Connect with us

Success Advice

7 Must-Read Books on Self-Development, Wisdom, and Leadership

Avatar

Published

on

books to add to your reading list
Image Credit: Unsplash

I fervently believe in the notion that in order to be successful, you must become an avid reader and insatiably curious about how the world works. Whether fiction or non-fiction, reading provides you with wisdom to approach problems differently.

For example, a 300-page biography that takes you a few weeks to read could save you significant time if you learn to avoid the mistakes others have made (I try to read at least one biography per month). There is value and insight to be gained through this process by investing a little time and effort.

The practical real-life, on-the-job lessons that can be practiced and learned, the thinking that may spark new ideas, and the skills you will acquire will be invaluable in your career and beyond.

Colleagues often ask me if I’ve read any self-improvement, strategy, or leadership books that have impacted me in a positive way. The answer is yes, and my philosophy is simple: if a book changes or influences my way of thinking, it’s an essential. Admittedly, I have perused many books and identified hidden gems along the way.

In my experience, “millennials” either find self-development books laughable, or are voraciously trying to devour every one they can get their hands on (I am guilty of the latter). Nevertheless, guidance is often requested so I try to do my best to steer hungry contemporaries in the right direction.

If you are a veteran or just starting out, and are looking for career, social, or personal guidance, my recommendation is to start with a solid foundation. This can be accomplished with a small time investment that will reap large dividends. 

The list below will start your journey, eventually directing you to more books until you are completely down the rabbit hole – and remember, you are in charge of your own improvement!

1. The Magic of Thinking Big – David J. Schwartz

Set your goals high and think positively in order to achieve them. Never underestimate your own abilities or overestimate others. Always bring enthusiasm and optimism to everything you do. Never forget to invest in yourself and look at every setback or failure as an opportunity for personal growth. 

The greatest takeaway from this book that helped me was Schwartz’s mantra on fear: in order to cure fear, take massive, deliberate action, and invariably be confident in your decision.

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.” – David J. Schwartz

2How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carengie

This is the first book I read in my quest for positive self-development. Published in 1937, this classic, timeless book on how to become an influential, persuasive, and likable leader is still very relevant today.

Warren Buffett credits his rise to success as a direct result of reading the book and using the advice, training, and practical applications. It’s a great book to start with on your journey towards becoming a successful and effective leader.

3. Marcus Aurelius: Meditations – Translated by Gregory Hays

The best book on stoicism I have ever read. The ultimate guide for discipline, personal responsibility, morality, self-motivation, ethics, strength, and humility. I suggest reading the book with a notebook or stack of index cards, so you can jot down all of the important maxims that Aurelius lives by. 

Think about it: in 170 AD, the most powerful man in the world sat down and wrote lessons and mantras to himself for becoming a better person. What I find most remarkable is the fact that the book has stood the ultimate test of time, and you have a plethora of wisdom at your fingertips. You should read this book now.

4. Xenophon’s Cyrus the Great: The Arts of Leadership and War – Translated by Larry Hedrick

“Still the best book on leadership” according to the father of management theory, Peter Drucker. This book follows Cyrus the Great’s multi-year military campaign in an easy-to-follow journalistic fashion. The book provides relatable examples on how to become a well-loved, benevolent leader through building friendship, loyalty, trust, and admiration. 

A common theme that kept me pondering throughout the book: when Cyrus is successful, all of those around him are successful, and always share in the glory. This is the best biography written of Cyrus the Great, also known as “the father of human rights.”

5. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

This book will change your life by changing your way of thinking and your perspective on “how things should be,” in regard to what the consensus considers a normal workweek.

“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Tim Ferriss

6. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life – Walter Isaacson

I couldn’t help but include one of my all-time favorite biographies of Benjamin Franklin on the list. So much can be learned from this book such as the history of the birth of the United States of America and Franklin’s integral role in it is fascinating. 

The reader also gets many lessons in how Franklin practices self-development, and constantly tried to improve himself on a daily basis. For example, Franklin created a system to measure his weaknesses. He wrote down all of his weaknesses and tracked his behavior against them. At the end of each week, he would reflect on his progress and would change the order of the behaviors he still needed to work on to become a better and wiser person.

7. Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell

10,000 hours. Yes, 10,000 hours is the amount of time and deliberate practice one needs to put in to be world-class in an area of expertise. Start clocking hours!

Which one of these books is your favorite and why? Share your thoughts with us below!

Brendan M. Coyne loves to read, write, and practice self-development and bettering himself. His goal is to share what he learns with others, in the hope that through that learning, they will achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. You can connect with Brendan through his website theselfdevelopmentlife.com or on LinkedIn.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

Continue Reading

Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

Avatar

Published

on

why you should have a podcast
Image Credit: Unsplash

Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

Continue Reading

Trending