The Books Which Influenced Our Lives
We are a diverse bunch here at Beckett Simonon. I realize that now more than ever.
I asked the team here in the office to each name a book which has inspired them, or changed their life. It revealed an exciting and eclectic mix.
These books may or may not be for you - you might love them or hate them with a passion, but they are all books that have impacted lives.
We are a very inclusive company, and the selection reflects that. There is everything from business books, to politics, to fiction… I hope you enjoy finding out a little more about the variety which makes up our office!
The 4-Hour Workweek
by Tim Ferris
I read The 4-Hour Workweek back in the day, when we started the company. It inspired me to try to implement the 80/20 rule in my life and in my work - understanding that I need to focus on doing things smarter and more efficiently. It also showed me that I need to have space in my life to develop myself as a person, it can’t only be work.
In the end the greatest takeaway for me is to value time. No matter who we are, or what we do, we only have 24 hours per day to live our lives.
Juan, Customer Happiness
by Anthony Keidis (from the Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Released after Californication came out - as a music fan, and as a guitar player - Scar Tissue is my most inspirational book.
Very impressive how Anthony’s life has been, you wouldn’t guess his background. He is the son of a high profile drug dealer from Hollywood, all his life he has been struggling for sobriety, with several relapses, and he even had to face the death of the first guitarist Hillel Slovak.
This book works for me as a manual of “what not to do, and how you have to keep giving your best when it’s about music.”
Another inspirational aspect for me is his love. Spirituality and mental health is always present either for him, his friends, and bandmates.
I recommend reading this book while you listen to their discography :) It’s a book of overcoming several issues, on different aspects.
The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri
I’m not an avid reader, and I read this book many years ago, but to this day, I can still talk about the many different things that happen in it.
I was a big fan of world history back in the day, and Divine Comedy was a great gateway for me to deepen my love for it. It talks about gods, demons, and influential characters through history (mostly Italian/Roman history).
One of the things I love the most about the book is the ability to relate to the main character’s journey, from Hell to Heaven. You can always see yourself in whatever stage he is going through. That’s probably the main thing I’ve taken and applied in my life constantly: the idea of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes whenever there’s a difficult situation.
Maria Alejandra, Illustrator & Social Media
Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
Even though it’s a pretty quick read, this one inspired me while growing up and still does as an adult (I actually have a copy on my bedside table and a tattoo of Max on my arm).
I remember how I felt the first time I saw the illustrations and how magical they seemed, but only as an adult, I was able to really understand the strong emotional meaning behind it. This book gives a great lesson on the power of imagination, but most importantly the enduring love parents have towards their children.
As a kid, I was very much like Max, full of curiosity, imagination, and mischief, and no matter how crazy I drove my mom, my supper was always hot.
It made me realize how unconditional my parents’ love was and how I didn’t really understand or appreciate it when I was little. Understanding this as an adult made me change my attitude towards them, and it also made our relationship a lot better.
In the end, we may want to be “the king of all wild things,” but most importantly, we want to be where someone loves us best of all.
Paola, Customer Happiness
The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
When I was a little girl I got this book as a present, and I’ve read it multiple times since.
I think a lot of people relate to the story of the book. In my case, it’s because, to me, the story seems endless. Every time I read it I find new details that I love, and depending on the specific time of my life where I’m at, I relate to a particular idea or message that the book gives me.
However, the main idea of being adventurous and open to new experiences is the thing that I like the most about the book.
by Bo Burlingham
I read this book around 2006 when I was studying Industrial Design. It’s written by Bo Burlingham, who at the time was the Executive Editor at Inc. Magazine. In a way, I’ve always wanted to build things and become an entrepreneur. However, back then, in my young(er) mind, I mistakenly thought entrepreneurship was reserved only for business people.
Small Giants inspired me to overcome this mental block. It narrates the stories of several entrepreneurs with totally different backgrounds, like Danny Meyer, who studied Political Science and founded USHG and Shake Shack. It opened my mind and sparked an interest in what businesspeople can be.
It also allowed me to observe non-standard definitions of business success. It inspired me to seek goals like customer happiness, work/life balance, and community contribution.
Miguel, Customer Happiness
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games made an impression on me, due to multiple things.
Firstly, I particularly love the genre - the sort of exciting, fictional, thriller that surprises you at every turn.
Secondly, when I read it, I was about the same age as the characters in the book, so it opened up my mind a bit to think about situations, or contexts, that I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise.
I felt related to the problems, in a broad sense, of the characters and enjoyed the excitement value of the book.
It inspired me to follow my dreams and to be brave with the decisions I make. As well, it taught me that there’s always someone that will be next to you to support you when tough times come.
Tigre, Blogger & Copywriter
Interview with the Vampire
by Anne Rice
This novel was my obsession for several years. From the moment I saw the mysterious, beautiful, hauntingly erotic cover image of Lestat and Louis, I was - shall we say? - bitten.
Rice’s storytelling style, intricate characterizations, and expert attention to detail conjured up a world - worlds actually - that I had never even dreamed of. A current of inexplicable energy runs throughout the book, and is most palpable in Lestat’s self-possession and power, Louis’ desperation and finally liberation, Claudia’s eternal innocence.
The final moment of Interview with the Vampire made me leap out of my bed as if I was struck by lightning. I was charged with such a sense of power, like I could take on anything. It has served me well over the years since that first reading when I was 16.
Adela, Brand Relations
by Michelle Obama
Reading Michelle Obama’s story is amazing. Understanding that she too felt lost and pivoted in her career, when you see her as this incredible person, humanizes her and makes me feel less alone. Like we can all do it if she could.
Also, her sentence, which she speaks of in the book: “When they go low, we go high,” is a mantra for me.
Felipe, Customer Happiness Team Leader
In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote
I’ve always been a fan of detective novels. However, the way that Capote was able to capture the essence of journalists’ work, and the details of a fiction novel, surprised me.
I tend to read a lot of books, but that wasn’t always the case. I was about 11 when I first read it, and In Cold Blood inspired me to read a lot.
It was one of the first books that really struck me with its detail and storytelling, and the way those details capture the attention and manipulate (in a good way) the reader.
It showed me that reading could be an extraordinary experience.
Gavin, Blogger & Updates
The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”
This novel inspired me as a young man, discovering himself - as I finished secondary school and left home for university.
An innocent youth (who was far too nice, and far too trusting!), this story of betrayal, adversity, and revenge helped me develop a hard edge, patience, and dedication. Ready to confront what was ahead.
The Count of Monte Cristo inspired me to search for knowledge and experience in my life. The protagonist, Dantès, travels broadly and learns several languages fluently. I too went on to explore cultures and discover languages (from just English, when I read the book, I can now comfortably converse in four others).
When things are tough in life, the determination of Dantès has also inspired me: “Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.”
by Some Doodah
Which book has influenced you in your life? Please leave us a comment and tell us.
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