Reading books is cool – They allow you to learn from other peoples’ mistakes and improve your life quality exponentially.
Yet there’s an abundance in non-fiction/self-improvement literature these days. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the never-ending supply of “must-have” books.
Here’s my personal top five that will dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Just five – that’s all.
These are ones that I keep returning to, the ones I’ve read front-to-back, multiple times. Five books I’m even considering buying hardback.
And I’m a cheapskate – trust me.
“I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,”
Category: Mindset, Productivity & Communication
This is probably the most practical, effective book on personal development you’ll ever read. The grandfather of all modern-day books that’ll make you 100% responsible for your life.
If you only read one book, pick this one. (Read notes at the end of this post first)
I return many times to it – now still. It talks about the inward-out personal growth based on character. It addresses topics like goal setting, productivity, time-management, visualization, relationships, communication, ethics, self-esteem and more in an elaborate manner.
A total package. There’s nothing I’ve found that’s quite like it. Maybe “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill but this one is much more practical (and better written) (and less ambiguous)
It’s the blueprint for personal (and interpersonal) effective living.
“Your brain serves you, not the other way around”
This book has introduced me to the workings of our brain (and psychology) and how we can use it to change how we think about ourself and our life. The way we see ourselves and the world around us will literally define our altitude in life. Mostly it’s not your potential that hold you back but your own damn mind.
Who needs enemies when you’ve got yourself, right?
He talks about visualization, self-image, belief systems, corrective feedback, aging and many more. It’s a total re-programming of your mind. (A bit comparable to “The Magic Of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz – but this one has a more scientific/reliable background)
Consider it the manual for your brain. It’s a mindset-builder.
“Men search freedom through challenge. Women search fullness through love”
It solved the question for me why I was lost in this world and how I could re-find myself. It also was the first book that showed me what women really want, why they test you (and nag). How I can further develop my skills to deal with the day-to-day struggles in life and lay the blueprint to become an autonomous, self-directed man.
It also expanded greatly on the polarity between men and women. How there are “feminine” and “masculine” poles in each relationship and how to manage those.
It’s a bit (too?) “spiritual” but in my eyes it is the foundation on becoming a man.
(If you’re looking for a book specifically on dating/attraction – “Models” by Mark Manson)
“Extraordinary results are determined by how narrow your focus is”
Category: Effectivity & Efficiency
Further it expands on the myths about willpower, “big thinking”, multitasking, balancing work-life and to-do lists.
Want to get more stuff done? This condensed book will teach you how.
Can’t get any better than that.
Although there are some prioritization and time-management principles present in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People already, I’ve found those insufficient to really focus on what matters.
“The leading cause of poorness is poor choices”
A complete guide on the differences between rich people and poor people. How they think, where they spend their money, how they generate income and much much more.
It goes into detail about the importance of business ownership. The tax advantages, how to avoid the trap of living a 9-5 paycheck-to-paycheck and “retire” young by making smarter choices in your life.
It expands on what kind of businesses you should get into, what factors you should look after, the essential components of each business and how to make better long-term decisions,
I had to choose between this one and Rich Dad, Poor Dad – but this one takes the crown on depth and detail by far. Although there’s some fluff in there like “The Sidewalk Roadmap” and “The Slowlane Roadmap” which basically talks about why people are poor.
It’s best to skip directly to “The Fastlane Roadmap” and learn why the rich are rich. (And how to emulate their behavior)
Notes On Buying Books
I’m reading six different books at the moment – which is incredibly stupid. Additionally, I have about four books I’ve bought but never even started in them.
I made bad purchasing decisions.
Here’s a few notes on how you can buy books you’ll actually read.
- Don’t buy recommendations instantly just because someone tells you to. Check reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. Check the contents/chapters on Google Books and ask yourself; “How will this book help me?”
- Read one book at a time (two max) – seriously. There will always be more stuff you want to read. Skipping back and forth between multiple books is inefficient.
- If you won’t read a book in the next 7 days, don’t even buy it. Limit yourself to buying books until you’ve finished the former. Stock will be present, delivery will be instant – no reason to hurry.
- Keep a “To Read” list. Mark down the author, title and the reason you want to read that book. Don’t buy books until you’ve found a legit reason to get it. If it says “Recommended By Simon” – delete it from your list.
Anyway, these 5 books will give you 80% of the knowledge you’ll need to get started with building a GREAT life for yourself. Five books that should be standard reading for everyone in all schools instead of heavy, classic, old, useless literature.
So many books are simply rehashes of previous copies or talk about the same damn subjects over and over again.
All of these five books are concentrated sources of essential knowledge. Gold mines.
They will effectively address your mindset, productivity, dating, social life, wealth, personal fulfillment, time management and a whole array of others.
The most bang for your buck IMO.
If I find better books – I’ll simply update this page (I’ll also include them in my Resources Page)
What are your top 5 Books?
Note: The links provided in the titles are affiliate links – meaning I’ll get a small commission if you decide to purchase the books through my link. The price stays the same.
NoteNote: Reading books is only potential power. Always take more action than you’re reading books (This is something I only discovered recently). Knowledge is useless unless practically applicable to improve your life quality. I suggest you to be a “producer/action-taker” in the morning and a “consumer/manager” in the evening/afternoon.
NoteNoteNote: As final addition I recommend a school textbook on standard/evolutionary psychology. A big tome that includes the essentials on motivation, learning, social influence, instincts, emotions, intelligence, … . This should be standard in each school. (I haven’t read an English textbook on psychology so I can’t really recommend one)
If you’re having more questions about these books, be sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll get to you asap.