31 Mar 5 Books You Have to Read
A couple years ago I could count on one hand the amount of books I had willingly read. Now I try to read at least an hour every day and can truly say reading has changed my life. I get a lot of people asking me for recommendations, so I thought I would write an article on my top five most influential books. Each book has had a significant impact on me in its own way and I can’t recommend them enough. I have included links on both Amazon and Book Depository (Book Depository is great with its free shipping if you live outside of the US) if you want to get your hands on any of them.
As a Man Thinketh – By James Allen (1903)
Originally a literary essay, you will find yourself wanting to re-read ‘As a Man Thinketh due to its small size and power of its ideas. It reads very easily despite being 113 years old! The overall theme of the book is that we are all the sum total of our thoughts and that “man is literally what he thinks”. It discusses the effect this very idea has on our character, circumstances, health, purpose, achievements and vision. This had been recommended by more than a few people before I actually went and found it. But after I did, my constant desire to re-read it and find something new every time is why I love it. It’s quite small, but having a physical copy to re-read when desired is really beneficial. It’s the first book I recommend to anyone.
“He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure”
How to Win Friends & Influence People – Dale Carnegie (1916)
This book recently surpassed 80 years in publishing and is one of the best-selling books of all time. Its principles are timeless and I recommend this book to everyone no matter what you do, if you deal with people this is a must read. The main lessons I learnt from this book were the art of building beneficial relationships and communicating effectively to get your desired outcome. All of the practical information is backed by easy to understand examples that clarify how they work and how to apply them. I have never read a book and been able to apply so much information so quickly – I literally applied the information I learnt in this book the very day I read it.
All of the practical information is backed by easy to understand examples that clarify how they work and how to apply them. I have never read a book and been able to apply so much information so quickly – I literally applied the information I learnt in this book the very day I read it.
You can get this book on Kindle for around $1usd on both Amazon and iTunes.
“The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.”
Think & Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill (First Published 1937)
The title can be slightly misleading – don’t let it put you off. I originally held off from purchasing this book for a while because I thought it was all about making money, man was I wrong. The riches talked about are far more than dollars and cents. The book is based upon a couple decades of personal achievement research from Hill after he interviewed and studied some of the most successful people in the world: Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and John D Rockefeller. Hill presented everything he learnt in his own steps of success in this book.
The main lesson I learnt from ‘Think and Grow Rich’ was how important it is to have an unshakable belief in yourself and desire to achieve whatever you set out to do. When you create those, you cannot help but achieve what you set out to do. This book is still hugely relevant despite being old in years and there are endless testimonies of people who claim this book single-handedly changed their life.
“The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge”
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work – Shawn Achor
I found this book via his TED Talk (linked below) and it is my favourite book of 2016 so far. Achor, a Harvard researcher and lecturer, has proven that success is fueled by happiness, not the other way round as often believed. Achor has a tonne of research on positive psychology to back this up and every part of it is extremely fascinating. I’m constantly referencing parts of this book to the people I work with.
The 7 principles taught in the book can all easily be applied to everyday life as well the workplace through the practical tips provided. This book is an absolute goldmine if you struggle with satisfaction, stress and/or a heavy workload in your job. We each have the ability to create a higher level of satisfaction in our life if we choose and we all have a lot more control than we think. This book can really alter your overall happiness for the better.
TED Talk – THE HAPPY SECRET TO BETTER WORK
“the more you believe in your own ability to succeed, the more likely it is that you will”
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol Dweck
This book has had a lasting effect on everything I do. Whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, I think back to what I learnt in this book. Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, argues that success isn’t based on ability, it’s whether we adopt a fixed or growth mindset. If we believe our abilities and intelligence are fixed, we never work to improve them. If we believe our abilities and intelligence can improve, we continue to push ourselves even when adversity strikes because we know we know we are constantly learning and growing.
As soon as you begin reading this book, you will realise fairly quickly which mindset you have. The best thing is, we each have the ability to change it. This book can help anyone whether it’s with raising kids, studying, sports, relationships or setting and achieving goals. If you want to achieve more yourself or you want to help other people, this is a must read.
“No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment”