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“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~ Charles W. Eliot

Have you noticed that singular moments and individuals can change the trajectory of your life? That being in this moment, at this place, could bring you an opportunity or a tragedy; a new relationship or a broken dream; a pivot forward or a major set-back; forever changing the course of your life…

Today, in addition to moments and people, I challenge you to consider that being introduced to a new idea can forever impact your life too.

I know this because seven years ago a new idea changed my life.

Back then, I had been running my real estate development firm for almost a decade. But, because I ran it from a place of obligation and necessity rather than one of passion and purpose, I was unfulfilled professionally. Not fully engaging professionally impacted every aspect of my life: I was unsettled personally, spiritually, physically, financially and in my relationships.

It was during this time that a friend asked, “what’s the best book you’ve read lately?” I responded that I hadn’t read a single book since college – not for pleasure, personal growth, spiritual or leadership development – not one. This realization motivated me to get to the library! Soon, I found myself checking out seven books at a time: the more I read the more I hungered to read.

 My friend, knowledge truly is power.

Reading inspired me to dream, helped me to see how much there was still left for me to learn and recognize the many opportunities for purpose within my life. It was then that I made a commitment to keep reading, continue growing, start really living and inspire others to do the same. Through reading, I gained new thoughts that allowed me to embrace the true purpose of my life.

Seven years later, I’m fortunate to be intentionally growing as a business owner, a husband, a father, spiritually, physically and financially. I’m blessed to lead Rising Above where we inspire more than 100,000 individuals each year to take back their life, ignite their possibility and change their world through our keynote addresses, leadership seminars, coaching programs, online leadership curriculum, CDs, DVDs, books and more.

Today, I am living this mission by giving you a simple challenge: join the Rising Above book club! April is our inaugural month and the Rising Above community selected to read How Full is Your Bucket? This book club is close to my heart and I look forward to growing and gaining new ideas with you through the great books we read together. Join me in this opportunity for daily and life-long growth. Your introduction to book club awaits you here.

Know that you have limitless possibility: in your roles as a business leader, school teacher, hospital nurse, sales person, mother, son or friend. Embrace the truth that the time has come to demand more from life, not less!

Surrender to causes bigger than yourself. Realize you have incredible opportunity to do, be and impact more. Set about a course of continual, daily and life-long growth. And celebrate the truth that the best is yet to come.

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.