“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
This quote blew my mind because of how true it is. Everything about the person that I am today and the experiences I’ve had has come from the books I’ve read and the people I’ve met. It may seem far-fetched but the music I listen to was put on my radar because of people in my social circles, the things that I’ve learned and the issues I care about arose from the conversations I had with the people around me, and the new things I’ve ventured to do were inspired from the gems of wisdom I read in books.
I’ve made a habit of reading on a daily basis when I’m home. Although I’ve read thousands and thousands of pages by now, not all of the books that I’ve come into contact with are worth reading again to me. However, there are some books that I treasure more than my best jewelry because of how much value they have added to my life. I intend to keep them in my stockpile forever; currently rereading some and planning to reread the rest over the coming years and decades.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck — Mark Manson
This book is about exactly what the title says it is about: not giving a fuck. We run around doing a lot of things under the guise of ‘what will people think?’ and get a little too caught up in any form of feedback, whether compliments or criticism. When people ask me what my favorite book is, what the best book I’ve read is, or what book I would recommend, the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is always my answer. We all need to learn to care a lot less about what other people who don’t live our lives think about the actions we take and need to learn to care a lot more about prioritizing whatever the fuck we want to give a fuck about. He explains how that is the most efficient way to live so that everyone has a chance to contribute their best selves by having everyone putting their full effort into what they truly care about, not what they’re pretending to truly care about.
2. Success for Teens: Real Teens Talk About Using the Slight Edge — the Editors of the Success Foundation
This book is full of gold. I was addicted to self-improvement books in middle and high school and this was among the many books I read as a teenager trying to become the best that I could be, as my parents pushed for me to do. Even though I am no longer a teenager, I have returned to this book because of how invaluable the information in it is. It breaks down by chapter and by anecdote the importance of taking responsibility for your own success and how consistent, continuous actions towards your goals will get you there as compared to pushing some kind of get-rich-quick scheme that ultimately leads to burnout and diminishing returns. The anecdotes can feel a little fluffy because the book is written for teenagers but every page has worthwhile advice; I find myself snapping and nodding more often than not when reading this and I believe that if someone were to follow the guidelines in this book to a T, it wouldn’t be long until they saw practical improvements in their life and circumstances.
Here’s a preview:
- The little things you do matter.
- Your attitude is everything.
- The present moment is all you have.
- It takes small steps to get where you’re going.
- Failure is your best friend.
- Good habits are your next best friend.
- You’re always learning.
3. Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life — Brain Tracy
I call this book the father I never had. When I watch TV series with strong male role models, their characters are always full of wisdom and stories that they impart uninvited whenever a difficult circumstance arises or during an intimate moment with another character. This book is all of those moments put together. If books were to be priced according to the amount of useful information and advice in them, this book would be worth triple digits, at least. It took me years to read this book; not because I am a slow reader, but because it is so heavy with actionable items that I needed time to do the last thing I learned to do to improve myself and my life before I could turn the page and start another. The author varies in delivery style-anecdotes, to do lists, quotes-which makes it hard to get bored. Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life encompasses every self-help book that I have ever read; it’s like having a board of directors for your life condensed into a few hundred pages. People pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to attend seminars and conferences that impart a fraction of the knowledge contained in this book so I think it would be a gross mistake to not take a few clicks to check it out on Amazon and do as it says: Change Your Life.
- The Bible
- The Secret
- Writing Down the Bones