Dress Up Your Mind: Maintain a Personal Library

6409574Have you ever got dressed, looked in the mirror and determined that you needed to change your outfit? The first outfit may have been fine, but it just doesn’t reflect the statement you desire to make at the time. You change your clothes and experiment with jewelry until you achieve the best look for the occasion. Finally, you leave the mirror with confidence, knowing that you look good. Having various resources in your closet provides you with options to achieve your desired goal. The same applies to your intellectual growth--having options is a major key to achieving your goals. Building a personal library of intellectual resources develops the options you need to reach your goals and become the best you.

Much like a closet houses your clothing options, a personal intellectual library houses your informational options. When I use the term “intellectual library,” I am referring to your personal collection of non-fiction books and resources. Fictional books are primarily for your leisure and entertainment; however, non-fiction resources are teaching tools that expand your knowledge base, increase your level of expertise, and improve the perspective on your world. Unlike shoes and handbags (and I love shoes and handbags) that make you look better, building a personal library is an investment that makes you better.

The contents of your library should be as personal as the contents in your closet. Your intellectual library should reflect who you are as an individual, as well as the woman you plan to become in the future. Keep in mind that you are more than your career. You are a complex woman and your library should represent your complexity. Therefore, you should include resources that appeal to you spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and financially. Strive to include items in each of the following categories: books (both print and electronic), articles/periodicals, website/links, conference manuals, and video and audio recordings. Your library resources should build you up, motive you, inform you and challenge you. Most of all, your library should empower you.

Don’t tuck your library away in the basement, under the stairs or behind the Christmas tree ornaments. Instead, position it where you can see it every day. Place your print resources in a convenient location in your home (I actually have a library room in my home) and park your digital resources in a folder on your computer’s desktop or the primary landing page of your tablet. By keeping things in your constant line of sight, you send a message to your brain that “this is important.” Let’s face it. What could be more important that your personal development?

Maintaining and using a personal intellectual library promotes intellectual growth. You will be well-read, well-informed, and mentally dressed for every occasion in life. As a well- informed and well-read woman, you are able to live confidently. Know that you’ve made the most intellectual investment to become the best you.