The Alchemist

This is a classic read when you are facing a life change or contemplating making one. It makes you evaluate your path and gives you the fight to go on. The book is written as a parable about a boy finding his mission in life. Don't worry, it is relatable and has many solid take-aways.

Favorite Quote

"No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it."

Things to Know

  • Something you should reread often
  • You'll probably end up buying copies for friends
  • Applicable to everyone
  • Short read and easy read

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The Obstacle Is the Way

Not gonna lie, ancient stoicism sounds boring. Somehow Ryan Holiday has found a way to make it interesting, relative, and more applicable than you ever thought. Although this book is based on ancient ideas, Ryan uses modern examples of people turning obstacles into opportunities. It's not a diluted, feel-good story about life working out. It has substance, and you'll be better for reading it.

Favorite Quote

"There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means."

Things to Know

  • Read to feel a boost and get unstuck
  • It's a little more on the intellectual side
  • You'll feel smarter after reading it
  • It can shift the way you view success

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The War of Art

This book is like a friend who shoots it straight with you because that's what you need to hear. It punches you in the gut, but in the best way possible, of course. Although it's directed to creative endeavors, it applies to all walks of life. In only a few words, Steven Pressfield cuts right to your excuses of why you are not creating what you want. But he doesn't leave you hanging there. He offers a way out.

Favorite Quote

"Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."

Things to Know

  • A short book you can read in chunks
  • Another book you can reread throughout life
  • You'll find yourself underlining a lot

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The Crossroads of
Should and Must

There's a little spark, a dream, an idea inside all of us. Life can easily squish it. In this book, Elle will make you believe in yourself and this more than ever. It's a beautifully illustrated guide to believing again.

Favorite Quote

"All too often, we feel that we are not living the fullness of our lives because we are not expressing the fullness of our gifts."

Things to Know

  • Something more whimsical (and fun) than practical action steps
  • You'll think about it long after you finished reading it
  • It's really beautifully illustrated

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A Million Miles
in a Thousand Years

One of the most honest books you'll read about a man making his life the one he wanted. It will challenge you to do the same. It's such an enjoyable and engaging read. When you make future decisions and choices, you'll probably cite this book as a reason.

Favorite Quote

"And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time."

Things to Know

  • You'll definitely share this book with everyone
  • It may cause you to make drastic changes to your life
  • You'll be surprised how quickly you read it

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Outliers

Ever heard of the 10,000 hours concept? This is where it comes from. One of the most brilliant minds of our day examines what it takes to be massively successful. It's rarely talent only. Oftentimes it's circumstantial. This is more of an intellectual take on what makes successful people different. It'll change the way you see success and help you reconsider how you perceive success.

Favorite Quote

"We prematurely write off people as failures. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail."

Things to Know

  • You'll feel smart reading it and will have so many fun facts you can cite at dinner parties
  • The world makes a little more sense because of it
  • Dense but still understandable

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The Checklist Manifesto

A very practical read that will stick with you. It's about a stupidly simple concept. All mistakes aren't the same. Some happen because we didn't know better, but most happen because we didn't properly carry out what we know. This book focuses on the latter, and teaches you why you need a checklist to perform at a higher level.

Favorite Quote

"Checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realized."

Things to Know

  • A very quick read
  • Something simple, but impactful and influential in scale
  • A lot of example stories (it reads like a story-book at times)

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How to Win Friends
and Influence People

Now, I know this title sounds cheesy and like a sales pitch. But there is a reason this is one of the bestselling self-help books of all time. It teaches social skills that make you a likable, persuasive person who will have influence. It's not voodoo, but practically applies basic psychology principles.

Favorite Quote

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."

Things to Know

  • Good for growing in leadership
  • Easy to grasp and very practical
  • You'll have tactical tips to put into practice that will help you connect and influence better

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The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People

I know, I know...it sounds like a buzzword, but this book is foundational in understanding productivity and what kills it. This is another book that is massively popular, but for good reason. It's about seven habits that get you above your day-to-day and helps you see the strategy behind what you want to be doing. Stephen teaches you how to separate busyness from what's actually important, and how to create a strategy for working well with people.

Favorite Quote

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."

Things to Know

  • Business focused
  • Reveals the layers beneath the surface of relationships
  • Will teach you the difference between the important and the urgent

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Rising Strong

There's a good chance you have heard the name Brené Brown. For good reason. She is schooling us all on all those touchy feely subjects, from a scholarly yet approachable way. If you care about improving relationships of all nature in your life, especially the one with yourself, read this.

Favorite Quote

"The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us."

Things To Know

  • Equips you with words to express things you didn't know how to
  • Centered on relationships and self-development
  • Especially good for folks not aware of how they are feeling

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