This is part of our series on books that have positively impacted our lives and careers. Check out all of the books we review by following us on social media or see our previous reviews summarized here.
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
My very first experience with “books on tapes” was Further Along the Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Further Along the Road Less Traveled was the sequel to the famed The Road Less Traveled published a few years earlier in 1978. Peck also authored another bestseller, People of the Lie, published in 1983. I cut my teeth on all three books from my first in-car cassette player as I drove around Indianapolis selling chemicals for ECOLAB. Further Along became my favorite because, if not for that book, I may not have read the other two. Fifteen years later I listened to his final book, Golf and the Spirit, which was about life’s journey using the metaphor of golf—also a great book that was less of a “heavy” listen.
Peck is a masterful author with great insight into the human condition and what it takes to be a fulfilled human being. In each book he touches on topics ranging from one’s spirituality to marriage, love, discipline, evil, responsibility, grace, and more. At the time, I was 29 years old struggling in my transition from law enforcement to being a salesperson for a Fortune 500 company. In my struggles, I was wrestling with finding a new sense of purpose because, as a police officer, I had that feeling of being purposeful after every run, but, in sales, I was coming up short and didn’t know why. Although it took another two years before I made the sales-life purpose connection, Peck helped me realize the greater depth of my existence. Even though I did not satiate my hunger for finding purpose, I did find the calm needed to feel fulfilled with my new station in life.
Peck’s insights into human fulfillment derived from his years as a psychiatrist and his interactions with patients. I invite every person who is looking for a deeper meaning to one’s existence, to feel more complete in their marriage, or to have a greater feeling of fulfillment, to pick up any one of Peck’s books and read. It is deep stuff so be prepared to re-read and re-listen to sections but, in the end, I promise the heaviness of the book will be worth the read. Good luck!