5 Books That Changed My Life

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The following 5 books will change your life.

No joke.

Read these books, absorb the material, and make changes in your life, and you will find success beyond your wildest dreams.

If you aren’t after millions, and just want to live a simple, happy life, you can still learn a ton from the lessons in these books. For the most part, the principles of building wealth are the same as building happiness. (You can even do them at the same time.)

Buying these books on Kindle won’t cost you more than $25 bucks… combined. And for this measly investment, you will take away wisdom that will make and save you truckloads of time, stress, or money (TRUCKLOADS).

Seems like a bargain to me.

I’ve always been a fan of buying books. To me, the cost of a book is an investment that repays itself many times over.  (post by Ryan Holiday on reading and books)

Enjoy the notes below and please support the authors (and this site) by purchasing from the links below! Click To Tweet This post

 

The Richest Man in Babylon

Buy Here: Amazon

You have to buy this book. I read this late in the game and it still had a profound effect on me. While I “knew” most of the concepts discussed, for some reason the way it was presented in the story resonated with me on an entirely different level. Some books have that effect–this was one of those.

It’s a “classic” in the self-help genre and teaches through a fable. The story is set in the ancient city of Babylon and the dialogue in the book reflects that. Read certain passages slowly, and again if necessary. Overall, the simple principles in this book are so powerful. The ideas might not be ground-breaking to you at first, but the way they will hang on your subconscious will surprise you.

Book Tip To Start Today: save 1/10 of every dollar you make in a safe, compounding interest account like an IRA.

Some of My highlighted sections:

‘Those eager to grasp opportunities for their betterment, do attract ‘good luck’. It seems to favor men of action best. Therefore, if a plan be for thy best interest, promptly accept it. If it be against thy best interest, with equal promptness, reject it. “ACTION will lead thee forward to the successes thou dost desire.

‘The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboreth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling. If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.”

“Always do the affairs of man change and improve because keen minded men seek greater skill that they may better serve those upon whose patronage they depend. Therefore, I urge all men to be in the front rank of progress and not to stand still, lest they be left behind. “Many things come to make a man’s life rich with gainful experiences. Such things as following, a man must do if he shall respect himself: “He must pay his debts with all promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay. “He must take care of his family that they may think and speak well of him. ”

“He must make a will of record that in case God calls him, proper and honorable division of his property be accomplished. “He must have compassion upon those who are injured or smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him. “Thus the seventh and last remedy for a lean purse is to cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself. Thereby shalt thou acquire confidence in thyself to achieve thy carefully considered desires. ‘These then are the Seven Remedies for a Lean Purse, which, out of the experience of a long and successful life I do urge for all men who desire wealth.”

 

The Art Of Living

Buy Here: Amazon

This book can (and likely will) change your life. This isn’t really a book; I consider it more a tool. You read it daily as a practice. It keeps you mentally vigilant; reminds you of the Stoic principles that are so powerful. It is written in a simple, easy-to-read tone.

I’ve read this book at least five times through (maybe more). This is an amazing gift to yourself and others. I also recommend buying the paper version.

Book Tip To Start Today: Know what you can control and what you can’t. With this understanding, you can become effective in how you spend your time and thoughts–instead of wasting both.

Some of My highlighted sections (I could share the entire book here because most of it is highlighted. Go buy it already!):

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible. Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires, and the things that repel us. These areas are quite rightly our concern, because they are directly subject to our influence. We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives. Outside our control, however, are such things as what kind of body we have, whether we’re born into wealth or strike it rich, how we are regarded by others, and our status in society. We must remember that those things are externals and are therefore not our concern. Trying to control or to change what we can’t only results in torment.”

“Keep your attention focused entirely on what is truly your own concern, and be clear that what belongs to others is their business and none of yours. If you do this, you will be impervious to coercion and no one can ever hold you back. You will be truly free and effective, for your efforts will be put to good use and won’t be foolishly squandered finding fault with or opposing others. In knowing and attending to what actually concerns you, you cannot be made to do anything against your will; others can’t hurt you, you don’t incur enemies or suffer harm. If you aim to live by such principles, remember that it won’t be easy: you must give up some things entirely, and postpone others for now. You may well have to forego wealth and power if you want to assure the attainment of happiness and freedom.”

“Our desires and aversions are mercurial rulers. They demand to be pleased. Desire commands us to run off and get what we want. Aversion insists that we must avoid the things that repel us. Typically, when we don’t get what we want, we are disappointed, and when we get what we don’t want, we are distressed. If, then, you avoid only those undesirable things that are contrary to your natural well-being and are within your control, you won’t ever incur anything you truly don’t want. However, if you try to avoid inevitabilities such as sickness, death, or misfortune, over which you have no real control, you will make yourself and others around you suffer.”

“Things themselves don’t hurt or hinder us. Nor do other people. How we view these things is another matter. It is our attitudes and reactions that give us trouble. Therefore even death is no big deal in and of itself. It is our notion of death, our idea that it is terrible, that terrifies us. There are so many different ways to think about death. Scrutinize your notions about death— and everything else. Are they really true? Are they doing you any good? Don’t dread death or pain; dread the fear of death or pain. We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”

“Don’t demand or expect that events happen as you would wish them to. Accept events as they actually happen. That way peace is possible.”

“Nothing truly stops you. Nothing truly holds you back. For your own will is always within your control. Sickness may challenge your body. But are you merely your body? Lameness may impede your legs. But you are not merely your legs. Your will is bigger than your legs. Your will needn’t be affected by an incident unless you let it. Remember this with everything that happens to you.”

 

The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom and Wealth

Buy Here:The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom and Wealth

I wish I had this book early in my personal development/business career. I read it only a few months ago and it was still a great reminder of concepts that I’ve come to know. I can’t imagine what it would be like reading this book earlier in life. If you are new to the whole “success/personal development/financial prosperity” genres, than I highly, highly recommend this book. This might be a “refresher” if you are already into self-help, but I still recommend it.

The book is about a young man that wants to become a millionaire and goes on a quest to find a man who holds the “secret” to getting rich. It is written by a millionaire and outlines the principles of success in a short, fable-style story.

Some of My highlighted sections:

“Most people are afraid of asking for things, and when they finally do, they don’t insist enough. That’s a mistake.”

“People who waste time waiting for all the perfect conditions to fall into place never get anything done. The ideal time for action is now! “Another lesson this little exercise can teach you is this: If you want to succeed in life, you have to make sure you have no choice in the matter. You have to put your back to the wall. People who vacillate and refuse to take risks because they don’t have all the elements in hand never get anywhere. The reason is simple. When you cut off all your exits and put your back to the wall, you mobilize all your inner powers. You want something to happen with every fiber of your being. So why hesitate now, young man? Put your back to the wall. Make out that $25,000 check to me.”

“All right, then. Write down the amount of money you want and how much time you’ll allow yourself to acquire it.” “Do you think money’s going to drop like pennies from heaven just because I write a couple of numbers down on paper?” “Yes, I do,” said the millionaire. “I warned you that the secret would be simple. All the millionaires I’ve met told me they became rich the moment they set themselves an amount and a dead-line by which to acquire it. If you don’t know where you’re heading, the chances are you’ll never get anywhere.” “It sounds like magic to me.” “But that’s exactly what it is — the magic of a quantified objective.

“Now let’s test you,” the old man said. “You told me you’d like to get rich.” “Definitely.” “Tell me how much you’d like to earn next year.” The young man found of reasoning. In fact, he had agreed with it whole-heartedly. And yet he had to admit that he belonged to the vast majority of people who want to get rich but don’t know how much they want to make. He was embarrassed. “I don’t know,” he was forced to admit. “But I think I’ve just understood one of my mistakes — per-haps the most fundamental one.” “It is a serious mistake. Let’s try to correct it. Come on, write down the amount you have in mind.” “I really don’t have the vaguest idea,” muttered the young man. “And yet it’s so easy. Write down the amount you’d like to earn in the next year. I know what we’ll do. Take a few minutes to think it over. When the time’s up, you’ve got to write down an amount. 

Keep this well in mind: All the events in your life are a mirror image of your thoughts. Your mind can’t grasp this principle if you continue to accept the widespread illusion that external factors determine your life. In reality, everything in life is a matter of attitude. Life is exactly as you picture it. Everything that happens to you is a product of your thoughts. So if you want to change your life, you must start by changing your thoughts. No doubt you consider this a bit trite. Many ‘rational’ individuals stubbornly refute this principle.

“I’ve read a great many books on this subject. And what my own mentor taught me corresponds to the conclusions reached in them: The way to obtain faith is through the repetition of words. Words have an extraordinary impact on our inner and outer lives. Words are omnipotent. Most people are totally unaware of this principle and fail to use it — no, I take that back. They do use the power of words, but generally to their detriment.”

“Now you know that words deeply affect our lives whether we wish them to or not. A thought, even when false, can affect us if we believe it to be true. When you learn to distinguish the value of a thought, that is, the value you give it, your mind can regain or maintain its calm. It was your mind that gave meaning to the threat. If it had been written in a foreign language, you wouldn’t have paid the slightest attention to it.”

“You will also find the dual secret of true wealth: love for whatever you do, and love for others.”

“What you should remember from this simple example is that I dealt with this manager just as life deals with each of us. Life gives us exactly what we expect from it. No more, no less. We tend to forget, however, that it is generally ready to give us much more than we realize.

“It is a formula devised by the famous physician Emile Coué for patients in his clinic: Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better. Repeat this formula aloud fifty times, morning and evening, and as many times as you can during the day. The more often you repeat it, the greater the impact it will have on you.”

“When you do have doubts, apply some self-suggestion. Turn your words into commands. When your mind has become powerful enough, each suggestion will become a royal decree. Your words and reality will become one. And the time it takes for your commands to materialize will become briefer and briefer, and finally instantaneous.”

 

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Buy Here:Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

This was a great read. Of course there are going to be themes among any book that talks about millionaires. That’s to be expected. It’s not about having already heard it, it’s about pounding it into your subconscious so much that it changes how you think and the actions and decisions you make on a daily basis. This is why you should read many books on the same subject–and the same books more than once–so you can get the benefit of this increased “functional knowledge.”

Some of My highlighted sections:

“The key to success is to raise your own energy; when you do, people will naturally be attracted to you. And when they show up, bill ’em!”

“That’s because Donald Trump’s financial “thermostat” is set for billions, not millions. Most people’s financial thermostats are set for generating thousands, not millions of dollars; some people’s financial thermostats are set for generating hundreds, not even thousands; and some people’s financial thermostats are set for below zero. They’re frickin’ freezing and they don’t have a clue as to why!”

“If things aren’t going well in your outer life, it’s because things aren’t going well in your inner life. It’s that simple.”

“What you hear, you forget; what you see, you remember; what you do, you understand.” So I’m going to ask that every time you reach the end of a major principle in this book, you first put your hand on your heart, then make a verbal “declaration,” then touch your head with your index finger and make another verbal “declaration.” What’s a declaration? It’s simply a positive statement that you make emphatically, out loud.”

“Another word from the definition is important— action. You must take all the actions necessary to make your intention a reality. I recommend that you state your declarations aloud each morning and each evening. Doing your declarations while looking into a mirror will accelerate the process even more.”

“The first element of change is awareness. You can’t change something unless you know it exists. The second element of change is understanding. By understanding where your “way of thinking” originates, you can recognize that it has to come from outside you. The third element of change is disassociation. Once you realize this way of thinking isn’t you, you can separate yourself from it and choose in the present whether to keep it or let it go— based on who you are today, and where you want to be tomorrow.” 

“From now on, as you hear yourself disastrously blaming, justifying, or complaining, cease and desist immediately. Remind yourself that you are creating your life and that at every moment you will be attracting either success or crap into your life. It is imperative you choose your thoughts and words wisely!”

“It’s time to decide. You can be a victim or you can be rich, but you can’t be both. Listen up! Every time, and I mean every time, you blame, justify, or complain, you are slitting your financial throat.” 

Best quote in the book:

“Yet that’s exactly how most people play the money game. Their primary concern is survival and security instead of creating wealth and abundance. So, what is your goal? What is your objective? What is your true intention? The goal of truly rich people is to have massive wealth and abundance. Not just some money, but lots of money. So what is the big goal of poor people? To “have enough to pay the bills… and on time would be a miracle!” Again, let me remind you of the power of intention. When your intention is to have enough to pay the bills, that’s exactly how much you’ll get— just enough to pay the bills and not a dime more.” 

“I have a motto: “Action always beats inaction.” Rich people get started. They trust that once they get in the game, they can make intelligent decisions in the present moment, make corrections, and adjust their sails along the way.”

“Wealth File #6 Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.” 

“Consequently, the fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people, who are masters of money, play the game. The goal is to simply model their inner and outer strategies. It just makes sense: if you take the exact same actions and have the exact same mind-set, chances are good you will get the exact same results. That’s what I did and that’s what this entire book is about.”

 

The Alchemist

Buy Here: The Alchemist – 10th Anniversary Edition
This is another one of those fable classics that I wish I would have read early on. I only read this 6 months ago. It’s a classic. It’s sold millions of copies around the world.

Some of My highlighted sections:

“Because I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

 

Do you have any books that changed your life? I’m always on the lookout for more life-changing books so please share in a comment below!

Yours in Fitness,

-Colin

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2 thoughts on “5 Books That Changed My Life

  1. The Art of Living is a great book indeed. And the part you highlighted was just amazing. Whatever is in our control should be the sole thing to focus on.

    • So true John. That’s one the core fundamentals of Stoicism and I find myself reminding myself of it every day!