Updated: Mar 9, 2020
Do you want to learn from experience or from the experiences of others?
The main thing that keeps humanity progressing is the ability to learn from the experience of others. It would be hard to build a car if every person had to invent the wheel for himself. We would only be able to use one lifetime of experience at most and humanity would remain stagnant.
“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”
-Otto von Bismarck
Transfer a lifetime of learning to some hours of reading
In order to thrive, we must find ways to learn what took others lifetimes to discover in a short amount of time. This is how we can achieve heights never before imagined. Someone else invented the wheel, someone else invented the engine, and someone else invented the components, so I can assemble the car.
There is a lot of knowledge to be found in books. These people have spent lifetimes observing and practicing certain skills that they consolidate into a few hundred pages for your consumption. That is truly amazing to me. As young as a teenager, I knew many things that others had spent lifetimes searching for, just because I read a book.
That knowledge shouldn’t be taken for granted or ignored.
Imagine if you spent a lifetime learning how to fix any relationship and truly master the art of that kind of repair. You understand it deeply enough that you can highlight and explain all of the key topics and bind it into a book. But then no one picks it up. You see people suffer, you see broken families and broken hearts, and you know how to fix it, but no one is willing to open the book and learn!
Those are the kinds of things you’re missing out on if you don’t read self help books!
The most successful people read a lot of nonfiction books
I challenge you to find a highly successful person who is wealthy, happy, and fulfilled in life who does not read self help books. Any billionaire you look up will have a list of favorite books. Dave Ramsey says the average millionaire reads one nonfiction book a month. Not every person who reads is successful, but nearly every successful person reads!
I think one of the distinguishing factors is applying the principles. Reading without action has little value. I can read about how to change my life, but if I don’t act, it won’t change my life. Many books have completely turned people’s lives around for the better. There is so much wisdom and help to be found!
My favorite self-help books (and how they helped me)
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - Post coming soon!
My dad and grandpa praised this book all my life, but then one day my boss made me read it. If I were to pick one book that would help with the most aspects of my life, this would probably be it. It teaches about self-mastery and working with other people. It is a great book for business, relationships, and life. I love the principles in this book!
This book is very inspirational as we learn from Hal Elrod, probably one of the most inspiring people in the world. He explains how he overcame immense adversity and the ultimate morning routine he created to inspire success in your daily life.
Getting Things Done - Post coming soon!
This book is an amazing lesson in productivity. I haven’t quite applied all the parts to my life, since it takes a lot of control and intentionality, but it gives some amazing strategies in doing your work efficiently without getting bogged down.
The Gifts of the Spirit - Post coming soon!
This book was a gift I received for my 18th birthday. It talks about how to seek the spiritual gifts Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 12. It’s a topic I greatly enjoy.
Never Split the Difference - Post coming soon!
This is the ultimate negotiation book. It is written by Chris Voss, a former FBI negotiator, and contains amazing stories of negotiating with terrorists and how to make both sides happy, without compromise. This is probably the second most impactful book to me on this list.
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail - Post coming soon!
Learn from one of the world’s leading marriage experts the science of marriage and the ways to make yours last.
Getting to Yes - Post coming soon!
I consider this a precursor to Never Split the Difference. Learn how to focus on the interests of both parties and find a solution that satisfies both of them. Again, we don’t want to compromise, but find a solution both parties are fully happy with.
How to Succeed with People - Post coming soon!
Written by the genius behind Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this book takes a more religious view of how to handle interactions with people. I read it recently and I found it to be very easy to digest and very insightful.
Learn what really matters most to the people you care about by finding their core motivations. Understand what they love most about life, so you can help them enjoy life more. Do the same for yourself!
It is somewhat antiquated, since Chris Hogan released Everyday Millionaires, but it has similar principles as it gives statistics on millionaires in the 90s and shows the patterns they follow. It shows you what real wealth-building takes.
The Total Money Makeover - Post coming soon!
Written by our beloved Dave Ramsey, this book gives his advice on how to turn your finances around and use seven baby steps to obtain financial freedom.
The Richest Man in Babylon - Post coming soon!
This is a fictitious story about ancient Babylon, where the richest man explains his secrets to building his awesome wealth.
What is your favorite self help book? I want you to find one, review the contents, and reflect on its principles. Please share it with me as well!