PersonalDevelopmentIf anyone shouldn’t be successful – it’s me.  I’m the oldest of 5 children, my parents are uneducated, and I found myself pregnant and married at the age of 19.  Two kids later, we didn’t have enough money to buy a book of stamps to pay our bills. If it weren’t for government cheese and the WIC program, we would have starved.  I never had amazing role models who believed and influenced me like many other successful people did. Nobody ever told me I had potential or that I could be anything other than someone who worked hard for a living, like my parents did.
But yet I broke the pattern and now have a successful marriage (I divorced and got remarried), a doctoral degree in nursing and a successful business that I LOVE.
How?

One day I took a good look at my life, didn’t like what I saw and made a resolution that my life was not going to end that way. I wanted a better life for me and for my children. I went to the library, reactivated my library card, and started reading.  Reading changed my life. Reading changed my brain and gave me the mindset to succeed.
On January 1, 2015, I turned 50 and to celebrate, I told my friends, family, and followers that I was going to commit to reading 50 books in 2015. They say you will have a 76% chance of accomplishing your goals if you do these 3 things: 
1.     Write down your goals
2.     Declare them to others
3.     Choose an accountability partner
And so in my January 2015 newsletter, I did just that. I shared my intent and asked my hubby to hold me accountable. On December 29th, I finished my 50thbook.
Here is the list, in order of when I read them. The ones with a star next to them are my favorite reads of the year.
1. Maximum Achievement, by Brian Tracy
 
2. Become a Recognized Authority In Your Field in 60 Days or Less!, by Robert W. Bly
 
3. The Nurse’s Communication Advantage, by Kathleen Pagana
 
4. Get More Referrals Now!, by Bill Cates
 
5. How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins
 
6. Cure for the Common Leader, by Joe Mull*
 
7. The Rise of Superman. Decoding the science of ultimate human performance, by Steven Kolter
 
8. Failure to Communicate, by Holly Weeks
 
9. The Leadership Challenge, by Kouzes and Posner (reread)
 
10. Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny
 
11. Hope for Haiti, by Len and Cherylann Gengel
 
12. What’s Your Plan Be? by Libby Spears
 
13. Sell Your Thoughts, by Matt Church and Peter Cook
 
14. Living Your Best Year, by Darren Hardy*
 
15. The Nurses: A year of secrets, drama and miracles, by Alexandra Robbins
 
16. The Payoff Principle: by Dr. Alan Zimmermann
 
17. Transform, by Jeff Hayden*
 
18. Respected, by Akirah Robinson
 
19. Brave Questions: Building stronger relationships by asking all the right questions, by Dr. Alan R. Zimmerman
 
20. The Power of Nice, by Linda Kaplan and Robin Koval
 
21. Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg
 
22. The Monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma
 
23. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (re-read) by Stephen R.Covey
 
24. Put First Things First, by Stephen R. Covey
 
25. Are You Fully Charged, by Tom Rath
 
26. Please Stop Laughing at Me, by Jodee Blanco
 
27. Money, a Love Story, by Kate Northrup
 
28. The P31 Workshop: Putting Proverbs 31 to Work, by Emma Soy
 
29. Primal Leadership, by Daniel Goldman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee
 
30. First 1000 Copies, by Tim Grahl
 
31. Writing my Wrongs, by Shaka
 
32. The Happiness Advantage, by Shawn Achor*
 
33. Folding Time, by Neen 
 
34. Sold out, by Susan Ordona
 
35. Brain Fog, by Dr. Mike Dow*
 
36. Fascinate, by Sally Hogshead
 
37. Kindle Marketing Secrets, by Stefan Pylarinos
 
38. The Bully at Work, by Gary Namie & Ruth Namie
 
39. The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande
 
40. The Yellow Sick Road, by Claudia Sanborn
 
41. The Fred Factor, by Mark Sanborn
 
42. The Encore Effect, by Mark Sanborn
 
43. Pausitivity, by M.H.Clark
 
44. Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande*
 
45. Nudge, by Richard Thaler
 
46. Find more time, by Laura Stack
 
47. What to do when there’s too much to do, by Laura Stack
 
48. Shift to Professional Paradise, by Vicki Hess
 
49. Dough Nation, by Nadine Grzeskowiak
 
50. The 4-Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss
Read something like these books and other every single day. Go without food but don’t go without reading. Reading is more nourishing!
Can’t wait to read the next 50+ books in 2016!!
Got any book recommendations? If so, please post in the comment section below.
Thanks so much. Take care and stay connected
Renee
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About the author: Dr. Renee Thompson is a keynote speaker, author and professional development/anti-bullying thought leader. Renee spends the majority of her time helping healthcare and academic organizations address and eliminate bullying behavior. To find out how you can bring Renee to YOUR organization or nursing event, click here.