Reading is important. If you know how to read, then the whole world opens up to you – Barrack Obama.
Success in personal life, family, and career is something that every one of us works towards and dreams of experiencing. We all want to look at our lives and be proud of all that we have achieved, whether at work, financially, or around those we love. Success is, however, not something that just happens to people. It is something that we must consciously work towards.
One way to build towards success is by reading, as advised by people who have attained great accomplishments. The reason is simple; reading is a tool that opens us up to new perspectives and mindsets that create superior results. Every sensible person out there is a seeker of knowledge, and one of the fastest ways to gather such is through the pages of a book. Books have the power to open up your mind to ideas that you never knew existed and help you create possibilities that may not even be contained in your immediate local environment. Yeah, it’s true!
So, being an avid reader myself, I have taken the time to curate some of the best books that will help you on your journey to being a successful person.
1 – Hard Times Create Strong Men- Stefan Aarnio
The first book on my list is a book written for men (though ladies can read it or recommend it to boyfriends, husbands, fathers, and sons). I loved this book so much that even though I had read it in the Kindle format, I had to get a paperback version of it. I also gave a “Strong Men…” audiobook to a young friend of mine. I consider this a must-read to all men regardless of their age.
In a world where we are devoid of positive, strong male role models, and masculinity is bashed left and right through media and society in general. Most men are lost, and their spirits are broken. In other words, men have become weak.
The book takes a look at the historical narrative on manhood and then defines what being a man should entail in the 21st century. One major thing that I enjoyed about this book was the author’s honesty in examining the issues; it was refreshing. This is a book that every guy should pick up and read again and again.
The book centers around the 80-year old cycle, which consists:
Hard times create strong men; strong men create good times; good times create weak men; weak men create hard times.
The “hard time creates strong men” was with the beginning of WW2. A global war which devasted countries and killed millions of people. After the war, the US enjoyed richness beyond imagination and became the strongest nation on earth. However, as one generation passes to a newer one, the difficulties experienced start fading from people’s minds.
Since WW2, roughly 80 years have passed by 2020. At this point, we can easily see hard times are ahead, and men must become strong once more or perish. This makes this book very relevant to the peculiarities of our society today.
2 – The Way of Men- Jack Donovan
This is another book that is aimed at men but can be read by anybody. Jack Donovan’s piece is simply fantastic, and it is one of those books that I intend to read again. He also takes a look at history and masculinity. He then proceeds to give insights on how the historical narratives of the masculine gender can be practically applied in our world today. The book concludes that “the way of men” can be deduced best from the primal survival gang, and he highlights the virtues and features of this gang. When compared to ‘Hard Times Create Strong Men,’ I think that women will find this book much more relatable.
I have mentioned two books that address the masculine gender, particularly because we have too few examples of good and strong men today. These books are some of the best books that can help you or your man become a better person for himself and society.
3 – Meditations – Marcus Aurelius (Gregory Haze)
For those who don’t know Marcus Aurelius, he is one of the most successful Roman Emperors, and Meditations is a series of writings that he put down based on his thoughts and ideas about Stoic philosophy. I recommend this book because it will help you learn how to make logical and rational decisions, not being ruled singularly by your emotions. I feel that one of the major problems of the western world is the extreme emotionalism of people. People have abandoned logic for feelings, and reading this book will help drive that tendency out of people. It is a book filled with practical insights into life and leadership from a man who led one of the most successful empires in history. That makes it a must-read for everybody that intends to be successful. You should also not read it once!
You will note that I included “Gregory Haze” in the title. That is because there are several reprints of Meditations, and I found Gregory’s own to be the easiest version to go through.
4 – A Guide to The Good Life – William B. Irvine
Yes, this is another philosophical book, particularly on Stoicism- which is a philosophy that embraces the values of logic and rational reasoning. This book gives a background to how Stoicism started in ancient Greece and helps us understand some foundational knowledge on the concept. You should read this alongside ‘Meditations‘ since this will help give some foundational context to the principles mentioned by Marcus Aurelius. The book also offers insight on how to apply Stoic philosophy into your everyday life. To be a master of rationality and logicality, you should go through this book.
5 – The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck – Mark Manson
This is one of my absolute favorites; I can remember being glued to it the very first time I picked it up. This is a book that helps you to build a very radical mindset that is required for success. Mark’s approach has been described as counterintuitive because he does not go down the usual roads of positivity and self-help that have become so popular. This book will help you create a different perspective on the challenges and pressures of life. You will suddenly see problems as necessary parts of life that should be tackled with solutions and excitement as they come. The book is also quite philosophical, even if it doesn’t delve into the realm of philosophy like the two before it. One of the book’s key takeaways is that living a good life is not about being concerned about more things but about less; he advises that we give a fuck about only what truly matters. You should not read this only once.
6 – Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
This is one of the best books about money and financial intelligence that you will ever read. This is one of the books that best explains the issue of assets and liabilities. Robert also gives very unconventional wisdom on the issue of money and financial resources. It is a book that might rattle your financial ideology, but if you follow the book’s principles, you will see results sooner than later. Another great feature of the book is that it gives insight into the background and history of financial institutions and powerful corporations. It is a must-read for everyone that seeks financial independence
7 – Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill
I refer to this as the “Bible on Money.” This book teaches you how to improve your mindset so that you can attract more money to yourself. It is a book for every entrepreneur, freelancer, and investor out there. Although the book is primarily about money, its principles can help you achieve remarkable success even in business, career, or family. It is a mindset reset system. The book also explains the proper mindset to overcome failures. Instead, you should see failures as a growth opportunity rather than a quitting opportunity.
The great thing about it is that there are exercises that have been curated for you to help you create that success and wealth mindset. The book is one that will also unleash the power of your imagination.
8 – This Book Will Teach You How to Write Better – Neville Medhora
Copywriting is one of the highly paid skills today on the internet, and it is a skill used by every business or organization. This book will teach you in very succinct and practical terms some of the best strategies you can leverage in copywriting. It also contains formulae that can be easily adapted to your particular brand and content strategy. It is a very short book and can be read at a go. Every entrepreneur and writer should read it to create more engaging content
9 – Twelve Pillars- Jim Rohn
This book shares twelve pillars that will help anybody attain success in whatever they set out to do. The book is about a man who meets a house gardener who reveals the twelve pillars employed by the house owner to achieve success.
If you spend time with this book and practice the pillars that were mentioned, you are on your way to success. Some of the pillars include; Self Development, The gift of relationships, and the pillar of lifelong learning. I particularly think that anything from Jim Rohn is something that will help on the path of success.
10 – The Richest Man in Babylon – George Samuel Clason
I have read this book over and over again, although it is fiction. The book addresses the issue of wealth, the channels for wealth creation, and the challenges that affect wealth creation. The book speaks about the culture of saving and investment and the need to increase learning to increase income. It also addresses character flaws that will affect the generation of wealth and resources- procrastination being the most prominent of them. The book will help ensure a mindset reset to the issue of finance and perhaps even success in general—another must-read for financial independence.
11 – Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins
This is a really powerful book, and I would recommend that you also get the audio version. It is a book that narrates David’s life story, one of America’s fittest Athletes and a former badass Navy Seal. It tells a story of defying the odds and fighting for the dreams that one believes in. Resilience is one of the major characteristics of the successful, and this book is a major story of resilience, among other virtues. Although both men and women can read the book, I feel that David is a great male role model.
12 – Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
This is the only book on this list that I have not read yet. However, I have read multiple reviews on it, and it is definitely on the to-read list. It is a fictitious book with a large scope, including themes ranging from capitalism to market economy and philosophy, all within love stories and murders. It is a must-read though it is quite lengthy.
13 – How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie (Bonus book)
This is one of the best books on relationship and influence that you can read. Influencing people and mastering relationships is critical to a life of success and this book teaches some of the best strategies on how to become an expert at relationships. One of the reasons why I love this book is that the strategies given are in no way manipulative but strategies to make you a better person. The practice of listening, caring, forgiving, smiling, and being genuinely interested in people, make even yourself feel happiness and peace. The book also shares precious insights on leadership and how to handle criticism, helping you become a more resilient and potentially successful person.
14 – The Biblical Masculinity Blueprint – Stephen Casper
Books are essential parts of our growth, and we must cultivate the habit of reading and learning. If you don’t usually read, just grab one of the books mentioned and start today. I suggest making a habit of reading at least 10 pages per day. Anyone can easily do this in a matter of minutes. This helps you adopt a new and life-changing habit.
Do you have any book suggestions you’d like to mention? Then leave it in the comment section below.