“I do not know how to do it.”, “It is too hard for me.”, “I am quitting”.
As a person who works with students, children, and young adults every day, I find that negativity, self-doubt, and lack of self-confidence are present in the younger generation. Yesterday, when I was looking into my Instagram account, I looked for my archived posts from years ago. I discovered that I was no different.
I asked myself what sparked the changes in my life – where I went from an ordinary local school student to a positive, productive, and proactive young adult. The answer is "books".
In 2016, when I was in high school, I encountered countless difficult moments. I did not do well in school, some teachers hated me very much, and I did not see myself going into college. That time, a good book saved me from self-doubt– Tuesdays with Morrie. This book taught me that life is full of hope, love, and happiness. Life is short, and we should treasure every day before it is too late. I suddenly realized that my life can be hopeful and fruitful; I just have to work hard to get it.
In 2018, when I was awarded the Harvard Book Prize Scholarship, the chosen book of the year was The Happiness Advantage. The book renewed my definition of being happy. I used to think that when I have lots of money, many accomplishments, and many friends, I will then be happy. However, this book suggests the opposite – when you are happy, you will be more energetic and productive, and thus, you will have money, accomplishments, and friends. I tried to adopt this “success formula” and it has worked out well in my life.
In 2019, after I returned from Harvard Summer School. I decided to write a book, capturing my early life changes, and hopefully, provide advice to students who are lost. This is my first book, An 18-Year-Old I Have Never Dreamt Of. It suggests three elements that I find most important in early life. These are self-confidence, positivity, and a giving-back mindset. With these three elements, the book suggests formulas towards happiness and changes.
When I presented my first book to my best mentor, she further suggested two good books for me to read – Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors. These two are the most powerful self-help books I have ever read. It summarized life wisdom and tips from top-level mentors and successful people all over the world.
In 2021, I wrote Dreams Thrive together with four other young people. The book shares our unique stories – from an ordinary student to a responsible young adult with dreams and passion. I am always proud of publishing Dreams Thrive as it was a fundraising event for a local educational charity.
This year, I published Dawn, and From School To Business To Wisdom. Dawn is the revised version of An 18-Year-Old I Have Never Dreamt Of and goes deeper into how to utilize the formulas. The book invites 10 students to test the formulas out. From School To Business To Wisdom focuses on tips and advice to students in the following areas: School, Business, and Wisdom.
A book is a powerful tool to influence life, stimulate you to think and guide you through difficult times. I hope that my book recommendations will make a difference in your life, and I hope one day, you will write your own story to inspire people around you.
About the writer
Danby is an author with four books, including An 18-Year-Old I Have Never Dreamt Of, Dreams Thrive, Dawn, and From School To Business To Wisdom. He is also a young entrepreneur who founded Deer Group Investment Holding Limited, Alpha Plus Marketing Agency, Luminate Network, and Gen Z Education.