9 Books You Need to ReadMay 03, 2021
When I was in high school and in college, I hated reading. I especially hated reading and then having to create a report.
Now, I read for pleasure. I read because I want to learn something, and I don't have to take a test or present a report.
I have done a lot of reading over the last several years, and I have picked out nine books that have really impacted my life. This is not an exhaustive list. There are many books that impacted my life in a positive way that is not on the list, but I wanted to keep it to nine. These are not in any particular order.
Also, I am leaving the sacred texts off the list, the Bible, the Quran, or whatever your religious text is. They're not on this list, because in my opinion, that is automatic. You should read your sacred text every single day. It should be a top priority.
(All links are affiliate links, which means should you purchase any book using that link, I will receive a small commission from Amazon. This does not affect the price you pay.)
For years, I fought the idea of the "early bird gets the worm", getting up before the sunrise. I was like, "y'all are crazy!"
And then someone recommended The 5AM Club and I was like, "oh my gosh! Seriously? I'm going to read a book about getting up at 5 am?". I can tell you what the impact has had on me after reading this book because on February 4, 2020, I joined the 5 am Club. And I can tell you that this book, and getting up at 5 am has fundamentally changed me as a human being and improve my productivity.
This book is not one of those theory books. It is written like a parable. It's got a nice story. And it really drives the point home.
This book should be called Think, Go Do and Grow Rich, because you really can't just think and have wealth pour into your life. It doesn't work that way. This is a fascinating book.
I think I've read it four times and have listened to the audiobook twice. If you haven't read it, go read it. If you haven't read it in a while, go read it again today.
The most powerful part of the book for me is the story about stopping three feet from gold. Oh my goodness, every time I get down about my business, which doesn't happen very often anymore and I would think about quitting, that maybe this isn't going to work out, I would remember the story of stopping three feet from gold and that keeps me going.
Kathie Lee has a quote that I love: "If you have a pulse, you have a purpose."
So if you're struggling and wondering, "why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing from day to day, hour to hour?", if you are breathing, if your heart is beating, you have a purpose. Now I don't know what that is. And you may not know what that is. But you need to know that's a fundamental truth. If you have a pulse, you have a purpose. \
As a productivity expert, I deal with this all the time with my clients and people on social media. You need sleep, seven to nine hours every single night. This will tell you all the research on neuroscience that proves that your body needs sleep. Your body is doing so much work during its sleep that you need to prioritize it.
Everybody looks at Gary Vaynerchuk and how he works so many hours, but he still prioritizes sleep and gets eight hours of sleep every night. You need to get your sleep.\
We are inundated with so many distractions and so much noise in our world today. It could be your technology. It could be other people. But you really can't do your really best work unless you're doing deep work. And deep work is all about the silence. It's about being quiet. It's about being undistracted.
I've read Deep Work twice and I've listened to it once and am listening to it a 2nd time.
Digital Minimalism is a book about reducing your dependency on technology. Mr. Newport has a TED talk called, Why You Should Quit Social Media. It is possible to succeed in life and not be on social media. Cal Newport is not on social media. And guess what? He's written six best-selling books. And he's not doing too bad financially. So you don't have to be on social media.
There are two groups of people in the world: givers and takers. And you don't have to read the book to know if you're a giver or a taker. And you don't have to read a book to know if the people you hang around are givers and takers.
Takers energy vampires all they want is to do is take, take, take, take. They don't want to help anyone. They are just takers.
Givers tend to be philanthropic. They want to help people. Are you a giver or a taker? Now there's more to the book than the theory of givers and takers, so go read Adam Grants' book.
We are not breathing correctly. Most human beings are not breathing correctly. What I mean is if you're breathing predominantly through your mouth, you are not breathing correctly according to science.
When you breathe in through your mouth, the air is not filtered. When you breathe in through your nose, the air is not only filtered but it's also humidified and is filtered. It's also warmed if you're living in a cold environment so when you breathe through your nose before that breath hits your lungs, it is warmed.
If you have trouble snoring, tape your mouth shut with medical tape, and you'll be amazed at how you don't snore as much. I can tell this from firsthand experience. My wife snores, when she uses the tape, she doesn't snore.
The biggest takeaway I got from this book is you don't have to sit in the lotus position and say "ooom" to meditate. I did not know that. If you're in the shower, that can be a form of meditation. If you're out on a walk or a bike ride and you're not listening to a podcast, like The Mark Struczewski Podcast, or you're not listening to music or an audiobook, that could be a form of meditation because you're fully present. You're hearing the wind blow through the trees, you're hearing the birds chirp. That is a form of meditation. I did not know that that I just thought that meditation was just sitting in a lotus position saying "ooom".
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