September is Self-Improvement Month. There are many ways to improve yourself, but one of my favorites is reading. Don’t get me wrong, I love workshops, conferences, seminars and even webinars. But there is something about a book that is different. I like being able to take my time to study and analyze the words and thoughts. I can go as fast or as slow as I want. And I even like to underline or occasionally write in the margins when I have a good thought of my own.

Over the years, I have read hundreds of books. Some I found interesting, others I found entertaining, but there were a few that I can truly call life changing. This list is by no means comprehensive. In fact, these are just some I have read recently and though of off the top of my head. But if you read even a few of these books I know you will achieve far better results than most people could ever imagine.

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth – John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect – John C. Maxwell

Put Your Dreams to the Test – John C. Maxwell

The Go-Giver – Bob Burg

A Game Plan for Life: The Power of Mentoring – John Wooden & Don Yaeger

The Lost Art of Thinking – Dr. Neil Nedley

Proof Positive – Dr. Neil Nedley

There is a quote by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones that sums up my philosophy on reading: “You are the same today as you will be in five years, except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read. Choose both carefully.” Charlie was right. You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. And the books you read will go a long way to determining how much you will accomplish in life.

Not long ago I read a disturbing statistic about reading. Did you know that 33% of high school students and 42% of college students never read another book after graduation? They must take it for granted that they already know it all and don’t need to study any further. I can tell you it isn’t true. Many of the greatest contributors to our country had amazing libraries, for example Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. My own personal mentors have outstanding libraries as well. But don’t just be a collector of great books; be a student of them. 

I hope you will take time this Self-Improvement Month and try out one or two of the books above. And feel free to leave a comment below telling me what you think about the book – or share one that has impacted your life. Happy Reading!

Christopher Burton, MD
Christopher Burton, MD

Christopher Burton, MD is a physician, speaker, coach and author, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. Dr. Burton also provides one-on-one Health & Wellness Coaching for select clients who want to improve their life significantly. In addition to his practice and coaching, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, and businesses, and travels internationally teaching on various topics including the treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.