When I speak with people, they often ask me if I read this or that self-help book. When I respond that I didn’t and that I have no intention to, they are quite shocked.
It surprises many people to know that I do not read many self-help books.
I understand their reaction. After all, I publish personal development books!
So, why don’t I read more of them?
One of the reasons is that I’ve already read plenty! I have shelves of books that I’ve read, from Napoleon Hill to Tony Robbins to authors you’ve never heard of.
That being said, I believe that there comes a time when one must put the books away and get into action.
And that’s what I’ve done.
While I crack the occasional self-help book – for either personal or professional reasons – I don’t make it a habit to read a lot of them.
I know the philosophy. I teach the philosophy. I make it a habit to put it into action.
Another reason why I don’t read many self-help books is that I publish the best personal development books ever written: The Complete Master Key Course. So, why should I bother reading more and more self-help books written by questionable authors when they are going to basically relate the same thing and yet still not be as good as the books by Haanel?
Once again, I’d rather let my actions do the talking.
So what do I read that inspires me and teaches me about the philosophy of success?
I find great inspiration in books of that nature.
Whereas self-hep books only give brief anecdotes of historical figures to highlight a point (and often the anecdotes are apocryphal or incorrect in some way), a good biography thoroughly delves into the mind and character of the subject. As a reader, you not only get to see them as a human with all of the flaws and quirks, but you also see how they allowed their greatness to shine and how they really came to be what they became.
If you read about the great scientists of history, you see how their inquisitiveness drove them to make observations and then theories that rocked the world.
You see how businesses were often built by chance on a wing and a prayer, and with conviction and perseverance they grew into the mega-corporations we have today.
You see how the great athletes were often times not so great when they began the pursuit of their sport.
You see how some of the most successful people got where they are by a quirk of fate.
You see how some of the people we all know (and sometimes love) started life on a different path, but because of circumstances they had to switch to something new – something that lead to success beyond their wildest imaginings.
In my research, research done by reading biographies and autobiographies, I found that Mr. Hill forgot one trait:
All successful people are a little crazy – sometimes a lot!
I’m not saying that they were certifiable lunatics that should be locked into asylums. I am saying that they looked at the world differently and expected different things than the multitude.
I am a fan of Apple computers. Other than making fine computers, Apple also has a penchant for making some damn good commercials. One of them illustrates perfectly what I am trying to convey to you about being a little crazy. It is Apple’s famous “Crazy Ones” advertisement.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine. They heal.
They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.
You can watch the advertisement here.
I printed the words of this advertisement and have it hanging on my wall. Some people have vision boards, I prefer this. It reminds me that as I press forward with my vision, it’s OK to be a little “out there.”
I recommend that you do the same: Print this, read it a few times, and really think about it.
Frankly, I think it’s kind of funny that true words of wisdom came from an advertisement.
Well, maybe it’s not that funny; perhaps it’s just a little … crazy.