My New Year’s resolution for 2018 was to read and write about a book every week. Six months into 2018, I’ve read 21 books and written 34 articles. A lot of the books that I’ve read this year have received 5 out of 5 stars, but a handful of these books really blew my mind and deserve extra recognition for being so awesome.
I highly recommend taking the time to read these books and absorbing the valuable lessons each one offers. So without delay, here’s a list of the 5 best books I’ve read in 2018 so far (in no particular order):
5) “The ONE Thing” by Keller & Papasan
The title of this book sounds like clickbait, do this one thing to be successful, but this book is actually filled with an immense amount of valuable information.
The book provides advice backed by scientific studies, on how to be more productive and effective. It will teach you how to prioritize tasks, manage time, build good habits, use willpower properly, set goals and more. The book also debunks popular myths such as multitasking being great–which it is not–and that being busy is good–also not true.
The authors also provide readers with additional tools and information at their website here. I highly recommend reading this book if you want to be more productive and efficient in both your professional and personal life.
4) “The Third Door” by Alex Banayan
This book is filled with a lot of great business advice, but it’s also an amazing story. As a college student, the author hacked The Price Is Right and used the prize money to fund his quest to learn from the world's most successful people.
The author takes readers on a journey of how he chased Larry King in a grocery store, waited in a bathroom to talk to Tim Ferriss, used his network to meet with Bill Gates, and dozens more of the world's most successful people.
There’s also a lot of great advice from icons such as how Tim Ferriss cold-emails people, how Jessica Alba stays focused on her business, and how Pitbull believes people should always stay an intern.
The book was released this month and is already a national bestseller. The author has a very Tim Ferriss-like vibe and combines business with life advice. The book is less than 300 pages long and is quite addicting to read. Highly recommend it to college students, entrepreneurs, and people interested in business.
3) “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl
After reading this book I recommended it to several people and every one of them has told me the book was incredible. What makes it such a great read is that the book constantly shifts from being absolutely amazing to drastically depressing and is an honest and truthful story.
The author retells his life at Auschwitz and several other concentration camps and talks about the horrible conditions he and other prisoners had to endure to survive. From working 10+ hours a day of physical labor in freezing temperatures to constantly walking past dead bodies.
At the same time, this book is a story of the human’s determination to live and Frankl teaches readers several important lessons about how humans can be the worst of people and also the nicest of people. The best part is that Frankl was a psychiatrist so he could really analyze both the prisoners and the guards and get to the center of what makes humans ticks and why they do what they do. From his experience, Frankl discovered life lessons that would have been near impossible to find anywhere else.
2) “Extreme Ownership” by Willink & Babin
“Extreme Ownership” was initially released as a leadership and management guide to help corporate leaders, but this book is so much more than that. The lessons learned from this book can be applied to almost every aspect of life.
For example, the title of the book refers to a trait that Willink and Babin believe all great leaders possess–the ability to go above and beyond by taking extreme ownership and responsibility of the situation.
People that take extreme ownership don’t go around blaming others for negative outcomes, they ask themselves what they could have done to prevent things from going bad or think about what they’ll do from now on to prevent the same negative event from happening in the future.
For instance, instead of blaming an employee for always being late with their work, perhaps you should train the employee better. If your wife calls you and says she forgot to pick up the kids from school, don’t yell at her and call her dumb–that doesn’t help anyone nor does it help the situation. Instead, teach your wife how to set reminders on her phone or teach her to write out her schedule the day before so she remembers.
If you’re a manager or leader then this book should be required reading for you. And even if you aren’t, there are a lot of great life lessons people can learn from reading this fantastic book.
These are books that I’d highly recommend reading when you have some free time. Although they didn’t make it into the top five, these books are still spectacular and you can learn a ton from reading them.
Learn more about the books here:
- “Total Recall” by Arnold Schwarzenegger
- “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Robert Glover
- “Make Your Bed” by William McRaven
Get the books here:
1) “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson
Every now and then you read a book that literally changes your life, for me, this is that book.
It’s hard to start talking about “12 Rules for Life” because so many aspects of this book are incredible. The book pulls interesting lessons from psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. It also talks about how religion, literature, and Disney movies have similar life lessons and how each one can teach people about the proper way to live a good life.
Nothing I write can do the book justice, but I will attempt to convey its main message.
Life is suffering. It is. There’s that old saying that the only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes, but there will also be a lot of pain and suffering. So what can you do? Why is life worth living?
This leads people to believe in nihilism. People of this mindset believe life is pointless so nothing matters and they might as well commit suicide, take out their anger at the world through murder or other crimes, or just live life with no goal because it doesn’t matter.
Peterson argues that this is a horrible, horrible way of thinking and living life. It is the easy path to self-destruction and atrocities. Just because life is hard, it doesn’t mean we should get rid of it all together.
Instead, since life is hard, let’s try to make ourselves as strong as possible and as competent as possible to deal with the challenges life throws our way.
To do so, Peterson teaches readers how to stand up for themselves, how to take care of themselves and others, and several other lessons that teach people how to be a better person overall. If you want to change your life for the better, read this book.