Here is the continuation of the list of thirty great books I have read in thirty years. It's part of a compilation I have done as I mark my 30th birthday. For the preceding list, click here
14. The Magic of Thinking Big: I read this book when I completed high school. The key lesson I picked from this book by David Schwartz was that I should never limit my thinking. I learnt from Schwartz that if I believe that something is possible, my mind goes to work to find ways by which I can make it work. On the other hand, when I believe that something is not possible, my mind shuts down on all possibilities. I have practiced and seen how true this is.
15. Be a People Person: In his usual simple, sticky and profound style, leadership sage John Maxwell emphasizes that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” From this book, I built confidence and learned principles that helped improve my relationships remarkably.
16. The Value of the Dot: Mensa Otabil developed this book out of a sermon he delivered in his church several years ago. When the book came out, he described the sermon as the best message he’s ever preached. What I picked from this book was that, it was possible to turn my liabilities into assets. It gave me a new perspective to the biblical parable of the talents.
17. How the Mighty Fall: Jim Collins knows how to write. He knows how to package his ideas in simple, clear concepts. In this book, Collins identify the factors that precipitate the decline of great companies and brings out the values that guide those companies and leaders who never give in. It’s a book about taming greed and complacency; an intelligent work.
18. The Greatest: An engaging autobiography of one of Muhammad Ali. Ali is a manifestation of how possibility thinking and positive confession can move one from obscurity to prominence. His optimistic mind gives birth to discipline, hard work and strategy which combine to make him one of the greatest athletes in the world of boxing.
19. Gifted Hands: Beautifully written narrative of the life and work of Ben Carson. What fascinated me greatly in this work is the role Sonia (his mum) played to make him a self-controlled, studious and optimistic person. The book narrates how Carson grew to become the first person to conduct surgery to separate conjoined twins joined at the head.
20. Thomas Edison: Janet and Geoff Benge give an account of the life and times of prolific inventor Thomas Edison. Edison is a testimony of how self-identity and self-awareness can transform a boy who is described as addled by his teacher to become a man known as the brain behind many of the inventions that make the world we have run smoothly.
21. God’s Big Idea: This is one of many books by Myles Munroe which talk about how to implement God’s intention on earth. In this book, Myles Munroe eloquently espouses that God wants us to live and find fulfillment on earth, even before we get to heaven.
22. Eat That Frog: This is Brian Tracy’s work on how to effectively manage time. Tracy shares 21 proven principles for making the best use of time. When I finished reading this book, I resolved to always prioritise things that are challenging but important. I should not keep them on the back burner.
23. Unravelling the Secrets to Wealth Creation: Emmanuel Dei-Tumi launched this book the 2003 edition of Eagles Camp at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church Hall at Osu in Accra. I picked up a copy and it really awakened my consciousness about wealth creation. I see that book as a Ghanaian version of American Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. It’s a classic guide on how to attain financial freedom.
24. Praying the Right Way: Chris Oyakhilome’s exposition on prayer transformed my understanding about prayer. I like how he emphasized that in Christianity, we don’t pray through Jesus but we pray directly to God the Father in the name of Jesus. Since then, my prayer life has never been the same.
25. Transform Your Pastoral Ministry: This is a book I consider a pastor’s manual. Dag Heward-Mills teaches eloquently on the four pillars of every pastor’s ministry – praying, visiting, teaching and interacting. This is a book that helped me to understand the work of a pastor and some of the dynamics involved in becoming a pastor.
26. Lay People and the Ministry: This is another book by Dag Heward-Mills which really sparked a desire in me to do the work of God. It made me realise that ministerial work is not exclusive to those who wear the clerical garb but a mandate on all believers. I grasped the revelation that I could be God’s instrument wherever I find myself.
27. See You at the Top: In this book, I learnt from legend Zig Ziglar that I cannot consistently perform in a manner that is inconsistent with the way I see myself. I also learnt from this book that I can get whatever I want if I help enough other people to get what they want. Another lesson I picked up was in relation to books; that I should never lend or borrow a book. I should buy my own, read it and keep it. You can tell this book made a tremendous impact on my life.
28. The More You Know, the Better it Gets: This is a seminal book by couple authors Albert and Comfort Ocran. The Ocrans, in my estimation are Ghana’s most committed writing team. Their passion to influence Ghana, Africa and the world with knowledge-based products drove them to publish this particular book which seeks to eliminate dinosaurs from the corporate world. The book is a compelling appeal to readers to add value to their lives to avoid getting into redundancy and irrelevance. It offers a roadmap for continuous learning and personal development.
29. The Five Love Languages: Gary Chapman is a good communicator. In this book he eloquently explains that a marriage is likely to be harmonious when couples learn to understand and speak each other’s love language. He outlines the five languages as words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Needless to say, this is a very useful book for the already married and those aspiring to get married.
30. Cashflow Quadrant: This paradigm-shifting book by Robert Kiyosaki exposes readers to four possible ways of making money – as a(n) employee, self-employed, business owner and investor. He advocates that no matter where one starts from, we should progress to becoming either business owners (who will put in place systems for businesses to run without our direct personal involvement), or investors (where we would invest equity in businesses we may not have been involved in establishing). This way, no matter our personal circumstances, we could have instruments that generate wealth for us.
Terry Mante is a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker.