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5 Must-Read Books in 2015

Reading is incredibly beneficial for acquiring knowledge, insight, and new perspectives, developing greater analytical skills, improving your vocabulary, stimulating your mind, and providing great entertainment. Since I was a young boy, reading has been one of my favorite past-times, and within the last few years, I have set a personal goal to read 26 books every year (one every other week). Nearly one hundred percent of the books I read are non-fiction and range in genre from spiritual growth, personal growth, and leadership to business, memoir, biography, and history. With that said, I would like to recommend five excellent books—listed in no particular order—as we enter 2015.

Greater: Dream Bigger. Start Smaller. Ignite God’s Vision for Your Life

Most of us aren’t in danger of ruining our lives. We’re in danger of wasting them. Are you unsatisfied with the kind of Christian life you’ve settled for? If you are tired of cul-de-sac Christianity or self-help pseudo solutions, today is the day God’s greater plan for your life begins in full force. In Greater, Pastor Steven Furtick draws on the biblical story of Elisha to give you the confidence to know that nothing is impossible with God, the clarity to see the next step He’s calling you to take, and the courage to do anything He tells you to do.

I devoured this book. I found myself reading and re-reading whole chapters, filling the margins with notes and highlighting entire paragraphs. The message is compelling and urgent. You won’t be disappointed!

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently

World-renowned leadership expert John C. Maxwell says if you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with people. And while it may seem like some folks are just born with it, the fact is anyonecan learn how to make every communication an opportunity for a powerful connection. In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, Maxwell shares the Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting. The ability to connect with others is a major determining factor in reaching your full potential. It’s no secret! Connecting is a skill you can learn and apply in your personal, professional, and family relationships—and you can start now!

As a leader, this book has been foundational to my growth. As the book’s title implies, communicating is one thing; connecting is another.

Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

Integrity—more than simple honesty, it’s the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. Drawing on experiences from his work, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, corporate consultant and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our character can keep us from achieving all we want to (or could) be. Integrity is not something that you either have or don’t, but instead is an exciting growth path that all of us can engage in and enjoy.

The title speaks for itself, and by reading the book, I learned so much about this necessary character trait.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (10th Anniversary Edition)

What would happen if a top expert with more than thirty years of leadership experience were willing to distill everything he had learned about leadership into a handful of life-changing principles just for you? It would change your life. John C. Maxwell has done exactly that in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He has combined insights learned from his thirty-plus years of leadership successes and mistakes with observations from the worlds of business, politics, sports, religion, and military conflict. The result is a revealing study of leadership delivered as only a communicator like Maxwell can.

I have read this book at least ten times and cannot escape the transformational principles contained within its pages. If you desire to live a life of impact, this is one of the most important books you’ll ever read.

Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health

According to researchers, the vast majority–a whopping 75-98 percent–of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses. Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription for better health and wholeness through correct thinking patterns, declaring that we are not victims of our biology. She shares with readers the “switch” in our brains that enables us to live happier, healthier, more enjoyable lives where we achieve our goals, maintain our weight, and even become more intelligent. She shows us how to choose life, get our minds under control, and reap the benefits of a detoxed thought life.

One word: WOW.

2015 is going to be a great year for you and me. Make the decision to learn and grow through some great books!

Question: What is the best book you read in 2014 and why?

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