One of the best and probably most cherished habits I have developed is the ritual of waking up early to read and sometimes write for an hour or so over a coffee. Getting up super early isn’t always realistic to most of us — but could you get up just 30 minutes earlier than you already do? Could you cut your scrolling time and replace it with reading time in the evenings? Why not listen to podcasts while you commute? If you believe you just don’t have the time to read…I implore you to take a closer look at your typical day. Put simply, there is always time. When I made reading a priority, it became relatively easy to fit in. 10 minutes here and there begins to add up.
Tips to make it a habit.
· Schedule reading times into your normal plan for the day. · Pledge to read 5, 10 or 20 pages a day. Divide it up if you have to. · Always have a book with you. It can be on your phone/kindle, an audiobook or just a regular book in arms reach. · Spend some time researching what books you want to read and choose 1-2 for each month. I get ideas from listening to podcasts, reading articles or talking with friends. · Join a book club of some sort or even just get a friend to be ‘book pals’ with. That way you can discuss the book when you’re finished too.
The books below include themes such as mindfulness, health and wellness, self-love, entrepreneurship, creativity, performance, productivity and forming habits. I have read all of these books and can say unequivocally that they have had a positive effect on my life: be it in differing volumes and ways.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma This has to be one of my all-time favourites. I own a copy and refer back to it often and it has many pencilled notes!
The book is centred around an interesting one-night conversation between two men, who used to be colleagues but now lead very different lives. “You are what you think about all day long. You are also what you say to yourself all day long. If you say that you are old and tired, this mantra will be manifested in your external reality. If you say you are weak and lack enthusiasm, this too will be the nature of your world. But if you say that you are healthy, dynamic and fully alive, your life will be transformed. Words have remarkable power.” ― Robin S. Sharma, Daily Inspiration from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
The War of Art: Break through Creative Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield An incredibly succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere. The War of Art is nothing less than medicine for the soul. The author, Steven Pressfield, identifies an internal foe that every one of us has to face, outlines a plan to conquer this internal enemy, and pinpoints how to achieve the greatest success once you have become aware of what he calls ‘resistance’. This book single handily shows the reader the absolute determination needed to pinpoint and furthermore overcome the obstacles of ambition. Effectively showing how one can reach the pinnacle of creative discipline.
Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone If you want to have tangible success, you have to know what to do in order to harness your obsession — this, in turn, can take you to the very top. This book acted as a great inspiration and gave the tools I needed to break out of my little cocoon of mediocrity I had wrapped myself up all cosy in. The author teaches you how to set lofty goals and then reach them, the real value of money and why you can spend it on the right things for you to get more of it. It’s defined as a simple choice: be obsessed or be average.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson Absolutely Love this book. It talks around a lot of the everyday personal growth and performance stuff you’d expect — but in avant-garde and tough love kind of tone. It’s highly amusing and easy to read and will have you racing to the end.
“My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius. Choose to measure yourself not as some horrible victim or dismal failure. Instead, measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator. The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible. This often means giving up some grandiose ideas about yourself: that you’re uniquely intelligent, or spectacularly talented, or intimidatingly attractive, or especially victimized in ways other people could never imagine. This means giving up your sense of entitlement and your belief that you’re somehow owed something by this world.” ― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 AM) by Hal Elrod I’d listened to Hal Elrod on a podcast a while back, about the time he released this book. His words inspired me to start a morning routine which I’ve continued almost every day since — and let me tell you, it’s been revolutionary. Hal speaks with power and wisdom you’d expect from somebody much older, his back story to how he has gotten to where he is today is truly inspiring also.
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Halliday This book has to be one of my favourites for making you aware of your own (excuse my French) bullsh*t. The ego is a concept I wasn’t overly knowledgeable about until I had picked this up and boy, by the time I was finished I had a much better idea! I own a copy and like to refer back to it fairly often still. To summarise this book in a nutshell: just shut up, put your head down and work hard for the right reasons.If you find yourself yearning for those likes on Instagram maybe a bit too much, then this book is for you. 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris Tim is a prolific podcaster and all-round guru of entrepreneurship and productivity. This book is a fairly enlightening read and likely one you won’t forget in a hurry. It will, however, urge you to forget the apparently dated concept of retirement. Meaning you can begin to join the dots and start looking beyond the deferred-life plan which is very much the norm. Whether your goal is experiencing high-end world travel, escaping the rat race, or perhaps earning a monthly five-figure passive income, the 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint — although nothing is guaranteed!