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“You need to associate with people that inspire you, people that challenge you to rise higher, people that make you better. Don’t waste your valuable time with people that are not adding to your growth. Your destiny is too important.” Joel Osteen

I love a good book that tells a great story. If it motivates me to move towards any goal I may have set for myself, so much the better! If it catches me in the first chapter, I’m usually hooked. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite inspirational books…



My Grandfather’s Son – Justice Clarence Thomas


This book was one of those where, once I picked it up and started reading, time stood still and I could not put it down. Justice Thomas writes in a style that makes you feel as if he’s sitting in front of you telling his story rather than reading it from a book. He covers his life as a youngster, when his mother sent him and his brother to be raised by her father and stepmother, and continues through his contentious confirmation to the Supreme Court. He started life as a poor black child living in the deep south and worked his way up to the highest court in the land. Politics aside, his story is a great one and is well worth the time you’ll take reading this book.



Capital Gaines-Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff – Chip Gaines


If you’re a fan of the HGTV show “Fixer Upper” then you know Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you loved Chip as an absolute goofball with a heart of gold from the show, you won’t be disappointed in this book. Chip tells his story of how he and Joanna met and married, how they started what is now Magnolia, and how they continue to build their business while never forgetting that the truly most important thing to them is family. Chip writes like he speaks, silliness and all, but he’s a very smart businessman. He’s made some mistakes and he’s not afraid to admit it. That he has the humility to recognize his mistakes and learn from them is what makes him a truly remarkable success story.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started reading but I came away from the book having an entirely new respect for Chip Gaines and what he has accomplished. Luck had absolutely nothing to do with his success-he’s worked his tail off and earned every bit of it.



Nobody, Nowhere – Donna Williams


Several years ago when Peter Jennings was still anchoring World News Tonight on ABC, Donna Williams was featured as their “Person of the Week”. When I heard she had written a book about her journey with Autism, I was immediately drawn in. Hubs had retired from the military and we were navigating a whole new world of special education for Sonny. To quote a friend whose adult child is also on the Autism Spectrum, Donna had autism when autism wasn’t cool.

Growing up in 1960s Australia, no one knew why she behaved as she did, and her childhood was filled with abuse and neglect. Still, she survived and thrived, and achieved a university education and the eventual writing of her autobiography. I have tremendous respect for Donna Williams and all she has been able to accomplish despite her diagnosis. If you have a family member on the Spectrum, I highly recommend this book.



The Last Lecture – Dr. Randy Pausch


If you found out you only had a short time to live, what would you do with your time? That was the question posed to a number of Carnegie Mellon University professors back in 2007, who then did a number of lectures on the subject. The difference for Dr. Randy Pausch, a professor of computer science, was that he truly was facing that question. Shortly before he gave his talk, Dr. Pausch received the news that the pancreatic cancer with which had been diagnosed a year earlier was terminal.

According to Wikipedia, “The Last Lecture fleshes out Pausch’s lecture and discusses everything he wanted his children to know after his pancreatic cancer had taken his life. It includes stories of his childhood, lessons he wants his children to learn, and things he wants his children to know about him. He repeatedly stresses that one should have fun in everything one does, and that one should live life to its fullest because one never knows when it might be taken.” Dr. Pausch passed away in July, 2008, at the age of 47. He’s left quite the legacy.



One Question-Life Changing Answers from Today’s Leading Voices – Ken Coleman


Ken Coleman is a Dave Ramsey personality with a daily Sirius XM show called, wait for it, The Ken Coleman Show. On the show he helps his callers by asking a series of questions about their passions and how to apply those passions to help them achieve their career goals. Older Wiser Money Miser exists today, in part, because of my call to his show back in May, 2018.

Ken is a master interviewer with an innate ability to draw from his subject their inner-most wisdom and passion, and he has compiled the answers from a wide range of personalities on subjects such as failure, fear, and rejection, as well as mastery, accountability, and gratitude. His subjects range from Pat Summitt to John McCain, from Tony Dungy to Dan Cathy. In each chapter he tells a story that ties into the answer to One Question from each of his subjects. There’s a wide range of wisdom contained in this book from a lot of different perspectives that makes One Question worth your time.

Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite inspirational books, I’d like to hear about some of yours. What books have you read that have motivated you to reach a goal? Please share in the comments.

Be well and God Bless-until we meet again…



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