The Making of a Ragpicker


Books have had a "WOW!" impact on my life. 

One of my favorites, The Greatest Miracle in the World, was a skinny little book I read in the 1980's that carried enormous weight in making The book planted the seeds for what I do now: root for people to become their most awesome selves.

Let me take you inside the book's pages for a moment so you can read what I read. In setting up the passage, there are two characters in the book and they are talking:

"What do you do, Simon? Do you have a job?"

The old man hesitated for a several moments. Then he smiled again, spread his hands in a self-effacing gesture and said, "I am a ragpicker, Mister Og."

"By definition, a ragpicker is one who picks up rags and other waste materials from the streets and junk heaps to earn a livelihood. However, I am not that sort of ragpicker. I seek more valuable materials than old newspapers and aluminum beer cans. I search out waste materials of the human kind, people who have been discarded by others, or even themselves, people who still have great potential but have lost their self-esteem and their desire for a better life. When I find them I try to change their lives for the better, give them a new sense of hope and direction, and help them return from their living death ... which to me is the greatest miracle in the world."

That was the passage that pointed to my destiny.

Books have the kind of seed-planting, life-changing, difference-making magic that can open your eyes to your own possibility. They can push you, prod you, and wake up your brain. Books can give hope to a tired heart and fuel to a spirit that has run empty. They can make all the difference in the world in what we think...what we feel...and what we live.

I learned.

Whenever I feel the helium in my motivation balloon slowly leaking...I always go back to books. I find one that builds my that inspires my that reminds me of the person I choose to be.

It's been a successful practice.

If your passion for living your best life has fallen to the bottom of the well, go find a book whose topic lifts your enthusiasm. 

And read it. 

If you seem to only be going through the motions of living life, go find a book whose subject shines a mirror on you being your best you.

And read it. 

Feeling uninspired? Turn off the TV. In a rut? Get off the computer. 

And go find a book. 

It might just help you find your best self again. 

Because books do that.

They have that kind of difference-making power.

And seed-planting magic.

And life-changing impact.

I learned.


By Shawn Anderson
Speaker, Author, & Unlimited Thinker

Inspiration Thursdays.
Short inspirational email sent every week.   It's free.  

First name
Last name (optional) 
Location (I would love to know where you're from!) 


Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826