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Dear Dr. Debra,
In January's column, you mentioned reading something uplifting or motivational each day. With the beginning of a new year, I think it's a good time to start this myself with the aim of maintaining a good outlook on life and a positive attitude. What are some of the books you'd recommend?
A Curious Reader

Dear Curious,
I commend you for taking on a course of positive reading. Many people don't feel they have a lot of time to read, or they aren't too interested in nonfiction. The nice thing about a motivational book is that you only need to spend a few minutes a day reading it to receive a positive message. As I said in a previous column, I spend five to fifteen minutes first thing in the morning reading a motivational book so I can begin my day on a positive note. Taking a few minutes to read before you go to sleep is also a good idea. As you hover on the edge of sleep, the positive concepts you're reading penetrate into your subconscious mind. However, if neither of those times works for you, anytime you can catch a few minutes is fine. Or you also can listen to the book on tape or CD while you are working around the house or driving in your car.

In the following list, a few of the books have been around for a long time. However, even though the examples in these books may be outdated and quaint, the concepts are classic. Although you can find many of these books in your local library, I like to have my own copies so I can underline sentences that have meaning to me. I also like to write comments in the margins. To invest in a motivational library doesn't have to be expensive. Often these types of books can be found at secondhand bookstores, library sales, thrift stores or garage sales. Most of the authors listed below have written more than one book, so you also might check out his or her other volumes.

Easier Than You Think...because life doesn't have to be so hard: The Small Changes That Add Up to a World of Difference by Richard Carlson

Life Makeovers: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life, One Week at a Time by Cheryl Richardson

Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb

Codes of Love: How to Rethink Your Family and Remake Your Life by Mark Bryan

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

Nine Steps To Financial Freedom by Suze Orman

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Sky's The Limit by Wayne Dyer

The Winner's Edge by Denis Waitley

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach

More spiritual/metaphysical book suggestions are:

Ethics for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama

Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

The Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn by Florence Shinn

Creating Money: The Keys to Abundance by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

I'm currently reading The Call to Create: Celebrating Acts of Imagination by Linda Schierse Leonard, which I think would be good for anyone who has doubts about starting a creative project or is feeling blocked in their artistic endeavors. Other books that aid in creativity are:

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott

Pencil Dancing by Mari Messer

Connecting to Creativity: Ten Keys to Unlocking Your Creative Potential by Elizabeth Bergman and Elizabeth Colton

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

The next books on my morning reading list are The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Sherman and Five Good Minutes: 100 Morning Practices to Help You Stay Calm and Focused All Day Long by Jeffrey Bantley.

I also subscribe to a weekly motivational e-mail newsletter by Cheryl Richardson. To subscribe, go to www.cherylrichardson.com/newsletter/subscribe.htm.

I hope as you embark on your course of motivational reading, you are able to have an increase in your positive outlook and generate more success in your life.

Dr. Debra

Feel free to write me with your questions

Debra Holland, Ph.D., is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in relationships and communication techniques.

To read previous 'Ask Dr. Debra' articles, please visit www.wetnoodleposse.com, where Dr. Debra is a regular contributor, or click here to view the archives.





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