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10 Inspirational Books Recommended By Highly Successful People

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10 Inspirational Books Recommended By Highly Successful People

I am often inspired by the life stories of really successful people. Some, like Oprah Winfrey, have come from pretty terrible circumstances.

Others, like Bill Gates, come from rather ordinary white American upbringings. Others are the children of immigrants, like Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy. One part of these individuals’ lives I have never quite considered is what books they read – what are their favorites, and have those books influenced them, inspired them, or simply entertained them?

Here are 10 books that are recommended by some current icons:

 

1. Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics by Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Freakonomics booksThese two books provide new twists on the study of economics, pulling together seemingly unrelated phenomena and showing their relationships. In the first book, such chapters as “Why Drug Dealers Still Live with their Mothers,” describes the entire corporate structure of drug kingpins and the fact that the corner drug dealer would make more working at McDonald’s. The second book is just as “freaky,” with compelling chapter titles such as, “What do Prostitutes and Department Store Santa’s Have in Common?

I really liked Freakonomics and I think SuperFreakonomics is even better. I recommend this book to anyone who reads nonfiction…one of my favorite things in the book is the debunking of many of the studies economists have done that they use as the basis for claiming that people are irrational in their choices….” – Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft)

 

2. Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels bookJohnathan Swift was a satirical writer of the 18th century who criticized England, the self-righteousness of governments that rule over others because they are somehow more enlightened or morally correct (referring to England’s ruling over its colonies), and the foibles of human nature in general.

To learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos (slaves in the book).” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

 

3. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The lean startup bookThis book proposes ways in which new startups can scientifically, more efficiently, and more rapidly test out their innovations, so that money and time are not wasted. As such, the methods proposed by Ries, are operational both in a college dorm room and in a corporate boardroom. Clearly, this is a book for today’s entrepreneur.

“If you want to read only one book on startups, you should choose The Lean Startup. It’s about one of the hottest startup theories today. Startup is all about testing your idea, hypotheses, and then finding their best combination. Like a science, not a casino.” – Dustin Moskovitz (Co-Founder of Facebook)

 

4. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore

An Inconvenient Truth bookAccording to Branson, he began reading the book while in the bathtub and was so absorbed and disturbed at the same time that he could not stop. Gore has made the case about climate change and man’s guilt in its cause, with data that really cannot be interpreted any other way.

Branson was so shaken by the book, and, specifically, the contributions of the transportation industry to the problem that he subsequently has pledged all of the profits from Virgin Airlines to clean energy efforts and has made it his mission to pressure other “dirty” industries to contribute as well.

 

5. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

The_Happiness_Hypothesis bookThis book of lessons from the ancient has pearls of wisdom such as giving and serving are the way to happiness and that reaching toward a goal and not reaching it can be happiness too.

This is probably the book that’s made the biggest impact on my life over the past five years. The author examines the beliefs about happiness of different cultures, religions and philosophers from different periods, and then compares those beliefs with research that’s been done on the science of happiness. The book is thought-provoking and the concepts can be applied to business and to life.” – Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos)

 

6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Catcher in the Rye bookThis is the story of Holden Caulfield, a teen who has been expelled from school and is in search of himself. The events and encounters he has are typical of a teen in the 1960’s, but are just as relevant today as then. This is also on the favorite list of Bill Gates.

It’s very clever. It acknowledges that young people are a little confused but can be smart about things and see things that adults can’t. I’ve always loved it.” – Bill Gates (Founder of Microsoft)

 

7. Running on Empty by Peter Peterson

Running on Empty bookPeterson writes a scathing condemnation of all politicians who are too concerned about their own political futures than to do the right things – fix the tax code; stop huge cuts and subsidies to corporations that don’t need or deserve, pass laws that will harm future generations, and fail to fix critical programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Today, too many of our country’s key economic decisions are being made with an eye to the next election rather than to the next generation.” – Warren Buffet

 

8. The Power of Now by Eckert Tolle

The Power of Now BookPhilosopher and “new age” spiritualist Tolle posits that time is an illusion and that there really is only “now” for any of us. But living in the moment does not mean that we are to be superficial “carpe diem” actors – we need to engage in “mindfulness,” to become one with the Universe through that mindfulness, and that will take us to the action we are meant to pursue. There is a lot of Zen Buddhism in this book, and Oprah Winfrey recommended it many times on her iconic TV show, having Tolle on as a guest several times.

 

9. Competing Against Time by George Stalk

Competing Against Time BookThe thesis of this work is that time is now added to the other three critical factors of competitiveness – money, productivity, and quality. In fact, says the author, because changes and innovations are occurring so rapidly, that time may indeed come to be the single most important factor in remaining competitive.

Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) is so enamored with this book, that he passes it out everywhere and recommends its reading to all new hires at Apple.

 

10. Life is What You Make It by Peter Buffet (Warren Buffet’s son)

Life is What You Make It BookThis book is also on the favorites lists of Bill Clinton and Jamie Dimon. This book is autobiographical, of course, and through it, Buffett expounds on the wisdom he has accumulated from his family and his experiences. From his family, he learned that “everyone must find his own way in life.” He also challenges his readers – rather than take the way of least resistance, choose the path to greatest satisfaction.

With home-spun, heart-felt wisdom Peter Buffet ponders how to make a meaningful life, while making a living. Life is What You Make It is thought-provoking, worthwhile reading.” – Ted Turner (Media Icon and Founder of CNN)

 

I hope you enjoyed my article! Which book is your favorite from this list?

Jonathan Emmen is a student and a passionate blogger from Copenhagen and regular contributor for different educational and entertainment blogs such a ProCustomWriting writing service and others. You can follow him on @JonnyEmmen or you can also follow him on Kinja.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Mike

    Oct 3, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Good List, and I second “The Power Of Now” and “Life is What You Make It”. Although slightly redudant, Tolle really hammers home the point that the present is where your mind should be truly focused. It’s of course important to remember where you came from and what’s ahead, but the only moment that matters is the present.

    Also, was quite humbling reading about how Warrent Buffet came from a modest family but was driven to success (starting with small paper routes, all the way up to buying huge media companies).

    2 must reads!

  2. Dan K

    Sep 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list. If I may add one, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning has been extremely influential in my life.

  3. Ethan Bridges

    Sep 12, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for this list, Jonathan! Interesting list, I must say. Good timing, too, as I’m already running out of books in the shelf!

  4. Steven

    Sep 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

    The Power of Now by Tolle is by far the most important book on the list. It’s gone pretty mainstream but the message is very powerful. It’s the kind of book that finds it’s way into your life as soon as your ready for it.

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Motivation

Whenever I Am Fearful Of What People Think, I Do This.

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I’ve had some days recently where I’ve been plagued with that question “What will people think?”

“If I say that, will people hate it and could it ruin my career?”
‘If I say the truth and people dislike it, could that ruin an upcoming opportunity?”
‘If they don’t like it, will I ever get another chance?

Whenever I find myself becoming fearful of people’s opinions, I do this:

 

I compare their opinion to my mortality.

This is the main hack so let’s start with this. Whenever I find myself worrying about what people think and how it may affect my success, I remember that in the scheme of things I am only on this Earth for a short amount of time.

Anything that I say will likely be forgotten pretty quickly. People are so caught up in all the troubles of their own life that they don’t have space in their mind to remember all of my flaws and silly moments. So if people are highly unlikely to remember, then who cares what people think?

Comparing opinions to your own mortality is a fantastic way to get a reality check. This way of thinking always gets me out of my head. Death is a good motivator that will make you take action and not get caught up in your head trying to win a war against opinions.

 

I’d rather try for greatness than never know because of fear.

Being paralyzed by people’s opinions stops you from ever reaching your full potential. You end up second-guessing yourself and not taking certain actions out of fear for what people may think. You can’t enter their mind and steal their thoughts (not yet, anyway) so you’ll never know for sure.

Maybe people love what you said. Maybe what you hypothesize they’re thinking is wrong. So the truth is you’ll never know for sure.

“What I do know for sure is that greatness is within all of us and it can only be unleashed when you stop giving an F”

Greatness is achieved when you say what you think, you take vulnerable actions, you’re authentic and most of all, you don’t hold back. People’s opinions are holding you back and they don’t matter. What matters is your opinion of yourself.

 

What matters is you tried.

And your critics probably didn’t. By not being held back by opinions you end up trying things that you’d normally not do. Here are some of my own examples:

  • I went to a high interval training workout class. Normally I wouldn’t because I’m currently unfit, but because I don’t care what people think, I did it anyway and loved it.
  • I entered a public speaking competition and won against very tough competition. Normally I wouldn’t but I told myself that I can say cool stuff too.
  • I took a long plane trip overseas. Normally I wouldn’t because I have a fear of flying but because I’ve now flown enough times, flying is actually fun.
  • I started this whole blogging thing. Normally I wouldn’t of because I used to hate writing and found it dead boring. I thought people would think what I had to say was dumb. Then I discovered my passion for blogging and now it’s what I’m known for by millions of people

How much success are you leaving on the table by being shackled down with the opinions of others? Just do what you love and if people hate it then screw them. They’re obviously not your target audience or don’t get your unique talent. Giving it a go will show you more than doing nothing.

 

I think about not living my dream life.

If people’s horrible opinions of you are weighing you down, then try this reverse hack: Think about what would happen if you didn’t live your dream.

Whenever I second guess myself about giving a talk, I think about what would happen if I never discovered this whole inspiring others gift that I had secretly hidden inside of me.

When you weigh up in your head the difference between people’s thoughts of you, and living your dream life, you’ll find your mind always pushing towards the later. Use this super-sized hack to destroy your fear of opinions.

 

I remind myself of what the great’s do.

If fear of public reticule is holding me back, I think in my mind about what the greats would do. Would Steve Jobs let someone tell him that his phone needs more buttons?

“Would Martin Luther King let someone tell him that black people’s rights don’t matter and to stay at home today by the warm fire? Not in a million, trillion years”

So if the greats wouldn’t allow opinions to stop them in their tracks, why the heck would you?

 

I think of what I’m doing in comparison to the world.

An excellent way to put your actions and the opinions about them into perspective is to compare what you’re doing with the world. If you say something stupid in front of your co-workers, in the scheme of things, does that one event change the rest of the world?

Does your little mistake really matter compared with the billions of other mistakes that are happening at the same moment? Probably not.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Want To Be The Greatest? Publish Positivity.

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Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be the greatest in whatever field I entered. Now I am in the top tier of bloggers on the Internet.

 

So your question surely is: “How can I do the same?”

For starters, forget who I am and what I have and haven’t done. It’s not about me; it’s about you. It all starts with you and I’m going to give you the secret.

 

The secret is: Publish positivity.

Whether that’s publishing an email and sending it off, publishing a video online, publishing a blog post, publishing a picture on Instagram.

The key is always to publish something that’s positive.

 

It’s helped me and it can help you.

Everything I have ever published on the Internet since I started this blogging journey is positive. It’s content that is designed to take your life to the next level.

I aim to send chills down your spine.
I aim to get you to think differently.
Most of all, I aim to get you to take positive action.

 

Before all of the positivity, it started with negativity.

The thing is it didn’t start this way. My journey started with a whole lot of negativity and yours is probably similar. That’s the best place to start anything from. With so much negativity, there’s only one place to go – UP!

I always thought that success was only for those born rich. My days were spent finding reasons why something couldn’t be done. I complained all day long about everything I wanted but couldn’t get. I was tired, lonely, frustrated and pissed off at the world. We’ve all been there.

Then someone inspired me by publishing positivity. Now I want to return that favor.

I want everyone to be able to become inspired and then make the same decision as me to publish positivity from now on. Enough is enough.

 

There’s already too much negativity.

I’m fed up with every traditional media outlet talking about nothing other than negativity. Consistent negativity only produces more negativity. There’s no point harping on about what’s wrong and how everything is so challenging to fix. Nothing worth doing is easy.

“If you’re trying to achieve a goal, then you have to publish positivity to stand out and influence all of us”

 

People want to be inspired.

The common theme with everything I have achieved is that I’ve figured out the one hack: People just want to be inspired. It’s really that simple. To be the greatest, you must inspire people.

We all love inspiration because it’s what we’re all lacking. Tell stories and inspire people. That’s how you become the best in the world at anything. We all have a story to tell that can inspire people. Reach inside, and pull out those stories for all of us to hear.

You’ve overcome some obstacle.
You’ve had a difficult time.
You’ve experienced death.
You’ve lost something.

The inspiration we can all learn from you is inside of you already. Use these tools to inspire us all because we all want it. We all need it.

 

You’ll become positive at the same time.

The best part about publishing positivity is that it makes you more positive at the same time. Each day, I’m searching for something positive to share with you all. This makes me so focused on being positive that I’ve forgotten about the negative world that many experience daily.

You get more of what you focus on.

“Publish positivity and you’ll steer clear of the negative nonsense that’s subconsciously holding you back from being the greatest”

 

Positivity compounds.

Yes, that’s right! As you publish positivity, the effect compounds. You start with being just a little bit positive and once you get a few years in, all the wisdom that people like Nelson Mandela had is at your disposal. Positivity builds the greatness that world champions like Nelson Mandela had.

If you want to do something extraordinary with your life (we all do deep down), then you must start with publishing positivity. Find something to talk about and do it with every ounce of passion in your body. Allow yourself to light up and become a beacon of positivity for anyone that can benefit from your advice.

 

Where does this all lead?

Publishing positivity can lead almost anywhere. I never had any clue when I began. I always thought I’d just do it for a bit and then see what happens. Little did I know that publishing positivity can get you access to people, places, opportunities, careers and feelings I never even knew.

Publishing positivity has made every single goal I’ve ever wanted come to life.
Publishing positivity has allowed me to remove my toxic friends and replace them with my heroes.

The possibilities for you when you publish positivity are the same. You’ll get to experience things that you never thought was possible,

It all starts with publishing positivity and being positive.

Don’t hold yourself back any longer. Get started and publish positivity.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Endorphins Are The Key To The Good Life.

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Endorphins And The Good Life. Basketball Motivation

When I was 25 years old, I became a gym junkie. I went four times a week and trained hard with a personal trainer. During that time of my life, I was chasing the physical appearance benefits of going to the gym and training.

I remember feeling really good after every workout. Whenever I felt stressed or upset, going to the gym helped me.

 

Then my life crashed: I stopped.

About two years in, everything in my life went horribly wrong. I ended up leaving a business and starting all over again. I sold everything I had and so I could no longer justify paying a personal trainer. I stopped going to the gym not long after too.

 

Here’s the harsh truth.

Since that day when I quit the gym all those years ago, I’ve never felt the same. The rush that you get from putting your body under pressure and sweating profusely can’t be matched. A few weeks ago, I began reading this book that included a chapter on physical training.

The benefits were highlighted to me again. You’ll increase your endorphin levels triggering a positive response in your body; you’ll increase cardiac volume; you’ll increase insulin sensitivity and that will put you in a better mental state. Oh, and it makes you smarter too.

Endorphins make you smarter by improving blood flow to the brain and boosting growth hormones that produce new nerve cells. They even help release brain chemicals like dopamine, glutamine and serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you happy.

So obviously going to the gym and having these endorphin things are good for you. Imagine what newfound energy this will bring to your passions in life.

 

What caused me to go back to the gym?

I’d been feeling low on energy despite my healthy diet and I was getting a few headaches. This was literally killing my dreams because I didn’t have the energy I needed to write inspirational content.

 

I came home from the gym and felt on fire!

After my first session back at the gym, I came home and felt on fire. I wrote five blog posts in a matter of hours – they were some of my best work. My mental state was changed and the low energy I was experiencing went away.

 

The food I ate began to change.

When you increase the endorphin levels in your body, I found, that I no longer wanted to eat junk food. I’ve seen the same change in my friends who have gone this route as well. Training at the gym makes you want to refuel and recharge with proper food.

All of a sudden a big greasy pizza just doesn’t feel appealing anymore. You start to crave fruit, vegetables, tofu, seafood and anything that will nourish you and help you train again the next day.

I know this sounds nuts and I promise you it’s true!

 

It’s not just the endorphins.

The endorphin rush is not the only benefit I got from the gym. There were added side benefits that I didn’t even think of.

It’s the discipline you get.
It’s the goals you set.
It’s the changes you see.
It’s the people you meet at the gym.

 

What starts to happen is that you become focused on being just that little bit better each day. Instead of staying the same and not growing in any way, your mindset changes.

“You look for ways to improve your life and the gym becomes the catalyst for it”

It’s only after some deep, meditative thought that I came to this conclusion. Lucky I read that book hey?

 

And wait, there’s more.

I started to smile more. With my mental state changing for the better, I no longer found myself disappointed or pissed off for not having the energy I craved, to live my life.

With all of this extra thinking space, I found myself smiling more. Looking after yourself feels good. If nothing else, it gives you something to be happy about.

 

Anger and stress decreased.

During the first week of gym training, I had a few negative situations I was dealing with at work.

They were really annoying me and I found myself being angry.

This anger led to stress that I hadn’t experienced for a while.

“The gym became an outlet for me to get out of my own head because I was forced to concentrate on the pain and focus needed to do the exercises I had committed to”

Combining the gym with a bit of meditation also helped too.

 

Don’t forget that three letter word (you thought I was going to say Tim but I mean sex baby!)

So far I’ve only spoken about the gym – don’t forget sex as well. Sex releases endorphins. If you want more endorphins, then have more sex!

Now you have two sources of endorphins to play with (pardon the pun).

 

***Final thought***

I know what you’re thinking – because I am Gandhi (joking) – “Tim I already knew all of this. Of course going to the gym is good for you.”

That’s the issue right there. We know lots of stuff and most of the time we still don’t take action on what is good for us. The best way to take action on tasks like going to the gym is to hear someone else’s story.

Stories will inspire you to take action, not knowledge.

Now you’ve heard my story, it’s time to take action. Drag your ass to the gym and start exercising. Don’t forget to sexercise as well (insert wink emoji here)!

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Motivation

Starting The Morning By Making Your Bed Is Stupid – Do This Instead

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Making Your Bed

Ever heard that you should start your morning by completing one small task like making your bed?

This is stupid advice. Don’t follow it.

If you feel like you have achieved something by making your bed, then you’re way off.

Making your bed is a stupid little task that doesn’t make you feel good at all. If you find satisfaction in doing something so small, and you think that’s a good start, it’s not.

“You must do something meaningful to start the day if you want to change the world”

 

Start the morning with something big.

Yup, that’s what I said you little rascal. Do something that matters. For me, that’s writing blog posts like this one, instead of doing chicken little tasks that don’t serve anybody – like making your bed. I recommend starting the day with an epic achievement.

Sit down and write something you are proud of.
Go and train for that sport you love.
Prepare that presentation that is going to change your company.
Wake up and do public speaking first thing.

Now that last one is one I do every fortnight. I wake up at 4 am and go to Toastmasters at 7 am to start the day with a speech. It sets up my entire week and gives me energy. Try it for yourself.

 

Your mind is fresh in the morning – don’t waste it.

As the day moves on, your energy levels get lower (especially if you have a poor diet). This is why starting your day by wasting your valuable energy making your bed is total nonsense!

Don’t make your bed, use your energy for something that will make you fulfilled.
Start the day with something that will make you damn proud of yourself.

When I publish a freshly written article on Adccited2Success at 5 am, I feel on fire. I get to work ready to steamroll over anyone who wants to take me off my purpose. I feel like a lion ready to pounce on its prey and fight any enemy that presents itself.

 

Your bed can wait.

You know what? Your bed can wait. It doesn’t need to be made right this second. You can do hard labor when you get home and you’re tired from the day. Making your bed requires no thinking so don’t waste your mind on it.

“Low energy states are the best time to make your bed, iron your clothes and cook meals”

 

Achieving goals builds momentum.

The reason why I don’t want you to start your day achieving rubbish goals is that it gives you no momentum. Doing something difficult in the morning sets your day up to tackle even more challenging obstacles.

I’d rather you did the big stuff first and then worried about the small stuff like how your rainbow colored doona on your bed looks. Who you trying to impress with your bed anyway?

 

Some days will suck.

Okay, so I’ve made it sound like every day you are going to live like a commando or even GI Joe. Don’t worry I’m not that silly or crazy. There are days that you will suck. You’ll wake up and achieve nothing. You’ll do dumb stuff like make your bed instead of doing something a bit more difficult.

It’s okay. You can’t be Rambo every single day or hour. What I want you to think about here is to spend the majority of your week in a peak state that involves attempting meaningful goals in the morning. Miss a day here and there. Take the weekend off.

Relax, because you can’t always be on like a pit bull ready to attack.

“If you take yourself too seriously, then you’ll start to lose the plot. Your ego will become out of control and you’ll think you are unstoppable and do something dumb like taking a selfie on the side of a skyscraper where you could fall to your death. Don’t laugh; this is now a thing!”

Everything in moderation. You also need balance. Don’t mistake balance, though, for being lazy and doing half-assed stuff like making your bed.

 

Mornings have defined me.

I get dozens of emails asking how I find time to write and do all the crazy things I talk about.

My response is always the morning. Doing big stuff in the morning has allowed me to get a head start on life. I will not accept mediocrity and even when it hurts, I do my best to remember why I put myself through these challenges, day after day.

There’s something about progress that is addictive and it’s a big part of the success formula. The first thing you do shouldn’t be:

– Make coffee
– Drink lemon water
– Look at your phone
– Check your social media followers.

The first thing you should do is bite a chunk off one of your big audacious goals that forms part of your life’s purpose. Now feel free to substitute the word purpose for vision, goals, meaning of your life – I don’t care amigo.

 

Again, do the big stuff.

Let’s rinse and repeat, so you’re clear. Don’t wake up and do little, tiny, meaningless goals like making your bed and wasting the best hours of the day. Wake up and do something that will give you a sense of fulfillment.

Hope we’re clear now. Time to go do the big stuff. The really big stuff!

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Success Advice

It’s So Easy To Find The Negative in Everything. But What’s The Point?

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Last week, I posted a photo on LinkedIn that showed Keanu Reeves and his generosity.

The post went semi-viral, and people really loved it.

Well almost everyone. There were the 1% of haters.

The highlight of the post is that Keanu takes the train to a lot of places with normal people like you and I, and is not into fancy things. He’s donated most of his money to good causes including leukemia.

The haters wanted to tear Keanu down because how dare he own a house in LA (allegedly).

 

Being right is not the answer.

Whether Keanu does or doesn’t still own a house in LA doesn’t matter. Trying to always be right can force you to be negative. You end up adopting the mindset that everybody is wrong, and you’re smart – and the world is just one big lie.

This mindset can slowly create a self-destructive nature to the way you do life.

 

How do you know you’re 100% right?

There are no absolutes in life. Not everything is as black and white as you think. Maybe Keanu had a house and sold it. Maybe the house doesn’t belong to him. Maybe he shares the house with three Air Bnb travelers and so technically the mortgage is shared.

You just don’t know everything.
Google and Wikipedia are often wrong.
Focus on positivity instead of always being right.

Keanu Reeves on the train.

 

This negative way of thinking serves no one. Least of all you.

Negatively tearing people down all the time is affecting your own mindset which equals your success in the long term. It may seem like an innocent comment that you’ve written on someone’s post, but it shapes the way you think. You can’t help not be affected by trash talking good people like Keanu.

When you stand up and want to work on your goal, you end up being drained of energy from all the negativity you’ve put out.

“If you want to get mad, get mad at your goals and why you haven’t achieved them!”

 

Use your time better.

Don’t you have something else to do other than commenting on social media? Instead of fact-checking the entire world, you’re better off switching off social media and chipping away at your dream. If you love cars, spend your time there. If you love art, create some.

Focus on creating and not consuming.

 

Your network suffers too.

Your habit of being negative and wasting your time worrying about Keanu’s financial stats is repelling good people out of your life. People are watching you shoot your mouth off and are subconsciously thinking “Maybe I’ll leave this person alone. This doesn’t feel good.”

As humans, we want to feel good. Being positive feels good and you attract the right people. Slamming people on social media to make yourself feel good makes everyone else feel like garbage. If you wonder why you have no friends or your current friends suck, this is part of the reason.

The good news is you can change it. Focus on the positive.

 

Remember your EGO.

Finding the negative often occurs when your ego is out of control. Your need to be right is linked to the idea that maybe you think you’re really smart. Your ego being too big contributes to your need to correct people and be negative.

“Your inflated ego and your negative mindset are in love with each other. Break them up – for good!”

 

***Final Thought***

This is not a post about social media and trolling. If you thought that then I’m sorry.

My aim here is to get you to remember why you do what you do. I want you to focus your time on being positive and fighting the raging tsunami that is negativity which we’re all having a daily sword fight with.

Positivity is power. Positivity is success. Publish positivity.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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4 Comments

  1. Mike

    Oct 3, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Good List, and I second “The Power Of Now” and “Life is What You Make It”. Although slightly redudant, Tolle really hammers home the point that the present is where your mind should be truly focused. It’s of course important to remember where you came from and what’s ahead, but the only moment that matters is the present.

    Also, was quite humbling reading about how Warrent Buffet came from a modest family but was driven to success (starting with small paper routes, all the way up to buying huge media companies).

    2 must reads!

  2. Dan K

    Sep 18, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list. If I may add one, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning has been extremely influential in my life.

  3. Ethan Bridges

    Sep 12, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Thanks for this list, Jonathan! Interesting list, I must say. Good timing, too, as I’m already running out of books in the shelf!

  4. Steven

    Sep 11, 2015 at 10:19 am

    The Power of Now by Tolle is by far the most important book on the list. It’s gone pretty mainstream but the message is very powerful. It’s the kind of book that finds it’s way into your life as soon as your ready for it.

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Motivation

Whenever I Am Fearful Of What People Think, I Do This.

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I’ve had some days recently where I’ve been plagued with that question “What will people think?”

“If I say that, will people hate it and could it ruin my career?”
‘If I say the truth and people dislike it, could that ruin an upcoming opportunity?”
‘If they don’t like it, will I ever get another chance?

Whenever I find myself becoming fearful of people’s opinions, I do this:

 

I compare their opinion to my mortality.

This is the main hack so let’s start with this. Whenever I find myself worrying about what people think and how it may affect my success, I remember that in the scheme of things I am only on this Earth for a short amount of time.

Anything that I say will likely be forgotten pretty quickly. People are so caught up in all the troubles of their own life that they don’t have space in their mind to remember all of my flaws and silly moments. So if people are highly unlikely to remember, then who cares what people think?

Comparing opinions to your own mortality is a fantastic way to get a reality check. This way of thinking always gets me out of my head. Death is a good motivator that will make you take action and not get caught up in your head trying to win a war against opinions.

 

I’d rather try for greatness than never know because of fear.

Being paralyzed by people’s opinions stops you from ever reaching your full potential. You end up second-guessing yourself and not taking certain actions out of fear for what people may think. You can’t enter their mind and steal their thoughts (not yet, anyway) so you’ll never know for sure.

Maybe people love what you said. Maybe what you hypothesize they’re thinking is wrong. So the truth is you’ll never know for sure.

“What I do know for sure is that greatness is within all of us and it can only be unleashed when you stop giving an F”

Greatness is achieved when you say what you think, you take vulnerable actions, you’re authentic and most of all, you don’t hold back. People’s opinions are holding you back and they don’t matter. What matters is your opinion of yourself.

 

What matters is you tried.

And your critics probably didn’t. By not being held back by opinions you end up trying things that you’d normally not do. Here are some of my own examples:

  • I went to a high interval training workout class. Normally I wouldn’t because I’m currently unfit, but because I don’t care what people think, I did it anyway and loved it.
  • I entered a public speaking competition and won against very tough competition. Normally I wouldn’t but I told myself that I can say cool stuff too.
  • I took a long plane trip overseas. Normally I wouldn’t because I have a fear of flying but because I’ve now flown enough times, flying is actually fun.
  • I started this whole blogging thing. Normally I wouldn’t of because I used to hate writing and found it dead boring. I thought people would think what I had to say was dumb. Then I discovered my passion for blogging and now it’s what I’m known for by millions of people

How much success are you leaving on the table by being shackled down with the opinions of others? Just do what you love and if people hate it then screw them. They’re obviously not your target audience or don’t get your unique talent. Giving it a go will show you more than doing nothing.

 

I think about not living my dream life.

If people’s horrible opinions of you are weighing you down, then try this reverse hack: Think about what would happen if you didn’t live your dream.

Whenever I second guess myself about giving a talk, I think about what would happen if I never discovered this whole inspiring others gift that I had secretly hidden inside of me.

When you weigh up in your head the difference between people’s thoughts of you, and living your dream life, you’ll find your mind always pushing towards the later. Use this super-sized hack to destroy your fear of opinions.

 

I remind myself of what the great’s do.

If fear of public reticule is holding me back, I think in my mind about what the greats would do. Would Steve Jobs let someone tell him that his phone needs more buttons?

“Would Martin Luther King let someone tell him that black people’s rights don’t matter and to stay at home today by the warm fire? Not in a million, trillion years”

So if the greats wouldn’t allow opinions to stop them in their tracks, why the heck would you?

 

I think of what I’m doing in comparison to the world.

An excellent way to put your actions and the opinions about them into perspective is to compare what you’re doing with the world. If you say something stupid in front of your co-workers, in the scheme of things, does that one event change the rest of the world?

Does your little mistake really matter compared with the billions of other mistakes that are happening at the same moment? Probably not.

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Motivation

Want To Be The Greatest? Publish Positivity.

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Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be the greatest in whatever field I entered. Now I am in the top tier of bloggers on the Internet.

 

So your question surely is: “How can I do the same?”

For starters, forget who I am and what I have and haven’t done. It’s not about me; it’s about you. It all starts with you and I’m going to give you the secret.

 

The secret is: Publish positivity.

Whether that’s publishing an email and sending it off, publishing a video online, publishing a blog post, publishing a picture on Instagram.

The key is always to publish something that’s positive.

 

It’s helped me and it can help you.

Everything I have ever published on the Internet since I started this blogging journey is positive. It’s content that is designed to take your life to the next level.

I aim to send chills down your spine.
I aim to get you to think differently.
Most of all, I aim to get you to take positive action.

 

Before all of the positivity, it started with negativity.

The thing is it didn’t start this way. My journey started with a whole lot of negativity and yours is probably similar. That’s the best place to start anything from. With so much negativity, there’s only one place to go – UP!

I always thought that success was only for those born rich. My days were spent finding reasons why something couldn’t be done. I complained all day long about everything I wanted but couldn’t get. I was tired, lonely, frustrated and pissed off at the world. We’ve all been there.

Then someone inspired me by publishing positivity. Now I want to return that favor.

I want everyone to be able to become inspired and then make the same decision as me to publish positivity from now on. Enough is enough.

 

There’s already too much negativity.

I’m fed up with every traditional media outlet talking about nothing other than negativity. Consistent negativity only produces more negativity. There’s no point harping on about what’s wrong and how everything is so challenging to fix. Nothing worth doing is easy.

“If you’re trying to achieve a goal, then you have to publish positivity to stand out and influence all of us”

 

People want to be inspired.

The common theme with everything I have achieved is that I’ve figured out the one hack: People just want to be inspired. It’s really that simple. To be the greatest, you must inspire people.

We all love inspiration because it’s what we’re all lacking. Tell stories and inspire people. That’s how you become the best in the world at anything. We all have a story to tell that can inspire people. Reach inside, and pull out those stories for all of us to hear.

You’ve overcome some obstacle.
You’ve had a difficult time.
You’ve experienced death.
You’ve lost something.

The inspiration we can all learn from you is inside of you already. Use these tools to inspire us all because we all want it. We all need it.

 

You’ll become positive at the same time.

The best part about publishing positivity is that it makes you more positive at the same time. Each day, I’m searching for something positive to share with you all. This makes me so focused on being positive that I’ve forgotten about the negative world that many experience daily.

You get more of what you focus on.

“Publish positivity and you’ll steer clear of the negative nonsense that’s subconsciously holding you back from being the greatest”

 

Positivity compounds.

Yes, that’s right! As you publish positivity, the effect compounds. You start with being just a little bit positive and once you get a few years in, all the wisdom that people like Nelson Mandela had is at your disposal. Positivity builds the greatness that world champions like Nelson Mandela had.

If you want to do something extraordinary with your life (we all do deep down), then you must start with publishing positivity. Find something to talk about and do it with every ounce of passion in your body. Allow yourself to light up and become a beacon of positivity for anyone that can benefit from your advice.

 

Where does this all lead?

Publishing positivity can lead almost anywhere. I never had any clue when I began. I always thought I’d just do it for a bit and then see what happens. Little did I know that publishing positivity can get you access to people, places, opportunities, careers and feelings I never even knew.

Publishing positivity has made every single goal I’ve ever wanted come to life.
Publishing positivity has allowed me to remove my toxic friends and replace them with my heroes.

The possibilities for you when you publish positivity are the same. You’ll get to experience things that you never thought was possible,

It all starts with publishing positivity and being positive.

Don’t hold yourself back any longer. Get started and publish positivity.

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Motivation

Endorphins Are The Key To The Good Life.

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Endorphins And The Good Life. Basketball Motivation

When I was 25 years old, I became a gym junkie. I went four times a week and trained hard with a personal trainer. During that time of my life, I was chasing the physical appearance benefits of going to the gym and training.

I remember feeling really good after every workout. Whenever I felt stressed or upset, going to the gym helped me.

 

Then my life crashed: I stopped.

About two years in, everything in my life went horribly wrong. I ended up leaving a business and starting all over again. I sold everything I had and so I could no longer justify paying a personal trainer. I stopped going to the gym not long after too.

 

Here’s the harsh truth.

Since that day when I quit the gym all those years ago, I’ve never felt the same. The rush that you get from putting your body under pressure and sweating profusely can’t be matched. A few weeks ago, I began reading this book that included a chapter on physical training.

The benefits were highlighted to me again. You’ll increase your endorphin levels triggering a positive response in your body; you’ll increase cardiac volume; you’ll increase insulin sensitivity and that will put you in a better mental state. Oh, and it makes you smarter too.

Endorphins make you smarter by improving blood flow to the brain and boosting growth hormones that produce new nerve cells. They even help release brain chemicals like dopamine, glutamine and serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes you happy.

So obviously going to the gym and having these endorphin things are good for you. Imagine what newfound energy this will bring to your passions in life.

 

What caused me to go back to the gym?

I’d been feeling low on energy despite my healthy diet and I was getting a few headaches. This was literally killing my dreams because I didn’t have the energy I needed to write inspirational content.

 

I came home from the gym and felt on fire!

After my first session back at the gym, I came home and felt on fire. I wrote five blog posts in a matter of hours – they were some of my best work. My mental state was changed and the low energy I was experiencing went away.

 

The food I ate began to change.

When you increase the endorphin levels in your body, I found, that I no longer wanted to eat junk food. I’ve seen the same change in my friends who have gone this route as well. Training at the gym makes you want to refuel and recharge with proper food.

All of a sudden a big greasy pizza just doesn’t feel appealing anymore. You start to crave fruit, vegetables, tofu, seafood and anything that will nourish you and help you train again the next day.

I know this sounds nuts and I promise you it’s true!

 

It’s not just the endorphins.

The endorphin rush is not the only benefit I got from the gym. There were added side benefits that I didn’t even think of.

It’s the discipline you get.
It’s the goals you set.
It’s the changes you see.
It’s the people you meet at the gym.

 

What starts to happen is that you become focused on being just that little bit better each day. Instead of staying the same and not growing in any way, your mindset changes.

“You look for ways to improve your life and the gym becomes the catalyst for it”

It’s only after some deep, meditative thought that I came to this conclusion. Lucky I read that book hey?

 

And wait, there’s more.

I started to smile more. With my mental state changing for the better, I no longer found myself disappointed or pissed off for not having the energy I craved, to live my life.

With all of this extra thinking space, I found myself smiling more. Looking after yourself feels good. If nothing else, it gives you something to be happy about.

 

Anger and stress decreased.

During the first week of gym training, I had a few negative situations I was dealing with at work.

They were really annoying me and I found myself being angry.

This anger led to stress that I hadn’t experienced for a while.

“The gym became an outlet for me to get out of my own head because I was forced to concentrate on the pain and focus needed to do the exercises I had committed to”

Combining the gym with a bit of meditation also helped too.

 

Don’t forget that three letter word (you thought I was going to say Tim but I mean sex baby!)

So far I’ve only spoken about the gym – don’t forget sex as well. Sex releases endorphins. If you want more endorphins, then have more sex!

Now you have two sources of endorphins to play with (pardon the pun).

 

***Final thought***

I know what you’re thinking – because I am Gandhi (joking) – “Tim I already knew all of this. Of course going to the gym is good for you.”

That’s the issue right there. We know lots of stuff and most of the time we still don’t take action on what is good for us. The best way to take action on tasks like going to the gym is to hear someone else’s story.

Stories will inspire you to take action, not knowledge.

Now you’ve heard my story, it’s time to take action. Drag your ass to the gym and start exercising. Don’t forget to sexercise as well (insert wink emoji here)!

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Motivation

Starting The Morning By Making Your Bed Is Stupid – Do This Instead

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Making Your Bed

Ever heard that you should start your morning by completing one small task like making your bed?

This is stupid advice. Don’t follow it.

If you feel like you have achieved something by making your bed, then you’re way off.

Making your bed is a stupid little task that doesn’t make you feel good at all. If you find satisfaction in doing something so small, and you think that’s a good start, it’s not.

“You must do something meaningful to start the day if you want to change the world”

 

Start the morning with something big.

Yup, that’s what I said you little rascal. Do something that matters. For me, that’s writing blog posts like this one, instead of doing chicken little tasks that don’t serve anybody – like making your bed. I recommend starting the day with an epic achievement.

Sit down and write something you are proud of.
Go and train for that sport you love.
Prepare that presentation that is going to change your company.
Wake up and do public speaking first thing.

Now that last one is one I do every fortnight. I wake up at 4 am and go to Toastmasters at 7 am to start the day with a speech. It sets up my entire week and gives me energy. Try it for yourself.

 

Your mind is fresh in the morning – don’t waste it.

As the day moves on, your energy levels get lower (especially if you have a poor diet). This is why starting your day by wasting your valuable energy making your bed is total nonsense!

Don’t make your bed, use your energy for something that will make you fulfilled.
Start the day with something that will make you damn proud of yourself.

When I publish a freshly written article on Adccited2Success at 5 am, I feel on fire. I get to work ready to steamroll over anyone who wants to take me off my purpose. I feel like a lion ready to pounce on its prey and fight any enemy that presents itself.

 

Your bed can wait.

You know what? Your bed can wait. It doesn’t need to be made right this second. You can do hard labor when you get home and you’re tired from the day. Making your bed requires no thinking so don’t waste your mind on it.

“Low energy states are the best time to make your bed, iron your clothes and cook meals”

 

Achieving goals builds momentum.

The reason why I don’t want you to start your day achieving rubbish goals is that it gives you no momentum. Doing something difficult in the morning sets your day up to tackle even more challenging obstacles.

I’d rather you did the big stuff first and then worried about the small stuff like how your rainbow colored doona on your bed looks. Who you trying to impress with your bed anyway?

 

Some days will suck.

Okay, so I’ve made it sound like every day you are going to live like a commando or even GI Joe. Don’t worry I’m not that silly or crazy. There are days that you will suck. You’ll wake up and achieve nothing. You’ll do dumb stuff like make your bed instead of doing something a bit more difficult.

It’s okay. You can’t be Rambo every single day or hour. What I want you to think about here is to spend the majority of your week in a peak state that involves attempting meaningful goals in the morning. Miss a day here and there. Take the weekend off.

Relax, because you can’t always be on like a pit bull ready to attack.

“If you take yourself too seriously, then you’ll start to lose the plot. Your ego will become out of control and you’ll think you are unstoppable and do something dumb like taking a selfie on the side of a skyscraper where you could fall to your death. Don’t laugh; this is now a thing!”

Everything in moderation. You also need balance. Don’t mistake balance, though, for being lazy and doing half-assed stuff like making your bed.

 

Mornings have defined me.

I get dozens of emails asking how I find time to write and do all the crazy things I talk about.

My response is always the morning. Doing big stuff in the morning has allowed me to get a head start on life. I will not accept mediocrity and even when it hurts, I do my best to remember why I put myself through these challenges, day after day.

There’s something about progress that is addictive and it’s a big part of the success formula. The first thing you do shouldn’t be:

– Make coffee
– Drink lemon water
– Look at your phone
– Check your social media followers.

The first thing you should do is bite a chunk off one of your big audacious goals that forms part of your life’s purpose. Now feel free to substitute the word purpose for vision, goals, meaning of your life – I don’t care amigo.

 

Again, do the big stuff.

Let’s rinse and repeat, so you’re clear. Don’t wake up and do little, tiny, meaningless goals like making your bed and wasting the best hours of the day. Wake up and do something that will give you a sense of fulfillment.

Hope we’re clear now. Time to go do the big stuff. The really big stuff!

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