I recently hit another milestone in my learning journey. I just finished book number four hundred in seven years. For some of you, that may seem like a small number. But to me, from where I started, to where I am today, this is a an amazing accomplishment for me.
I have written countless times about the power, the confidence, and the joy that I get from reading. But if you have not read any of that up until now. I will say it again. There is not one other thing that I have decided to do in my life and in my career, that has been more beneficial to my success financially, mentally, and relational, than making the decision to become an avid reader of books. This one discipline has provided me with so much more in my life.
Become a reader and your life will change. You can start with the list I have for you here.
Its funny, as I look back over books 300 to 400. It was really easy to compile this list. Well, the fact that I have a grading and scoring system that I manage and track for all of the books I read makes it pretty easy. But that alone, isn’t the only reason.
This list came together so easily, because the books on this list were by far and away, just really that good. I am not sure how many of them were actually best sellers, but all of them had a profound impact on me which is why they made the list.
These books, aren’t necessarily the best written, most sold, most known (which I guess would also mean most sold), the longest, etc. No. These books, had a profound impact on the way I thought, or provided me some new insight that I could apply that could make me more successful. That is how they make the list. They had an impact on me.
Maybe they will have an impact on you. Remember, click the title of the book and the link will take you right to Amazon so you can purchase the audio version or the hardcopy of the book. These books are in no particular order.
- 9 Things You simply Must do to Succeed in Love and Life; author Dr. Henry Cloud.
Dr. Cloud is a phenomenal writer and speaker. He has several best-selling books. This book I picked up at a discount rack somewhere. The reason I put it on the list is because he has two chapters in the book that really were amazing. One chapter on playing fair and the other chapter on hate.In the hate chapter he discusses the practice of hating in a way that solves problems instead of creating them. Cloud suggests that hating well preserves life and hating poorly destroys life. An integral component of hating well is objectivity, which hates the issue without hating the person.
In the chapter on Don’t Play Fair he discusses the practice of loving unconditionally. Loving without conditions is unfair and incredibly powerful. Further, the author suggests that loving without conditions is possible only when healthy detachment exists. In summary, undeserved love transforms lives.
- The Business of the 21st Century; author Robert Kiyosaki
If you have lived under a rock the last twenty years or so, you may not be familiar with Robert Kiyosaki. He is the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, and created a massive training company around that title as well. I received this book from someone who was trying to sell me on joining their MLM (Multi Level Marketing) company. If you don’t know what MLM is, I again, want to tell you to get out from under the rock.Some people call it Direct Marketing. But it is selling products through a specific brand like a Herbalife, Amway, Beachbody, etc. to name a few of the bigger ones. The process for MLM is where a person sells the products to people they know in their circles, and then from there they build a team of people doing it. As you build a team within their organization you earn money from all of the sales the people on your team make, in addition to your own. I digress.
This book is somewhat of a promotion of this type of business. A business that I personally have no desire to be in. I don’t have a problem with the business model, I just don’t want to be in it. However, I am thankful for the book.Robert Kiyosaki is really successful and in the book he is promoting the MLM business, but this book has a whole lot of practical advice on why it is important for everybody to start some kind of business. Whether it is real estate, selling products, or something else. Everyone should be involved in their full time job and a part-time job doing something that could eventually grow into something bigger.
- Be Obsessed or Be Average; author Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone is a best-selling author and one of the top influencers on all social media platforms. He is everywhere. He has two primary goals. First he is a sales trainer and his company sells sales training. Secondly, he has built a huge company where he owns over 5,000 apartments around the country. The reason this book was so impactful is Grant is probably the best motivator I have ever listened to or read. He will make you think bigger and differently than you have ever thought before.This book, is somewhat of continuation of his 10X book. However, you don’t need to have read the 10X book before you read this one. Although I read the hard copy version, I would encourage you to buy the audible or audio version of this book. Grant has a way of reading his books like no other person can. He will get you motivated.
- Rejection Proof: How to Beat Fear and Become Invincible, author: Jia Jiang
After I read this book, I immediately was more motivated to go out and do some of the things I was most fearful of. I picked up the phone and called a CEO that had been putting me off. I wasn’t scared of the CEO, or at least, I would have told you I wasn’t. However, what is the worst that can happen. There is no growth without a little fear, hesitation, and some discomfort, but that is also where the growth and success exists as well. Read this book and you will learn how to overcome your fear. This was one of the best books I have read in a long time about sales and it isn’t even a sales book, but it is.
- Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter, author: Scott Adams (Dilbert creator). Scott Adams is the creator of the world-famous comic strip Dilbert. But Adams is not only a cartoonist, but he is a great writer. Most of his books are around this topic of persuasion and how we can have more influence. In this book, he talks about why he was one of the first to predict that Donald Trump would win the Presidential election in 2016. He made this prediction because of Donald Trump’s ability to persuade and convince people. This book is well written and is truly a lesson on how you can be more persuasive and convincing and grab attention in todays complex and noisy world.
- Nudge: Improving Decision about Health, Wealth, and Happiness; Author: Richard Thaler. This book is about how every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. The authors show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. The author’s research show us that when things are presented in a certain way, we can change the buying patterns for people. These little nuances can help everyone become healthier and even wealthier. Richard Thaler also won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2017 for his work around behavioral economics.
- Anti Cancer; A new Way of Life; author: David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph. This book chronicles the story about how the author was diagnosed with brain cancer and the steps he took to fight and ultimately beat cancer. He tells us his story, but also provides the readers his playbook, based on his success and his research, on what we can all do to not only fight cancer, but prevent it. The biggest thing I learned was that a few changes in my diet could prevent me from ever having to deal with this.
- Made to Stick; Why Some Ideas Survive and others Die; authors: Chip and Dan Heath. In typical Heath brothers fashion, this book is peppered with lots of great research and support to back up their claims and the processes they suggest. Through this process they outline several steps we can all take to come up with and deliver messages that stick with our audience. Whether you are a parent trying to get a message to stick with your child, to a manager trying to get adoption of a new process. This book tells you how to communicate in a way that gets things to stick.
- The Thomas Sowell Reader; Author Thomas Sowell. Sowell is an American economist, turned social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. This book is a collection of the authors columns that have been syndicated in Newspapers for the last forty years, and our still being distributed. Sowell’s opinions on everything from race, religion, politics, to every other hot button topic you hear about everyday is refreshing. The way he breaks down and communicates in his writings his arguments on all of these topics will challenge you to think about the topic differently, regardless of what side of the argument you are on. He believes in personal responsibility and that government should not be in our lives as much as they are. Yes, he would be labeled as a conservative on many of his views. However, I consider most of his arguments to be just very practical and straightforward.
- Steal Like an Artist; 10 Things Nobody Told you about Being Creative; author: Austin Kleon. This book is the shortest read on the list. The book is actually really tiny, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t impactful. The information in the book, the quotes, the ideas the author throws out will really get you thinking about how you can get your creative juices flowing. In addition, the author reminds you that everything we create is some form of a copy of something else. Nothing is original. We all have to start from something. And he makes you feel good about how you go about creating and developing your material in whatever it is that you do. This book isn’t only for people who currently do work that must be created, this is for someone who would like to be more creative. This book will show you how to do it.
I hope you pick up a few of the books that I have recommended here. When it comes to reading, I have learned that I must seek out other people’s opinions on books and get recommendations. Most people won’t recommend a bad book. I won’t, unless I think it will help someone based on whatever it is they are dealing with and working through.
But that is the point, many of the books I recommend and say are my best. May only have been the best, because of what I was doing at the time I read them. Of the four hundred books I have read, some of them, if I read them again today, I might be looking at them through a whole different set of eyes based on my perspective now. And this list could be a totally different list.
My only advice to you is this. Become a reader. Start finding books or even listening to books. It will change your life. It has mine.
To your success and your future.