One of the most overlooked avenues to success is reading. Carving out an hour each day to read can have a tremendous impact on your ability to learn new skills and open your mind to new possibilities. When we try to plan for success, we so often think of working hard for 16 hours a day, but this often leads to exhaustion, frustration, and feeling burnt out. Reading the right books gives you the chance to learn from those that have experienced what you are attempting to accomplish, and their insight may just be the tool you are missing on your road to success.
There are hundreds of books that I could recommend if you are searching for motivation, and each goal that you wish to accomplish will require unique books that pertain to your work, but the six that I have compiled here include life-changing insights into what truly motivates us at the larger levels. These authors have spent their lives understanding what is required for personal and professional success, and these six books have had a profound impact on my life. Here is the list:
1. The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes-
Lewis Howes is a former NFL player who had his career cut short by a significant injury. After his dream of playing in the NFL ended, he went on to start a podcast series titled "The School of Greatness" where he interviews successful entrepreneurs, business executives, athletes, and motivational individuals. His podcast has won numerous awards and continues to be downloaded by thousands of people each week. I strongly recommend his podcast to those who are looking for a boost of motivation.
What makes Lewis Howes' book so important is the simple way that Howes is able to lay out his guides for success. He describes specific steps that the reader should take to organize their day, become more efficient, and find a nice work/relaxation balance, all while providing great tools and resources to help the reader accomplish these simple goals. Howes understands that the schedule that he has set for himself may not work for every reader, and he explains how to balance your day to get more rest while also increasing your productivity.
2. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell -
There is not much I can say about John Maxwell that has not already been said by readers and fans the world over. Maxwell's books have transformed thousands of lives by providing motivational steps for personal transformation in the fields of leadership, personal development, and connectivity.
I have read five or six books by John Maxwell and while I've taken great nuggets of information from each book, the key lessons behind The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth were fundamental steps for personal success that I found incredibly helpful in my journey. In this book, Maxwell describes how to not only wish for success but to grow into the kind of person that attracts success. He helps the reader understand the importance behind surrounding yourself with the right environment, being consistent in your pursuit of your dreams, believing in your abilities, and a number of other key elements. It was one of the first books that truly motivated me to improve myself and my personal situation.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey -
This book has become one of the most referenced personal development books of the past few decades. CEO's, military personnel, and self-help gurus around the world have used this book to teach important lessons on effective leadership and networking. Covey's lessons revolve largely around developing personal habits that can increase your awareness of self in order to strengthen your ability to effectively manage your life and your work. Lessons such as sharpening your already acquired skills and learning from more experienced individuals are laid out in easy-to-understand platforms for the reader. Easily one of the most important books in this list, I strong suggest this book to everyone who is interested in improving themselves.
4. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
Since Elon Musk burst onto the scene with companies such as Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX, I have been a fan of his determination to progress human exploration as well as his dream to see our dependence on oil diminished. He has become a visionary for scientific discoveries and his companies have used new technology to make privatized space exploration and electric cars the future of human transportation.
In this book, Ashlee Vance provides the reader with a rare glimpse into Musk's childhood and the lessons that made him so motivated for future success. We learn how Musk was able to help build PayPal and then use his proceeds from the company's sale to finance Tesla and SpaceX. What makes this book one of my favorites in terms of motivation is the personality of Musk. He has a way to motivate and inspire those around him despite the overwhelming odds for failure, and I believe that is why he has been able to push the envelope with SpaceX and Tesla. His ability to share a progressive vision with so many is obviously applicable for anyone who has an idea they wish to act on for their own lives.
5. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This choice may seem a little off-the-wall for those that are seeking motivation for self-improvement, but the Harry Potter books have at their core a lesson of friendship, growth, and good vs. evil. The characters in these books are often overwhelmed as they face the forces of evil that threaten their world, but they never attempt to fight these forces alone. Time and time again, Harry Potter used his friends, his family, and his professors to defeat the evil wizards that wish him harm.
This lesson is important for anyone who is attempting something drastic in their own lives. If you are working and have children but dream of going back to college, there is no way you can accomplish this goal alone. You must lean on your spouse or your friends for help, or else you will more than likely be overwhelmed with work. If you want to start a business, having close friends or colleagues that know how to operate different departments of a business can be a helpful asset on your road to success. Use the resources that you have and don't forget about those that are there to support you with your journey.
6. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Another book that has been around for a number of years, Think and Grow Rich is a collecting of thought-provoking lessons that help the reader better understand their own motivation for success. Napoleon Hill questions the personal and psychological working of the reader in order to expose why exactly they are reaching for personal development. By understanding these inner thoughts, the reader can tighter their own focus and fuel their actions with the right form of inspiration. Hill also uses many well-known names to express his points, including the famous Henry Ford and his original failure of a car company.
This list was compiled from my own collection of books, and the fact that I have mentioned only six does not mean that these are the only books I recommend. On the contrary, I recommend that you read these six and then explore other books by these others in order to broaden your own literary horizons. Like an avalanche that begins with the falling of a single pebble, these books can lead to an avalanche of information for you if you allow them. So take the lessons provided by these authors and use them to act on your motivation. And along your journey, do not forget that reading is the shortcut to success.
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