“In 1964 I was separated from my wife at that time and living in a rundown hotel. On the bed stand was a Look magazine with an article on Frankl’s book. I went to the library and got a copy and still have that book. As a result of that book I switched from engineering to psychology and have never looked back.” Ty Colbert.
I received this message from a gentleman responding to a post I wrote entitled, What Viktor Frankl did That Makes Him One of My Heroes.
Viktor Fankl wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, a book about his insights while a prisoner in a concentration camp during WWII.
Many of us have one book that changed our life forever. Sure, there are going to be more than one, but there is one that tends to stand out more than any other.
In my case, the one book is The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol.
One Book Changes it All
The year was 1975. My life was in shambles. I was working a dead-end job, in a relationship destined to fail, drinking to excess, 50 pounds overweight and wondering how my life got to the point it was at.
To ease the pain of a life with no direction, I took a drive to “figure things out.” Driving aimlessly around the streets of San Jose, California, it was a perfect day to “clear my head.”
My car was in need of major repair, rent was late and my normal staple of food was a bowl of ramen.
With nothing better to do than stop at the many garage sales I came upon, one in particular caught my attention. A strategically placed stack of books in the front of a driveway drew me in.
My passion for reading went back many years. Reading was an escape from reality. No matter what I read, I was always able to forget any problems I had.
Parking my car as close to the house as possible to avoid having to walk more than necessary, I made a beeline for the pile of books.
I was drawn to The Magic of Believing. The title caught my attention.
Carefully thumbing through the worn pages, I was hooked from the first chapter.
I desperately wanted my life to change. Where I was on that summer day in 1975 was a far cry from my middle-class upbringing. Although not rich by any sense of the imagination, my mother and father made sure we never went without what we needed.
“How had my life ended up here?” I wondered as I reached in my pocket to pull out what little change I had.
An attractive, well groomed, middle aged woman approached me.
“Ten cents,” she smiled.
A feeling of desperation, mixed with hope, swept over me as I handed her a dime.
Hoping beyond hope this book would help me, I turned to leave. I rushed home to begin reading the book that would change my thinking forever.
Did it happen in a day? Not at all, but it did start a lifelong journey of self-discovery.
42 years later, I have no doubt buying this one book, even for a dime, changed my life forever. It was the beginning of my willingness to invest in hundreds of books on personal development, spirituality, business development and anything that offers me insights for a better way of life.
Since that time, I have written several books. I write because I am called to write. I cannot not write.
My hope is that my words inspire others the way Man’s Search for Meaning inspired Ty Colbert and The Magic of Believing moved me.
It’s the same with the books you are meant to write. Often, as authors, we forget the impact our words have on others. We lose sight of how impactful our insights can be to another. We get lost in the amount of work it takes to write and market our book(s) rather than realize we are the vehicle for the message.
Words change lives. They impact. They inspire. They motivate.
Yet, if you don’t do all you can to write, you are depriving countless individuals the opportunity to learn from you.
By the same token, if you don’t do all you can to market your work, you are missing the opportunity to impact others in a way only you can do.
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