I listen and read a lot of “inspirational” or self-help books, if you want to call them that.  Not the touchy feely be happy for no reason books.  But the ones that actually help you do better with your time, goals, and aspirations.  I also listen to podcasts and audio books on or around the same subject matter.  The reason I do this is the overwhelming sea of negativity that I, and anyone in the human family, has to fight off.  I think of the negativity to positive ratio like that of the ocean vs. land mass on the earth.  Almost everyone seems to be full of negativity.  Sometimes it dispensed lovingly, other times maliciously.  Everyone else has experience so much of it that they tell everyone else that it is just the way it is.

I have a few experiences that say otherwise.

In high school I had between three to four really good friends at any given time, and they would all want to go do things, but in true high school drama fashion one friend could not stand the other friend for whatever reason.  They would ask if I wanted to go to a movie or hangout, and I would make the mistake of saying yes to both of them not knowing (or really caring) of what the current treatise, alliances, or acts of war were in place.  I read the book “7 habits of highly effective teens” and a fantastic chapter talked about being a “yes man” which is what I was, and that I should have a planner to keep track of things I said yes to.  You should have heard the things my friends said back to me when I told them that if it is not in the planner, it will not happen…no matter what.  But despite their uproar to it, I got some sanity back, all my friends were still my friends and it was neat to have a record of what I did.

With the economy everyone is sad, mopy, like Eeyore from Winnie the Poo.  And they have to get second jobs that are worse than the first just to get by.  I was working at a gas station in Utah, and the owner from another gas station chain that I worked for showed up to get propane.  I said hi and reminded him who I was and how much I liked working for him, just school schedule or what have you conflicted.  I have been reading business books about selling yourself and straight out asked if there was anything that I could do for him when I am not working…he gave his number and we talked and there were work trucks and fuel containers that needed to be painted.  I made my own hours, painted in the summer while no one bothered me and made a lot of good money from it.  Also got a brother in law and his cousin in on it for a good spell and they made some good money from it too!

When you keep consuming positive uplifting material, you get better in the ways that those materials teach you, and you just have a more proactive, hard working attitude, your ears percolate at opportunities, and you are happier because you are doing something instead of wallowing in your own self pity.  I have done both and I much prefer the former.

Some books I have read that fit this bill:
*  48 days to the work you Love: by Dan Miller
*  Quitter:  by Jon Acuff
*  Entreleadership:  by Dave Ramsey
*  7 Habits of Highly Effective People:  by Stephen Covey
*  The Total Money Makeover:  by Dave Ramsey
*  Steve Jobs:  by Walter Isaacson
*  Scriptures (people think it is cheesy but if you’re looking, you will find it)

Some of the Podcasts I listen to:
*  Dave Ramsey Show
*  EntreLeadership
*  48 days
*  Smart Passive Income
*  Linux Action Show

There are many more books that I have read but those are the ones that I could think of off the top of my head.  It isn’t really about retaining every little thing that you read, but that as you read or listen that you act on the good advice and training and then those become habits.