What Defines Us?

A recent post on Kindleboards asks what your ten “must-read” books are. I took a different tack on this, answering with my ten most influential books. These books helped define me, though the list is far from complete or prioritized. This type of self-defining task is important to defining who you are and what your aim should be.

My list of books doesn’t tell the whole picture, and I think I’m too genre focused, but the exercise is a good one. Some other list-making topics that might help define you:

Your 10 most…

  • … favorite assignments at school or work?
  • … restful or energizing activities?
  • … enjoyable hobbies or activities?
  • … influential people?
  • … influential media (books, movies, music, etc)?
  • … memorable or influential moments in your life?

For me, these lists can be hard to come up with and prioritize.  If you have trouble, keep at it — stay focused. Once one or two items are down, the rest seem to come more easily.

How do you analyze any of these lists when they’re complete? Don’t give your entries a score and tally them! There’s no benefit in doing more than reading over the lists and seeing if you get a feel for any patterns. If nothing really sticks out, focus on the reasons you put each item on the list.


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