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People who are serious about their success look for mentors who have walked the path before them. It is also not always possible to meet physically with these great men and women. The convenient way among others is to read their books.  These books contain wealth of knowledge, ideas, thoughts and experiences that you can learn from. It is no-brainer that consuming volumes of words in these books is not going to help until you take what works for you and put it into action.

This list of books influenced and shaped the person I am today. I hope they will change your life too:

1.   The purpose driven life – What on earth am I here for

Purpose Driven Life

Most of us struggle for the rest of our existence because we fail to understand nor does it even cross our minds what on earth are we here for. In this book, Rick Warren reveals God’s plan for our lives. He stresses that “life begins with God and that you are born by his purpose and for his purpose”. Looking for anything is like searching for a path in the dark forest.


“There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life” – Rick Warren

 2.   Feel the fear and do it anyway

Feel The fear

No matter how many times I have stood before people, I still experience fear and anxiety. The other people in my circle attest to that experience too. The difference is that we do not allow fear to overpower us. I give credit to Susan Jeffers, who in this book gives hope to all that no matter who you are or at what level of your life you are, we all experience fear one way or the other. She shares the tools we can use to conquer fear, pain and paralysis and replace that with power, energy and love. I recommend this book to anyone who has given fear permanent citizenship in their lives.

“I know that some fear is instinctual and healthy and keeps us alert to trouble. The rest – the part that holds us back from personal growth – is inappropriate and destructive ….. ” – Susan Jeffers

3.   The 7 habits of highly effective people

The 7 habits

As a practitioner of personal development, this is one book that put all key ingredients of personal change into one. Stephen Covey addresses recipes for individual and professional success by providing step by step guide based on fundamental principles to adapt to change and leverage on opportunities that this change presents. The best coaches and speakers I know and at least follow,  have followed these 7 habits to be where they are today.


“Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose” – Stephen R Covey

4.   The leader who had no title

Leader without title

It’s rare that you find “leaders” out there who do not put their title or positions in your face. It is like they would not exist if that title were to be taken away. Robin Sharma whom I regard as the guru on the subject of leadership, uses powerful stories to convey a message about leading with influence. He takes the reader to see and develop power of resilience, physical and mental astuteness to deal with challenges demanded of true leadership without imposing self on others.

“Leading  without a title seemed to involve a delicate balance between being firm yet friendly, tough yet tender, and courageous yet compassionate” – Robin Sharma

 5.   Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich

This is one of the classics of all time. Through this book I awakened the beast within and started going after my goals with zeal.  Following  25 years researching  the wealthiest self-made millionaires in America, Napoleon Hill established that there are about thirteen steps to riches. The beauty about these 13 steps is that they are internally focused yet their outward expression is magnificent to create the life you desire. The best leaders in business and entrepreneurs that I have crossed paths with have identified this classic as the best collection of wisdom that propelled them into action.


“…but desire backed by faith knows no such word as impossible” – Napoleon Hill

6.   The Richest Man in Babylon

The Richest Man

When it comes to the subject of money, most people struggle with wrapping their heads around it. For some it is taboo, for others it is illusive and they believe that it is not for them. In this classic of all times, George Clason shares the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money and making money earn more money. I regard this book as money made possible, the best way to increase your financial literacy and build generational wealth.


“Man must pay his debts with all promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay….”  – George Clason

I am an ardent reader and there are other many books I have read and continue to read that are continuing to change my life.  I believe you are doing the same. Please share your list with us so that we can learn from it. What were the key lessons that you took from these books and how have you applied them in your life?

Tex Hlalele

Think Big, Dream Wild & Prosper

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