How do you stay positive?

Better Get to Livin'

Better Get to Livin’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can we all agree that there are just some days we do not feel motivated?  It happens to the best of us.  The daily grind can get you down if you let it.  My favorite way to get my mind right in a hurry is to listen to music.   And of course there’s a song for just about everything.  I must also admit if there is any advantage to having a long commute it provides a wonderful opportunity to dive deep into your favorite music. Every couple of weeks I try to remember to listen to Better Get To Livin’ by Dolly Parton.  If you’re not familiar with that one, go look it up on You Tube or iTunes.  Another song that can keep me in a positive frame of mind is My Best Days by Danny Gokey.  You’ll want to find the video for that one as well.  I have my favorite music for reminding me how awesome my life is because of my family, my roots, my successes and even my failures. In no particular order I have listed out just some of the music I like to listen to.  Is there a song you like to listen to that gets you back on positive ground?  What is it?

  • Sanctus Real – Lead Me
  • Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance
  • Danny Gokey – My Best Days
  • Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying
  • 10,000 Maniacs – These Are Days
  • John Mayer – Say
  • Chris Cagle – Chicks Dig It
  • Dolly Parton – The Sacrifice & Better Get to Living
  • Jo Dee Messina – That’s God
  • John Michael Montgomery – Life’s a Dance
  • ZZ Top – Sharp Dressed Man
  • Five For Fighting – Chances & 100 Years
  • Dire Straits – Why Worry
  • Tom Petty – Free Fallin’
  • Barry White – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love
  • Aerosmith – Livin’ On The Edge
  • Darius Rucker – This
  • Toad The Wet Sprocket – Crazy Life
  • Nickelback – Gotta Be Somebody
  • Lady Antebellum – Perfect Day
  • Enrique Iglesias – Hero
  • Jason Jones – Ferris Wheel
  • Sting – Brand New Day
  • Hal Ketchum – I Know Where Love Lives
  • Shawn Colvin – Climb On (A Back That’s Strong)

“Outside of dog, a book is man’s best friend. Of course, inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” Groucho Marx

Magic of Thinking Big Cover

Magic of Thinking Big Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the course of my career one of my all-time favorite questions to ask a candidate is “What is the last book you read?”  The obvious follow-up is “What book are you currently reading?”  The responses (and reactions) have fallen from one end of the spectrum to the other.  They also reveal a great deal about the candidate.  Many candidates do a bit of dancing around the subject and then list all the articles and web sites they read to stay current.  But that was not the question.

I will always remember one candidate in particular.  It was 2003 and I was interviewing a candidates for a sales position.  Near the end of the interview I asked my favorite question.  He was taken off guard and unprepared for it.  After finally admitting he hadn’t finished a book since college, and now clearly defensive,  he thought he would turn the tables and asked me to name the last book I read.  I did him one better.

I told him I finished my last book just the week before and it was The Magic of Thinking of Big.  And I also listed out the three books I read before that.  I then told him what I was currently reading and the next two I had lined up after that.

We are able to get information from many sources thanks to advances in technology.  But where do we gain knowledge?  Nothing can replace a book.  The ideas shared in books ranging from history, personal finance, biographies, business, motivational and inspirational and so many others, can not be duplicated.

Diving into a book can replenish our mind in a way reading an article can not.  Books make us think, they make us wrestle our in-grained beliefs with new ideas.  They help us draw new conclusions and create paradigm shifts.  If we are open to it, they can help us see the world in a new way.

I don’t know if you are familiar with Andy Andrews or Og Mandino.  Both are great writers and can weave great stories.  If you don’t know them, I highly recommend their work.  Some of my other favorite books include:

  • As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • Thinking For a Change and Failing Forward both by John Maxwell
  • Destination Success by Dwight Bain
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

These titles revolve around business and self-improvement.  But I will include additional titles from other areas including literature in subsequent posts.  But I would like to know who some of your favorite authors might be.  Feel free to list some of them.  You might point someone in a direction they have never been.