These are some of my favorite books that I’ve read that have helped me along my personal development journey. I’ve broken these books into categories for the goals you’d like to achieve.
Financial Literacy Books
ABC's of Making Money for Teens
This is the first personal finance book I was ever gifted and the lessons taught in it are still relevant today.
Even though this book is written for children and teenagers adults can still learn about making wise decisions about money and the power of compound interest.
This book is broken into 3 sections
The first section focuses on our attitudes about money and how it contributes to success or failure –
The second section is about the basics of saving and investing. It explains the time value of money, meaning the longer you invest your money the more time you have for the interest to compound.
The final part of the book deals with creating money through entrepreneurship. This is a creative chapter where you can put some ideas to make money on paper.
Some of the things I learned from this book as a middle schooler:
The more money you have the more options you have
How to avoid common rip-offs and reduce needless charges for bills
Your money is a tool that can be used to make your life more fun – or rich people richer, you decide.
I highly recommend this book for anybody who wants to learn about money in the simplest terms possible.
Personal Development Books
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Every young twenty-something with a dream at some point wonder how they can achieve great things and effectively change the world around you.
This book is for you if you want to improve your character from the inside out. This book doesn’t focus on behaviors but who you are at your core.
- If I don’t decide what’s important in my life someone else will.
- Listen to understand others first before speaking if you want to influence others.
- Without planning goals with the end in mind I could end up working for years only to end up in a situation I’m not happy in.
Being truly effective means being clear in what you want to achieve while being proactive in putting goals into actions. I highly recommend this book if you’re looking to become a better version of you.
Finish: Give Yourself The Gift of Done
Finish Give Yourself The Gift of Done
If you’re anything like me you’re always full of ideas. You get excited about learning something new, starting an online course, or even launching a podcast and you start working on it.
As the weeks go on you lose momentum and just find something else. You can go your entire life starting things you never finish. This book solves that problem.
This book is like the “Essentialism of Goal setting”, the first lesson taught in this book is we aren’t supermen & superwomen.
As much as I would like to think I can hold down a full time job, train to deadlift 700 pounds, research stocks, learn to get really good at poker, do my fair share of housework, host a weekly podcast, research and create videos optimized for traffic on YouTube, along with investing time in my personal relationships I realize I must pick and choose what I’m going to go big on & what doesn’t matter to me as much in life right now.
This book is designed to help you do one thing: finish what you start.
Godspeed Development podcast wouldn’t even exist today if it weren’t for this book.
Those first three episodes plus a forth you’ll never hear would still be on my hard drive right now.
If you want actionable strategies to accomplish your goals this book is for you.
Strengths Finder 2.0
Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best everyday? Do you even know what you do best? StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a guide that allows you to first, identify what your strengths are and second, use those strengths to make you more productive.
To help uncover your talents StrengthsFinder 2.0 spits out a report and action plan for you to take advantage of what you do best.
Do you ever feel like you’re just working harder and harder and becoming more stressed and getting less done?
Essentialism is an in depth look at what happens when we put more energy into ONE thing instead of EVERYTHING in life and work.
You’re going to learn:
- People are effective because they say ‘no,’ because they say, “this isn’t for me.
- Warren Buffett owes 90% of his wealth to just ten investments. More isn’t better, effective results are.
- Stuck? Play fires up the brain
- When we push back effectively, it shows people that our time is highly valuable.
- Saying yes to the good opportunities won’t allow you the mental clarity or sometimes even the time to go big on great opportunities – if your response isn’t a “hell yes” then you should decline.
If you want to learn how to effectively prioritize your time this book is for you.
The 4-Hour Work Week
First off, this book is not for lazy people who only want to work 4 hours a week.
Being in my early 20’s the first time I read this book I hadn’t really took the time to consider I was going to work 11 and a half months a year from the time I graduated college until I was 65.
The 4 Hour Work Week made me question why we delayed all the fun we’re could have in life until we are too old to truly enjoy it.
This book is about creating a system where you use your time to serve you.
Here are some of the key things I learned from the book:
- Being busy is a form of laziness. Being busy is often used as a distraction for avoiding the critically important but uncomfortable things we need to be doing.
- Reevaluate why you’re doing the things you’re doing and how it relates to your long term goals.
- Don’t ever arrive to work or to a task without a clear list of priorities to accomplish for that day. Personally, I plan the one or two most important tasks that I need to accomplish every day of the week on Sundays and then work my plan 7 days a week.
Now I wake up every morning knowing EXACTLY what tasks I need to accomplish for the day. This has saved me HOURS of wasted time wondering what I needed to do next.
Tim uses this book to share his philosophy for simplifying life, becoming more effective, and automating work.
The 4-Hour Body
Unlike the last book this book is for lazy people who want a better body in 4 hours a week.
When I received this book I initially thought I had gotten someone’s college text book by mistake. To my relief this book isn’t intended to be read from cover to cover. Think of this book as a series of mini books, pick the topics that interest you.
The techniques in this book can help you become bigger, faster, and stronger but the weight loss portion is pretty generic and unsustainable – Tim like Tom Brady believes that strawberries shouldn’t be eaten under any circumstances.
I used this book to push my bench press above 250 pounds despite only weighing 150 at the time while adding over 200 pounds to my deadlift.
The science of this book is questionable at best but I’ve achieved some pretty amazing results.
I learned how to binge eat and not absorbing anything you eat by keeping yourself warm through exercise and not letting your blood sugar levels fluctuate.
Some other key takeaways from the book:
- Weight loss isn’t a specific enough goal fat loss is.
- Eat till you’re sick breakfast, lunch, and dinner, eat between meals and pick up heavy things and you’ll gain about a pound a week.
- Adding inches to your vertical jump
- How walking fast can train you to run fast.
The science of this book is questionable at best but I’ve achieved some pretty amazing results.
The 4-Hour Chef
The cook book that has nothing to do with 4 hours at all.
Learning how to learn is the main principle taught in this book and the chapter meta learning alone is worth the full price of this book.
This book is similar to The 4 Hour Body, you choose what you want to learn about.
Skills You can learn from this book in under an hour:
- Pi to the twentieth decimal place.
- Knife throwing
- Folding a T-Shirt like they do in department stores in 5 seconds
- Figuring out which fruit at the store is the juiciest.
If you can’t cook at all you’ll be cooking the best meals in your life in less than a week, even my parents were impressed.
The only drawback about the book is how intimidating large it is. You don’t have to read the entire book, I’m sure there’s some recipes that I haven’t tried yet.
The Four Hour Chef is a guideline on how to maximize your potential in any area in life. This is a must read for anybody who considers themselves a lifelong learner.
The 5 Minute Journal
Do you wake up in the morning wishing you could just go back to sleep because you have nothing to look forward to in the day?
The 5 minute journal is meant for you to focus on the good in your life, become more mindful, and live with intention. It is designed for you to start and end each day with gratitude.
Just like the title suggests, this journal is designed to be used in 5 minuets.
In the morning you will set the tone for the rest of your day with 3 questions and set intention to make your day great.
In the evening you reflect of the day and see where you could improve for tomorrow. Lastly you are also to reflect on the good of your day ensuring you end the day with positivity.
The 5 minute journal will help you live with intention and gratitude instead of going through the motions of daily life.
Social Skills Books
Are you a good listener?
Chances are you aren’t as good of a listener as you think.
Have you ever wondered how Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible can listen to a set of instructions one time before it blows up and remember every detail for the rest of the movie?
He probably read this book about listening effectively.
This book, written by one of my college professors, is designed to help you analyze types of listening so you can be a better listener in all situations.
What’s also covered in this book
The listening process become a more effective listener.
Listening fallacies that keep you from being a good listener.
Exercises that train your brain to remember what you hear the first time you hear it.
Listening is probably the most important yet underrated social skill that everyone should receive some type of training in.
Will It Fly
Have you ever thought about starting a business but had no idea if your business idea was good enough?
Pat Flynn helps you take your business idea from being just an idea to an actual product using a series of tests.
You’ll know before you spend too much time or money on an idea whether it will be profitable or not.
Every potential business solves a problem, even if you have no business ideas this book will help you identify problems in life for you to solve.
There is an excellent exercise early in the book where you determine your long term vision for your future.
I recommend this book for any aspiring business owner or even someone who wants to make money on the side as a guide to test and launch your business so you don’t waste time and money.