Getting Inspired

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Q: I am an avid reader and have enjoyed a couple of the titles you recommended in last month’s Motivation section (“Required Reading,” January 2002). How about recommending some [faith-based] inspirational titles, such as some excellent stuff by T.D. Jakes, Deion Sanders, Michelle Hammond, Joyce Meyer, and others?
— Leonie Chandersingh, Orlando, Florida

A: If you were to say that the Bible is the ultimate motivational-self-help book, you’d get a hearty “Amen!” from a lot of folks, including me. And the best of the vast majority of self-improvement titles on bookshelves, though not overtly religious, usually cover healthy spiritual development and faith in a higher power as cornerstones of a healthy belief in our own value and ability to overcome adversity, achieve worthwhile objectives, and enjoy life. So the short answer to your question is: Yes — we will definitely review and recommend inspirational titles by some of the established and notable authors you suggest, as well as those written by new authors.

That said, inspirational books are a lot like preachers — the good ones know what to say to make us feel better. But the very best move us to action, to actually do and be better. One of the best examples of an inspiring, yet practical, book with great advice on improving personal effectiveness (regardless of your faith or lack thereof) is Jesus CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership by Laurie Beth Jones (Hyperion, $17). You will be pleased to know that we’ll be recommending others in future issues.