I have always been a spiritual person.  As a family growing up, we went to church most Sundays…barring an athletic game here or there.  From day one, I was brought up in a Christian family going to People’s Christian Church (now called Champion’s Centre) in Tacoma and later All-Saint’s Catholic Church in Puyallup.  I always have had a personal relationship with Jesus, but still felt a void I couldn’t explain. I always seeked out God through prayer and being in his house, yet I didn’t feel at home

That all changed in 2007, when I moved back to Puyallup for a job in pharmaceutical sales.  I ran into one of my high school football teammates who was working at a church in town called Puyallup Foursquare.  He told me to come and check it out.  After going for a few weeks and listening to the pastor, Roger Archer (a former college athlete and a far cry from the traditional pastor that we all expect), I felt something different. He used pop culture references, sports analogies, and made church a place that I could relate to, a place that I craved.  I started volunteering and joining small groups and really saw my “void” begin to close.

For the first time in my life I felt spiritually right.  I was reading my Bible, praying more than ever, and making amazing friends within my church. BUT, I still had yet to conquer my inner battles of self-doubt and insecurities. My job at the time was slowly killing my spirit – I had hit my lowest point in my career (despite being a step up in the company). It was the wrong fit for me,  I wasn’t sleeping at night and my physical wellness suffered in turn. I was on blood pressure medicine to manage the stress I was enduring. I reached a breaking point, where I knew I needed to get out.  I needed to jump.  God’s timing is all-knowing and perfect – he threw me a lifeline…in the form of a book that changed my life.  My manager gifted me a book to start the new year – Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine. 

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We all suffer with bouts of self-doubt and occasional negative thinking.  There is always two sides in our brain duking it out fighting over “yes I can’ or “no I can’t” and I unfortunately was often times on the losing end of this internal war whether in my athletic or professional career.  This book by Chamine helped me identify that we all have mental saboteurs in our brain and if we can identify that this internal judge is a liar, a fraud, and a fake, we can stay focused on positive thoughts and keep our minds honed in on the task at hand and concentrate on our strengths.

This book single handedly give me the confidence and the tools to nail my interview with a fortune 500 medical device company, and jumpstarted a 2 year period of enlightenment and self-discovery.  Upon joining this company I was assigned a trainer and mentor named Frankie Pretzel (is that not the coolest name you ever heard?).  Frankie was a seasoned veteran who had won multiple awards and was very successful.  Sometimes I feel God puts people in our lives at the exact right place and time.  Frankie was an optimist.  He knew the power of positive thinking and the affect it has on our lives.  He explained to me a concept I had never been exposed to: the Law of Attraction.  Basically, the Law of Attraction is a concept that is summed up as simple as this:thoughts become things.  Meaning what we think about the most and visualize for ourself is usually manifested somehow someway whether negative or positive.  Frankie gave me a long list of books to read and over the course of one year I couldn’t get enough. I craved these ideas, and the change was revitalizing.

This fresh start and exposure to new ideas, thoughts, and concepts that all dealt with faith, generosity, gratitude, self-belief, and visualization helped me create momentum on what I was searching for while I was on that memorable morning run in Los Angeles with my dad when I was lost at 24.  For one year, I read and listened to more books than I probably have in my entire life.  With each book, my confidence, self-acceptance, and vision of what I needed to do to feel happy and have success was more clear. During this time of discovery I had finally found my professional lane and was flourishing at work and loving every minute of it.  I’m pumped to share with you what I’ve learned along the way – I know it will change your life like it has mine.

Below are some of the favorite books that I read.  I encourage you to be a lifelong learner and seek knowledge and wisdom from books.  There is a whole new world full of enlightenment and discovery.  What are you doing to better yourself?  I challenge you to read a book or download an audiobook to your phone (listen to it in your car or while working out).  Investing in your development and knowledge is the best investment you can make!

  • Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine
  • Love Does, by Bob Goff
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Go-Giver, by Bob Burg and John David Mann
  • The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne
  • Jesus Is___, by Judah Smith

Are you stuck in a rut?  Sometimes a change of scenery can do you wonders.  Have the courage to step outside your comfort zone and create a fresh start for yourself.  Whether you are where you need to be, but want to improve.  Or you feel like you are running in sand and just churning your wheels, I hope that these books may inspire you to make the change in yourself you’ve always wanted.