Ready to flip the page on 2016 and begin 2017 with a clean slate and a new state of mind? Luckily, finding inspiration and creating change in your life doesn’t have to mean traveling half way across the world to meditate in Thailand (although if you can, then by all means do it!). Instead you can find inspiration and create change in your life without leaving home. The answers your seeking might just be in the books you’ve yet to explore.
Below I’ve highlighted the 8 most influential books I read in 2016. You’ll see some classics and some new titles as well. The one common thread between them all: each will expand your perspective, inspire action and help you start to form the life of your dreams.
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8 Books that will Enhance your Personal Growth in 2017:
1. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Published in 1937, this ultimate self-help book has stood the test of time. It’s filled with ideas and techniques that will create positive change in your life. Napoleon Hill studies the lives of over 500 wealthy men, including Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie, and breaks down the similarities that helped them to rise to the top. Through his studies, he breaks down not only WHAT to do to become wealthy, but also HOW to do it. While this book may seem to only convey a materialistic version of success, it will also teach you philosophies that will help you lead a life rich in both spirituality and happiness.
2. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Renowned by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Belichick, this book will serve as a source of inspiration and a guide on perseverance for you. It centers on the topic of stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring adversity and pain by developing resilience. In essence, stoics turn every obstacle they face into an opportunity to get stronger. Holiday walks his readers through examples of stoics from history including the likes of Steve Jobs, John Rockefeller, and Amelia Earhart. What I loved about this book is that it made a 2000-year-old philosophical concept easily digestible and relatable. A straightforward yet powerful read, this book will teach you to embrace the obstacles in your life and help you understand that, as Marcus Aurelius put it, “what stands in the way becomes the way.”
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Originally published in 1936, this book gives you actionable advice that will help you improve your every day interactions and win the trust of all people in your life. You’ll learn tips on how to make people like you, how to win people to your way of thinking, and how to change people’s mind while keeping their loyalty. Whether your in business, sales or still a student, this book will teach you lessons that will pay you continual dividends throughout your life.
4. Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday’s latest book argues that the greatest challenge we all face is our ego. Whether achieving great successes or astonishing failures, our ego holds us back from being the best version of ourselves. Ryan leverages examples from some of history’s greatest figures including Jackie Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt and Katherine Graham, who all reached great heights due to their ability to overcome their own ego. It will challenge you, humble you and most importantly teach you how to harness your own ego on your pursuit of greatness.
5. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
In this #1 New York Time bestseller, Tim questions the traditional corporate America mindset of the 9-5 and challenges the norm of deferring your life until retirement. He argues that you should spend the best years of your life doing what matters to you rather than working on something that has no meaning at all. He gives you a step-by-step guide through his own experiences on how to reshape your life and discover a more fulfilling lifestyle. Whether your goal is to escape the rat race by creating other sources of income, experience luxurious world travel at a low cost, or simply just live more and work less, Tim provides the answers. This book has had the single biggest influence on me out of any on this list and has been the major reason I’ve flipped my career direction on its head.
6. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.
Professor Randy Paush’s inspirational book is based on his incredible last lecture given to a graduating class at Carnegie Mellon. He was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In this book, Randy talks about the importance of overcoming obstacles, living out dreams, and seizing every moment as he faces the end of his life. Randy’s insights will make you reconsider your own life purpose and provide encouragement to pursue the life you are meant for.
7. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
From TED Talks leader Brene Brown, this book dispels the myth that we should withhold our vulnerability from others. On the contrary she believes that our vulnerability can be used as our greatest strength and is our best tool to connect to others. She argues that by displaying vulnerability and living uncomfortably could be the key to gaining courage and overcoming fears. This book will teach you to use your perceived weaknesses as strengths and to use them to reach for new heights.
8. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & David Evans.
In this New York Times #1 Bestseller, two Stanford professors challenge the conventional method of letting your career lead your life and instead teach you how to build a life that you can thrive in. This book tackles the problem of “what do I do with my life?” And then gives actionable ideas as to how you can start designing a life that is both fulfilling and meaningful no matter where you are in life today.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid.
This gripping novel is so much more than the title would lead you to believe. It’s told in the second person and pins you as the protagonist. You’ll start as a poor boy from a remote Asian village and experience the grueling rise to a rich businessman in a sprawling third-world metropolis. Throughout the book you’ll experience corporate corruption, near death experiences and undying love.
So that concludes my list of recommendations for 2017. Happy reading! I hope that these books can impact your life in the way they did mine. At the very least, with each book you will pick up a healthy habit or a new way to see the world. You might even discover that you need to change the way you’re living altogether. That’s what happened to me.
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