You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’
But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’
– Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Former proprietor of Nicola’s Bookshop in Brussels (2004-2009), Nicola has developed her knowledge and enthusiasm for world literature and personal development over many years. You may be wondering what caused her to mix books on personal development with world literature, since they are an unusual combination. In her words, here are the reasons why.
First, I have realised that the only person you can change is yourself. After spending years trying to change the people and events around me so that I would feel better, I understood that once I took care of changing myself, I would change what I attracted into my life and all those people and situations I tried so hard to fix would simply disappear. Books on personal development have helped me to clarify many issues and they continue to guide me along the way.
The second important discovery I made was that when you change how you see the world and the people in it, the world around you changes. When you see life from another perspective other than your own, you become less judgemental towards other people regardless of their race, gender or religion. You learn to step into the ‘other’ one’s shoes and you see the world through their eyes. In this way, you open your mind to another vision of life. After reading hundreds of world literature books over the years, I realise that no matter where we come from, we all experience similar inner conflicts and that deep down we all have the same desire for love, respect and understanding.
I believe that books are one of the best sources of inspiration. There are many other sources, such as films or music, but books have a way of touching us on a deeper level. So what I would like to do is offer you a challenge: read two books per month over the next 12 months choosing a mix of personal development and world literature titles and see what changes it brings to your life.
As she so clearly points out, a book can change your life, change your perspectives, push you to discover new ideas, increase your understanding of other places and cultures, and above all it can bring you much pleasure and personal growth. In Nicola we have a true lover of world literature and personal development, someone with the ability to steer us through the labyrinth of choice to the gems that lie concealed just beneath the surface…