JM’s Journal: 3 Books That Changed the Trajectory of My Life in a Positive Way

A stack of several hardbacked books
Credit: Kimberly Farmer in

3 Books That Changed the Trajectory of My Life in a Positive Way

Taking Control of My Personal Development and Improving My EQ Level

by J.M. Troppello

I’m a different person in my forties than I was in my twenties. It’s likely that you’ve changed and grown as an individual as well. However, some people move more slowly in their journey of personal growth and development. I’ve been married to my husband for 17½ years. When we first got married, I learned so much from reading the following three books.

1. The DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley

This was the first book that changed my life in a significant way. I learned about relationships and how to behave in a mature manner. The truths in this book taught me how to respond maturely (high emotional IQ level) instead of reacting immaturely to people and things in my life. I learned to understand who I am and how to take that extra step to understand others.

Learning these things significantly enhanced my relationships in both my personal and professional life. I’ve loved the changes I’ve seen in my emotional maturity level. It’s motivated me to continue learning even all these years later after reading this book for the first time.

2. The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman

This is a well-known book which you may have read already. I learned what my love language is—quality time. I don’t need all your time. Yet, when I’m with you, I need quality time. It was difficult for my husband to understand this need in me when we first got married. However, we’ve come a long way and we both understand each other so much better now.

My love languages toward other people are acts of service and encouraging others. That matches well with my husband’s need for encouragement. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you may know that I leave an encouraging note by my husband’s phone every day, so he sees it before he leaves for work. I’ve been doing this ever since I read this book in the early years of our marriage. My husband’s love language (that he needs from others) is physical touch and encouragement. He shows love by doing acts of service and physical touch. That was an adjustment for me when we first got married since I am not one who likes physical touch all the time. Yet, we’ve both learned how to connect with each other and fill our love tanks (via our love languages) through the years.

3. Deadly Emotions by Dr. Don Colbert

This is such a powerful book. I learned how to set boundaries with various familial relationships I have. I always allowed myself to be guilted into doing what other people wanted me to do because I don’t like conflict and I wanted to make everyone happy—at the expense of my own happiness.

By applying lessons learned from this book, I was able to cultivate the right mindset of striving to have a healthier mind, body, and spirit. I learned that your mental health can seriously impact your physical health. Forgiveness is such an integral part of maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Change Your Life Today

I highly recommend these three books. If you read all three books from cover to cover—and apply what you’ve learned to your life—you can change the trajectory of your life in a positive way as well. Each day you have a choice to make. You can choose to want to grow and develop as an individual. You can also choose to stay stuck in negativity and hinder your personal growth and development. Hopefully, you choose wisely.

I’ve made many unwise choices in my lifetime. However, reading and embracing the lessons from these three books (all three from Christian individuals) have been wise choices. Have you read any books (aside from the Bible) that have positively impacted your life?

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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