Books About Change that Changed Me

Luay Rahil
Photo Credit: Canva

When I immigrated to the United States, I had no friends, no mentors, or family.

If I needed advice, I read books that could help me navigate the difficulty of the moment. So, I developed the ability to read books I can use to improve my mindset, change my perspective on life, and learn new skills that help me reach the next level of my personal and professional development.

Lately, I have been reading and rereading books that can guide me through the coming recession we are about to experience.

Here are my top 3 books:

1. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

“The only truly safe thing you can do is to try over and over again. To go for it, to get rejected, to repeat, to strive, to wish. Without rejection there is no frontier, there is no passion, and there is no magic”.

James Altucher believes that job security doesn't exist anymore, and you can't wait for a company or a supervisor to choose you. Instead, choose yourself.

Being safe is no longer safe.

The world is evolving, Wallstreet is crashing, and the companies are being disrupted.

The nature of work has changed over the past decade, and it will continue to change. Most employees' job security depends on their relationship with their supervisor. This supervisor has the power to fire them, promote them, or limit their growth.

So, don't give that power to anyone. Instead, be so good that you don't have to introduce yourself and that no one can ignore you. These four tips will help you become the best version of yourself.

  • Do things you enjoy: The book encourages you to reframe your relationship with your company. It encourages you to do more of the things that you enjoy. This will help you find your zone of genius.
  • The daily practice: You also need to adopt a daily routine that can help you take care of your physical health, emotional health, mental health, and spiritual health. Eat better, drink more water, visit your family, read books, etc.
  • Stop trying to be a genius: Don't wake up aiming to make a lot of money. Wake up and say, "I have a big problem. And many people have the same problem. And nobody is going to solve this problem except for me." Solve that problem.
  • Sell the solution: Build your product. Sell it to a customer. Start shipping. Then quit your job.

2. Man's Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

In Man's Search For Meaning, Frankl talks about his experience living in Nazi concentration camps. This experience helped him develop a new psychotherapeutic technique called logotherapy.

The core of Frankl's philosophy is that a man's deepest desire is to find meaning in his life; if he can find that meaning, he can survive anything.

Frankl believes that a man's destiny in life is undoubtedly impacted by the circumstances in which he finds himself. However, he is ultimately free to choose his path and find meaning in his life.

Frankl argues that there are three ways to find meaning in life:

First, you can find meaning by doing something significant, caring for another person, or finding courage through difficult times.

  • Through work, Frankl encouraged himself by thinking about the work he wanted to do after leaving camp.
  • Through love, Frankl also found hope in the thought of reuniting with his family.
  • Through suffering, Frankl kept reminding himself that his suffering had a deeper meaning in life. He realizes you are challenged to change yourself when you can no longer change a situation — think of an incurable disease such as inoperable cancer.

Frankl's experience taught him that if a man cannot find meaning or purpose in his life, his mental health will suffer. In addition, there is always tension between your current situation and your potential. This tension is vital for your mental health.


Logos is a Greek word that denotes "meaning."

According to logotherapy, finding meaning in one's life is the primary motivational force in man. So, Frankl focused on helping his patients develop goals — whether getting rid of a phobia or enduring a horrible situation — and discover plans to accomplish them meaningfully.

3. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

“The more important your cheese is to you the more you want to hold on to it.”

Who Moved My Cheese? It drives you to think about change in a different light.

Spencer Johnson shows through a short story how to see change not as the end of something but as the beginning of something more meaningful.

If you don't like change, I encourage you to read this book first. The more resistant you are to change, the less you can read the writing on the wall. You will start dismissing important facts because you don't want to deal with them.

Resisting change is useless.

If you don't learn how to change, adapt quickly, and pursue new opportunities, you will be irrelevant to the marketplace.

  • Your skills become outdated: You can't tackle tomorrow's problems with today's thinking, tools, and tactics.
  • Your competitors catch up to your business: If you are not growing, you are decaying, and others are improving.
  • Your promotions are awarded to someone else: If you don't evolve, your company and customers will.

Opportunity waits for no man. If you wait as opportunities pass, you will lose.

Stop fighting the change.

When you see things are changing, stop ignoring the signs, denying the change, or fighting it.

Don't let fear of change, failure, or success hold you back. Instead, embrace change and adopt a continuous improvement mindset that forces you to evaluate and improve your life.

Here are three ways to deal with change:

How to deal with change:

  • Recognize change is inevitable. Don't fight it.
  • Anticipate the change. Always expect that things will change. Nothing is permanent.
  • Evaluate your life regularly. Sit with yourself once a month and ask three questions. What's working? What's not working? What's missing?

This coming recession can be a major setback for you or a perfect opportunity to start your business, get a new job, connect with your loved ones, etc.

Once you realize that the world is changing, your thinking, actions, and results will change. Don't let your fear stop you from becoming your future self.

Choose yourself, find meaning in your life, and find your new cheese.

Have you read any of these books?

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Writing on leadership, business, and culture.

Fort Worth, TX

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