5 Books that Profoundly Impacted my Life

image: (c) Dr David R Hamilton

I was looking through my bookshelves recently and it got me thinking about the books that have profoundly impacted my life. There have been 5 to be precise. I thought I might share them with you.


1) The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale

I read this book in 1994. It arrived in my life at the perfect time because I was into the second year of my PhD and my research was going badly. I was under pressure to get results but nothing I was doing was working. I was feeling very depressed, not just with my results, but because I felt I was supposed to be doing something else with my life.

The book was like a breath of fresh air because it talked about the power of the mind and of belief. It was exactly the kind of thoughts I had been thinking but I hadn’t realised anyone else thought the same kind of way. It was a direction-changer for me because it ignited the thought in me of writing and speaking about that kind of stuff and I realised that it was the ‘something else’ I was supposed to be doing, maybe not right away but at some stage.

Check out The Power of Positive Thinking


2) The Nature of Personal Reality (A Seth Book), by Jane Roberts

I also read this in 1994, only a few months after I read The Power of Positive Thinking. I was on a roll and had started having thoughts about the nature of reality. I had figured out that there must be ‘layers’ to reality and consciousness, as well as other realities (or dimensions). I found this book in a bookshop in Glasgow, Scotland, and lapped it up.

It spoke of how consciousness creates reality, how we exist as larger entities (or souls), and how our individual and collective beliefs shape everything around us. It was deeply metaphysical, not least because it was a channelled book.

Jane Roberts was a trance medium and she channelled Seth, who called himself an ‘energy personality essence’. The teachings are profound. I tried to share some with my friends, most of whom were sceptical of the whole channelled thing, but they became engrossed when I asked them to side-step that issue and just read the words.

To date, this is the book I have re-read more than any other book.

Check out The Nature of Personal Reality


3) The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield

I read this book in 1998. It represented the beginning of my journey out of the pharmaceutical industry. I had taken a job where I was a scientist developing drugs for cardiovascular disease and cancer, but my real interest was the power of the mind and consciousness. I was fascinated with the placebo effect and for me it was a demonstration of our capacity to use the mind to heal.

The Celestine Prophecy put many of the teachings around life, psychology, the mind, and even spiritual evolution into a captivating adventure novel. There was a chapter on seeing auras that I loved and it set me off on a mission to learn how to see them for myself.

I remember sitting among some trees one day, a few days before Christmas of 1998, trying to see the auras around the branches and leaves. If you doubt that we have the capacity to see auras then read my blog article on a scientific discovery that showed how an overlapping of brain regions (synaesthesia) can give us the ability.

Check out The Celestine Prophecy


4) Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch

I read this book in 1999. It was only a few weeks after I had resigned from the pharmaceutical industry. I had been excitedly thinking of the workshops I would run and the topics I would write on. At the time, it was all power of the mind stuff and self-development.

Then along came Conversations with God to remind me how much my real passion was to infuse what I write and teach with love and compassion. Inspiring love, compassion, and kindness was an important part of who I was but I guess I just didn’t realise that I could talk about it, nor that anyone would be interested in what some perceived as ‘sentimental, soft stuff’.

But love, compassion and kindness has formed a thread through all of my books so far and Neale’s book began that exploration for me.

Check out Conversations with God


5) Dying to be Me, by Anita Moorjani

I read this book just a couple of months ago and was privileged enough to talk with Anita quite a bit during the two recent I Can Do It conferences held in the UK by our publisher, Hay House.

Anita had cancer, she was in a coma and her organs had just packed in, when she had an NDE (near death experience). She described her experience; what it was like, how she became one with everything, and how we are all connected. She saw her future, if she chose to come back, where the cancer would rapidly disappear (no one had ever previously recovered from that kind of cancer at that stage) as she lived her life fearlessly, as she learned to love herself. The main lesson she brought back was the importance of loving ourselves.

That really struck a chord with me. Even though I do what I do, I really don’t think I have been loving myself that much, in that outside of when I’m on stage (where I feel really at home) I often hold back from expressing myself out of fear for what people might think or say. It might sound silly to some, but I guess we all have our challenges.

Check out Dying to be Me


I have read and enjoyed many, many other books over the years, but I only wanted to include in this blog those that had the greatest impact upon me.

Maybe I should have called this blog, ‘5 books and 2 tapes that profoundly impacted my life’ because I could add that two audio programs by Dr Wayne Dyer also created a seismic shift in me.

The first was a single tape (this was in 2000 before CDs were as popular), called ‘How to get what you really, really, really, really want.’ I listened to it sooooo many times. I even transcribed it and used it as a basis for a one-off talk I did to about a dozen people back in 2000. The other was an 8-part tape set called, ‘The Secrets to Manifesting Your Destiny’.

What impacted me most about Wayne was that his love, compassion, and kindness shone through not just in his words but even in the tone of his voice. You can sense it in how he says what he says. For an entire year I listened to those tapes every time I drove my car.

What books have most impacted your life?



  1. Lisa Burnage on October 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing David; it’s always good to know what inspires others!

    ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Brian Weiss is a particular favourite. It documents his own personal story too, showing how sceptical he is at first, because of his scientific training, and how he runs the risk of being ostracised by his colleagues but continues anyway. A brave man. It’s fascinating, and just made so much sense to me.

    I love Gill Edwards’ books, (including ‘Living Magically’ and ‘Life is a Gift’) and attended several of her workshops in the Lakes. She drew me into metaphysics, and is sadly missed.

    And finally, ‘Why Love Matters’ by Sue Gerhardt. A psychotherapist’s’ exploration of what happens in our bodies when we are loved, and much more. It’s poignant at times; and had a real impact on me.

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      Thanks Lisa. I’ve read ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’, ‘Living Magically’, and ‘Why Love Matters’ too and loved all of them. I twice saw Brian Weiss speaking recently and he was brilliant: funny, intelligent, and really fascinating.

  2. Sarah on October 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Thats a really good list, I can see why they would inspire you David.

    For my inspiration the greatest books that I have found helped me understand my path more and live from more my truth were Spiritual Liberation by Michael Bernard Beckwith, Change your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Dr Wayne Dyer (translations of the verses of the Tao), Louise Hay, You can Heal your Life (and audios on loving the self etc..), Dr David Hawkins, Power vs Force book, which lays out more the map of consciousness and how differing levels affect society as a whole, and The light Shall Set You Free, Milanovich and McCune – a must for anyone seeking to understand the nature and spiritual laws of the universe and keys to inner fulfilment. With blessings. Helper Angel xxx

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks for sharing Sarah. I’ve read some of them. I love Wayne’s ‘Change Your Thoughts..’ book, and yes!! I definitely love Louise’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’…it’s kind of like a dictionary for me. 🙂 And I love David Hawkin’s ‘Power vs Force’. Maybe I should have made a list of 10 as I’d have had some of the ones you mentioned, plus definitely Denise Linn’s, ‘Signposts’, which I actually based half of my very first ever workshop on!!

  3. alison on October 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    David I have all the books youve mentioned above, had them on a shelf for years, the only one ive read is celestine prophecy and loved it,
    Being led to your post means its not time to read the rest, I am going to start with Dying to be Me ass i only bought that one a few weeks ago x

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Hi Alison, I hope you enjoy ‘Dying to be Me’. It blends Anita’s personal story with her NDE experience and then her subsequent recovery from cancer. Great book! 🙂

  4. caroline dent on October 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I have read all those books …yayyyy ! Jane Robert’s “the nature of persional reality” and Seth speaks had a massive impact on my life at the time. These channelled teachings seemed to me way way ahead of their s time in many ways, and not an easy read…..intellectuallly quite challenging in fact..but the ideas…incredible ! none of that easy peasy…”lets all just hug each other” stuff. So ineteresting to now be able to see her “in action” on old video clips on youtube.

    More recently Anita Moorjani’s book has knocked me sideways. This is a lifechanging book for me, and kind of brings things full circle for me, as I began my spiritual exploration 30 years ago, reading Life after Life by Ron Moody. This book however takes it to a whole new level, and has had a massive impact on my *beliefs* about EVERTYTHING….life …death….health….

    If I were to add any books to this list I would probably add the classic “The Power of Now” by Tolle and “Who dies” by Stephen Levine. both belong on my *bible shelf**

    Of course I have read your first book too David…….and love that as well…reaffirming all the other stuff but from a slightly different perspective. I would so love to have attended the Wayne Dwyer events ….what a collection of amazing people. Thank you each and every one for helping me on along on my journey towards truth.


    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Hi Caroline, I totally get how the ‘The Nature of Personal Reality’ impacted you so much. When I first found it, I just couldn’t stop reading, and re-reading it. Yes, intellectually challenging indeed, but definitely worth persevering with.!! I didn’t realise there were YouTube clips of Jane Roberts. I will definitely be checking those out!! And I get what you mean by Anita’s book!! I read Raymond Moody’s book too, around the same time I read Brian Weiss. And thanks for your kind words about my first book. 🙂

  5. Christine on October 14, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    My bookshelves creak under the weight of books I can’t bear to part with and I wholeheartedly agree with those you and others mention. Signposts brought a particular smile to my face – it’s very well thumbed and has often helped me give a friend another direction to look at when they’ve felt stuck. Added to those already listed I would like to add The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran; Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls by Michael Newton; and one of my earliest purchases, Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. I used this as the basis for classes I taught in the early 1990’s on Self Awareness.

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

      I’m glad you also liked ‘Signposts’ Christine. And Denise is such a lovely, lovely person. Oh, yes, ‘Destiny of Souls’ – I enjoyed that one very much. I gave out quite a few copies of it, actually, to people with an interest. I’d almost forgotten about ‘Creative Visualization’. Yes, I read that too and it would definitely make my top 10!!

  6. Joanna on October 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Funny. I just had a hot chocolate with a man who told me for the first time about seth book. I had forgotten the name and here it is! Thanks 🙂

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

      I love the synchronicity there Joanna! 🙂

  7. Pierre on October 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I find it fantastic that I have 2 of those 5 books on my shelf and would list them under my 5 life-changers too – Conversations with God and The Celestine Prophecy. These awakened the “spiritual” side of my passion into healing and improving people’s lives, and gives me inspiration to chase my dreams.

    I would add Your Body Speaks Your Mind by Deb Shapiro and Molecules of Emotion by Candace Perth, showing to me a clear link between emotions and your body, a fine line that I often have to play between as an alternative healer, counselor and research psychologist.

    Lastly, Iron John by Robert Moore has been a personal inquest into my deeper self. I have only read the first chapter so far but it has already impacted my life significantly.

    Really enjoy your work, David – thank you and keep it up!

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

      I love that so many people have read the same books as I have Pierre, and I love that you have had the same kind of reactions to those two as I did. 🙂 I’ve read ‘Molecules of Emotion’ – loved it!! I haven’t read Deb Shapiro’s book but I’ve heard reference to it quite a few times. Maybe that’s a sign for me to read it now.

  8. Grace Chatting on October 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks David. There are so many, but these 5 are certainly books I would take to a desert island to read again! “No Boundary” by Ken Wilber, “The Spectrum Of Consciousness” by Ken Wiber,
    “The Turning Point” by Fritjof Capra, “The Biology Of Belief” by Bruce Lipton and “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Great we’re on the same page Grace. 🙂 I’ve not yet read those books by Ken Wilber but consider him a very enlightened man, so I intend to add them to my collection very soon! I loved both ‘The Biology of Belief’ and ‘The Prophet’

  9. Manjit Ubhi. on October 14, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    My favourites are Deepak Chopras ‘The Way of the Wizard’…a beautiful story about rekindling our relationship with the wise wizard in all of us, ‘Why me Why this why Now’ by Robin Norward, also ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from venu s ‘

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 10:19 am

      I read John Gray’s book Manjit, and loved it…..as well as found myself laughing at the very accurate description of myself in the early chapters. 🙂 I’ve not read Deepak’s Wizard book but a friend of mine sent me copy to read, which I never got around to. Maybe I’ll read it now. 🙂

  10. Wendy on October 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Hi David ive read all but the 1st 2 & How your mind can heal your body is pretty good too! I often pull it off the shelf & refer to parts of it. I would have to say Anita Moorjani’s Dying to be me is my most favorite. I’m currently reading Conversations with God & another book that has just been published The Next Human by Jason Lincoln Jeffers. I also loved Man’s search for meaning by Victor Frankl & The Mastery Club by Liliane Grace which is a great book for 9-14 year olds & adults alike 🙂 I also loved Only Love is Real by Brian Weiss & anything by Wayne Dyer is always a hit with me. There are so many great books out there & this reference is great now I’ll have more to read. Oh I also liked Deepak Chopra’s Life After Death too. Happy reading 🙂

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Ah….thanks for that. I’m glad my book has been useful. 🙂 Man’s Search for Meaning – yes, I loved that one too!!….and Only Love is Real. Yes, so many great books out there!

  11. Di Kamp on October 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm


    Great choice of books, and I also relate to those of other commentators, except for Eckhart Tolle whom i find a bit too cerebral. The one i would like to add is Ram Dass, starting with Be Here Now, and finishing with Be Love Now – and everything in between!
    He has changed my life, and inspired me with his holistic and practical spirituality.

    • David R. Hamilton PhD on October 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Yes, Ram Dass….I definitely agree!!!