Principles – Ray Dalio – This might be hard to get through but read it and re-read it. Decision making is fundamental to everything you do and if you can adopt some of Ray’s principles you’re almost guaranteed to improve your life. Here’s an excerpt to get you started:
Understanding, accepting, and knowing how to effectively deal with reality are crucial for achieving success. Having truth on your side is extremely powerful.
While the truth itself may be scary—you have a weakness, you have a deadly disease, etc.—knowing the truth will allow you to deal with your situation better.
Being truthful, and letting others be truthful with you, allows you to
explore your own thoughts and exposes you to the feedback that is essential for your learning.
Being truthful is an extension of your freedom to be you.
When I Stop Talking You’ll Know I’m Dead – Jerry Weintraub / Total Recall – Arnold Schwarzenegger – Who doesn’t love a good biography, come-on. These are both amazing.
The 10x Rule – Grant Cardone / Go-Givers Sell More – Bob Burg / Wisdom Of Success – Andrew Carnegie & Napolean Hill — I know I’m cheating here but these three books will prime your mindset on approach, attitude and activity when it comes to selling.
Relentless – Tim Grover / The Rise of Superman – Steven Kotler — I’m giving these a tie, sort of similar.. both talk about getting in your “zone” or flow state for whatever it is you want to be great at.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra – This book will change your life, get the audio.
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson – If you’re into futurist sci-fi and haven’t read any Neal Stephenson, do it! This was amazing. Fun fact it comes highly recommended by Bill Gates and many other world leaders.
Thinking and Reasoning – Jonathan St B. T. Evan– For a short book this is packed with many useful ideas. It taught me how syllogisms work and the way accepted logic can impede our sense of what’s valid or true. (eg. All A are B, All C are B, therefore all C are A .. is an example of a NOT valid syllogism. It only becomes obvious when you add analogies like: All cats are dogs, All dogs are animals, therefore all dogs are cats.)
The Tell-Tale Brain – V.S. Ramachandran – Fascinating and surprisingly entertaining book on the brain and how it works. The most interesting part for me was his work with “mirror-neurons” and their many different applications. He’s famous for the mirror box application and cure to phantom limbs in amputee patients. Interesting to find out that one commonality in autistic people is their lack of this brain function. It’s been proven that via these “mirror-neurons” the same parts of the brain fire while watching someone experience an emotion as would if we were having that experience ourselves. This could help explain why people diagnosed with autism usually lack empathy and the ability to mime or mimic people (one of the most powerful tools we have to learn new things).
I liked this book a lot. It talks about how delayed gratification is one of the most reliable signs of future success. Can also give you some ideas are resisting temptation or breaking habits using If/then statements. One bit of insight that I thought was cool is that the people who were better at delayed gratification were typically better at seeing themselves in the third person or watching as “you” make the decision. These individuals would commonly project themselves into other scenes or scenarios to help them get their desired outcome.
Osho – Living Dangerously
My first experience with Osho but I was a big fan. The most impactful parable in the book for me was this: The story goes a wealthy magician was also a Shephard. He was very cheap and didn’t want to pay anyone to tend to his sheep to protect them from the wolves so he hypnotized them into thinking they were lions and tigers. He said, “don’t be scared you are a lion, no wolf will attack you.” So the sheep never left. Every day he would butcher a couple sheep, yet the other sheep paid no attention as they didn’t think they were sheep… then he goes on to say, when someone does has it ever occurred to you that is your death?
The Systems Mindset – Sam Carpenter
This book is definitely spot on. I’ve had a harder time than expected to implement the ideas. Basically, he says think of everything you desire in your life as the result of a machine. If you can spend more time “in the basement” (where he keeps his proverbial machine) working on your machine then you will ultimately have better results. It’s a powerful idea though. Don’t think of an end result as a prayer or a wish, it’s literally just the result of the proper system in place to achieve the desired results.
12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson
This will likely make a top five list of self-development for me. Hard to argue with the idea of taking responsibility and ownership for your life.
This guy is so fascinating. He was one of the physicists who worked on the Manhattan project and developed the atomic bomb. However, he’s mostly known for his extremely simple explanations to complex problems. Worth a follow on twitter.
Letters From a Stoic – Seneca
Not exactly a book you read cover to cover. It literally is just a bunch of letters or stories put together. Decent bed time reading on Stoicism, slightly challenging to read for any length of time though.
A Primer of Freudian Psychology – Calvin Hall
Here is my review on the book.
I listened to this book first because I saw this interview with Joe Dispenza on London Real. I’ve been obsessed with his stuff ever since. He talks more scientifically in this book about how to change your thoughts pattens and neural networks in your brain.
This is easily one of my favourite books ever. It goes super deep on the science behind the mind body connection. This book is almost guaranteed to bring some new awareness to your existing beliefs. For example, he explains how the reason most people have mood swings or can’t control their emotions is because they are simply reacting to their bodies. The bodies feel a certain way and we think back in our artifact of a brain that stores how we perceive history and tell us how we should feel. This is sub optimal for living your best life because any time you are sore or tired or feeling weak your mind takes you on a downward spiral of negative emotions. Instead, if you can detach your thinking mind from your body, observe any negative feelings and instead CHOOSE positive thoughts that serve you. You are now becoming a deliberate creator instead of a reactionary passenger to your life. It sounds very philosophical but he has all the science to back up how our bodies react to our thoughts the same exact way they do to actual experiences. He unravels the consequences and opportunities of that fact in the book. Highly recommend it.
Vegabonding – Rolf Potts – More of a how-to guide than a story. Not sure why this is a Tim Ferris favourite.
Factfulness – Hans Rosling – If you think the world is coming to an end read this book. It does a great job of widening your perspective on the world and the biases we have in the Western world.
The Order of Time – Carlo Rovelli – If you’re going down a rabbit hole of Quantum Physics this could be interesting for you otherwise probably not worth it.
Orwell On Truth – George Orwell – Interesting book, helps you think more rationally about decisions and gives you insight to how powerful fake news can be. “In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be Illusions, but they are very powerful illusions.”