Hello readers, I’m going to share with you five books that have significantly impacted my life. The order I have put them in is the order I read them and not the order of value, because they’re all equally valuable, in my eyes.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad is probably the first what I call “real educational” book I learnt from, and that opened up a whole new world for me. I had only ever read fiction, because any educational book I had read was for school and university. They were all written by academics, and to me the learning they gave me was to pass a test or write an assignment. They never gave me anything I could use in real life. Rich Dad Poor Dad changed all that. But anyway, I’ll get on with it for you.
I was always bad with money. I never saved it. Statically, this is like many people in the UK, living from pay cheque to pay cheque. Rich Dad Poor Dad saved me from this terrible habit. The book Rich Dad is all about personal finance, and before you say “boring” – this book is actually completely fascinating It’s also very simple to follow. The background story is that Robert was born into an “average” family with his dad being a university lecturer. He describes his dad as having a poor person’s mindset. That is, they valued things like academic education and getting a safe and secure job rather than chasing their dreams.
However, Robert had a friend whose dad was financially successful. Robert calls him his rich dad and the book details all the teachings his rich dad gave him. It’s been a few years since I read Rich Dad, but these were the main learnings for me that have stuck with me.
Lesson 1, The Rich Don’t Work for Money: instead of being stuck in a career chasing salary increases, in other words working for money – the rich make money work for them. The rich create income sources that don’t require their presence. These income sources grow without you once you’ve set them up.
Lesson 2, Learn Financial Literacy: If you make money, but you don’t learn how to manage it, you’ll soon lose it. Robert says to remember these three simple observations:
- The rich buy assets
- The poor only have expenses
- The middle class buy liabilities they think are assets
Lesson 3, Mind Your Own Business: relying only on your pay cheque is a high-risk strategy, because no job is safe. The 2008 economy showed even public sector jobs aren’t safe. By creating alternative incomes means you create a safety net, but it’s also a path to riches. Robert says keep you daytime job, but start buying real assets, not liabilities.
Lesson 4, The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations: gain a good understanding of accounting, investing, the markets, and law. This will allow you to spot opportunities and protect your assets.
Lesson 5, The Rich Invent Money: in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold. You need to take risks to get ahead.
Lesson 6, Work to Learn Don’t Work for Money: The saying goes, first you learn then you earn. Robert emphasises the importance of learning management and communication skills but also sales and marketing skills. You need to learn then the earnings will follow.
The Luck Factor – Richard Wiseman
Okay, so this is probably the book I most recommend to people when they ask me what’s my favourite book. I’ve always been fascinated by lucky people. We probably all have those people in our lives that always get the best jobs, the best partners and the best opportunities. The type of people who find money on the floor or bump into cool people. I’m not talking about the fake people what pretend their lie is great on Instagram, I mean the truly lucky people. At the height of my interest I stumbled across the book The Luck factor by Richard Wiseman.
Basically, professor Richard Wiseman studied lucky people and unlucky people. His experiments are very insightful and eye opening. I don’t want to go too much into the book, because it’ll spoilt it, but what Richard found was that luck is a combination of mindset and behaviours. He discovered luck can be learnt.
In brief Richard defines Four Principles to become lucky:
Principle One – To maximise your chance opportunities…
1. Build and maintain a strong network of luck.
2. Have a relaxed attitude towards life.
3. Be open to new experiences in your life
Principle Two – Listen to your lucky hunches…
1. Pay attention to your gut feeling and hunches.
2. Take steps to boost your intuition.
Principle Three: – To expect good fortune…
1. Expect good fortune in the future.
2. Attempt to achieve your goals even if your chances of success seem slim, and persevere in the face of failure.
3. Expect your interactions with others to be lucky and successful.
Principle Four: – Turn your bad luck into good…
1. Whenever you encounter bad luck, look at the positive side of your experience.
2. Ill fortune may work out for the best.
3. Don’t dwell on your ill fortune.
4. Take constructive steps to prevent bad luck in your future.
All of the above principles have specific details on how they work that I can’t go into here, so grab a copy of the book and increase your luck.
Mindset – Dr Carol S. Dweck
This book had a massive influence on my mindset, which I guess you’d expect from a book called Mindset. But honestly, this is another amazing book.
You may have realised that one thing that all champions and winners have in common is a very strong mindset. The greatest champions such as Mohammed Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor have mindsets on a completely higher level. Yes, they’re physically brilliant, but they have a mindset that literally willed their success.
In the book, Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area. She calls this the “Growth Mindset”. So what is the Growth Mindset? In short, characteristics such as intelligence, personality, and creativity are not seen as fixed traits. They’re seen as characteristics that can be developed. A growth mindset comes from the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through effort. it’s having a mindset that wants to continue to grow and learn. It never shy’s away from challenges. It sees defeat as a learning experience not a result of who you are.
For example, if a child has been prised as a brilliant and intelligent mathematician. If that child then plays football for the first time and isn’t very good they might then never play again. This is for the fear that themselves and others will see they’re not brilliant and intelligent. Someone with a growth mindset, will play regardless and they understand that to be good at something you at first need to be bad at it.
These mentalities can be seen as early as four years old. In one of Dweck’s studies:
“We offered four-year-olds a choice: They could redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or they could try a harder one. Even at this tender age, children with the fixed mindset – the ones who believed in fixed traits – stuck with the safe one. Kids who are born smart “don’t do mistakes,” they told us.
Children with the growth mindset – the ones who believed you could get smarter – thought it was a strange choice. Why are you asking me this, lady? Why would anyone want to keep doing the same puzzle over and over? They chose one hard one after another. “I’m dying to figure them out!” exclaimed one little girl.
So children with the fixed mindset want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed. But for children with the growth mindset, success is about stretching themselves. It’s about becoming smarter.
One seventh-grade girl summed it up. “I think intelligence is something you have to work for…it isn’t just given to you….Most kids, if they’re not sure of an answer, will not raise their hand to answer the question. But what I usually do is raise my hand, because if I’m wrong, then my mistake will be corrected. Or I will raise my hand and say, ‘How would this be solved?’ or ‘I don’t get this. Can you help me?’ Just by doing that I’m increasing my intelligence.”.”
This is a great book to read, especially if you have children.
How To Be A 3% Man – Corey Wayne
This book might seem a weird one, probably even a bit taboo, but I think it should be standard reading for most men.
How To be A 3% Man is all about dating and relationships. Now like most men, no one wants to admit they’re not great with the opposite sex, or you might think some men are born with the ability to be a good communicator with people. However, if you apply Dwecks “Growth Mindset” from the previous book you’ll release that even being good with woman can be learnt. Now this book isn’t a pick-up book although you could use the learnings to do that, it’s more about building relationships.
It’ll be hard to summarise this book without doing it justice, because it’s about a complicated subject of people’s personalities and behaviours. However, Wayne does a great job at simplifying everything and it’s a very easy read.
Wayne makes it absolutely clear that you can only attract what you can attract, and he doesn’t lie or oversell that everyone is going to suddenly become attracted to you after you read his book. It’s not that type of book. It’s more about finding the right person for you and then showing you what to do and not to do, to get that person to fall in love with you. All the stuff that people do in successful relationships.
Just as an example, he discusses how many men over communicate and never give the woman the chance to think about him and wonder what he’s doing. Instead, he’s too easily available and women want what they can’t have. They don’t feel safe with men they can have their way with. He explains how most women want a man and he teaches you how to be a man. Encouraging you to chase your passion and be in your masculine state.
What To Say When You Talk To Your Self – Shad Helmstetter
We all talk to ourselves and Shad explains how the quality of our lives is down to the quality of our programming. That’s how we talk to ourselves. How we talk to ourselves is largely determined by the underlying programming we have.
The best way to change your programming is through Self-Talk. Chad explains that there are five levels of Self-Talk:
Level One, Negative Self-Talk: probably for most people the negative voice is more dominant than our positive voice. We talk ourselves out of things that we want, we tell ourselves we’re going to fail. Negative Self-Talk is things like “I’m so tired.”, “I can’t do that.”, “I won’t get that job.” Etc.
Level Two, Recognition and Need to Change: this is a level up from negative Self-Talk but it’s still negative. It’s phrases like “I should probably go the gym.” Or “I should probably stop smoking.”. This type of Self-Talk develops guilt, disappointment and then acceptance of our own self-imagined inadequacies.
Level Three, The Decision to Change: at this level, you recognise the need to change and make it happen. For example, “I’m never going to smoke again.” In this case, you won’t stop smoking straight away, but the subconscious mind will believe anything you tell it if you tell it long enough and strongly enough. The result is that’ll eventually stop smoking.
Level Four, The Better You: Shad says this is the type of Self-Talk you need, but is used the least. At this level, you’re painting a new picture of yourself. For example, “I am a winner.”, and “I am full of energy and life.”.
Level Five, The Level of Universal Affirmation: this is a spiritual level about being one with the universe. However, Shad recommends you focus on level three and four Self-Talk and level five will come in time.
This is a very short compact summary of my top 5 books that have impacted my life. You may have noticed that the underlying thread in this blog is mindset and each book helps with a certain area of your mindset. While our bodies are very important, our minds are more important than the body. It’s our minds that create our reality.