Humans are machines that can change. We were made to be able to adapt to our environment and the stress that it puts on us (both physical and mental). Taking charge of this process is what learning is all about. Books are the knowledge-based elixir of the gods when it comes to learning.
He said, “Education is the most powerful weapon we have to change the world.” That many people have taken the time to write down their hard-earned knowledge in books that are easy to read is a big deal. Here are eight books that changed my worldview in a big way. You need to be armed to change the world.
‘Mindset: The New Psychology’ by Carol Dweck
If you only read one book on this list, let it be this one, because it’s the best one. Dweck’s work is so important that it’s a must-read. It shows that the most important thing anyone can learn is that their talent and intelligence aren’t set in stone, and they can change. They can grow at any age and in any direction. People used to think that their genes were the only thing that could make them happy or sad. Dweck, on the other hand, shows that that isn’t true. What is more important than whether or not you won the genetic lottery is how you think about things. This is what really matters.
In order to be good at anything, the first thing you must believe is that you can improve. In your own beliefs, the most important thing you can do is change how you think about things. This idea of “leading with belief” is the one that has the biggest impact. When you think, “I can’t do that,” everything changes. If you think, “I can’t do that yet,” everything stays the same. Mindset is the building block of change, and it’s important to know this.
‘Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win’ by Jocko Willink (Author) and Leif Babin
When you read Willink and Babin’s book, one of the main ideas is that you have to take responsibility for everything that goes wrong in your life. None of this is your fault. This is true for everything in your life, even if you don’t think to look inside for answers.
“Extreme ownership” is a mindset where you don’t make excuses for what you’ve done. You know that your life is a direct reflection of the choices you’ve made. There is no one to blame but you if you don’t like how your life and success are going. Your fault, simple and clear:
Power and clarity come from taking this role in your life, and Willink’s lessons from his time in Iraq will help you think about all the things you can change. This book is very important because it will help you start the process of changing.
In this lesson, you will learn how to own up to all of your mistakes.
‘Man’s Search For Meaning’ by Viktor Frankl
I turn to this book when I’m having a bad day. People search for meaning in Viktor Frankl’s memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” It’s about how he lived in Nazi death camps. Thrilling and scary, this book shows that if you have something important in your life, you can get through anything. This is what makes us all want the kind of deep fulfillment that we crave. Without it, no matter how good your life is, you won’t get it. Frankl was the one who made the idea that we have a choice between what we see and how we respond popular. You have the power to make this choice, which makes you human and makes you a person.
This story is also a great example of how you get what you pay attention to. Frankl was able to get through Auschwitz by focusing on the deeper meaning of his pain. If his suffering was meaningful, it wasn’t because it was intrinsically important. It was because he paid attention to why he was willing to suffer and that decision made his suffering meaningful. He was able to focus on something beautiful even though his surroundings were so bad that he couldn’t even imagine how bad they were.
Lesson: Pay attention to what your experiences mean.
‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth
A lot of people ask me, “What is the most important thing that any entrepreneur should have?” Go back and read the first book on this list. Then, try to adopt a growth mindset, like the one in that book. Before you do anything else, I’d tell you that you need to be very, very tough. Make this one of your best ever. There are many types of grit, but the most important thing is that you’re willing to keep going even when it’s hard or boring.
You have to put in a lot of time and effort to achieve success at the highest level, but you also have to keep going even when things don’t go your way. That’s hard. Because they keep going even when it’s not fun, the people who win are the ones who keep going. A good quality is more important to Duckworth than a lot of skills. I agree. I want to know who you are, but I also want to know what kind of person you want to be and how much money you’re willing to pay for it.
In this lesson, we learn that hard work is more important than having good skills.
‘The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art Of Turning Trials Into Triumph’ by Ryan Holiday
Holiday says that what you think is stopping you is what will help you move forward. If you find this hard to believe, think about the Wright Brothers first. In the beginning, the Wright brothers were underdogs in the race to fly because they didn’t get enough money or attention. It’s interesting to know how two brothers who owned a bicycle shop took off in the sky. Their problems made them come up with new ideas. Whenever you’re hungry, when you have something to prove, or when your journey is full of roadblocks, you can either turn around or you’ll have to break through. This breakthrough is what makes you a winner.
Films do this all the time. Take Star Wars, for example. The first three movies were limited by special effects. That made them have to make a “living world” that was mostly made of real sets, props, puppets, and other things that were used in real life. Because of the backlash over the use of computer-generated imagery in the prequels, the “limitations” that the first three films had actually helped define the look of the movie that the most recent films in the Star Wars universe have tried to copy, which is why they took so long to do it. This is what happened in real life: The obstacle became the way.
Lesson: Turn problems into chances.
‘Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?’ by Seth Godin
A lot of people think that being an entrepreneur is cool and that they deserve to be called rock stars. This isn’t for everyone. Every time you see a rockstari, he or she is usually part of a very big and important team. When it’s done right, this team is made up of linchpins, people who are very important to the company. They are just as driven and talented as any entrepreneur. So, as a CEO, I’m always looking for “linchpins,” people who are both talented and passionate about the business for their own selfish reasons. They are trying to be the best people they can be. They are always learning and trying to improve their own skills.
They believe in the company’s mission, have a personal connection to it, and show up every day to play to win. This is how it works: They want to be very good at what they do. Because they know that’s the only way to be truly happy. In this book, Godin teaches people how to become irreplaceable linchpins, people who control their own fate by becoming so good that they can’t be ignored. This is a great book. This book is for anyone who wants to use all of their skills. In this lesson, don’t be limited by your job title.