Books that changed my life

Books that changed my life

In today’s blog post, I will write about the books that changed my life.

When I think back to my childhood and adolescent years, I never was a big reader. I was a lot more interested in the media and the internet. Was and still am a very visual person.

However, I did develop an interest in reading as I grew up. I’ve always been a very curious person and the one that liked to figure out everything herself. It was that curiosity and willingness to learn and grow that made me interested in books.

This blog post will be different than previous ones. I will write about the books that changed my life and had the biggest influence on me as a person. So let’s start.

To quickly find the book I mention in this blog post and you don’t want to read all of them, click on the title to read about the book you’re interested in.

Books that changed my life:

1. Law of Attraction - Esther and Jerry Hicks

Books that changed my life - law of attraction

This book changed my look on life and even my life philosophy immensely. It’s one of those books that you understand only if you’re ready to receive its messages, otherwise it is “just a weird book” that writes about the “stuff” you don’t believe in. I wrote that, because some people said just that when I recommended the Abraham books to them ( and there are a lot of them). 

So, if you’re one of those people, who’s trying to figure out the world, figure out your life, thoughts, other people etc. and believe there is something more to it all, then I highly recommend this book. It is truly eye opening and impactful.

Most important takeaways:

1. What you think, you attract.

Your dominant thoughts and beliefs shape your life. So by practicing visualisation you can create the future you want for yourself.

2. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

You don’t need anyone telling you, you are good at something. You need to believe in yourself  first, then you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

3. Everything comes from within.

There is this misconception, that the environment, social status and people surrounding you, shape you in who you are. It is true in most cases, but if you dedicate enough time to yourself, to self reflect, grow, meditate etc. You will find out, that you can override the perception of who you think you are with who you want to be and become that.

4. Every thing, situation etc. is both wanted and unwanted.

what we focus on is what we receive. In other words, if we look for the bad in things, we see only the bad and vice versa. 

5. This physical world is not all there is.

There is more than what we perceive with our five senses. To find that out, you would have to have a higher consciousness. Which is not easily achievable, but is possible through mediation.

You create everything that happens to you.

You can get your copy of one of the books that changed my life on this link: Book Depository – Law of Attraction

2. Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

This was the book I read right after I finished reading the Law of Attraction, as one of the books Jerry Hicks talked about so favourably. And boy is this a good book. What’s interesting is that it contains the “secret to success” which is what the first book takes about, but It also dives in into the practical side of the things and a plan, how to achieve the things you want to achieve. Don’t let the title fool you. It doesn’t consist only the financial riches and how to achieve them, It contains a lot more than that. A truly remarkable book.

Biggest takeaways from the book:

1. Goal setting and detailed planning are the basis of every achievement

Every success story begins with people who know what they want to achieve.

So before you begin chasing your dream, you should start by defining your own personal goal as precisely as you can. For example, if you want to get rich, you should decide precisely how much money.

Setting a specific goal is pointless if it’s floating in some indeterminate future where you’ll only ever be able to pursue it halfheartedly. So you need to set a determined, detailed and well planned goal you want to achieve.

It’s also important to come up with a plan that outlines every step you’ll need to take until the realization of your goal. And once you have a plan, get cracking! Don’t waste another minute.

2. To be successful, you have to have faith in yourself.

You can only achieve success if it’s based on self-confidence and an unwavering faith in yourself: no wealth has ever been acquired, nothing ever invented without this faith as its basis.

3. By using auto-suggestion, our subconscious can influence our behavior.

Auto-suggestion is a process of visualisation and affirmation. By doing that, our affirming thoughts can influence our subconscious that can later influence our behaviour.

The more you use auto-suggestion, the likelier it is that it will help you achieve success. If you impress your desires and goals in your unconsciousness, it will steer all your thoughts and actions towards making them come true. 

4. Knowledge is power

…but not what you learn in school that should be implemented. Here Napoleon Hill emphasises on the importance of specialised knowledge. Find what you are good at, and learn constantly. 

Getting complacent is your worst enemy. Instead, you must always be ready to actively expand your own knowledge. There are many different ways to achieve this – by going to university, attending courses or acquiring practical experiences.

Also, what is very important is that you don’t have to know everything yourself. Instead, you need to know who you can ask if you need to know something. It’s usually more practical and productive to be surrounded by a network of experts who share their specialized knowledge than to learn it all yourself.

5. Imagination

Using imagination is one of the most powerful tools to success. Hill talks about two types of imagination: the creative imagination and the synthetic imagination. By using our creative imagination, we are able to come up with completely new things. The synthetic imagination, by contrast, rearranges old ideas into new combinations.

Imagination needs to be stimulated, kept active and trained like a muscle: the more frequently you use it, the more productive and powerful it will become. 

6. Self – awareness

One important building block for professional success is an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses. In order to be able to figure out exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are, do an honest self-analysis. 

7. Positive emotions

They are a key to successful life. Just like mentioned in the book Law of Attraction, our thoughts, beliefs and feelings shape our reality. Positive thoughts mixed with positive emotions influence our subconscious mind. You should make it a point to increase all positive impulses, such as enthusiasm and love. That’s the only way you’ll end up developing a positive mentality in the long term. 

8.Successful people are remarkable for their determination and persistence

Whatever you’d like to achieve in your life, you need to be determined. Whenever you let the resistance get the best of you, you will fail. Of course, not every decision we make in life is the best and sometimes we need to know when to stop, but also, we need to know, when to push through, be persistent  and achieve what we want. 

You can get your copy of one of the books that changed my life on this link:: Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

3. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Books that changed my life - the power of habit

For years, I was one of those people that had difficulties sticking with good habits. And with some, I still struggle and would rather just quit and do nothing. Because of my curiosity and desire to learn how habits work, the good and the bad ones ( we all know how the bad ones are the most difficult to get rid of and we all have them), I bought this book. And boy is it life changing.

Charles Duhigg divides the book into three parts: the habits of an individual, organisation and the society.

Biggest takeaways from one of the books that changed my life:

1. Habit formation

When we repeat an action on a frequent basis, it becomes a routine. Brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. In another word, the brain will make almost any routine into a habit because it allows our minds to ramp down more often. 

2. The habit loop

Is a three step loop. Cue – routine – reward.

Cue: a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.

Routine: which can be physical or mental or emotional.

Reward: helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

Without habit loops, our brain would shut down, overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life. 

Habits are so powerful because they create neurological cravings. Often, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist.

3. New habit formation

To create a new habit, put together a cue, a routine, and a reward, then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.

Lets take for an example exercise habit: When your brain starts expecting the reward ( by continually exercising) – craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment – will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning. 

4. Changing the habits

The Golden Rule: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it by using the same cue, provide the same reward, but change the routine.

To break your bad habits, identify the cues and rewards, then, you can change the routine.

Replacement habits only become durable new behaviours when they are accompanied with belief. And most often that belief only emerges with the help of group (AA – Alcoholics Anonymous is a great example).

5. Keystone habits

Some habits have the power to start a chain reaction. Some habits, matter more than others in remaking businesses and lives.  These are so called Keystone habits.  They start a process that, overtime, transforms everything.

Keystone habits offer what is known in academic literature as “small wins”. 

6. We are fully responsible for out habits – even bad ones.

Habits emerge within the brain and often, we don’t have the ability to control them, but we’re conscious and aware of them. With that said, it’s still our responsibility to cultivate our own habits and take charge of our own life.

In the book, Charles Duhigg takes as an example a gambling addict – a woman that formed such a bad habit of gambling, it became an addiction and she thought she wasn’t aware of the money she lost and got in depth. What this case showed is that it was still her responsibility to acknowledge the bad habit, address it and change it. And that no one else is guilty for the bad habit other than her. 

This book has some amazing examples on the habits, their formation and changes. From the individual level, to the company level to the society. 

You can get your copy of one of the books that changed my life on this link:: The power of Habit – Charles Duhigg.

4. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

You know those people who have no clue about personal finance? Well I was one of them and still am in some ways ( by buying stuff I don’t need – like throwing money out of the window). This book gives you an amazing insight on personal finance and teaches you in a simple way:

  • what are Assets
  • differences between assets and liabilities
  • Active income vs. passive income.
  • etc.

It writes about Robert Kiyosaki’s two dads – rich dad and poor dad. Poor dad was his biological dad, an academic with a Ph.D. Rich dad was on the other hand his friend’s dad – an entrepreneur that accumulated  great riches throughout his life.

Mindset is one of the most important aspects in life. Robert’s rich dad said: ” There is a difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is eternal.” 

Biggest takeaways from the book:

1. Rich don’t work for money

Money works for them. So creating passive income, more of them – where money works for you is a must. 

2. Know the differences between Assets and Liabilities

Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets ( your house is not an asset). 

An asset puts the money in my pocket. A liability takes money out of my pocket.

Here is a visual representation of the assets and liability from the rich and the poor: 

3. Mind your own business

When someone asks the average person, “What is your business?” they typically respond with their profession. However, they are not owners of the company they work for. They still need their own business. Otherwise, they’ll spend their life working for everyone but themselves. That’s the importance of minding your own business.

4. Pay less tax by having a company ( or a corporation as Robert implies)

The rich put their money into a corporation. Their asset puts income into their corporation, and then corporate income can be used as income for their personal income statement. And the expenses from their personal income statement can go into the expenses for the corporation. Even though the masses continuously try to find ways to tax the rich, the rich consistently outsmart them.

Business Owners 

  1. Earn 
  2. Spend
  3. Pay Taxes

Employees Who Work for a company

  1. Earn
  2. Pay Taxes
  3. Spend

 

5. Work to Learn – Don’t Work For Money

Don’t settle for a safe job in which you don’t learn. Try to find work where you constantly evolve and gain new knowledge. You can keep you day job in which you should enjoy, but also find ways to make additional income and find assets to buy, so that they can generate more income for you, without you actively doing the job everyday.

These were my takeaways for one of the books that changed my life. You can buy it here: Rich Dad, Poot Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

5. The Dip - Seth Godin

Books that changed my life - the dip

I could not finish this blog post without throwing in one of Seth Godin’s books. As you know I work as a marketing professional and Seth Godin has written some of the best books on marketing. I truly admire his marketing philosophy. I decided to mention this tiny book called the dip as it can be implemented both in professional – business life as in personal decisions. 

Here are my biggest takeaways from the book:

1.Winners quit all the time.

They just quit the right stuff at the right time. So if you start working on something and half way through you find out, there is no good outcome in the future, it is OK to quit.

Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organisations. 

Reactive quitting and serial quitting are the bane of those that strive (and fail) to get what they want.

And most people do just that.They quit when it’s painful and stick when they can’t be bothered to quit.

2. Strive to be the best at what you do.

Don’t settle for mediocrity. 

Zipf’s law: Winners win big because the marketplace loves a winner.

3. The dip

Almost everything in life worth doing is controlled by the dip.

When you start something, at the beginning, it’s always fun. So for the first few days, weeks, months, you enjoy the learning process and experience. Then the dip happens. The dip is the long slug between starting and mastery. Successful people expect the dip and lean into it. They push harder, changing the rules as they go. 

Seth Godin also mentiones other curves that lead to failure. 

One is called – the Cul-de-sac or the “dead end”. It’s a situation where you work and work, but nothing changes. It doesn’t get better of worse. It just is.

Another one is called – the Cliff. Rare but scary. It’s a situation where you can’t quit until you fall off, and the whole thing falls apart. Like smoking.

You can get your copy of one of the books that changed my life on this link: The Dip – Seth Godin

These were 5 books that changed my life. What about you? Which are the books that had big influence on your life? I would love for you to share them with me in the comments section below. Also, have you read any book I listed here? What are your thoughts on them?

Till next time and thank you for reading.

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