If you want a real education, teach yourself. Regular schooling will teach you what to do to excel in the corporate world, maybe. But if you want to be your own boss, and live life on your own terms, start reading these success books – books that make a difference.
Below are the seven best books on success and personal development I read in 2014. They have all shaped who I am today and will help anyone, no matter their walk in life. I implore you to read these books and I am sure they will change your perspective, if not your life.
Remember, the most successful people in the world, not only read a lot, but also use that knowledge in their daily lives. It is not enough to read, you must implement.
For each book here, I have a longer, more in-depth summary on my Goodreads account if you want to further hear my opinion.
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P.S. The books are in no certain order.
1 – How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
I would like to go out on a limb and say this is the best book ever written for dealing with people. Many of us avoid this subject because we feel it cannot be taught (I used to be that person). But was I wrong! This book is action packed with tons of useful tips, backed up by facts and personal anecdotes to really sink it in.
Dale Carnegie defiantly had a firm grasp on human nature, and just by implementing one of his pervasive truths, you will enrich your life immediately. This book is not catered for a specific type of person, but for the community at large. Everyone deals with people everyday, so this book has no bounds and is universally applicable. I am practicing five of his virtues this month, and every month I hope to build more to my list.
2 – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Although fiction, it is a story that epitomizes the American Dream. It is about a young boy, a shepherd, who traverses the lands and learns from others. He has big dreams, but can never seem to bring them to light, until one day, when he makes a choice.
While working on his dream, he grows daily by his achievements and also by his many failures. Right when you reach a problem, do you give up or do you keep going?
This is akin to our lives, or for those who chase their dreams. We can learn from this book that tough times are inevitable, but they should not stop us. He knew the universal language, that enthusiasm has no parallel. When you change your perspective in life, from one of pessimism towards that of excitement, black and white seem to change into colors, meaning you have the ability to turn even the most dismal pursuits into great opportunities.
Go out there and find out why you are on this Earth… Explore!
3 – I Will teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
A book everyone should read. Ramit takes a banal and cumbersome concept (personal finance) and makes it immensely exciting and worth reading. I learned a lot from him, whether it was about retirement plans or managing my credit card. Most people in the world have bad credit and don’t know the exact steps to reach the height of wisdom with regards to personal finance.
While reading this book, you will learn the fundamentals of managing your finances. This book is a great first step towards mastering your financial life.
4 – Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Another world-renowned book on success. Napoleon Hill presents us with an ingenious way to capture the elusive idea of “success”. I read this book at the beginning of 2014 and what stood out to me most, even until this day, is the power of mindset. We are what we think about. The forgoing sentence is so important I want you to read it again. Too many of us disregard the pertinence of our present perspective on life. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Our mindset dictates how we can see everything! That is why, you must control it to the best of your ability; your mind is your palace, do not let intruders come in and sway your positive, productive mind into that of it’s antipode. Life’s obstacles are tough, but with the guidance of books like these, they will not be enough to stop you.
5 – The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
I will be the first one to say this book is short, but short is sometimes great, or even profound (which this book most certainly is). It shows how the principles of money have remained stagnant for the past 5,000 years.
The elements from this book are: to make money, invest that money in assets, and keep reinvesting. This is a simple concept, but one that most lack today. If each one of us took the time to read this book it could change our financial and personal lives.
These few parables have changed my life; the stories inside this book center around archaic Babylon but nevertheless they have not lost relevance today. If we all applied these principles, the world would be a much better place.
6 – The Success System That Never Fails by W. Clement Stone
This is the ultimate sales book, or the second best, just behind How to Win Friends & Influence People. There are many prominent topics to belabor about regarding sales, and Mr. Stone does a great job. What I found to be the most impactful concept from this book was that you must control your environment – watch who you hangout with, like the old adage goes, “birds of a feather, flock together”.
Furthermore, the most important aspect from this book is that you have to become a daily self-builder. Work on yourself daily and strive to achieve what you have set out to achieve. There is little room for partaking in trivialities, so focus on the big picture, and you will soon reap the rewards.
7 – Why “A” Students Work For “C” Students by Robert Kiyosaki
I have read this book 2 times, and I plan on to read it again. Robert Kiyosaki, although not the best writer, (he doesn’t care, he admits it) is truly a game changer with regards to personal finance. He breaks down in laymen’s terms how to be successful in your life and the ideas you have to live by in order to do so.
His goal is to give us financial education. He teaches us about the three different types of income: ordinary, portfolio and passive. Most people never heard of passive income, or if they had they certainty do not practice it. The stigma with it is one of “hard to get” or “elusive”. This is meant to be – the rich own the financial system and they do not want to give their knowledge of finances to us because that would make what they do not as easy.
This is a super-easy, simple to read book that takes tough concepts and makes them readable.
Press here to watch a video with Robert Kiyosaki that teaches you about the success quadrant
Ending Thoughts About Success
Well there you have it. I implore you to read each and everyone one of these success books. They will change your life, this coming from personal experience and from vicarious readings from others.
Like I said before, it is not enough to read this for entertainment – you must gain a conceptual understanding and actually implement them into your life.
I always love comments and what your thoughts are, so please share what you think!