Books have a magical ability.. they can teach you, show you, make you feel, make you think, help you realize, find yourself, help you grow, connect with the greats, and above all help you get clarity and focus.
At the cusp of turning 40 the power of reading a good book has become even more clear. I have never been a reader was never fond of it neither did I have a surrounding that encouraged the practice. The last time I would’ve read was for a professional certification exam in my early 20’s and then half a book here and a few pages there. Am not an avid reader so this article is more of a confession than a recommendation. But I have learnt over time that there is no other easier option that reading that will help you grow to be better, faster, wiser, and stronger in no matter what you are doing, PERIOD!
In this article am listing the 4 books I really wish I had got in my 20’s that I truly believe will easily save 30 years of struggle trying to figure out how things work.
1 Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki - Financial Acumen
I clearly remember seeing this book on my Dad’s bookshelf and for some weird reason, I never opened it. I completed this book in 2016 and halfway through it had an imaginary bulb go on followed by flashbacks of moments where I could’ve done things differently and how things would’ve turned out differently. Applying the learnings from this book in your 20’s will help you lay a strong foundation for money management, career growth, investments, business outlook, and most importantly it will help envision your future self. This book should be taught in schools, no two ways about it.
2 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey – Personal Productivity
It was around 2007-2008 that I got promoted to Manager and immediately was nominated to attend a 2-day Leadership Offsite Training. The obvious first thoughts were 2 days out of the office, sumptuous 5 Star meals, and learning something new with office mates. In the 2 days, the trainer very beautifully covered the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with detailed discussions, team activities, videos, testimonies, a message from Stephen Covey himself, the works. On day 2 we got handed a fat 7 Habits diary and asked us to refer to it every day.
As it was with any other training and my naivety to not completely acknowledge the power of what I have been handed over, the diary sat in my drawer and never came out until recently. I recently pulled the diary out and began the process. Just starting with Habit #1 – “Be proactive” has helped me put more things in motion in the last 24 hours than in the last week. Not exaggerating.. this article is a result of this practice.
3 How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie - Communication Skills
One of my favourites from Dale Carnegie. One of the early pioneers in the personal development space. For me, this book was always one of those which I thought, “Do I really need to learn this?”. How naïve was I, looking back I can only laugh at my younger self, regret but alas can’t go back in time. The principles covered in this book are so simple that you might actually overlook them. And if you are like the younger me and re-thinking if you need to learn this skill, unless you want to look back at yourself in regret and wish you had read this when you first got to know about this book, then just blindly get this book and finish it like your life depends on it. Trust me. It will change the way people react to you.
4 Think & Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – Growth Mindset
This book came to me by chance. The first time I heard about the book, I was a skeptic and the thought of the idea to be far-fetched and border-line absurd. Months went by and I didn’t turn over a leaf. A good friend gifted this book and it stayed lying around the house for a long time. It went from the coffee table to the bookshelf to the attic when I was moving house. After unpacking in the new house, this book had grown an uncanny ability to appear in front of me every now and then. Months went by and the book had somehow reached my work table. Finally, the day had arrived. I opened the hardcover and started reading. By the time I was done with the author's preface I was hooked. I finished the book the same week and realized that this is not just a book, it is a manual, a guaranteed success manual. Treat this book as a guide and you will be in a far better position than you were when you started the book.
Now imagine, if someone in their 20’s who reads these 4 books and applies the learnings, imagine the wealth of knowledge, imagine the strong financial common sense, imagine the shift in their thought process, and most importantly imagine what a success magnet this individual will be right at the beginning of their careers. While the rest in the same league will be trying hard to figure out the ways of the world, this individual will be miles ahead of the game…. At least 30 years ahead in building Power Habits, Mindset, Financial acumen, and Influence, the four pillars of guaranteed success.
Which of the four are you going to start reading?