If you think of it, communication is like a series of worm holes. It brings the lives of people from around the world, from the past, from the future, and even from people not in the world to you. While videos are good forms of communication, books and other forms of the written word are far more timeless and incorporates more people’s lives to a point where many videos are based off these books. This is why you should always find books to read.
So since books hold people’s stories, they hold stories of successful and interesting people. In a previous post I have mentioned The Total Money Makeover and how this book inspired me to start securing my financial future. This is just one of many books that inspired me to try many things, including writing, investing, and even chasing my PhD. While many books can inspire you personally I will review some books to read (aside from The Total Money Makeover). I hope they inspire you as they have inspired me.
While no one can read everything Amazon Kindle Unlimited can bring you close to it. Using the Kindle app on any device with Kindle Unlimited gives you access to millions of books to read. And not just eBooks, but audiobooks, and popular magazines. It is like Netflix for bookies assuming Netflix increased the number of titles it has by a hundred.
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The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level: by Gay Hendricks
Past the interesting history and sciences, The Big Leap states that the limits we place upon ourselves are ridiculous and how these limits prevent us from taking “the big leap.” Gay Hendricks explains that most of our fears are self-imposed and that we very frequently sabotage ourselves. This is because we put limits on our own happiness. When we feel like we are in a good relationship, we mess it up. If we like our job, we mess it up. When we have a good life we mess it up. He explains how to prevent forming limits and instead, try to break them.
Most importantly, Gay Hendricks states that you must feel “in the zone” and that you must enjoy your work in order to be able to achieve greatness in your work. I recommend this as one of many books to read if you plan to make a large step in life.
The First 90 Days: by Michael Watkins
This is more like an essay so it may be pushing the definition of books to read, but its contents are rich. Ever since history started transitions into new positions, especially those that require leadership, had limited production.
The First 90 Days explains how the first few months of any leadership position requires you to prove your worth. Sometimes this leads to uprooting previously established roots. Many of the greatest people say no one’s efforts are worth anything until well after they started.
I highly recommend you start reading this book if you are starting a new position, or a business, especially a business. This will make the transition easier.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World: by William H. McRaven
Who better to explain discipline and effort than a US Navy Seal? William McRaven explains how to start becoming disciplined by making your bed. The reason for this is because your mindset will change when you complete a task, especially in the morning. I understand his philosophy as I try to finish something each day, usually by cooking.
Since discipline is a desired trait, the most relevant lesson from his book is “the sugar cookie.” This is a common way of forming discipline in the US Navy Seals. I will not spoil the lesson, but the lesson behind this was taught to me at first by my best mentor. However, William McRaven explained it so well I was able to explain it to one of my students. I do not know if it helped, but he seemed intrigued in the moment, and he seemed more confident in class.
I recommend this book to everyone. Everyone must build and maintain discipline, and understand its implications. If discipline can help Navy Seals conquer unimaginable horrors in this world, imagine what it can do for you. And the lesson behind the “sugar cookie” will be as relevant as humans are mortal (a little hint for the lesson).
How to Win Friends and Influence People: by Dale Carnegie
I know, you are probably thinking “I don’t need to influence people, or make them feel good, my charm can win anyone.” Really? Have you ever openly criticized anyone? Flattered them? Held yourself higher than anyone? All of these can kill any chance you have of making a pitch or a sale. If you want to do well at your job or business you need to destroy these habits.
I very highly doubt you lived your life without doing at least one of those three, and those are just some of the points that Dale Carnegie mentions that turn people off and away from you. He explains how to avoid these habits and how to influence people instead.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!: by Robert T. Kiyosaki
I very recently read this book and it is already one of the most highly recommended among my books to read. Many business advisors recommend reading it and I can see why. This one, like Dave Ramsey’s works, will likely offend you. Robert T. Kiyosaki explains how he had two dads, (more like role models, but one was his literal dad). One was educated, hard working, does everything the world said, AND POOR. The other did not even finish high school, worked hard, and instead went against the grain of the world, AND HE IS THE RICH ONE.
Prepare for more surprises. This book will turn the world upside down. It starts with how people get angry at the world with no prevail and are very frequently at the mercy of their employers. It explains how to make good deals, how making more income does not matter (remember that?), how Robin Hood mentality is actually downgrading the poor and middle-class, and how the rich play by a different set of rules (not illegal ones).
This is quite a load to bear, but he properly explains how the rich become rich. By buying assets and not liabilities. Many of the lessons from this book can be seen in some of my posts. In the last part he mentioned some of his heroes. For one of them I say push the politics aside from that or try to see it from purely his perspective.
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration: by Ed Catmull
Ed Catmull was the president of a very influential company. You can probably guess which company by the cover. Mr. Catmull starts with his own history and his work with George Lucas on Star Wars. Later he explained some failures in the company and his feeling of desperation. I knew a bit about the origins of Pixar, but I had no idea of the involvement Steve Jobs had.
In this book Mr. Catmull talks about how to employ and treat employees. He clearly believes in treating his employees well (a policy I agree with). This was to keep the best people around. And he strongly showed that the best people produce the best projects.
He explains more on how he treats his employees, but the most interesting part I read was when he talked about the back and forth with his employees and their feedback. This led to many changes in projects. Some were as famous as changing Woody from a depose to a more likable character. However, some changes were very subtle like the argument scene between Mr. and Mrs. Incredible in the Incredibles. At first the scene was uncomfortable to some people, they said the scene is near perfect, but something needs to change. That subtle change made this scene. To understand it, I highly recommend reading this book.
I recommend this book to people who want to start a company so they understand who best to hire. This book also explains the process of creativity and would be very useful to anyone leaning towards developing creative content.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: by Stephen R. Covey
The title pretty much says it all. Ok, that’s the review.
Just kidding. I will not spoil the lessons and let you absorb these seven habits. The essentials are to be efficient, communicative, and to seek constant improvement. This is not a surprise for most people but the specifics can be helpful. Stephen R. Covey’s words can help motivate you to make these habits your habits too.
This is a book I very highly recommend that everyone read. Who does not want to be a more effective person after all?
The Passage: by Justin Cronin
Those who have looked at this book, you are not mistaken, this is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel. This may be weird to see on a list of books to read to better secure your financial future. But I see that it is.
For my first point, I should mention, while Justin Cronin wrote this book very well and it is a good read, you do not have to read specifically this book. Just read something fictional and more for entertainment. This separates the educational and inspirational books. This is required because as you read the books above, some of the messages are a bit repetitive. This is expected as there is one general truth to forging your wealth: think outside the box and be tenacious. I find that if I constantly read educational and inspirational books I would quickly burnout.
Use Entertainment As Inspiration
For my second point, while books for entertainment are not “inspirational books” who said books for entertainment could not inspire anything? Before I read The Passage I was writing a post-apocalyptic novel, at first about zombies, and later changed to vampires thanks to advice from my girlfriend at the time who later became my wife.
I have not heard of many books that were post-apocalyptic vampire novels. Many vampire, or post-apocalyptic, but not both. But the reason I never heard of them was because I never looked. The Passage was one of the many in that genre and hands down one of my favorite novels. In fact, its one of the only non-child books I reread. Just to be clear, I have not read Harry Potter more than once, but I read The Passage twice, that is how good the book is to me.
I enjoyed the concepts of the book including starting pre-apocalypse in the timeline, the complication of the “vampires,” and some other concepts. In recent years I wrote more of my novel with some inspiration from The Passage. While I do not believe I will be publishing it anytime in the very near future, I do want to publish it and two other books as a trilogy at least before my life ends. It’s one of those things I like the idea of, but I happily allow life to interrupt.
Creativity Example That Could Be Yours
You can be inspired to be creative from creative works, QUALITY creative works. And sometimes a brilliant idea can grow from these seeds. For instance, another idea I had came from The Dresden Files and My Hero Academia (the last one is a manga, but you still have to read it so I will include it, sue me). From these two I thought of an idea about a mystery/thriller series in which occurs in a world where traits that could be called “super powers” are common place.
If you like that idea, it’s yours to work off, I will not accuse you of stealing any ideas nor can I do anything about it (plus I don’t think I am the first to come up with a fictional idea of this). The reason why is because many of these creative works require certain subtleties to be executed properly. Read Creativity Inc. to see a well illustrated example.
Even if you publish this idea, very subtle changes will make two different stories altogether. For instance, should this novel take place in the past around World War II? The Cold War? Present? Future? Earth even? There are even more details that can make creative works different. Creative works require these subtleties to become works of art. Even if you make a work of art, that does not mean I cannot make a similar work of art. And who knows maybe your own work will inspire me. And for all I know I may never get around to my superhero mystery/thriller idea. Make ideas from the inspiration found in stories to forge your wealth.