jesus is God and trust in Christ to have paid our sin debt, we too will get to go to heaven. Now that is a dope and life changing book is it not?

    • dog

      i think you are talking about the same god we used to justify killing 1million civilians and countless other death Crusades throughout time do your self a favor have a backbone and take responsibility for yourself and how you effect your surroundings

  • hassan

    Awesome !

  • rich

    Thanks Craig. Great article today on being thankful for what we have. My Dad,
    was a fighter pilot in WW!!. I had an uncle killed at Iwo Jima. When you read what those guys went through, we have it so easy.

    I live in Manhattan, and am constantly amazed at the frowning !%ers, rushing
    around, in a hurry to go nowhere. One of my goals is to relocate from the city,
    to the Carolinas within the next 5 years.

    Like yourself, I am an early subscriber to ETR. I commend you for taking up the mantle from MM–aka Mark Ford. Keep up the good work.

    Best regards,

    Rich Mulholland

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thanks Rich, greatly appreciated!

    • Jim Maloney

      Rich, give me a shout when your plans/event horizon gets close…I’ll be happy to welcome you to North Carolina…

      Newburgh native/IBM retiree/ North Carolinian-Charlottean since 1980

  • Kenneth Mitchell

    I totally agree with you Craig. I would also add Henry Williamson’s war novels. He is best known for Tarka the Otter but his descriptions of life in the trenches of the First World War are, for me,unsurpassable. His daughter-in-law wrote this about him.
    “He came to realize that all men are brothers and war was futile and evil,basically engineered by political machination. His life’s credo was that it must never happen again, and to pursue that end through the medium of writing: to write the truth – the cause and effect.”

    This insight of writing the truth to change people’s thoughts has been the inspiration for me to try to do the same.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thank you Kenneth!

  • David Shawn

    Their are 2 titles off the top of my head that have had a truly profound affect on my life:
    1) Other People’s Money…Kiyosaki’s (Rich Dad) Advisors Series
    2) 4-Hr. Work Week…Timothy Ferriss.

    By reading Other People’s Money, I taught myself two of the most incredible pieces of leverage: OPR(esources) and OPT(ime).

    4-Hr. Work Week solidified my own motivational message of how to live a DREAM existence by outsourcing EVERY ASPECT of your life. While Mr. Ferriss does this working only “4 hours per week”–and brings in about $80K per month…I figured out how to do it on only 24 hours per week and a $30K [yearly] income.

  • Well, i totally agree with you Craig when you talk about how anyone can ruin his own life by comparing with other people.

    Nonetheless, your tip to change that mindset is to compare with the lives of World Wars soldiers. Well, that is still a comparison !

    I think that to be happier what we really need is to erase all comparison mindsets.

    I wish you the best,

    Paul Olivier


    The two books specially influenced my perceptions. Firstly ” SEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE” by Stephen R.Covey and secondly ” REAL MAGIC” by Wyane W. Dyer. I think one must not be miser in giving credit to people who deserve it whoever they may be and wherever they are.

    • dog

      another profound book Napoleon hill think and grow rich/13 laws of success
      how to win friends and influence people carnige i believe

  • Terry Rainey

    I’m not given to replying to speculative emais, however your subject “books that have changed my life”, has really urged me to respond. By books I assume you include audio books; I find audio books easier to comprehend and more flexible than the written page. The I Pod is a wonderful piece of technology.
    My choice would be “THE POWER OF NOW” by Erchart Tolle. Listening and relistening to this spiritual teacher has provided me with answers to personal questions I have sought all of my life. There were no “Road To Damascus” moments, just clear universal truths that tied in all of my previous reading materials and life experiences. A truly life changing experience, highly recommended.

    Terry Rainey

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thank you Terry!

  • Scott

    Craig – a book that is bound to become a classic (has almost 100 5 star reviews on Amazaon) and is a perfect fit to your philosophy is Jason Womack’s Your Best Just Got Better. I’d be extemely interested if you felt the same way after reading it. Thanks for all the great material. I feel I have to get up at 4:30am just to read everything you are producing these days! All the best! Scott

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Will check it out!

  • Joe Matchette

    I was going through a period of minor self-pity when I was given the book “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It was a wake-up call both for realizing how fortunate I truly am, but also for being able to forgive. If and when I find myself falling into a ‘woe is me’ trap, I only have to think about Louie Zamperini and my mood is instantly changed.

  • Syl

    The book that had the most profound impact on my life was Louise Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life.” She said that we were responsible for everything in our lives, that we have chosen it all and we also get to choose our future, and that our thoughts create not only the way in which we progress but also have a profound impact on our health.

    For you to comprehend why her concepts were such an eye-opener for me, I should tell you a little of my history. At the time of discovery, I was about 36, and had been in the grip of a deep and chronic depression that was of about 28 years duration, basically since the start of a 4 year period of sexual molestation when I was 8 years old by my aunt’s husband. He was the first of many – they say predators can recognize the vulnerable, and I was a sitting duck. My father was a blind man and an alcoholic. My mother’s father had been physically abusive, narcissistic, and probably bi-polar. My parents were good people, just dysfunctional. I had an IQ of 174, which they tried to nurture, but the molestation deeply impacted my self-esteem and impacted my ability to achieve. This was augmented by having been hit in the forehead by a cricket ball when I was 6, which caused ADD (undiagnosed till I was 51 and engaged in acquiring my second Masters degree).
    I graduated high-school at 15 (would have been 14 but I begged and begged to go to boarding school in England {I am from the tiny island of Bermuda}, partly to escape a teacher who was also molesting me, and so lost a year) but was unprepared for the job market, I hadn’t worked hard enough for the grades to obtain a scholarship, and my family had no funds for college. So, I worked menial jobs, got involved with unsuitable men and by the time I was 18 I had 2 children out of wedlock. I won’t detail the rest of my story except to note that from my first suicidal ideation at age 11, I was in and out of psychiatric care, none of whom ever asked me about the molestation, even after a suicide attempt at age 21.

    At the time I discovered Ms. Hay, I had lived and worked in three different countries, obtained an intermediate certificate in Accounting and formed a successful agency to help victims of sexual abuse. Yet I was still struggling with depression and the allure of oblivion.
    Louise Hay literally saved my life. I was able to forgive my parents for being human and fallible, forgive myself for being a child and helpless, and recognize my responsibility as an adult to take charge of my life, instead of wallowing in blame and shame.

    • dog

      thanks that is an uplifting story i feel better about my life already!!

  • Kevin Keperling

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad was a very insperational book for me in that it provides great definitions of how the E, B, S, and I people vary in their pursuits for financial survival verses financial nirvana. Of course the onus is always going be on the individual as to whether they ar savers or spenders, just like those who report the news verses those that make the news. Actions always speak louder than words.

  • Ron

    I liked your reference to WWI and WWII. Besides the Bible, a book that has inflenced me is “1942, The Year that tried Men’s Souls” by Winston Grooms, c. 2005. Since I was born in 1942 it is sounded like a good idea to know what conditions were like soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor in Dec. 1941. The author bounces back and forth between the home front and the war effort. We tend to forget that when we look back at history that we know what happened but at the time the people did not know. The news from the Pacific was defeat after defeat, except for the Doolittle Raid. I have interviewed a WWII veteran who help prepare the planes before the raid, although he didn’t know why at the time. Despite heavy losses the Battle of Midway was the first victory and gave hope to the people. The quick ramp up of war production is the real story of why we won the war. For students of WWII history or for those wanting to experience what our paretnts lived through early in WWII, I recommend “1942”.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Appreciate the recommendation!

  • michael

    I am reading Think and Grow rich and the Law of Success ( Napoleon Hill ) at the moment. Also as a man thinketh by James Allen. I think the power of thought and one’s Attitude can severely alter the way of how you percieve reality.

  • Jennifer

    One of my favorite books is, “The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity” by Catherine Ponder. She’s a very inspiring writer and you’ll find some great affirmations to assist you on your journey to prosperity

  • Here’s a list of some of my favorites, off the top of my head.

    Conversations with God
    Way of the Peaceful Warrior
    The Old Man and the Sea
    For Whom the Bell Tolls
    Fight Club

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Fight Club and For Whom the Bell Tolls – great calls!

  • Craig—

    Please read Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych.”
    Don’t be misled by the title. It’s truly life-changing.


    George Kirazian
    San Diego, CA

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Will do, thanks George!

  • Kat

    The Autobiography of Yogi
    Secrets of a Millionare Mind
    Think & Grow Rich Napoleon Hill
    The Power of the Subconscious Mind
    The Power Of Positive Thinking
    The End of Illness
    From good to great

    • dog

      i have met Harv Ecker a few times and done work for him great guy although i think he repackaged hills books into his own as i read both books

  • Katherine Marcum

    I read a lot. Here are some of the books that has inspired me to begin seeking things or people that can help me accomplish my vision. The Confident Factor and LQ Solution by Dr Keith Johnson, Your Best Life Now, I Declare, Your Best Life Now and Becoming a Better YOU by Joel Osteen. Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer, The Spirit of Leadership, Understanding your Potential and The Principles and Power of Vision. The last one I am teaching Thurday night Bible Study from. I have also read books by Dave Ramsey, TD Jakes and I have order the one about No More Excuses by Brian Tracy. But these books have stirred something in me that will not be satisfied until I become the person that God know that I am.

  • Denise White

    The book Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas is the story of William Wilberforce. I would bet that most people have no idea how much we owe this man and the profound influence he had on the world. He changed the very fabric and mindset of the western world. Fabulous read!

  • Rob

    Excellent article. I can relate.

  • Susan Jones

    I liked your article regarding comparing ourselves to others and how to snap ourselves out of feeling sorry for ourselves. I also never knew that Victor Frankl proposed a Statue of Responsiblity for the west coast. I think that would be fabulous! It seems that so many people want the government to be responsible for their welfare instead of taking responsibility for themselves. I would contribute money to such a statue.

  • I enjoyed your post, Craig. You are really on to something with the WWI and WWII books. And you are right, when we find situations and conditions worse than our own we do feel better…more able to cope and move forward. I work in the field of memoir. My business partner, Matilda Butler, and I teach, coach and write memoir, and this genre can help in much the same way…only better. The reason is that most memoir is written to share experience, insight, courage etc. So it is actively working to do what your war stories are doing. Writing memoir also can help by allowing writer to work through issues, deal with them and often put things to rest.

  • Jim Baum

    I too read “All Quiet on the Western Front” recently. The mud. The arbitrary death. The pointlessness of it all. A passage that really struck me was the description of Kemmerich after he was wounded and dying, “He it is still and yet it is not he any longer.” Another powerful read of the struggle to maintain one’s dignity under unbearable conditions is “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thanks Jim, greatly appreciated.

  • I think I was about 10 or 11 years old when I read a small book called ” Justicia senor governador”, “Justice Mr. Governor” I remember I was so impressed by it, read it a few times, I will stop and think about what I was reading, and think about life, about all of us, about injustice, it made me stop and think, stop and think, about fairness, justice, equality.

  • I remember reading this huge book called “Jaragua”, I will go to the backyard and read it until it was dark and couldn’t see the writting anymore.

  • Rebecca

    First to come to Mind

    The Bible
    CAptivating (christian book on discovering a womens true heart and motives)

    Making Children Mind without Losing Yours (read when your kids are young, it will make your life easier!)

    Ruthless Trust (what it means to truly trust God and why we can be confident through history of trusting)

    The Power of Highly Effective People – the power and importance of being in the moment and in working/training hard but taking the time to take a time out. Original study was based on athletic performance, they then translated it to business……I think I need to read this on again actually. Haha!

    Craig- if you have not discovered it already, based on what you’ve shared, I think you’d really enjoy The Hiding Place by Correy Tenenbaum (Jewish woman in a camp during the War, warning you will get teary, I don’t care how strong you are 🙂 it’s very well written, it will take you there, but it is ultimately a book of hope

    • Rebecca

      One more of course!!
      Dan Kennedy No BS ruthless time mgt for entrepreneurs

  • Teresa

    I have found everything by Abraham-Hicks to be very enlightening, especially “Ask and It Is Given”, as well as the later work of Wayne Dyer.

  • Marcus Mwangi

    Books that are having a tremendous impact on my life (in order):

    1. The 7 habits of highly effective people. Stephen Covey. (plus all his other books, this one first though).
    2. The Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey. (make sure you listen to the audio book as well – read by the author, phenomenal!
    3. As a Man Thinketh. James Allen.
    4. Self Help Books: The 101 Best Personal Developmental Classics. Vic Johnson.
    You can get them all from & the kindle app for smartphones.

    Start with books that deal with the man, or woman in the mirror (above).

    “Search your own heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

    Kind regards : )

  • Brian Hennessey

    My favorite book that has had the greatest positive impact in my life, and many others for that matter, is the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda. The book has been required reading, for those who study Eastern Religion, in many universitys throughout our country and the world. Its message of the universality of religion and how we all can have a personal relationship with God, which is a common thread in all the major religions and has been taught through the milleniums, is indeed eye opening and life changing. Its no surprise why this book has remained a best seller for over 7 decades.

  • Marion Lynn Connell

    The book that mhas truly changed my life and way of thinking is The Passion Test The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. I belive its their second edition. It has caused me to really focus on how I want my life to be and what I need to do to get there. When I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s I read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. It was suggested reading by my upline when I was trying to becme an independant business owner with Amway. Needless to say that didn’t work out for me , but it did get me on the track to thinking that I really didn’t have to work for someone doing overtime and such to become rich.. I was a single parent rising 2 kids, but no matter what I tried I always wound up going back to nursing. Now that I’m retired, (Social Security doesn’t pay) and my kids are grown I’m still trying to be my own boss. The book helped me realize that my first love is helping people live healthy lives. Doctors only treat symptoms. I like to help peolpe heal or maintain the whole body and prevent dis-ease.

  • Andrew McDermot

    Hello all ETR readers! As far as business books that I have read that are guiding me on my path to success, there are many of them! In contrast, there are very few books that I have read that have touched me on a deeper, and more profound level. It is actually perfect timing for this article because I just finished one of those special types of books. It was called ” Man’s Search for a meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl. To briefly explain it, it is psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir about his life in Nazi death camps and the lessons he learn for spiritual survival. This sounds crazy, but I feel this book changed me as a person on so many levels. I feel like I value like more now than ever before. I feel I have a greater attitude for life and a greater appreciation for all the opportunities that I have every single day. Anytime that I feel like complaining now,the first thing I think about is Dr. Frankl’s suffering he went through, and that instantly brings me back to a rational view. There’s one certain passage from this book though that I would like to share with you all. Recently in my life I have started to realize this, but Dr. Frankl is able to put it into text. If just one person on this site reads this passage I will be satisfied that It has touched your life also.

    ” The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way — an honorable way — in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.””

  • First off, I inwardly feel the need to come up with my sincere attitude of gratefulness to you, Craig, for the countless times you brought to me {and others like me] a wealth of moral support for all the moments of trouble and uncertainty that darkened and misted my life. To be utterly sincere, I have practiced logotherapy for so long without knowing it, as by reading your articles alone{plus the ones of other Americans on the same mission like yours-and you must rest assured that I never made a comparison on this subject}, I felt a breeze of allegiance and instant wellness about me. As regards what too many people are used to nowadays{comparing themselves with other people in terms of possession of goodies, lore, and counting}I am not that kind. I am firm on my spot and have my own preferencies, likes, dislikes and, most of all, I know what I need. For instance, every time I went on a trip far from my country, I bought things that I knew I needed and that I lik, and buying American books was always on my list of top priorities. Just because I knew my habits for the time ahead and had to cater to them-reading American books. I did the same when I used to read French stuff. Therefore, when I buy “valuables” I do it without having an exterior influence; I only have my own desires and needs. As of the most influencial books in my life, there are many and it is hard to me now to make a list of them all. But, after the anticommunist revolution in this country-Romania- the first touch that I had with the Bible was a real turning point in my life. I was so much impressed by the solid ultimate truths in it, that I really started living by its moral code alone. And I could clearly witness the feed-back that God used to send me through so many life-related things.I came to the conclusion that God works in our lives through wordly items, the ones as well material and spiritual we come across on a daily basis, not through some extranatural or out-of-the-common-way things. I was so pleased to see that God showed me the way in so many bottleneck nasty events, just because I was always on the right side of things. The whole country seemed to go the same way as many people got into touch with the true religion, teaching good things and ways galore . But, many things have changed in the country and in my life ever since and I lost that quite direct influence of God upon my doings. It is not that I lost my faith or control of my life -I keep on doing good things and being on the right side of the world- but fate threw me in a place reluctant to my kind of work {making use of two languages=American and French}. There is a huge nationalist resurrection in here and a tremendus rejection of my kind of work as a result. I was angered, started catering to my frustration negative feelings, thoughts, got even desperate…..all the stuff in the occurrence….So , the Bible was for me the most powerful book and the most complete moral guide I ever came across. It was brimful with everything a human needs in order to become a fully achieved person from the moral viewpoint. It gave me the entire meaning of life on earth and I deemed it the very foundation of future achievements for people from all walks of life, bar none. Without this rock-solid foundation, every sort of human undertaking would be absolutely meaningless , unless assertedly conveyed toward sheer destruction. For all I can remember, “The Portrait of an Artist”, by James Joyce, put a little light in my mind as regards our choices in life and the risks we could run choosing between pure holiness and the much complicated wordly paths.Then it was “The Miserables” by Victor Hugo, which was the most important eye-opener to me as regards the extension of our lives toward the infinite Universe. And many , many others from which I could skim so many valuable teaching stuff about our human condition. After so much reading, I have literally turned into that kind of person capable of seizing the sometimes hidden meaning of many books.I learn way more from books just because they give me a vast description of backgrounds and events and I have this special trait about me as to feel a heavenly elation about beautiful sites masterly described….It’s one of my pleasure. I also like spending lots of time in front of a wonderful natural landscape, richly colored picture representing urban or idyllic sites, and those habits are more importing to me than buying luxury items as extremely expensive clothes, furniture, houses…..I like the good and beautiful things, as a natural extension of my inner self, but not the most expensive of them.As the result, I don’t feel a mere hint of envy for those possessing expensive wealth items. I only want to be allowed to enjoy my own kind of stuff.

  • Rodney Hadstall

    Who is Matt Smith?

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Matt is ETR’s Publisher, and my business partner. Thanks!

  • Craig I read your articles all the time. They are giving me that little gasoline for my engine, so to speak. I can totally relate to your article because there is this little book my friends and I read that totally opened all of our eyes. The book is called, Who Moved My Cheese? By Spencer Johnson, MD. It only takes about 10 minutes to read which is why it was one of the top book we selected as a group. It was very interesting to hear some of the comments about what the book means. It taught me that “Change” happens in everyone’s life. We have to be ready and willing to roll with change or it will roll over us.

  • Gabriel

    Wow this was an amazing article. Though I just finished reading it (I like reading your articles in the morning to make way for another blessed day) I loved the message behind it.

    Craig, I think you’re a great writer and if you keep doing what you’re doing you will for sure one day get that million dollar deal. Look forward to reading your future messages.

    Gabriel DoCarmo

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thank you so much!

  • Leilani

    Psycho-cybernetics. Also Matt Furey’s 101 ways to magnetize money. I like that I learned that I could control my thoughts. I can’t remember the exact Stephen King book it was or a combination of several, but when I was 8-10 I decided that it was extremely important that at tge end of my life that my grave stone would read that I was a good person. That thought has shaped my life and character. It helps me to make the right although difficult decisions.

    I like that you write so often. And that you are a current version of the great minds llike Zig Ziglar, Covey and Maltz or N Hill. Someone who will inspire the next generation. Grateful for your mission. It’s bringing a ton of good to the world for years and years to come .

  • marie

    The book that made me THINK and exposed the dreadful racism that existed towards African Americans especially in the South was the amazing book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I feel that this book perhaps began to lay the foundations towards addressing the inhuman treatment of African Americans. In Atticus Finch we see the a person who shows great courage to risk all in order to right a wrong.

  • Michelle G Desgagne

    Wow lots of good stuff here.
    Thank you Craig for bringing up some of the events of World War I & II and how human history continues to impact us all. It reminds me of my own yearly ritual come Remembrance Day here in Canada (similar to Veteran’s Day in the USA).
    Its a time when TV channels are chock full of docudrama type programming of various kinds but, to me, none more raw and visceral than those which chronicle the Holocaust.
    Sometime ago I had the privilege to listen one such survivor speak at the Museum of Tolerance in L.A. I tried to thank her for her courage under pressure but only managed to burst into tears before any words could come out. She grabbed me up into her arms and gave me a huge bear hug all the while telling me that it was Ok. It’s much harder to loose faith in Humankind when people like her are part of it but I’ll continue too, to honor the memory all those who faced the unimaginable…so we don’t have to.
    Now to the Books!
    A General Theory of Love, Thomas Lewis + several others. The scientific exploration of the mysteries of love and much, much more. A very heavy read.
    The Hidden Messages in Water & The Secret Life of Water by Masuro Emoto.
    You will never think the same about the profundity of a single drop of the stuff, again!

  • Ahmed

    Hi Craig,
    You asked if I can add any book that changed my life and I would like to add that after reading “The Secret”, “The Master Key System” By Charles Haanel changed my life better than it would have been had I read it before reading “The Secret”

    Thanks for the article.

    Ahmed Birairi

  • Gayle

    Jack Canfield has compiled different truisms in his book, ” the sucess principles”
    His first sucess principle is to take 100% responsibility for your life.
    He also has what he calls the rule of 5. He suggest doing 5 things every
    day that gets you closer to what you want to accomplish in your life.
    His book is a must read! The principles are timeless!

  • Hey Craig,

    All Quiet on the Western Front is a fantastic book. If you like war fiction, here are two other novels I highly recommend.

    Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
    The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien


  • Harjas Singh

    well, whenever i am going through some stress in life….
    I read any book or article relating to abraham lincoln’s life.
    Lincoln is kinda my idol n my inspiration.

  • Kim

    the books that have changed my life are
    Your life, understanding universal laws by Bruce McArthur
    You can heal your life by Louise Hay
    The wisdom of the enneagram by Don Riso and Russ Hudson
    Change your brain change your life by Dr. Daniel Amen
    The passion test by Janet and Chris Attwood
    Plus books by Wayne Dyer and one from the readings of Edgar Cayce about reincarnation ( was fabulous) but don’t remember the author.

  • Brian Weerts

    There are a few. At the top of the list I would put the Bible, then in no particular order:
    The Go Giver by Berg and Mann
    Written in story form, it brings forward the fact that what truly makes people and businesses successful is giving. It is something that Craig, Mark Ford and a host of others are doing to help people like me change our lives.
    Rich Dad Poor Dad by Kiyosaki
    This book helped create a paradigm for me regarding finances.

  • Thanks Craig. Someone mentioned Psycho-Cybernetics and that book had massive impact on me. Then there are heaps more, like Man’s Search For Meaning that you mentioned. It’s profound. There are so many great books out there (and so many bad ones ;D) Take care.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thanks Marcus, appreciated. Let me know when you stumble across other great books.

  • Beth

    Celestine Prophecies. First time I read it completely connected with it. Since them everytime I feel like my life is getting a little too chaotic, I read it again and recenter myself. And each time get a little bit more out of the book, something i didn’t catch before.

  • John Brodie

    I guess I’ll shorten my list/comments:

    Books that has influenced my life:

    Besides The Bible:

    Think and Grow Rich
    The Master-Key to Riches
    Success through A Positive Mental Attitude
    How I Raised Myself from Failure To Success in/by Selling
    The Greatest Salesman In The World
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
    GIANT STEPS Small Changes to Make a Big Difference

  • Genya Masri

    Wow, I have really enjoyed this article and all the posts. So rich and full of information and possibilities!
    Lots of great books above! I also loved The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma the Torontonian of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari fame.
    Any book by Brene Brown (Daring Greatly) and Terry Real (How Can I get Through to You) also got me to contemplate my relational life as never before!

  • mike

    Pax Neo-Tech by Frank R. Wallace

  • Jovan

    Craig, you sure are an instant inspiration. Thank you brother!

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Thank you!

  • mike March 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm
    Pax Neo-Tech by Frank R. Wallace

    Read the Neo Tech books by Wallace, intersting until the last book that said I was suppose to treat my Hard Working Husband like a king, Sorry! I work harder, do more for my family and feel alittle used by the family. My personal experience says that when I do less, we do better as a family. No One should be an enabler,everyone should be responsible for themselves! We now work together as a family and things are a whole lot better than they were!!!

  • Esther Van Der Merwe

    I already have The new American Dream – had a quick look at it in 2013 (It still is for a few hours!). I made the decision to work through it, and with all the things on my plate in 2013 (excuses excuses) I still didn’t get to it! My intention was to get through it. I made the decision that working through Craig’s The New American Dream will be a high priority in my life in 2014. The values I learn from there, I will follow through in 2015, 2016 and even beyond 2017. Thank you for all your efforts Craig!!!!

    And daily I receive Craig’s newsletter – It’s impossible not to grow if I read this constantly!

    • ttcert

      Great to hear, Esther, thank you!