Ever had this moment of "Aaaaah ooooh" that changed the way you viewed life? I'm a big fan of life changing epiphanies, those "EUREKA!" moments about life and other huge existential paradigm shifts. And you should be too. That's where real growth happens and sticking points that you didn't even know about get busted.
One of the best ways I ever found to get those life changing thoughts is to read books, and a lot of them. While most books that you will read won't be a magical solution to achieve riches, fame and glamour, most good books will male sure that you stay on your path towards success.
In bold are marked those that helped me have the biggest breakthroughs and paradigm shifts.
The power of now by Eckhart Tolle.
You're sad. You're stressed. Past is conflicted and future looks grim. Yet you sit, in front of a green tree which branches are slowly moving to the wind. You're complete. You're happy. Nothing else matters and you're just present to the moment. This book will help you appreciate the present moment. It's guide for day-to-day living and the importance of living in the present moment and transcending thoughts of the past or future. Your life will be better if you read this book.
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Following and expanding the ideas of the Power of Now and how the human nature and ego prevent people from being truly enlightened.
CONTROL OF THE INNER SELF & MOTIVATION
Ego is the enemy by Ryan Holiday
If you feel that you are doing all that's in your power and have read all the material but yet don't get the results you want and have no idea why, ego is probably the problem. This book will open you eyes to how bad and harmful having an ego is.
The obstacle is the way by Ryan Holiday
If you feel that success lays behind and indestructible wall, this book will show you how wrong you are. Main point of this book is as follows : a conscious choice to always chose the hard path is where growth lies.
No more Mr. Nice Guy by Robert Glover
Dedicated to every "nice guy" ever. This book helps in uprooting behaviors that always made you "too nice". If you often end up in the friendzone or have people abuse your good-hearted nature, this book is a must read.
Mastery by Robert Greene
Goes to explain and give examples of people who became extremely good at their craft by focusing on mastering it. It's good to see how proficient one can become at anything.
The 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen R. Covey
The good thing about our century is that all the information you need is available 5 mouse clicks away. Sit on the shoulders of giants that came before you, you don't have to figure the path to success by yourself. Copy what works and make it yours. This book will help you to do so starting with the habits that successful people all have (and that you need to have).
The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.
Based on a wildly popular Stanford University psychologist’s course, this book explains the science behind motivation, willpower and self-control. Willpower and temptation are dictated by a mind-body response, not your virtue, and you can voluntarily increase or decrease your levels of motivation. If you’re looking to push yourself to do more (which you should), understanding what creates motivation on a biochemical level is very useful.
HUMAN NATURE AND SOCIAL POWER
The 48 laws of power by Robert Greene
Very Machiavellian in a very practical and down to earth way. This book is eye-opening regarding human nature, interactions, value exchange and generally, power over others. Don't be naïve, those with the most power still have more control over their lives and those of others. It just transitioned from whoever had the biggest club, in cavemen times, to more modern laws of power, which are explained in this book.
BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL FREEDOM
The 4 hour workweek by Timothy Ferris
Eye-opening book on how little it’s possible to work while still making big money. Though this won’t make you rich, it will help you work less if you already have some money.
Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill
Very dense book telling the success stories and cunning minds, it draws out principles that need to be there for anyone willing to become rich.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Describes quite well how to build a company from scratch. This won’t tell you how to make money out of thin air but it will tell you how to minimize time wasted and money lost when figuring out how you can share your passion to the world while monetizing it.
Rich dad, poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Amazing book, must read to anyone coming from a lower/middle class background on mindsets about money. There is a before and an after reading this book. This book won’t make you rich either, but it will erase most of the mindsets that prevent you from actually getting rich.
How to master the Art of selling by Tom Hopkins
Very interesting read on how to become a better salesman. I always believe that sales and seduction were closely linked, getting better at one always made me better at the other. You will find here sales techniques, objection overcoming techniques, ways to convince people that your ideas are the best and general mindsets that will make you love (good) salespeople and sales in general. Recommended if your life is about selling anything.
Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins
I mostly read this one to say I read some of Tony Robbins’ work. It’s great, but I read Rich dad, poor dad before getting into that one and I didn’t get much new value out of it. It covers the same topics and tells the story of a few people who made it and made it really, really big. If that’s your goal you might find it worth it.
The prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin
Outside of reading it to perfect my coaching practice, I figured this book gave good insights on getting inside the mind of the people you’re serving and digging deep to bring out life-changing coaching. Recommended if you’re a coach or helping people get more out of life in any way.
GAME AND SOCIAL INTERACTIONS
How to talk to anyone by Leil Lowndes
While not being mind-blowing, this book gives a few good insights on how to do just what the title says, talk to anyone, on a practical and actionable level.
The Game by Neil Strauss
Very romanticized version of the events that gave birth to the whole PUA pick-up artists movement. This book made it mainstream and I would probably not be a dating coach if I have never read it. It’s not teaching you many techniques but if you’re interested in how the whole “success with women” trend started you might want to read it as it’s a good entertaining read.
The Mystery Method by Erik Von Markovik aka Mystery
Origin of all modern seduction techniques. Everything and everyone is using techniques that are in one way or another described in this book, repackaged in a more politically correct way. I read it quite late in my life but it is still an amazing analysis of what women respond well to, how to spark attraction and how to get good with women in general.
How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie
A great book that delivers on what the title promises. If you're having trouble relating and bonding with others as well as creating relationships this is the book you need. The main idea is that people will give you what you want if you give them what they want.
Models by Mark Manson
To me, this book felt like the “modern and politically correct” version of the Mystery Method. Recommended read if you’re a normal guy trying to get around life and dating without becoming crazy. If you’re more advanced you will not find much value in it.
Bigger Leaner Stronger by Michael Matthews. While a bit dense and heavy to apply, I consider this book the bible of “getting in shape”. Everything you need to know about muscle building, fat cutting, nutrition, gym routine, motivation, etc, is in there. The only drawback is that there is so much information that you might be overwhelmed. But again, everything you ever need to know on the topic is in this book.
More than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert.
If you ever feel jealousy but still would love to date multiple girls at the same time, this is the book you need. I even managed to get a girl I date to read it, and it opened her eyes to the topic of polyamory.
Reading takes time and a lot of it. I personally use Audible so that I can listen to the audio version of my favorite books while going to the gym or working (I'm actually listening to an audio book as I'm writing this). This is really convenient.
There are many more books in my library but none of those would be relevant or interesting enough to deserve a spot in this article. I will update this list as I get my hands on more life-changing reads. Pick your favorite, and start reading now!