Maybe it is not just that we become what we read, it's more about the fact that we become what we read, hear, watch and believe.
If we buy into this theory then we must also believe that this could be seen as both an opportunity and a problem.
The opportunity to grow personally and professionally through learning by reading, watching, or listening to positive, informative, and educational content is ubiquitous. All we have to do is search the Web for audio, video or text based information that can help us raise our game. I mean really, just hit your favorite search engine and type in motivational video, inspirational audio programs, or positive attitude and you will have thousands of titles to choose from.
Of course one of my favorite websites for such information is www.candogo.com. The online library contains quick hitting excerpts from more than 100 authors and experts and includes subject matter about leadership, motivation, sales skills, presentation skills, time management, work-life balance and so much more. You can even sign up for a free motivational tip of the day. If you find an author expert's material motivating or informative you can also be directed to their website to purchase the entire program.
We can also search for the top selling business books and personal development books and see what others are reading. Technology makes it easy for us to examine reviews and determine if the book may be something interesting to us and worthy of reading.
The opportunities for positive growth are endless, but unfortunately so are the problems. Because for every positive source to personal and professional material there also exists outlets to media that can tear us down and de-motivate us. It may not seem like it at the time, but we really have to guard against what we allow to filter into our minds. If all we watch, listen to, observe, or read is material that is filled with negativity, there is a higher likelihood that we will start to become negative.
Although I still personally listen to positive programs in my car or on my iPod, and watch motivating videos and speakers, my favorite source of consuming personal and professional development material is reading.
This column was inspired by all of you who have asked what I typically read or where I find the source for some of my motivation. And since you have specifically asked, here are the last five books I have read; John Ortberg, "Who is This Man?"; Dick Kreck, "Smaldone: The Untold Story of an American Crime Family"; David McCullough, "The Path Between the Seas"; Ken Follett, "Fall of Giants"; Og Mandino, "The Greatest Miracle in the World."
We really do become what we put into our minds and I would love to know what you are reading and what you recommend. You can share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I know that when we take the time to read, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.