Letter of the Law
Be True to Yourself Important Lessons Learned Through Books
I wouldn’t be who I am today without the influence of the many, many books I’ve read during my life. With National Read Across America Day taking place this month, I think it’s important to talk about the books that have had the most impact on me. I’ve learned countless life lessons from books. “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill helped me set and accomplish my goals in life, business, and faith in a way that keeps me motivated and determined. “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey gave me methods on how to lead a productive and successful life by prioritizing the most important aspects first. In addition to those noteworthy ones, numerous marketing books lining my shelves have helped me build my business. But I think one of the most essential lessons I’ve learned was through author Brené Brown. Every time I read her books, I’m reminded of this quote from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: “This above all: to thine own self be true/ And it must follow, as the night the day/ Thou canst not then be false to any man.”Over the course of her career, Brown has written many thought-provoking books that focus on self-acceptance, flaws and all. As most can attest, being true to yourself is a difficult thing to do, but by reading her works, Brown gave me clear insight on how I can overcome struggles and be true to myself. I consider myself a bit of a nerdy guy, and at times, I’m concerned about how others perceive me. However, after reading Brown’s books, I slowly overcame that worry and accepted who I am by explaining why those concerns exist in the first place and how to abandon those insecurities. Through understanding, I changed my perspective and learned to accept myself entirely. Brown is a psychologist who has done a lot of research on what she calls the “gifts of imperfections.” She states that none of us is perfect, and we need to embrace that fact because those imperfections make each of us unique and add value to our lives. In her book,“Daring Greatly,”Brown states that it’s our perceived view of shame and the concern we have of what other people will think or say about us that holds us back from accepting ourselves. We internalize societal pressure that influences the external decisions and judgments we make about ourselves. But Brown writes that we need to embrace who we are and what our truth is and live it without caring what anyone else thinks. She stresses that we should not let other people’s opinions dictate what we do, and it’s this concept that has so inspired me in all areas of my life.
As an attorney and business owner, many people pressure me to do things a certain way, but I know that being true to who I am is always the right path to take. To paraphrase Brown, people feel more confident in you when you are true to yourself. Everything I’ve read, in Brown’s body of work and beyond, has shaped who I am today, and I am incredibly grateful. No matter what you enjoy reading, on this upcoming National Read Across America Day, give yourself time to indulge in your favorite books, take a chance at a new title, and learn a new life lesson. Who knows? That book might just change your life.
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