I read a lot of non-fiction books. And though I wouldn’t call myself a prolific reader, I will admit to being a little obsessed.
Okay – A LOT obsessed.
Sometimes it feels as though there aren’t enough lifetimes to read all the books I’ve got lined up in my list.
So what’s my criteria?
Any book that allows me to better myself or think in a totally new way.
Lots of books have done that. But these ten picks went above and beyond. It’s hardly an exaggeration. They literally changed my life.
They either changed the way I think, the way I speak or the way I act. Basically, the way I live.
So it’s no surprise that I have read some of them two or three times over – and will keep doing so every couple of years.
Hopefully they’ve changed or they’ll change your life as much as they did mine.
1. Mastery by Robert Greene
This one’s an obvious first. Robert Greene rocked my world with The 48 Laws of Power so picking up this book was a no-brainer.
Greene covers the lives of historical masters and contemporary outliers with such detail, it’s impossible to not get inspired. According to him, we can all reach mastery in anything we put our minds to if we are willing to work as hard and as persistently as the geniuses he expounds on did.
I’ve not finished reading the book yet.
Mostly because I don’t want to get to the last page.
Yeah, it’s that good!
2. The Gifts Of Imperfection by Brené Brown
This one was a total life changer. It changed the way I relate to others and most importantly, how I relate to myself.
It’s a book written by a researcher of Shame and Vulnerability so you can imagine just how much juicy data it comes from. Dr. Brené Brown doesn’t just talk about her findings. She also shares her personal experiences with shame and vulnerability and this gives the book such a personal touch.
In essence, the book is a perfectly-written instruction manual about wholehearted living (the decision to cultivate courage, compassion, and connection in an effort to live from a place of worthiness) and how to accept our imperfections.
I got to read it at a time when I really needed to look at my imperfections in a different light. It was suggested by a dear friend who also read it at a point in their life when they absolutely needed it.
3.Linchpin by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is right up there in my list of favourite writers. His simple prose and chopped up sections make his books really easy reads.
Linchpin was a game changer for me.
Godin goes deep with the idea that the best way to avoid being replaced in what you do is to be truly indispensable. Something we’ve all certainly thought about. But this book gives you the play by play of how to achieve it.
Godin says you need to be an artist in order to be indispensable. By ‘artist’ he means adding some soul and emotion to your work – an idea that will certainly transform how you look at your work, your career and your life in general.
The words in this book have stayed with me ever since.
4. The Element by Sir Ken Robinson
After watching Sir Ken Robinson’s highly-acclaimed TED Talk, I decided right away that I had to pick up his book. And it didn’t disappoint.
The Element is a book that inspires readers to find their own unique passion. It follows the ideas that Sir Ken Robinson spoke about on the TED stage back in 2005.
The book asserts that finding your Element is not just good for you – it’s great for the community at large. Another over-arching point the book makes is that educational systems need to help students find their Element.
The knighted author also uses anecdotes about well-known personalities to illustrate his points in this book.
It’s certainly a book worth picking up.
5. The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
I’m almost certain I picked up this book right after I was fired from a job I had put a lot of hard work on. The book helped me to pick myself up and tread on in the path of lots of resistance.
As the name suggests, the book is about how to live an unconventional life.
Chris Guillebeau makes a strong case about how to embrace non-conformity and live the life of your dreams. Just like he did/does.
What I loved about the book was the fact that Guillebeau makes things seem doable. Especially those things we are so afraid of trying.
The book has a way of giving you the balls to go for what you want.
6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
I don’t know where to begin with this one.
I am hoping my former bosses are not reading this – but I attribute my disdain for an office environment to this book right here.
It’s also because of this book that I seek some kind of freedom in all areas related to my livelihood.
The 4-Hour Work Week is pretty much a Bible for digital nomads, remote workers and entrepreneurs. The idea is not necessarily about working 4 hours a week only. It’s more about how to get the freedom to do what’s most important in your life.
It’s about not deferring your life but living it fully in the present.
Ferriss shares his personal experiences alongside inspiring words that’ll get you off your butt in case you’ve been looking to escape a mediocre existence.
7. Flinch by Julien Smith
I remember this being one of the first books I got on my tablet’s kindle app. And it was a great choice!
It’s basically a guidebook on how to step outside your comfort zone.
There are times when we don’t go for what will make a huge difference in our lives because we flinch. We avoid progressing because we feel fear creeping in. The book emphasizes that yes fear will be there, but what’s important is to move forward despite it.
Julien Smith is quite gifted at presenting this overdone subject in a refreshing way. Flinch is definitely worth a read. And it’ll take just under an hour to finish.
8. Wealth Can’t Wait by David Osborn and Paul Morris
This is one I am still in the process of reading. And I must tell you – I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
I decided to read it because (I must admit) I’m not the most financially savvy person out there. Nor I’m I as entrepreneurial as I would like to be.
But as I read the book, I realised it’s about more than just how to manage your money and how to become wealthy. It is a guidebook that’ll switch your perspective on a large number of things that go on inside your head.
This book will teach you how to identify the things that push you further away from the kind of life you imagine for yourself.
It’s a book that’s worth reading over and over again.
9. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
This one’s a book that reeks of “self-helpiness” but make no mistake – it’s different.
It’s different because Jen Sincero is a gifted and sincere story teller.
As the name suggests, the book’s about how to get you to become the badass you’ve always wanted to be – without the doubts that you’ve been dragging around in your head.
It follows Sincero’s own experiences coupled with some inspirational notions that are set to light a fire under your butt.
I totally recommended it.
10. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
If you’ve always been curious to learn any kind of Philosophy, then this book is right up your alley.
It is not a Philosophy book for people who just want to sit and think.
It’s for people who want to act.
In the book, Ryan Holiday talks about using Stoicism as a mental model. The main idea is that we can reframe the obstacles we face in order to push forward towards success and fulfillment in life.
The book is filled with anecdotes of how some of the most successful people in history applied stoicism to overcome challenging situations.
Trust me, you’ll won’t be able to look at your problems in the same way ever again.
It’s definitely worth a read.