Ask An Author

Published on July 4th, 2013 | by Devin

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Ask An Author: Ken Rabow, Part 2

Ken Rabow is a life empowerment coach and the author of The Slacker’s Guide to Success, a book designed to help teens and young adults discover their strengths. In this multi-part interview, he talks about his philosophies, writing process, favourite books and more.

What are your favourite books? Which books shaped you and how you achieve your goals?

I have a wide range of books that I go back to over and over. They range from the sublime to the “redonkulous”. I’ve always been a fan of short stories and two of my favorites are:

Thurber Carnival: the collected Works of James Thurber, a humourist who mixed wit and wisdom in a way that I found timeless. 

The Collected Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer – a wonderful group of stories that combined a culture from a different time and place with the supernatural.

Both of these books nurtured my love of writing. The magic of words and ideas and of different ways to see the world has shaped how I work with clients who are stuck in their lives, as well as how I share what I have learned through books and story-telling.

Dare I say that as a writer, I really enjoyed the whole Harry Potter series. When they came out, I knew that these were stories written to young people with a great respect for how smart young people are today. Something that was rare at that time. This gave me the faith to write to young people with respect and at an equal level.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Everything that is possible to say about the human condition is said in these pages. You have to work at it. It is not an easy read but it is well worth the time and effort. It’s hard to put into words what I learned. You’ll just have to read it!

In relation to the work I do, I often recommend two books:

The following book is, in my opinion, the most important book any person should read and re-read every year to learn how to communicate:

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is, in my experience, a quality that is sorely lacking in conversation today: the ability to care about and really listen to those around us and to learn how to inspire people to be their best.  This is a book whose ideas and philosophies I use in my daily life. It allowed me to foster my love of learning about people while helping those around me be their very best.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is another book published at the same time along with How to Win friends and Influence People, in the 1930’s. It is about new ways to find success in the world. But it is about so much more than financial gain. Using these principles, a person can find abundance in all aspects of their lives. Napoleon Hill is someone I greatly respect. The way he lived his life, his tireless devotion to spreading the lessons he had learned, as well as so many ideas in the book that can be life-changing.

The Slacker’s Guide to Success is out now.

To read more from Ken Rabow, visit his website, his Real Life Coaching center or his articles for The Huffington Post. You can also follow him on Twitter.

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