Living a life through books

I’m different for a bit

Hello everyone and welcome again to Living a Life Through Books.  This is Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed musing about my journey of reading.  In this episode, I would like to dovetail into the last episode of books that changed your life.  So, I think in terms of the more recent books I’ve read.  I’ll get the message from a book and I’ll think it’s all great and then in a couple of weeks, I’ll just forget about it and it’ll be like I never read the book at all.  But when I read the book, it was a wow.  So, let’s talk about the books that change your life temporarily.

I’d like to start off with the obvious one that I did mention in the last podcast – “you are a badass”.  In the couple of weeks after reading it, there was a sense of “moving forward” I felt within me, a level of motivation, a push that wasn’t there before I read the book.  So, I would say it has had that effect.  Also, there’s one principle in that book that I hadn’t heard of in other motivational books, so that also changed my life.  The one thing I learned in this book that I hadn’t heard of before is the self-deprecating jokes.  I know I mentioned this in podcast episode 3 that it was a new tidbit I had picked up in this book.  Again, that was written a few months ago and here I am, thinking about it.  I honestly am not actively aware of myself being more self-deprecating or less.  One way or the other, when I had originally read the book, it was a constant awareness. Now, not so much.  Maybe if I read another book that mentions it, it’ll resonate again and soon with other books, hopefully again and again and again and then it can take the lofty place of books that changed my life, but for now, we are talking about temporarily.  Before I talk more about that concept, I would like to say that You are a Badass is written in such an easy, fun and almost humorous way that it connects immediately with you and boom, you are suddenly feeling alive and motivated and a sense of energy surges through you.  It’s a you can do it, type of book.  And when you hear it, you start believing it.  Darned right, I can do it.  Yes. I can.  I can I can I can.  And it’s like a military drill seargent drilling positivity into you.  So, yeah, there is such a thing as energy and I didn’t know I could feel it from a book, but I can.  Can you do it?  Yes, I can! One more note about the book. When I am doing this episode, I am pulling from my memory from a few months back of reading that book and in that memory, I remember how I felt.  Wouldn’t it be great, if I could “live” in that energy field.  Perhaps, if I read it again and again and took notes, like The Monk, it might be just that.

But on to the whole topic of temporary transformation.  I would like to make a bold statement here.  I believe that ALL books have the power to make a temporary change in a person, for the better or the worse.  ALL books.

Here’s the thing.  As I’m working on this episode, I’m trying and trying to pull from memory and thinking…there’s got to be more books that have changed you.  Then it hits me.  Yes. There were several.  Several.  Several. Several and yet oh I forget.  I started pulling names out of my head. Wayne Dyer comes up.  I don’t remember the name of the book I read by him. At that time, I thought it was great. I remember reading this autobiography. Well, it’s half-read.  I couldn’t finish it.  I was just….just…just…OK.  If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it.  So, let’s leave that as it is.  I stopped reading Dyer.  Well, I know there was a book called “When bad things happen to good people”, written by a Rabbi, I believe.  I know when I had read it, it had changed me.  That was about 7 years ago.

Recently, Tuesdays with Morrie.  Yes, I just read it.  And yes, I know the book has been out for 20 years.  Stop judging me.  But reading it was interesting.  I don’t believe I will say that it will be one of my permanently changed my life book. I don’t believe I will re-read that book.  But reading it changed me briefly.  Made me remember death.  Is today my day?  But then after that I have moved on.  I don’t look over my shoulder and ask the question about when my death is going to be anymore?  Maybe I should so I can live a more fulfilled life, but the point is that I did have a temporary change.

Recently in the last couple of months, I joined a book club for women dentists called Read, Lead and Succeed.  The person who created it, did it as a project for the American Dental Association’s Institute of Diversity in Leadership.  Well,  I think her concept is so phenomenal and it feels very similar to this podcast essentially. Through that book club, I have read a couple of books so far.  Executive Presence and Confidence Code.

I’ll be honest.  When I read Confidence Code, it felt like when I read You are a Badass.  I was all about that book.  All about it. This book is great.  Yes.  This book changed my life.  And here I am, a week later and I think about it and the memory of the book is unfortunately slowly fading.  I’m trying to hold on, but time will tell.  Executive Presence, didn’t speak to me as much but it did.  A month later, I can’t recall.  But I do know there were so take home messages.

I remember reading or hearing somewhere that we all need constant reminders as human beings.  The comment was that sermons took place every week to keep the masses reminded.  I feel like as long as I’m reading, within the same category, I’m still learning and hopefully through repetition, I’ll begin to live it.

I have noticed that with reading several books in a category, the topic seems to repeat itself so in the process of constantly reading, one can find themselves, changing and incorporating messages and having books change their life without even knowing which book it was from originally because like I said, all books have the potential.

The concepts have to find their way from the short term memory to your long term memory and they will. When it’s in your long term memory and if you remember the book that perhaps cemented it there, then maybe that book ultimately gets the credit.   Maybe not.  The point here is that all books will change you temporarily.  Repetition of the message is key.

The flip side, there’s that darn desire to read more rather than re-read.  We discussed the re-read earlier.  Sure re-read if you want.  Then the book becomes a study.  Are these books written with their words to be taken as gospel and read and re-read several times?  Maybe not as seriously as that, but I do believe that to soak the concepts of the book, it would be worth the re-read or just keep reading whatever you want, whenever you want as long you read.

For now, I’m signing off wishing you several memorable books.  This is Dr. Shahnaz Ahmed with Living a Life Through books.  Remember to water the seeds with you.  It’s time.

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