I am a lifelong learner and I believe in personal growth. These books are great at helping me with this vision.
The 4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss
Escape the 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich.
“The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”
My thoughts: this was my first real productivity/business book and I fell in love with Tim in this.
Best bit: Tim’s writing voice
Implementation: he speaks about the silliness of living life for your retirement, and that we should be living the retired life now. Putting bits of our “one day” dreaming into our present.
More: http://fourhourworkweek.com/overview/ or podcast.
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
A spiritual path to higher creativity.
“Serious art is born from serious play.”
My thoughts: I’m not quite into the entirety of this book, but her talk about Morning Pages makes the rest of it worth a read.
Best bit: Morning Pages
Implementation: clearly the Morning Pages
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Creative Living Beyond Fear
“Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made and it wants to be made through you”
My thoughts: as someone who doesn’t like Eat Pray Love, I was very hesitant of this book. Elizabeth is a bit with the fairies in Big Magic, but I could totally look past it for the incredibly valuable lessons. There wasn’t one chapter that I finished without immediately creating. I first listened to her read out the audio book, and then I purchased a hard cover so that I could make notes on the pages.
Best bit: her focus on the fact that creativity is important.
Implementation: use as a creative pep talk
The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor
The Seven Principles that Fuel Success and Performance at Work
“For me, happiness is the joy we feel striving after our potential.”
My thoughts: oh man. I’m someone who strives for happiness and enthusiasm because I know how easy it is to go the other way. Reading this book was such an affirmation that my values were on par for creating an objectively better person in business too.
Best bit: the fact that happiness makes you a more productive person
Implementation: seeing happiness as a tool
More: Ted Talk.
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Psychology of Optimal Experience
“It is not the skills we actually have that determine how we feel but the ones we think we have.”
My thoughts: I initially listened to the audio book and I honestly couldn’t finish the first chapter because of his accent. And so the real book was bought.
Best bit: pointers for getting to flow
Implementation: to get some flow in your creativity!
More: Ted Talk.
Getting Things Done – David Allen
The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”
My thoughts: this is the ultimate guide to a productive life. This is the Bible of productivity books.
Best bit: the idea that we shouldn’t keep things in our head
Implementation: everything, and everything going on in Level Up
More: http://gettingthingsdone.com/ http://lifehacker.com/productivity-101-a-primer-to-the-getting-things-done-1551880955
The Happiness of Pursuit – Chris Guillebeau
Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
“A good plan allows for plenty of spontaneity and room for change – but without a plan at all, it’s difficult to work toward something significant over time.”
My thoughts: this started off lovelily, but I couldn’t finish it. I love the idea that we find purpose in a quest, but was less interested in his specifics of his own quest. I’m going to try finish it… just not today…
Best bit: the idea that the journey adds to the happiness, and not only the finished product, and the idea of creating a deliberate “quest”
Implementation: create happiness in your journey; create a quest if you’re looking for purpose or happiness
The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin
Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.”
My thoughts: didn’t finish this. It was really long.
Best bit: the quote above
Implementation: create a list of things that make you happy and do them.
88 tech tricks to turbocharge your day
My thoughts: this was a really old book that I found with life hacks. I was excited about a book version of the site.
Best bit: there were some really nice hacks in there, although their website is more current
Implementation: the hacks
Make it Happen – Lara Casey
Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose.
“Busy is the enemy of peace. Busy takes us away from our purpose. Busy is not truly productive in the big picture. Busy means life’s joys and surprises can’t find a way into our lives because we’re moving too fast to see and experience them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to move so fast that I miss my life.”
My thoughts: More of a biography. But it was nice to get some insight into Lara Casey. She’s lovely.
Best bit: her thoughts on being busy
Implementation: learn from Lara’s life lessons
The Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
“Mediocrity has nothing to do with how you compare to other people; it’s simply a result of not making the commitment to continuously learn, grow, and improve yourself.”
My thoughts: A M A Z I N G. I love the idea that we should work on ourselves a little bit every day, and I fully agree that mornings are the time to do this.
Best bit: his 6 steps are so simple and obvious, but putting them together is like WOAH. Also, the quote above.
Implementation: implement the miracle morning! Hal has it on his website so there’s nothing stopping you.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey
Powerful lessons in personal change.
“But until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday,” that person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.”
My thoughts: This is such a classic, and still powerful today.
Best bit: the idea that we make choices to be a good (effective) person
Implementation: implement the Seven Habits in your own life
More: Many YouTube videos summarising it.
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
The Story of Success
“Those three things – autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward – are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.”
My thoughts: I have a Bachelors in economics and marketing, so this book totally appeals to that side of me. This books marries the two better than I ever could have.
Best bit: the crazy stories
Implementation: look for the outlier.
The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
My thoughts: I love Mr. Gladwell
Best bit: the way he writes
Implementation: look for the tipping point.
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
Break through the blocks and win your inner creative battles.
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
My thoughts: gets weird at the end.
Best bit: everything except the end.
Implementation: use as a creative pep talk