12 Reasons Why You Should Read A Million Miles by Donald Miller


A Million Miles in a Thousand Hours by Donald Miller

“The best that can be known and experienced lies asleep in books … and the finer feeling is to awake this best knowledge and experience in these sleeping princes.” Russell H. Conwell

It is said that we will be the same in five years time as we are today, save for the books we read and the people we meet. I have been an avid reader all my life. People laugh at me when I get a new book.  I first inhale the unique smell of the untouched paper; it’s almost like that singularly recognisable aroma you get for the first couple of weeks when you sit in a new car. I flick through unturned pages and hear that particular “crunchy click” as the spine is spread open at the first page. A new book is a multi- sensory experience for me. If only Amazon could find a way to do the same with a Kindle, a sort of, “sniff and read” device. 

Soon the newness fades and creases appear. Some books are read and then shelved. Whereas others, well, they become like a good friend who we visit again and again. We find new depths in identical conversations and experience anew familiar exploits and adventures. It’s as if we have just met for the first time, yet walk together again over same chapters, pages, words, and letters. It’s a book we freely give to many. One such book for me is, “A Million Miles In A Thousand Hours,” by Donald Miller. I have written in other posts, references to this inspiring book.  Many of my friends have asked why it has been such an influential read for me? Here are 12 reasons why I think they and you should consider reading, A Million Miles, by Donald Miller.

It made me ask profound questions about my life?

Donald Miller writes:

  • “The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.” (page – 1)
    Am I, living a meaningful life?
  • “I began to realise the stuff I spent money on indicated the stories I was living. By that I mean the stuff I spent money on was, in many ways, the sum of my ambitions.” (page -121)
    How does my bank statement reflect my dreams and values?
  • “It made me think about the hard lives life so many people have had, the sacrifices they’ve endured, and how those people will see heaven differently from those of us who have had easier lives. (page -143)
    How do I view the struggles I’ve faced and the challenges encountered by others, do I have an eternal perspective?

It has inspired me to live intentionally today, so I can have beautiful memories tomorrow.

  • “The thing about death is it reminds you the story we are telling has finality.” (page -36)
    Are those black hearses’ at the cemetery gates practicing?
  • “… it’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving in over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral.” (page -58)
    I never want to miss the simple moments; I want to savour the simple moments.
  • “When we look back on our lives, what we will remember are the crazy things we did, the times we worked harder to make a day stand out.” (page – 208)
    Why did I fly 7182 miles to cook a burger for my family?

It introduced me to interesting characters that stir me to live a bigger life.

  • Bob Gough – “We shouldn’t be afraid to embrace whimsy, that nagging idea that life could be magical; it could be special if we were only willing to take a few risks.” (page -167)
  • Don’s Uncle – “If you aren’t telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died. But my uncle died too soon.” (page -38)
  • Duncan Campbell – A difficult childhood without the benefit of adult role models pushed him to start a mentoring program called, “Friends of the Children.” I am inspired by the power of a friend. (page – 171)

It has inspired me to write a better story with my life.

  • “And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.” (page -155)
    I am getting that taste, and it’s scrumptious!
  • “People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen.” (page  -100)
    I know that this is a daily choice, great stories are written a day at a time.
  • “The greatest stories go to those who don’t give in to fear.” (page -108)
    Do not fear, do not be afraid, for wherever you go, I am there with you…

A Millions Miles and A Thousand Hours by Donald Miller made me ask profound questions, it inspired me to be intentional in living, it introduced me to interesting people and it encouraged me to be brave and leave a legacy of living a better story, perhaps it will you? I would love to hear from you if it does.

Sources – Quote from  “Every Man His Own University” Vol 4 by Russell H. Conwell. For more information on Donald Miller you can visit his blog and learn more about Storyline and read of other people who are writing a better story with their lives thanks to Donald Miller.

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Posted on by Peter Billingham in Books, Happiness, Legacy

About Peter Billingham

Leader, Learner, Speechwriter, Storyteller, Author. a.k.a. 'The Artful Speaker' Enjoy working on social action projects, Toastmasters, films & adventure travel.

2 Responses to 12 Reasons Why You Should Read A Million Miles by Donald Miller

  1. Peitho

    Love that you “first inhale the unique smell of the untouched paper” of a new book. And thank you for making me aware of A Million Miles In A Thousand Hours; marvelous title.

    • Peter Billingham

      It’s an amazing book too! Just spent a few day at the Storyline Conference and it was very interesting and thought provoking. Glad you liked the post. Thanks for the comment.

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