I READ A LOT.
It’s a good habit I’ve developed over the years, primarily because of two distinctions I began to make (courtesy of Tony Robbins):
- Readers are leaders.
- Earners are learners.
I have personally noticed a direct correlation between my income and the amount I read. The more I read, the more I seem to make. Coincidence? I think not.
I think of reading as a way to re-program our subconscious mind and train our thoughts. It helps us gain perspective, learn from mentors that are out of reach, and ultimately view the world differently from before. I also found the comic on the right to really help explain what reading has done for me personally.
Many have asked me for book recommendations along my journey so I thought I’d point out some essential books to read. These are books I’ve personally benefitted greatly from; not just for business, or to pursue a music career, but to manage oneself better and become more successful in life.
BY TONY ROBBINS
Tony Robbins is a massively successful motivational speaker, author and businessman (to name a few). I genuinely admire his work ethic, and the lessons that he teaches along the way. While profoundly simple, he has found a way to communicate his ideas into highly useable and actionable strategies to improve your every day life and overall well-being. I find myself using many of his metaphors in my daily life.
One of my biggest takeaways from this book particularly is the power of questions (which I’ve written about since reading this one). That powerful lesson came to me through this book, and has been of great value, allowing me to shift my paradigm and capitalize on situations that I otherwise would’ve totally missed out on. That is just one of MANY gems you will get from this book. Highly recommend.
BY STEPHEN R. COVEY
This book should be essential reading for every human being. It came highly recommended to me and I can understand why. All 7 habits are important – and Stephen covers many topics that we all need to be on top of in order to be effective such as being proactive vs. reactive, high level time management, beginning with the end in mind (aka having vision) and much, much more. I don’t want to spoil it for you – but seeing the time management 4-quadrant graph alone is worth the price of admission.
I make an effort to re-read this book, or at least its main points once a year as a refresh. I recommend it to everyone who wants to manage themselves better and be more effective in work and at life.
BY DR. JOE DISPENZA
This book is incredible – Dr. Joe Dispenza is the only person I’ve encountered that can beautifully bridge the gap between cutting edge neuroscience, quantum physics and spirituality. This book is similar to The Secret, or The Law of Attraction – with a science-based twist and case studies to support. Dispenza simply explains the unexplainable – pulling from his research as a neuroscientist and making you aware of the patterns we fall into that can hold you back in life.
For example – he talks about how our body produces a chemical which is our emotions or feelings. These emotions, if held onto, can build into a lingering mood – one that lasts days or weeks. Eventually, if we don’t address this bad mood we are in, it can evolve into a temperament, and fundamentally become a part of our personality. I think we all know someone who is perpetually miserable – maybe it is even ourselves – and this book helps shine light on how this can happen and more importantly, how to get out of it.
If you read this, you will walk away from this book with a better understanding of yourself – and the tools needed to make changes to your behaviour and become who you are striving to be. Regardless of your religion or belief, you will be blown away by the lessons in this book. He is also an incredible speaker – easily breaking down complex science into bite-sized takeaways and inspiring us to change for the better.
BY TIM FERRISS
I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss because of this book and his other one Tools of The Titans. His podcast is also incredible. Tim is a super curious individual – being dubbed “The Human Guinea Pig” – and wants to get better at everything he can. This shows in his work, writing many books such as the 4 Hour Body and 4 Hour Chef, and working in a number of businesses in entertainment, nutrition and tech.
This book was an eye-opening one. The title alone says it all – make a full time living in 4 hours a week. As you may imagine, it doesn’t mean that making it happen is easy – but this book challenges a lot of social conventions and will likely make you think outside of the box at how you make a living. This book has personally inspired me to get more into content creation and passive income generating goals. To quote Warren Buffet, “if you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
BY GREG MCKEOWN
Have you ever found yourself struggling to say “no” to things? Have you been giving a lot of your time and energy to other people and projects, but having little time to take care of your own?
If you struggle with the above at all (like most of us do), this book will really help. Essentialism is much like minimalism, except it doesn’t pertain only to physical objects or style, but rather ensuring that one’s life is focused on what’s most important and meaningful to them. This is a great introduction to the topic, and proposes many things that can be implemented to make your life easier, and make you feel less guilty when turning down things.
I was first turned onto this book during Greg’s interview on the Tim Ferriss show, and the concept fascinated me. At the time, I was inundated with client work and constantly being pitched for meetings and new projects, with little time to even produce or write music on my own. This book helped me clear out the clutter and prioritize the important things in my life. In the end, we all only have 24 hours a day – so we need to make the most effective use of them. As Greg communicates clearly in this book, a “yes” to something is a “no” to something else.
BY AUSTIN KLEON
If you’re a creative, regardless of type or specific field, this is a great book for you.
It’s short, it’s simple and it’s inspiring. This little book was very deceiving when I first borrowed it off of a friend – and once I finished it (24 hours later), I ordered myself a copy because I enjoyed it so much.
I learned a few things from this one – but found most of it to be full of friendly reminders. I think this is a great book for anyone that isn’t fully confident in their art, or needs “permission” to move forward with taking their first steps into creating and releasing something. The ideas behind “stealing” are gold – and I thoroughly enjoyed many of the references in the book, including quotes from the Wu Tang Clan, ?uestlove and more.
I can also relate to this book first hand. Many times I will start a beat/song after listening to another for inspiration. I will “lift” some of the key ideas from the song, but ultimately create something entirely new that sounds nothing like where I borrowed the inspiration from. I’ve been doing this for years – but this book helps communicate that idea in a way for all to access.
BY GRANT CARDONE
If you feel like you need a kick in the ass to make something happen in your business right now – this book is it. I certainly felt that way when I first read it.
There are many amazing takeaways from this book. None of them are specific strategies or tools that I implemented into my business, but rather overall values that I’ve since adopted myself such as aiming 10x higher with my goals, going for what I really want, and taking massive action to accomplish it.
I will admit that I listened to the audio version of this book which was read by the author Grant himself. I highly recommend you listen to that if you can as he is a very charismatic speaker and really drives the book’s messaging home.
BY ROBERT GREENE
Robert Greene will go down as one of the best writers of our generation. His books are classic and among my favourites are The 48 Laws of Power, Mastery and The Art of Seduction. Not only are these enjoyable reads, but every book contains highly useable information that is so effective, some places (including prisons) have banned anyone from reading them. This is because Greene taps into our Machiavellian ways and usually discusses topics that border on manipulation.
His latest book, The Laws of Human Nature is no different and arguably his best work yet. This book helps you step outside of yourself and become an observer of human nature. This is both for better and for worse – making you aware of your own poor habits and decision-making, while also alerting you to those around you who may have ill intentions.
What I love about Greene’s books is how he weaves the past and the present into a timeless law or principle we should adhere to. Some of the historical stories he tells discuss Julius Caesar, Coco Chanel, Michael Jackson, Mary Shelley, and more.
This book will make you more aware of those around you, while simultaneously making you more conscious of who you are and how you naturally behave around others. If you enjoy this one, I highly recommend you check out the rest of Greene’s work.