People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book. –Malcom X
Do you remember the first time you read your favorite book? The moment you closed the final page and felt satisfied in finishing its greatness while simultaneously feeling sad that it was over? That is how a great book should make you feel. It should leave you a different person than when you started page one.
I’d set out for 2016 to read one chapter of a book a day. I love to read, but over the last number of years, my books per year declined as I poured more of my free time into work. This was my year to make a change. I started strong, but the last couple of weeks, I let the chaos of life knock me off course. The days – and chapters mounted – and I fell behind. Fortunately, I had a trip planned and the time flying & downtime on the beach gave me the perfect opportunity to catch up.
And I couldn’t have asked for better books to read. I’d started following Chris Brogan’s advice of, “Don’t finish a bad book,” and had given up on a few recent reads. Fortunately, the ones I chose to take with me turned out to be some of the best books I’d ever read.
The following is a brief overview of four of the five books & a quick review for you.
Resilience, by Eric Greitens
“What happens to us becomes part of us. Resilient people do not bounce back from hard experiences; they find healthy ways to integrate them into their lives. In time, people find that great calamity met with great spirit can create great strength.”
This is the one book I wish I’d read ten years ago. Navy SEAL Eric Greitens expounds on letters he wrote to a fellow solider and friend who was struggling deeply with life post-service. The book details how to overcome obstacles with positive action. Each chapter is well-written, deeply thought-out, and insightful into how each one of us can build a stronger mindset, a resilient spirit, & the ability to compete every day for our lives – no matter the obstacles before us. This immediately became a top-10 book I’d ever read and one I hope you invest the time to experience. It will leave you changed, motivated to build your own resilient spirit, and thankful for the journey.
Trust Me, I’m Lying, by Ryan Holiday
You’ll never look at your Facebook feed, Twitter stream, or cable news the same again. Ryan Holiday, former Director of Marketing for American Apparel & current media strategist, shares stories from the trenches of media manipulation. I was fascinated by his dive into the origin of newspapers & blogs, their true reason for existence, and ultimately what drives them to post the stories they do. Here’s a hint – it has nothing to do with factual news the majority of the time – but whatever it’ll take to get you to view their page. You’ll laugh at the stunts he pulled to get friend Tucker Max national media attention and be embarrassed by some of the careers destroyed by questionable journalism pushed to post over check facts. While reading, I couldn’t help but think of the stories I’ve seen shared on Facebook & the outrageous “clickbait” you see the talking heads on news, sports, & politics push. If you do any work in marketing or media, this is a must-read.
Relentless, by Tim Grover
“Being relentless means demanding more of yourself than anyone else could ever demand of you, knowing that every time you stop, you can still do more. You must do more.”
Legendary athletic trainer Tim S. Grover shares his secrets to developing a relentless drive to succeed. Pulling on his decades of experience working with NBA players, including three of the greatest of all-time, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryan, & Dwayne Wade, Grover breaks down what mental strengths made the greats legends, and how you can hone your mental game to unstoppable levels. The book reads easily and provides a strong blueprint you can follow to raise your game – in business, sports, or life – to new, unparalleled levels. Mindset is everything and Grover shows you exactly how to build a powerful one.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki
“If you’re the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you’re that kind of person, you’ll live all your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for something that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man.”
I watched this book collect dust on my bookshelf for over a decade after first receiving it from my dad. I don’t know why, but I continually put off investing the time into reading this classic financial book. I’m glad I chose to stop waiting this past week. Author Robert Kiyoski tells stories from his childhood while stressing the importance of financial independence and building your wealth through a number of avenues, including real estate, starting/owning a business, and more. It was a very easy read, but impactful in how thankful I was after realizing my own father had drilled many of these ideas into me from a young age. Young or old, it’s never too late to start. If you’re struggling to get your finances set up right, fresh out of college and ready to start earning, or needing a refresher on how to best earn more, I highly recommend you give Rich Dad, Poor Dad a read.
Tonight, I start a new one, Blockbusters. What are YOU reading? Email me & let me know, I’d love to find out!