There’s a LinkedIn discussion going on right now in one of my groups about the books that have made you the person you are today. While I knew many people would cite inspiration texts, philosophers, and business gurus, I had to stop and think whether there were any media that resonated that much. I scanned all the books on my shelves. Nothing popped out.

Then I realized there is one documentary and one poem that did make a difference.

I saw Harvest of Shame when I was 13 (props to an amazing teacher), and it made me want to do something to help migrant workers. Ten years later, when I knew I needed a graduate degree to break out of my dead-end job, I chose labor relations.

Wordsworth’s The World Is Too Much With Us is 14 lines long, and it turned my 17-year-old self upside down. I came to college planning to study economics and business so that I could live and work overseas. But then I found poetry and my passion. And that took me into that dead-end job, which took me to labor relations–and eventually to that blowtorch that helped shape who I am today.

The rest of my library? Some really great stuff that’s made me an educated woman and/or given me great ideas and insights. But made me who I am? That’s a much smaller list.

What about you? What media have helped forge your path?