In this article, I’ll introduce you to 7 books that have changed my life in one way or another. These books have mostly impacted my way of thinking and therefore, also changed the actions that I’ve taken in my life.
1. No Excuses By Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy has had a significant impact on my life. In his book No Excuses, Brian talks about the power of self-discipline.
Here is a quote from Brian that always echoes in my mind when I’m tired; “successful people do, what they have to do, whether they feel like it or not.”
That’s the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people. It’s not about talent, or luck – even though these factors play a role. In the end, it’s effort and the willingness to go beyond your comfort zone that will determine your success.
In Brians video about the 5 reasons why most don’t become wealthy, he talks about the importance of delaying gratification.
I like books that give you a realistic mindset. Yes, positive thinking is great. But realists are not afraid to look at the hard facts of life. They aren’t afraid of work. Realists are willing to experience short-term pain for long-term pleasure.
When you read no excuses, you’ll get motivated to practice self-discipline. You’ll also feel inspired to create habits that will take you closer to your goal.
Now, if you don’t have a goal, that’s where you need to start. Brian Tracy is a big advocate of goal setting and more specifically, writing down your goals. Because how are you supposed to hit a target that you can’t see?
Write down at least ten goals and then pick the one goal on the list that would give you the most satisfaction if achieved.
Once you’ve got your target, it’s time to achieve your goals. Make a list of 20 actions that will move you towards your goal. After that, prioritize after importance. For example, if you’re a blogger, your most important thing might be creating content.
After you’ve prioritized your list of goals and actions, it’s time for no excuses. Here is where it’s important for you to remind yourself of why you are doing what you’re doing.
Also, don’t delay, move quickly. If you’re faced with a blank screen as a writer – make sure to get the first few words out quickly. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about moving forward. Because as the law of motion says, “things in motion, tends to stay in motion.”Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it. Click To Tweet
You will stay in motion, as long as you let yourself start. Now, the law of motion states that this effect can be interrupted if the object gets interrupted. So what this means is that you might have to lock yourself in a room to avoid outside distractions. Turn off you TV, telephone and tell your spouse or co-workers that you need to focus and therefore be alone right now.
When you practice self-discipline, you are also going to feel better about yourself. Your self-esteem will increase. You will have more respect for yourself and your time because you know that you are an action taker. You are a producer and your time is valuable.
Remember that lack of self-discipline is your biggest enemy to success. You can pick up the book here if you want to learn more about the book No Excuses.
2. Mastery By Robert Greene
Robert Greene is a brilliant author. The ideas in his books always contain a story. A story of a historical event that shaped someone’s life. In the book Mastery, Robert goes into what it takes to become a master.
When you read this book, you’ll get a deeper understanding of what it takes to become great in your field. To master something, you have to go through three phases.
The first phase is the apprenticeship phase. This is when you are learning from a mentor with experience and expertise.
You don’t necessarily have to meet the mentor in real life even though it can be powerful. Books, audio programs or videos can work as mentors as well. When you’re in this first phase, you’re an observer.
In phase two, however, you become active. Now you start to practice what you’ve learned in phase 1. Here is the phase where you might fail. You might experience discomfort and resistance when you are performing your craft.
But you slowly begin to get a natural feel for your work as you are performing the different tasks associated with it.
In phase number three, you become a master. This is when you’ve practiced your craft enough for it to be a natural part of who you are. You can perform your work with ease, and you don’t feel the same resistance that you perhaps felt in phase number one or two.
It’s important to realize that the road to mastery is never quick. According to studies, it takes roughly 10 000 hours to become a master.
That’s perhaps a lot longer than some people are willing to endure. Because let’s face it. You will most likely face resistance. The passion that you had, in the beginning, might fade away after a while. But I believe that the love for your craft will return as long as you are persistent.
Now, what should you master in the first place? That’s a tough question that only you can answer. In the book, Robert recommends that one looks to his or her childhood.
Were there any patterns of activities that you enjoyed back then? It’s also very likely that you were naturally good at the things you enjoyed doing.
Also, look at things you weren’t good at or didn’t enjoy. That will give you an indication of a road that you perhaps shouldn’t follow. Develop your strengths. And hopefully, your strength will be aligned with your passion.
If you haven’t read Mastery, but would like to, you can get a copy of the book here.
3. How To Win Friends and Influence People By Dale Carnegie
This book is old, published in 1936. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still relevant. What Dale Carnegie talks about in the book are laws of human nature. I believe that this book will not only increase your popularity, but you’ll also increase your earning power.
Here are some of the fundamental principles in this book:
Listen to others and be interested. There is no better way to show respect than to listen to what another person is saying. Just like few things are as disrespectful as interrupting another person, only to talk about oneself.
Encourage people to talk about themselves. I promise you that their favorite subject to talk about is themselves and their interests. If you allow them to talk about themselves, they will like you. There’s a saying that goes, To become interesting, you first have to become interested.
Don’t complain or criticize other people. Nobody likes to be blamed for something. If you criticize people, they will defend themselves, or they will at least resent you.
You might not be aware of the fact that they resent you, but you’ll most likely have secret enemies if you go around and condemn other people.
Now, let’s say you have to change someone’s behavior. For example, if an employee makes a mistake, you can’t just let it be since he might repeat it otherwise. In the book, Dale talks about the fact that you should talk about your own mistake first. Here is one example of smoothly telling someone that they’ve done something wrong:
You know what Mike, I did the same thing. It’s hard to know how to do it since [reason]. Next time, can you do like this instead?
Or you might say:
I’m sorry Mike; it’s my mistake. I did not do a good job at explaining this beforehand. Here’s how you do it next time.
Give sincere appreciation. People like to be appreciated. Now, it needs to be genuine appreciation. It’s recommended that you always praise their action and not who they are. If you praise who they are, their self-image might be affected if they make a mistake later on.
By praising their action, however, you are just praising something that they did well. It will also be received as more authentic. So for example, here’s the better way of showing appreciation:
I just wanted to drop by and say thank you. I’m very pleased with the result of X. I especially liked the [give details].
The book also covers how to arouse an eager want in another person. It’s very powerful to have a motivated member of your team. But to get them motivated, you must first find out what motivates them. A salesperson might be motivated by money while another employee might be motivated by a special cause or a need to feel significant. Whatever their needs are, find it and explain your projects in a way that meets their desire.
The book goes into so much more that I can’t cover in this post. For example, how to make another person feel important as well as the best way to win an argument. If you want to pick up your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People, simply click here.
4. Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki
What is the difference between the rich and the poor? The answer is that the rich don’t work for money, they let money work for them. At least according to Robert. Now, if you think about it, I believe that you will find it to be true.
Because let’s face it, you are very limited if you only exchange your time for money. It’s not scalable since the only way to get more money is to work more hours – and there are only so many hours in a day.
However, you can easily scale if you are leveraging other people or other people’s money. Business is a perfect example of leveraging other people.
Let’s take our publishing company as an example. We often hire writers to write our books, and we can also hire virtual assistants to manage parts of the business. We are not the business as is the case with someone who is self-employed.
In Rich Dad Poor Dad, I discovered the importance of creating assets. His definition of an asset is something that brings you money. For example, you are in possession of an asset if you’re renting out an apartment that brings in a positive cash flow.
A liability, however, is something that costs you money every month. Robert is famous for his saying that “your home is not an asset.” Your home costs you money while an asset is supposed to give you money.
Get the book here if you want to learn more about Rich Dad Poor Dad.
5. A New Earth By Eckhart Tolle
Not really a book that you can relate to business, or can you? In A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, you’ll discover how the ego is creating suffering in our lives. And you’re ego can definitely get in the way in business.
For example, your ego might feel a need to be right. How many times are you wrong in business? I remember that I heard some statistics – don’t quote me on the numbers – but it was something like:
Entrepreneurs make wrong decisions 70% of the time. But the remaining 30% that do they get correct will pay for their mistakes and ultimately bring in the profits.
Therefore, this book can be related to business if you so choose. Now, how can you break free from the prison of your ego? Well, Eckhart says that the key is to become aware. More specifically; becoming conscious of your thoughts and feelings.
Once you are aware, you have ultimate power. Because now you can choose to let it go or continue indulge in the suffering. It’s, of course, often easier to indulge in the suffering than it is to let it go.
But there is tremendous power in acceptance. While other’s freak out, you’ll be able to stay calm and handle the situation. Let’s end number 5 with some wise words from Eckhart Tolle:The past has no power over the present moment Click To Tweet
This book is a must-read in my opinion. You can buy A New Earth here.
6. Atlas Shrugged By Ayn Rand
Probably one of the most controversial books ever written. Some people hate it while other’s love it. Even though the opinions of the book differentiate – I think everyone can agree upon the fact that you won’t leave this book without being impacted in some way.
This book is a fiction book. But it contains philosophical messages. One message is that money is not the root of all evil. Here is a part of a famous speech within the book:
The book talks about the fact that there are producers and there are looters in this world. Producers are people who offer goods or services through voluntary trade. So, for example, a janitor is a producer since he’s trading is service for money. He’s producing value by working.
The looters, however, always want to take more than they produce. They want to benefit from other people’s effort without bringing anything to the table.
If you read the book, you can tell that Ayn Rand is a capitalist. Born in Soviet Russia, she watched with despise how the government stole her father’s business. That’s when her passion for capitalism begun.
The premise of the book is that effort and production should be rewarded, not punished. One way that the current system is punishing production is by having high taxes and regulations.
Now someone might be thinking: But what if we lower the taxes for corporations. The people at the top will just become richer and richer and keep all the money to themselves.
I doubt it; Warren Buffett, for example, is going to give away 99% of his fortune once he dies. Producers also love to produce. That means that they will create more work for others which will benefit the whole economy.
If you want to read this fictional story of Dagny Taggart who runs a railroad company, you pick up your copy here.
7. 4-Hour Work Week By Tim Ferriss
I believe that the title of the book can be a little bit misleading. The reason is that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as the 4-hour work week when you’re starting out. Some people might have been lucky, but for the majority of individuals – it takes both time and effort to start a profitable business.
But the book does bring out some excellent points. And I do believe that there is such a thing as the 4-hour work week once you’ve got a system in place. Tim talks a lot about automation and adding virtual assistants to your system.
So the essence of the book is to leverage other people’s time as well as software to automate your business.
Tim also opened my eyes to the fact one dollar is worth a lot more in the Philippines than in the U.S. That’s why he’s a big advocate of hiring people overseas to get more out of your money.
If you want to read more about the 4-hour work week, you can buy the book here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope that you benefited from it and that you got some new tips for great books to read.