My new year’s resolution this year was to read and blog more.
Every morning I wake up and read a page from ‘The Daily Stoic’. (I’ll put a link to that book at the bottom of this post)
I’ve always hated reading. I get distracted too easily by my surroundings, and a book bigger than 200 pages is intimidating.
However, much like kale, reading is good for me, so I force myself to do it… I’ve just realised whilst writing this that I’d rather eat a book than kale.
Where was I…
Warren Buffett was asked once what the key to success was and he raised his weathered hand and pointed towards of stack of new books.
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Now we’ve all got businesses to run, or jobs to do and it’s important to make time for your loved one’s so a book per month is do-able for everyone.
Below are 7 books to change your life, and I don’t say that lightly. Each book affected me in a way that made me change my actions, opinions or choices.
If you read my blog, we already have lots in common, so I know you’re going to love these too.
ADDED: I’ve put Amazon links in for each book to make them easier to find for you. Although you can feel free to get them from anywhere you like.
#1. 48 LAWS OF POWER by Robert Greene
Power is such a dirty word. It suggests foul-play after becoming synonymous with ruthless Politicians and the Corporate Elite. *Trump*… That’s my cough noise, let’s not get political here.
Power is control. Over your actions, your intentions and your problems.
We can sympathise with righteous characters in movies, even if they have to do bad things in power to get the job done.
This book outlines 48 laws of control to give you power and to ensure you’re staying respectful of those who have power over you. Your Boss/Your Wife etc – Although that’s practically the same thing… am I right guys? Am I right? Just kidding, I’m not married.
Like Law 4 ‘Always Say Less Than Necessary’ I’ll keep this brief. You need this book.
Each law is perfectly surrounded by historic examples and stories of war.
Unleash your inner Frank Underwood.
“Hunt or be hunted”
#2. THE 4 HOUR BODY by Tim Ferriss
I’m a recovering obese. Is that a thing? Well it is now.
Not many of you know this, but I used to be 23.5 st, or 329 lbs for the American readers. With the help of this book I lost over 100lbs.
Thennnn I put some of it back on again. So it’s an even 98 lbs so far. DAMN YOU DAIM CHEESECAKE, for being so delicious!
Don’t worry, I’m back in the gym.
Seriously though, this book is GOLD. If it’s all I read for the next year, I still wouldn’t be an expert by Christmas. It’s packed with incredible insight and easy-to-digest scientific data.
You don’t have to go as far as me, I tested my blood sugar levels after different foods to see which were optimal for fat burning and muscle mass retention.
My cupboard of supplements looks like a Walter White campervan, but it was worth it.
Nobody is happy being fat, I know because I’ve been there. Despite the facade they put on.
Whether it’s losing fat, or building muscle, or just looking for a healthier lifestyle… you need this book.
Sorry Slimming World, you’re wrong.
#3. REVOLUTION by Russell Brand
I can’t think of a more topical book to mention with what’s going on in the US right now. People are disillusioned, angry and scared.
Predictably, Russell’s book comments on the need for a Revolution. An overhaul of the corrupt political and economic powerhouses that govern our lives.
Banker bonuses still get rewarded during recessions. Fraud and corruption in politics sees nobody being prosecuted for their actions. How? Why?
This book takes you on an emotional journey that makes you angry, powerless and then resolute.
With the unrest we’re seeing globally right now, this is worth a read. I heard there were protests in my local town in the UK about the new US President. He’s not even our leader. It’s a different country.
Donald designed his own demise. He brought more attention to Politics than anyone ever has in history… but more eyes on you, means more judgement by default.
The minorities will always be the loudest, but it’s only a matter of time before they’re joined by others who support their message. Now that the light has been shined on the ridiculousness of a democratic system that serves nobody.
We even have a Prime Minister in the UK that nobody voted for. How did that happen?
Regardless of your personal views and mine, a revolution is coming, and it’ll be very very soon.
#4. THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield
Joe Rogan, colour commentator for the UFC and insanely productive podcaster has a stack of this one book in his office.
He gives one to all of his friends, and if you listen to his shows, you’ve heard him mention it over and over.
After hearing it brought up on every podcast for months, and how good it was, I had to own it.
I read mine on a beach in Lanzarote and got so hooked into it, I finished it in one sitting.
Thennnnn I stood up and realised I was indistinguishable from a lobster. The pesky sun had burnt my ginger-skin to a crisp… but it was worth it to read this book.
To get another one for the day I had to go up to the local ‘Book-Swap’ store just off the beach. I gave it in for and in return got a Jack Reacher novel, but I think it was the biggest mistake I’ve made in a foreign country.
That or falling off Brad’s motorised skateboard without travel insurance and having to duck-tape my foot in a make-shift cast for dinner that night.
If you’re a creative individual, you need this book more than air right now.
#5. THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY by Ryan Holiday
Okay, this is going to get dark, feel free to skip ahead to the funny bits. I’ll put a some funny lines in the other book suggestions.
I was on TV once and ended up getting cyber-bullied for being fat. The show was so popular that my 3-minute segment made me the talking point of the town, and it hit local newspapers.
I’m trying to leave that part of my life behind me, so I’d appreciate it if you don’t go looking for it and let it die. It’s nothing bad, just an arrogant teen trying to be funny for the camera. We all grow up.
The backlash locally was so strong that I felt like there was no escape and actually contemplated suicide. I remember crying in the bath-tub and leaving my parents a note before I moved to Oxford. It seemed like it would never stop. (I did get dressed before leaving by the way, in the time between the bathtub and the note writing… just to make that clear. Oxford isn’t a nudist town).
This book gave me perspective, focus and determination.
I know some of you may have the same feelings right now, or have had them in the past.
Infact, forget that, even if you’re completely happy with your life, this is still an amazing read.
It shows you that life’s obstacles aren’t to be feared, with an introduction to stoic thinking (it’s philosophical, not religious) you’ll be able to gain intense clarity over ANY problem or situation.
From experience I can tell you that if there’s one book I’d give to a friend, it’s this.
#6. I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH by Ramit Sethi
The title is like clickbait, he doesn’t teach you to be rich. He teaches you to re-define rich to be a comfortable lifestyle, as well as managing your finances.
This book was particularly important for me years ago to gain the confidence to go for a pay rise in my job at the time.
Ramit teaches you what you’re worth to a company, and how a simple request of wanting to grow inside someone’s business while achieving your goals of a mortgage/saving for a wedding is entirely possible.
Whether you have credit card debt that you need help managing, or you want to afford 2 holidays per year, this book outlines the formula needed to let you live your dreams.
Money isn’t what makes you rich, it’s the freedom that money can buy.
#7. TRICK OF THE MIND by Derren Brown
I have a confession to make. I never once went to the library whilst doing my University degree.
They can’t take it away now can they?
The book I credited as a resource in almost every module I did was this. It covers how to hypnotise people, NLP in sales as well as the psychology of creating magic.
My grandmother bought it for me from Sainsbury’s when I was 16 and I used it to hypnotise my friends in school and become the top store-card seller in Burton Menswear. I actually taught the method I was using to staff to help them sell more too.
For nostalgia sake, I’m buying this again to sit on my shelf as the original book was loaned to a friend and I never got it back.
Why do friends do that? Loan stuff and never give it back.
Anyway, you can’t have mine, because I don’t have one… so you’ll have to get your own.
100% worth it.
BONUS: THE DAILY STOIC
To close this off I thought I’d give you a bonus of what my daily ritual is.
Mason Curry has a book called ‘Daily Rituals’ in which he explains that all great minds have some form of routine in their lives.
For this year, every morning I wake up and read a page of this book. We’re only 32 days into the year so far, so don’t congratulate me yet.
I bore my girlfriend by reading it aloud, but it’s a great way to digest knowledge in small chunks. Giving you something to contemplate for that day.