5 Books that Changed My Thinking:

In this short post, I will discuss 5 books that have changed my thinking in different areas of my life.

Note: There is no affiliate marketing or promoting of any product in this post. I am simply sharing the books that have positively impacted my life.

Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & Willian D. Danko


Millionaire Next Door is the research findings of Stanley and Danko on how millionaires live. The original purpose for their work was to help companies understand how to best market products to wealthy individuals. In their discovery Stanley and Danko encounter stark differences between what society commonly views as wealth and how wealthy people really live. More than 80% of the millionaires in their study were hard working ordinary Americans that earned their millions in one generation with no inheritance.

The authors look at who the wealthy people really are and who they are not. They outline how wealthy people live and how ordinary people can become wealthy by looking at 7 common denominators that truly affluent people possess.

This book changed my thinking by changing the way I define wealthy people and how they live. In my appreciation for numbers, analytical and logical reasoning, I liked that the information contained in this book includes empirical evidence as well as statistical data. It also provided the hope that even ordinary people like myself can amass sizable wealth in their lifetime with hard work, perseverance, planning and self-discipline. The book explained that the wealthy are compulsive savers and investors. This encouraged me to implement an ambitious savings goal for 2016 and to invest our money in the stock market for the long term. I no longer equate wealth with the size of one’s home, their cars or clothes. This book taught me why I shouldn’t and what really matters when amassing wealth.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

indexThis personal development book looks at the habits that successful individuals implement in all areas of their life. It is an academic read (in my opinion) with new concepts being introduced in each chapter. I routinely re-read this book to solidify my learning. However, diagrams within each chapter help to illustrate the smaller minute concepts into a bigger picture. The applications suggestions exercises at the end of each chapter also help to solidify learning and allows the reader to implement what they have just learned.

This book changed my thinking by changing the way I viewed efficiency and effectiveness. It allowed me to look at all areas of my life and determine how I can best manage them better, build relationships and work past my comfort zone. It taught me how to change my language and circle of influence to draw in success. With the jam packed information contained in this books, I find that I learn something new each time I read it.


The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

indexDave Ramsey’s debt repayment philosophy played an integral part in my desire to aggressively pay off our debts. His philosophy on debt repayment, living and giving encouraged me to take ownership of my debt, learn from my mistakes and start building wealth.

The Total Money Makeover book changed my thinking by removing any excuses I might have had for not working to eliminate my debt. The book is filled with stories of families and individuals with less income than I, more financial responsibilities and higher debts that still managed to pay off their debts. These were ordinary Americans that had children, thousands in debt and medical bills.

This book assured me that I could get rid of my debt because other people in worse situations than I was were able to do it. All I needed was the burning desire to get it done and a little motivation along the way.


Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

indexFor a good part of my young adult life (especially in my 20’s), I had a problem saying no to people. From saying no to social events to saying no to helping people who may need my assistance, I found myself constantly pulled in multiple directions with little time for myself.  My priorities would shift in order to accommodate the needs of others, which is alright on occasion, but not over a long period of time. I liked helping people (I still do) and I felt like helping others was a good way to show my appreciation for their friendship and involvement in my life.  However, I realized that I was getting burned out and could not sustain this much longer.

This changed my thinking by showing me how to create clear boundaries in all areas of my life so that I avoid burn out and take control of my life. It taught me when to say no and how to say no. Most importantly, it taught me how to do this without feeling bad about it. A common result of people that give of their time too much at the expense of their own priorities. I can now confidently and kindly say no to requests and convey my boundaries to others.


Scarcity by Senhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir

indexScarcity is a book about the science of having less and how it defines our lives. This book looks at how society incorrectly makes assumptions for the behaviors of low income families and those that live in poverty. Some incorrect assumptions include that poor people are lazy, they don’t like to work, they are tardy and don’t keep appointments etc. The book exposes how scarcity in all areas of life including time and money actually has a psychological and physiological response in one’s behaviour and what information is kept in the forefront of our minds. The authors explain that even though scarcity of time is more socially accepted the psychological process that occur in our minds are similar to those that have a scarcity of money issue. The book includes how individuals and organizations can realign their thinking in order to meet the needs of individuals that have scarcity of time or money.

This book changed my thinking by giving me a better understanding and appreciation for the struggles that people living in poverty face. It also allowed me to be more tolerant of behaviours that people in poverty display. Understanding that it is not a lack of desire or intent, but scarcity which would have a similar response if I was in the same situation. An example that stuck with me was that the average middle income family in America spends about 1 hour a day in total thinking about what they will have for dinner. Because they have the financial responses, this provides them with options including to cook, order in or go out to a restaurant. People in poverty however spend about 4 hours a day in total thinking about what they will have for dinner. This is primarily due to their limited financial resources. Thinking about how they will eat takes half a working day creating scarce room for other responsibilities like making appointments. Similar examples are provided for scarcity of time. This book gave me an appreciation for the impact that scarcity can play in one’s life.

What books or resources significantly changed the way you look at life? What other factors played a part in that change?

Note: There is no affiliate marketing or promoting of any product in this post. I am simply sharing the books that have positively impacted my life.

Categories: Debt, Life

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11 replies

  1. I think your blog really helped me get the ball rolling on the process of getting out of debt at a young age. 8 months ago I looked at my debt situation like a 25 to life prison sentence, but now I have hope. I think I can get out of my debt sentence earlier, with good behavior lol.

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  2. Great books … I suggest you to read nahjulbalaqa too


  3. Hi Pamela,

    This is my first visit to your blog. Great post!

    One of my all time favorites is “7 Habits”. I have not read “Boundaries” or “Scarcity”. I am going to add them to my reading list.

    Have you read – “Who moved my Cheese?” I think you might like it.


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  4. I haven’t read Scarcity and Boundaries. They sound like good, must reads.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I definitely need to read Boundaries!

    Liked by 1 person