My guest blogger today is Missouri author Ellie Mack, talking about what she reads and how she is inspired by and entertained by her choices.
By Ellie Mack
I am a simultaneous reader. It is a rare thing when I am only reading one book at a time, most often it’s at least three books. One is usually an educational, motivational, or some sort of self-help book. The others are typically some sort of fiction for enjoyment.
My current fiction books are Maximum Ride, a YA novel by James Patterson and Seduce The Darkness, a romance by Gena Showalter.
No More Mondays by Dan Miller is my current self help/ improvement book. I’ve read this book two times before, but find that it helps me to stay encouraged. I usually read a chapter at a time then digest it for about a week before going on. Books like this help me to challenge myself, and encourage me when I feel down or when my goals seem impossible.
The moment you express a desire for something more than repetitive, meaningless work, something more than simply punching the clock; the moment you realize that meaningful, purposeful, and profitable work really is a possibility, you’ve already taken an important step towards reawakening the dreams and passions you haven’t had in years or might never have had at all.” Dan Miller.
This sentence sums up where I was mentally several years ago. I was dissatisfied with the status quo, certain that there was more to life than the daily grind and feeling quite ground down.
I made the decisions to pursue my dreams that I had previously given up on for practical matters. The practical job left me unfulfilled, feeling like more often than not I was losing to the grind. In the process of pursuing the dreams of my youth, I began to read encouraging material from Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell, Joel Osteen, and Dan Miller.
I read these materials to keep me focused, to help my outlook and improve my attitude. As John Maxwell has stated, “Your attitude will determine your altitude.”
I want to soar like an eagle, not scratch in the yard like a chicken. By keeping this type of materials before my eyes, it helps me to maintain a positive outlook. When things go horribly wrong and life is nearly unbearable, this sort of material helps me to put things in perspective and focus on the real priorities. Everything else is small stuff and we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.
No More Mondays is against the grain of conventional thought. When I was young choosing a college major and consequently the course of my future, my decision was based on a good financial future. I chose a niche field that landed me a well paying, yet unsatisfying job. My ‘chasing rainbows and dreams’ nature was stifled and nearly snuffed out when I threw caution to the wind and pursued my passion – writing.
How many people do you know that are miserable in their nine to five? The difference between a J-O-B and a satisfying career lie in that area of childhood dreams.
I frequently vacillate between the pursuit of my dreams, and the conventional wisdom of taking the safe path. Reading No More Mondays, and similar books is an affirmation to myself of why I am doing what I’m doing.
Personal happiness and satisfaction are my goals, not the next paycheck or paying the bills. When the bills are coming in however, I need to keep reminding myself why I made this decision. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, it’s ‘Live at the Improv’. Why not be happy while you’re here?
Are you happy with your life? Have you followed the norms of society and come up lacking? Have you ever examined what your life goals are? The goals I had for myself at 20 are far different than my current goals. There were many years that I coasted through life without setting new goals. Coasting only works downhill.
When you achieve a life goal, you should celebrate then set the next goal. It helps me to have something to work towards. I think it’s also one of the factors that have kept me from needing Xanax or anti-depressants.
What are you reading? Is it for entertainment, education, or for personal interest? Is there a book, or something that you use to encourage yourself in life? Or maybe you haven’t been setting goals, but something I have shared made you think you should.
Leave a comment about what you do to motivate yourself.
Live, love, and enjoy your life!
Write on my friends, write on!
Ellie Mack lives in a small town near St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BS in geography/cartography. She has worked for Department of Defense, county government, as a substitute teacher, and various other jobs. Her hobbies include reading, bicycling, playing Tombraider, and Dance games such as Dance Dance Revolution, and Zumba. Between being a mother to two teenage girls, a wife, homemaker, and a mortgage loan officer, Ellie writes paranormal romances.