When I was in college, the only books I read were textbooks. At the time, it bothered me because I was in the explorative, thinking phase of my life. When I graduated I decided that reading - and by extension learning - was going to be one of my priorities.
The problem for me though is that I’m a slow reader. Also, if I’m being honest, I don’t genuinely enjoy reading. So, why did I make this commitment to myself? I’ve continued down this path because I love learning. Writers condense their experiences, wisdom, life, down to a few hundred pages. Then it’s just there for you to absorb.
Books are a special form of taking in information. For me, it’s like having a conversation with myself. Somehow, it’s in the author's voice but it’s also in my voice and I find the experience to not only be enjoyable but also illuminating.
That’s why I’ll be sharing my definite books on development that will guarantee a fulfilling year of learning! Or at the very least, some of my favorite books that will hopefully inspire you the same way they have inspired me.
The Slight Edge
I decided to start in December to segue into the new year, that way you can piggyback off of resolutions. This is arguably the most important book on the list. It captures the compound dividend that consistency pays over the long run. There is plenty of inspiration here to get you in gear for what’s to come.
This book gives real-world applications for taking accountability for your decisions and actions. You can tap into the powerful force that is consistency coupled with ownership.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution
The definitive model for executing any strategy. Today, I still think in terms of 4DX every time I’m working on an implementation phase. The framework is practical and simple to follow.
Leadership and Self-Deception
Next to the Slight Edge, this is probably the most important book on the list. It’s my definitive book on what it means to be a leader and a person with character. The delivery of this book is masterful. There are very powerful lessons that are conveyed through practical and insightful stories.
The 80/20 Principle
This is the secret sauce book. I’ve always been familiar with Pareto’s principle, but here is where I learned an important aspect of its application to business. It is a mindset shift that I still carry with me today. It’s counterintuitive in its application but the lessons are powerful.
The Happiness Project
Half-way through the year and I wanted to take a deeper look into what fulfillment means and not just how to accomplish it. The Happiness Project is one of my favorite books because it tries to tackle one of our most core, human needs in a practical, fun and “scientific” manner.
The Power of Habit
Habits play such a critical role in what we do, both consciously and subconsciously. Better understanding habit formation and mechanisms allow us to tap into those mechanisms to optimize our behaviors or at the very least understand why we repeatedly make some decisions.
The 5 Love Languages
I know what you’re thinking, this is a relationship book. Yes, you’d be right. But, think about how important relationships are in your life. Both personal and professional relationships. Having a clear understanding of what makes those around us feel cared for and understand what that means for ourselves is vital.
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
This book pairs quite well with Extreme Ownership. It shines a light on some deceptively easy behaviors that we probably all succumb to at points. But, naming and describing these behaviors make it possible to choose a different path and avoid all the disempowerment they bring.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F…
I love this book, not because it advocates not giving an F, but more importantly because it acknowledges that we all give several F’s. It’s just a matter of determining what are the things worth giving an F about in your life. It is a thoughtful and engaging piece of writing that gets you to examine what your priorities are.
Unlearn grabs a hold of you, if you let it. It can be a catalyst for taking a step outside of your everyday habits and behaviors and examine your priorities and decisions. It manages to be thought-provoking and say something important without being preachy.
Yes, that Animal Farm. One of my favorite concepts to discuss is Perception vs. Reality. This book does a great job of putting that concept right on display in a very visceral way.