As an avid reader I’ve always been one to look to reading books for greater knowledge and understanding – especially when it comes to life improvement. Now, I’m a huge believer in action. The willingness to put into practice for better understanding on any subject, but reading still holds a special place in my life. I’ll always be a reader.
Over the last couple of decades what I call “self improvement porn” has flooded the market. Here’s my take: there isn’t really anything new out there. Most of the books on the market are rehashed ideas from years ago. They are timeless principles that have stood the test of time.
With that said, below are a few of my favorite life improvement books. A few are admittedly new-ish while others are classics. After skimming through let me know some of your favorites in the comments…
This is one of my favorite reads on perspective. The first thing I noticed was the way the title is worded. In a sea of success books, it’s not a book on success (it isn’t even in the title). It’s a book that shows you how to be more effective. It’s up to you on what you do with it. If success is the outcome, then so be it. I highly recommend this read for anyone trying to get more structure and focus with your day to day as well as long term goal achievement. Check it out.
With all the talk about minimalism these days it’s easy to get caught up in the mindset of feeling guilty if we don’t throw it all out. Greg McKeown makes a better case. He delves into ditching the unnecessary and keeping the essentials in our lives. It’s not just the simple act of decluttering, it’s more about smartly organizing, prioritizing, identifying, and valuing the essential things in our lives. It’s a bit different of a perspective on the minimalist movement. Check it out.
I cannot say enough about this book. It is possibly one of my top three. Cal Newport makes a compelling, logical, fleshed-out argument regarding society’s lack of focus, increased distraction, and dwindling productivity. He then maps out an answer to the call. This book (which you’re guaranteed to read cover to cover) provides universal tools to apply to every aspect of your life to help you become more focused and produce the very best work of your life. Check it out.
I know, I know. Another Cal Newport book, but hear me out. This book trumps the passion mentality and shifts your focus on skills and talents which can help formulate what you’re truly good at. It also challenges you into honing in on and developing rare and valuable skills that the current world of work demands. Cal’s ability to succinctly convey his points is unparalleled. He writes zero fluff and completely actionable material. Check it out.
This short but extremely impactful book is the epitome of timeless advice. Not to get too corny here but this quick read speaks so much truth. Written with a bit of old style structure I highly recommend repeated reads. The second read-through will start to uncover even more points to ponder. It’s simple, to-the-point message squashes so much fluff we come across in life that you’ll start to see problems and challenges in your life much clearer. Check it out.