This year my goal was to read 30 books in 12 months. I actually managed to read 21 books and found that I had started a great new habit of reading every morning at the beginning of the year. I wanted to maximize my time so I decided to read whenever I was travelling or driving, listening to an audiobook on Audible or reading while on the Tube.
But one problem I have is that sometimes when I read a book I don’t truly understand the concept that I’ve read so I need to re-read the chapter or sometimes the whole book to comprehend it better.
At different stages of our lives I think we read different books and it depends on where we are in that particular moment. The books that I’ve written about here are all in different areas that I want to improve in. So here goes – with my list of the top ten books I’ve read this year in no particular order.
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind; Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth by T. Harv Eker.
This is a great book if you want to improve how you think about money. It really opened my eyes to different ideas and concepts about energy and how money works. If you want to improve your financial situation this is a great book to understand so much more. The book puts you in the right frame of mind to succeed in the financial realm. I read this book in January 2018. In the December prior to this I had read Money: Know More, Make More, Give More by Rob Moore, another great read on the subject. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind was the perfect follow up.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frankl.
A real eye opener for people who want to get a different perspective. It’s the story of the author’s survival in concentration camps during World Word II. The book is divided into two parts; in the first part he shares his experience of living in a concentration camp and in the second part he explains the psychological effects on the men and women who experienced this trauma and how life after that was affected.
We should all read something of this magnitude at least once a year. It teaches us how important it is to live with purpose and look for meaning in everything that we do. Even in situations that we think are ridiculous and unfair. I learned more about how our brain behaves and how we are wired as humans and I’ve actually I started re-reading it during this holiday season.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves” – Victor E. Frankl
- #Know The Truth; Why Knowing Who You Are Changes Everything by Gordana Biernat.
This book helped me understand more about my truth and helped me with my low self-esteem as well. The author is a very empathetic and kind human being who cares about others, and in some way I could feel that she was speaking to me directly. There is a lot of wisdom in this book and a lot of things that we all tend to forget on a daily basis.
It’s an amazing book to remind ourselves to go back deep into our soul and to search for love, to look for compassion and to remind ourselves that we are all exquisite the way we are.
All our preconceived ideas about ourselves and others are just filters that society, our parents and culture have imposed on us and brainwashed us with. Here are some of my favourite parts: –
“You are perfect as you are. Stop fixing yourself. Just figure out what you love to do and concentrate on doing more of that. When you focus entirely on your strengths, the rest magically takes care of itself because where attention goes, energy flows.”
“Nothing needs to be found. I do not need to become anything. I already am. All I have to do is find my way of expressing what I am.”
“Success is not a question of how much power or money you have acquired. It is a question of how satisfied you are with WHO YOU ARE.”
― Gordana Biernat
- Power vs Force by David R. Hawkins
This is the most significant book I’ve read in my lifetime. It opened my eyes to consciousness, the level of consciousness I have, and I have undoubtedly become more aware of different energies and people around me.
Every decision we make, every action we take is driven by our individual level of consciousness. This book had a profound impact on how I see other people and how I respond. If somebody tells me that I’m an idiot, I don’t get offended anymore because I understand that I’m an idiot from their level of consciousness.
Dr David R Hawkins has developed a map of consciousness that starts from zero and goes to 1000. According to his consciousness research, Dr Hawkins states that anything that is below the 200 level of consciousness is negative, false, weak and will drag you down. It’s like the saying ‘show me who your friends are and I will show you your future’.
Power vs Force insisted I learn more about enlightenment and avoid at all cost the things, people and places that fall below the critical level of 200, because they weaken us and they lower our level of consciousness. At the same time we have to align ourselves with everything that is positive, truly empowering and sustaining.
Another valuable lesson was the difference between power and force. The government uses force on people to achieve their goals. When we use force we can’t really achieve sustainable growth. Power is quiet and it doesn’t require somebody to explain why and what. This concept applies equally to relationships, friendships and how we can stand on the side of the truth.
“Everybody is like a magnet. You attract to yourself reflections of that which you are. “David R Hawkins
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
This book wakes you up and reminds you that we have to fight against ‘Resistance’. It helped me understand that we have two lives, the life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands ‘Resistance’. This was the first line in the book and it hooked me.
Steven explains why we have a tendency to avoid doing some things and that we need to understand this and overcome it. I took so many nuggets from this text that remind me every time I don’t do the work, every time I procrastinate that it’s ‘Resistance’ calling.
The War of Art is for those that want the truth; Pressfield doesn’t sugar coat things. He doesn’t tell us in a nice way to work on our craft. He tells us how it is.
My favourite points from the book: –
“The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got. The professional must be alert for this counterattack. Be wary at the end. Don’t open that bag of wind.”
“Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against true healing. We all need it. But it has nothing to do with doing our work and it can be a colossal exercise in Resistance. Resistance loves “healing.” Resistance knows that the more psychic energy we expend dredging and re-dredging the tired, boring injustices of our personal lives, the less juice we have to do our work.”
- This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin.
I like Seth’s work. His writing and his ideas are brilliant. This book forces us to think differently about marketing. With likes, retweets and clicks we get confused sometimes with what really matters. It’s hard staying focused because clients always pressure us to deliver numbers (likes and followers) because that’s the goal. Everybody is after the mass market but really the mass market is not the goal.
I agree with Seth and I always try to urge my clients to do work that matters and not to focus on ‘everybody’. This book reinforces the point that mass isn’t everything and influence will always win. This book reminded me we are all in the business of serving people; find the right people and changing people for the better.
Being proud about your work, about what you do and how you help people. At the heart of his approach is the big idea: Great marketers don’t use consumers to solve their company problem; they use marketing to solve other people’s problems. Don’t make noise, we have enough of that. Make the world better by doing what you are good at and never stop working on your craft.
This book is all of his other books combined into one. If you want to make a difference, if you want to learn new ideas, this is the book for you.
- The Ultimate Jim Rohn Library
This was a very long audio book, over 11 hours. This audio covers everything from personal development, career, business, communications and has so many golden nuggets within it.
I loved his down to earth approach, his humor made me laugh and I understand some ideas much more now. The way he communicates makes you think, his philosophical ideas are very practical and useful. I believe this audio book needs to be re-listened to and read every year because we need to remind ourselves of some simple yet powerful ideas.
I learned more about storytelling, developing my character and becoming the best version of me.
- Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay; A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship by Mira Kirshendaum.
This is a must read for anybody in a relationship or currently single. When I read it I had an ambivalent feeling about a relationship, so this helped me gain more clarity and make a decision.
I now feel like I understand why we behave in a certain way and why we are attracted to some people. It puts things in perspective and what I liked is it doesn’t really tell you what to do, it guides you with simple examples and questions. So this is a time to be super honest about yourself in the answers you give.
9. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
I listened to this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. It has amazing life lessons in the book, and again it doesn’t have strategies and how to achieve your goals, but it makes you understand how important it is to follow your heart and understand that the universe works in your favour.
A lot of people obviously will disagree, but I believe that there needs to be a balance between ‘dreaming’ and ‘hoping’ and then doing.
This book has different concepts of spirituality, some of which I agree with and some I don’t really know how I feel about. The lesson I learned from this book is that we need to focus on what we want to achieve and go after it.
- Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and Life by Grant Cardone.
This is a re-read and I believe it’s an important re-read. I attended Grant Cardone’s 10X tour this year and I decided to re-read it to remind myself and to sell myself on my services and products.
The biggest lesson I learned in this book is that you need to be completely unreasonable about your offering to the world. The number one person you need to sell to is yourself. If you are not sold on what you are offering you will be miserable. You will not sell anything to other people if you don’t believe in the product.
While there are some ideas here that I don’t agree with, like his negative view of meditation, I do agree with him on the sales aspects and getting my message across. I believe 10 minutes a day to meditate is essential, but I’m not looking for Grant’s help in meditating, I’m reading his books to learn how to become a better sales person and how to increase my sales.
I do highly recommend this book; it’s not a tactical book but you need to get your mentality right first. If you want a tactical book, Grant has other books that dive deeper into strategies and tactics.
There you have it. My top ten books for 2018.
Let me also share some of the rest of the books that I read that you might find interesting: –
The Four Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris
I Will Teach You to Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B Cialdini
The Art of Extraordinary Confidence; Your Ultimate Path to Love, Wealth and Freedom, by Azis Gazipura.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, by Ann Handley
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Joe Pulizzi
Selling The Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing, by Harry Beckwith
Building A Story Brand, by Donald Miller
Fanatical Prospecting, by Jeb Blount
Story Driven, by Bernadette Jiwa
There you have it, the whole list for 2018. Sometimes we read books and we see different authors have ideas that contradict. That’s because some ideas work for some people, some work for others. The key is to try them all and see what works for you. Now, there is a line between actually doing the work and understanding the concept.
I can say it doesn’t work but I might not have tried it or I might have executed something wrongly. So the key is to always read with an open mind and welcome new ideas. It’s having your undivided attention on the book and the idea.
Let’s make 2019 a great reading and executing year. My 2019 reading goal is again 30 books, but I truly need to comprehend and digest everything. I don’t want to rush a book for the sake of rushing it. I prefer to take it slower but achieve one of my major goals. It’s not about quantity, as they say, it’s about quality. There are some people that all they do is attend workshops, seminars and read books – but they are not moving forward. It’s not about just reading. It’s about reading-watching-listening and then implementing and seeing results.
Let me know your thoughts below.