Every year I begin with the goal of making this year my best year ever. Looking back, I will be honest with myself, and say there were some areas I improved and had my best year ever, and there were areas where I slacked. One area that I was shocked when I took a look was the amount of reading I did. I didn’t set a goal to read any number of books, I simply said I wanted to read everyday. It worked. I read more books this year, than I have in any years past.
One big thing I learned from a favorite book from 2015 “Burn your goals,” was that in a lot of areas we are striving, we set uncontrollable goals. We need to focus on the process and the mission rather than the outcome. The outcome is barely ever controllable. We think we can control a promotion, or winning the championships or getting that raise, but really those are outcomes of the every day process and mission that we actually can control.
Here are five of my favorite books from 2016.
1. Mindset by Carol Dweck
This is a must read by everyone. I don’t care what your occupation is. If you are breathing, you need to read this book. It will change the way you think about yourself. It will change the way you think about others. It will teach you how to talk to others on a level that will improve their lives and yours.
This book goes into the background of having a “growth” mindset or a “fixed” mindset. Our natural tendency is to think we are already born with certain tendencies, talents, or skills, but the studies show if we change our thought process to believing our minds can change and we can change, we can accomplish almost anything. It also goes into tactical ways to talk and coach children and others to thinking in this way as well.
Grab this book for 2017.
2. Hustle by Joshua Medcalf
I have had the pleasure of meeting Joshua, hearing him speak and also get to know him this year. He has quickly become my favorite author and voice I like to follow on a consistent basis. Most of the books I have read in the past year were recommended by him to improve my thought process, how I work and how I can improve my life. Every single one has. He writes with passion and Hustle is no different.
This book is a condensed version of a few of his other books, and I plan to re-read this again this year. His writing is geared towards the sports industry, but 95% of it can be used in any capacity. Competitive sports have not been a part of my life in years, but the analogies he uses for life lessons, stick with you. Hustle will teach you similar things as mindset, but on a more practical level. It will give you encouragement to keep working hard on your process and mission, even when no one can see the results (even you). The end result, which is uncontrollable, will happen.
Be sure to have your highlighter out for this one. You’ll want to take some notes!
3. Do the Work
Two of my top favorite authors in one book? Done. Grab this book by Steven Pressfield and if you are feeling ambitious grab his other two “War of Art” and “Turning Pro” that are of the same theme. You’ll want them once you finish this one. Pressfield is known for a few of his fiction novels like “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” but in “Do the Work” he tackles everyone’s struggles who have ever tried to create something.
If you are trying to start something and create it, this book is a must read. If you are wanting to write a book, find a new job, start a new life, create a movie, become an artist etc. Pressfield goes through the power of resistance that everyone feels and how to defeat it. Not to mention my favorite business and marketing author Seth Godin writes the forward and worked along side Pressfield in creation of this book.
4. Miracle Morning – Hal Elrod
If I was to pick one book that I took the most action on this year, this would be it. The Miracle Morning has changed the way I wake up every morning. I start every day now with some form of what Elrod explains in this book. This book will give you the tools and action items to give you a routine that works and prepares you to do your best work every day.
The methods I learned from Elrod have impacted me so much, that if I don’t go through this routine, I know I’m not as productive as if I did. It has become that important and vital in my life. I am also no where near a morning person, but this book has given me the small steps to enjoying my mornings.
5. Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl
Since this book has been printed more than 12 million times, I know I’m not even close to telling you about a book you don’t know about. This was the first time I have read it, and I completely understand why this is on so many people’s “Must Read” list. Dr. Frankl was a psychologist that lived through a concentration camp in WWII. Enough said. Too many life lessons learned from this book.
You might be seeing a theme here with my books this year – Mindset. You can only control so much if your mindset is not right. On the flip side you can control SO MUCH if your mindset IS right.
Bonus – Through the Eyes of a Lion
I couldn’t leave this book out! I laughed, I cried and I learned so much about life from this book. Levi and his family lost their five-year-old daughter unexpectedly and this is his account through it all. The brutal honesty, candidness, and wisdom from Levi in his book is breathtaking. It is more than just a book about how to deal with hard times and grief. As Levi puts it, it is a “a manifesto for high-octane living.”
I hope you grab a few or all of these books for 2017. They impacted my life for the best and I am confident they will do the same for you.
Here are a few other favorites from this year.
- School of Greatness – Lewis Howes
- Entrepreneur Roller Coaster – Darren Hardy
- Unashamed – Lecrae
- Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life – William Finnegan
If you want to see my year in books Check it out on Goodreads.