“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” – Harry S. Truman
– READING is an incredibly important aspect to personal development. There’s a reason why the top CEOs in the world are known to read an exponentially greater amount of books each year in comparison to the every day individual. They understand and reap the rewards of constantly expanding their ideas, instincts, and overall mental health by reading. Below I’ll list my top 5 book recommendations with a short summary and why I think they are so beneficial to personal development.
Like I’ve said in my other posts, I stand by my philosophy of it all starts with your attitude and thinking. John C. Maxwell is one of my favorite authors and speakers when it comes to personal development because of his incredible talent to tell stories and challenge your thinking without getting too complicated. In other words, he uses logic and common sense to help adjust your attitude and thinking. This is especially true in his short book ‘Attitude 101.’
One of the greatest concepts that this book covers is the idea that “good attitudes on a team do not guarantee its success, but bad attitudes guarantee its ruin” This concept is true not only in a team aspect but in our individual lives as well. This book helps readers recognize the importance attitude plays in their personal and professional lives, identify attitude, behavior, and thinking problems in their own lives, and creates new definitions of what it means to adopt a new and constructive attitude.
This book has played a big role in shaping my development. It has opened my mind to a whole new realm of ideas in how attitude effects situations in my life. Because of the ideas discussed in this book I am now able to recognize when my attitude has affected me for the better and when attitude, if poor, has affected me negatively. This book is a great place to start in the journey of personal development.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad:
This book by Robert Kiyosaki, the founder of the Rich Dad Company, a financial education company, is one of the first books on personal growth my father ever had me read. Have you ever heard the idea of having your money work for you rather than working for your money? This book explores that idea in detail and destroys the idea that one has to earn a high income in order to be successfully financially. This book follows the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his Father and the Father of Robert’s best friend. Robert’s real father is the poor dad and the father of his best friend is his rich dad. Robert shares how both fathers shaped his attitude and thoughts on money and investing.
Here are the top lessons this book provides –
- ‘It’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.’
- ‘The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.’
- ‘It’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold.’
- ‘The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth.’
- ‘The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.’
- ‘People who avoid failure also avoid success.’
I urge you to start your learning on personal finance, money in general, and investing with this book in full.
The Millionaire Next Door:
I’ve mentioned in the past that this book was the first book my father ever paid me to read and boy has it paid its dividends. Rich Dad, Poor Dad changes your thoughts on money and investing and this book gives you facts about how the rich actually manage their money.
What sort of person do you picture when you think of a millionaire? Do you see a garage full of sports cars, a massive mansion, wild parties, and lots of flashy items? This book debunks that idea and explores the truth that the majority of millionaires in the world, and mainly the United States, live a very simple lifestyle. The authors of this book did extensive research to provide statistics on millionaires that show pop culture’s idea of millionaires is in fact quite false.
The book makes it a point to show the fact that many people with high incomes are not actually rich. In fact, most of these individuals fail entirely to accumulate long term wealth. The authors point out the hyper-consumer lifestyle’s these people lead and just how opposite they are of the individuals who have accumulated lasting wealth.
Here are the 7 common denominators of those who successfully build wealth:
- They live below their means.
- Their money, time, and energy is managed efficiently in a way that supports wealth building.
- Financial independence is more important than social status.
- The majority of millionaires were actually not supported by their parents financially.
- The children of millionaires are financially self-sufficient.
- Targeting market opportunities are a specialty skill learned.
- They choose the right occupation.
- 80% of millionaires are first generation rich.
- 20% of millionaires are retired
- 50% of millionaires own a business
The Richest Man in Babylon:
Through metaphors, parables, and a simple overarching story, this book provides financial education in an enjoyable and common sense manor. The stories provided help teach the reader the basics to accumulating wealth for the long-term. The book covers every area of personal finances and it has greatly affected how I manage my own finances. Other than three major take aways, there’s not much more to summarize, but I urge you to get on this fast read right away to develop your financial management abilities.
- Live below your means
- Save and Invest 10% of your income
- Learn to gain knowledge and wisdom.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
One of my favorite books of all time was written by Stephen Covey, the famed personal development author and educator. This book focuses on principles that may go out of style but will never change in results they attract. The great concept of this book is that Covey writes that our perceptions of the world comes from the way we view the world — again, attitude. The book explores the idea that in order to change our situations we must change our ourselves and in order to change ourselves we must change our perceptions.
The first 3 habits focus on self-mastery, habits 4,5, and 6 are centralized around teamwork and communication, and habit 7 delves into constant growth – personal development.
The seven habits:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
My Top 5 Book Recommendations:
“We must become the change we want to see.” — Mahatma Gandhi