10 BOOKS THAT TOUGHT ME A LESSON


Hey guys my name is Dasha and I want to
tell you about 10 books that influenced me when I was younger. And book number
one is Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read this book when I
was 11 years old I was watching the TV series Scarlett with Timothy Dalton and
Joanne Whalley and my mom said that there is a book actually about Scarlett
so I started reading the book and that was the first book I’ve read that showed
me that main characters are not always good people, and I mean I love Scarlett a
lot, she was smart and powerful and willful and amazing but sometimes she
was obviously an ass especially to Melanie, and even being an 11 year old
I could understand sometimes that this is not how good people should act. And
there was actually one more lesson, now that I think of it, that I did not learn
because I was 11, and the lesson was that just because you’re in love with
the guy doesn’t mean that he’s good for you because these things just come and
go and of course they had to later have the experience of my own of this kind
but that’s actually one of the lessons of this novel and since I’m talking
about this book I could also say that I love the Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett more
than Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlett. For those of you who maybe don’t know there
is Gone with the Wind – the original novel by Margaret Mitchell, that was not
really finished because Margaret Mitchell died, and Gone with the Wind
doesn’t really have a happy ending and there is a separate author Alexandra
Ripley who decided to create this happy ending for the main characters and she
wrote a separate book called Scarlett but since these two books have different
authors they have different Scarletts and Scarlett that Alexandra Ripley
created is wiser, older and kinder I guess, so I could say that I liked her
more back then and I would still say that I like Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett
more. The second book I want to tell you about is 20th Century Ghosts by Joe
Hill, and that book taught me that even if I consider some person smart it
doesn’t mean that I need to read whatever they advise to
read. Back at the University there was this guy that I liked and we had pretty
cool conversations and I thought he’s so smart and intelligent and awesome, we
started discussing books and I realized that we have totally different tastes
but I thought that he must be reading something pretty cool and if I’d read
something what he reads maybe I would become a little bit cooler myself, so I
asked him “what is one book that you would like me to read?” and he named this
book, the 20th Century Ghosts. This was just terrible, I didn’t like it, I read like
half of the book and I stopped reading and I also stopped liking that guy that
much, because I couldn’t understand who read this stuff! And I don’t say that
it’s a bad book but… have you read it? Seriously?
If you like this genre – okay, but I was reading contemporary, I was reading love
stories, I was reading something kind, I was reading Louise Hay and stuff about
positive thinking, and I honestly thought back then that Joe Hill must be on drugs
if he writes this stuff, and that book taught me a precious lesson — I don’t need
to read or watch the stuff that I don’t want to read or watch, just because
somebody tells me “Read this! It’s awesome!” or “You gotta watch this movie
because it’s so brilliant!” if I didn’t like the annotation and if I don’t like
this is genre, I don’t have to read this stuff. The third book is Bridget
Jones’s Diary this book, well actually three books, well
okay two, because the third one was published much later, these two books
made me fall in love with keeping diaries. The style of Bridget Jones’s
Diaries is so cool and so natural that you just want to also write all the time.
I have been keeping diaries since I was 14 and it’s probably because back in my
childhood I had a favorite book, a Russian book about a dog who kept a
diary, and so I started keeping diaries too and it has been a hobby of mine ever
since but every time I read Bridget Jones’s Diary and I read the first book
four times and the second book maybe three or two times it made me fall in
love with journaling again, although now my diary looks a little bit different, I
have three blocks and first one is for ten things that I’m
grateful for, well actually 10 to 20 that I write down
every day and I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about this exercise but it
actually works and if you write 20 things that you’re grateful for every
day, it physically makes you warm here inside and it just makes you happy. The
second block of my diary I used for the exercises from self-help books and
motivational books because I really like not just reading them but also doing the
exercises, so I have a separate block of my diary for that, and the third part of
my diary is just for that kind of journaling like in Bridget Jones’s Diary.
I can talk about the weather and complain about the weather, I can just
tell how my day goes and what I discussed with whom and what conclusions
I made, and just whine a little bit and tell about stuff that made me happy or
mad or whatever. Journaling is pretty cool you should try that. The fourth book
and also the fifth and the sixth ones are by Sophie Kinsella, and these are
Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Can You Keep a Secret.
They’re typical chick lit love stories and what I loved about those books was that
the main characters were so real ordinary girls, and so close to me, I
would say, with their flaws, with their positive and negative traits, that I felt
somehow connected with them and sometimes they were silly and they did
not accept some stuff about themselves and they found themselves in weird
situations often, but since these are love stories and in the end those girls
would find perfect boyfriends who would accept them for who they were, I kind of
also learned to accept those things about me, that I sometimes can be silly
and weird but also loveable and likeable, that I learned sometimes at weird
situations look at myself through Sophie Kinsella’s
eyes I would say, and it helped me because I guess I started reading those
books at the right time, when I was like 21 to 24, and it helped me at that age
not to be too cruel to myself, to feel good about myself and not to waste
precious energy and time on trying to be perfect all the time. And now I’m going
to talk a little bit about nonfiction. The seventh and the eighth book I would
like to mention are 33 Strategies of War and 48 Laws of
Power by Robert Greene. I used to talk a lot about those two books on my streams
and I mentioned them every time somebody asked me what books I would advise
everyone to read. I think those books are must-reads, those books taught me a lot
about people. I started reading 48 Laws of Power when I got my first job at the
office, maybe because I was young and didn’t have the experience of working in
the office before with all this office politics but I was constantly angry with
everyone, I thought everyone was evil and everyone hated me, and 48 Laws of Power
helped me to understand some stuff and understand people and why are they
acting like this and what are they trying to achieve, and that it’s not
about me but about them. And I used 33 Strategies of War for two years that I
worked at my last job in the office because I had a hard time dealing with
the manager and that book helped me a lot. This is how I would advise you to
read these books: not from the beginning to the end, open the table of content,
find the lessons that you think describe your situation, maybe like three or two
or five, and read them. And I’m pretty sure you will get the solution, you will
understand things and people – what do they do, why are they doing this,
what are their motives, what are they trying to achieve. Those books are very
useful, and still every time I have some situations with other people that I find
unsolvable, I get back to those books I find lessons that describe my situation
and I start understanding people and situations better, and I find ways out. The next book I want to mention is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. I
started reading this book when I was young, maybe 18 or 17 years old, and the
main thing that I understood from that book was the power of affirmations, and
nowadays it’s not very popular to support the idea of positive
affirmations, and you can see a lot of stuff on the internet like “A happy
person doesn’t need to stand in front of the mirror repeating to themselves that
they’re happy” – this is not how the affirmations work, it’s not about just
going around and lying to yourself “I’m happy and I’m happy” when
you’re not happy. Affirmations actually are things that she keep repeating to
yourself in your mind all the time like ‘I suck” and “I can’t do this” and “I won’t
ever succeed in this, why even bother” and stuff like this, and when you read this
book you start observing and noticing how many terrible things you actually
tell yourself on a daily basis, and you start telling yourself good things
instead, and again, not just lying to yourself but finding good stuff to
concentrate on, instead of “I suck”, for example, finding stuff that you’re good
at like “I’m sociable and I know how to make people feel better and people love
me for that”. You just start concentrating on different things and feeling good. And
feeling good every day, by the way, is already a life
changer, ’cause when you feel positive you want to do stuff instead of just
sitting on the couch and complaining, and that book helped me to realize that. And
maybe it didn’t always work but once in a while I would remember about this and
act on it and change something. It was very useful for me as a teenager. And the
last book I’m going to mention is Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I
remember I really like the idea that we do everything either out of fear or out
of love, and whatever people do can be explained by them either being happy and
in love and kind, or being scared. And I know how people feel about those
motivational books in self-help books but I believe that these things actually
work, and one of the main precious lessons that I got from the Awaken the
Giant Within book is that I worked on it for some time and I remembered how I
felt — I felt active, I felt alive, I felt responsible for what’s happening in my
life, and I felt like I want to do something to change stuff to make my
life better, instead of just, you know, sitting and whining, and every time I
found myself depressed or upset or frustrated,
at some point I would just remember how I felt while reading self-help books and
I just thought that I wanted to feel like that again, because in that
condition I wanted to actually do something! And if this is the only
thing that I would get from those self-help books it’s already good enough,
although I strongly believe that self-help literature is very powerful
when you work on it, when you don’t just read one book and expect a life-changing
experience, but when you read those books regularly and listen to audiobooks, and
do the exercises that they ask you to do for at least a year, you will definitely
change stuff in your life. I’m getting emotional but it’s just because I really
do believe these things work. Anyway these were 10 books that made an impact
on me when I was younger, and thank you for listening and see you next time.

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