In Wednesday’s post, I tried to make the point that stagnant thinking is the biggest threat to our business. I argued that stagnant thinking is a product of intellectual disengagement and that the solution can be found in reading books. It seems only fitting, then that I would suggest a reading list for the month of February. I base my list on the best books that I’ve read in the past month in the hopes that you will find them as interesting as I did.
Be Obsessed Or Be Average
One of the first books I read in the new year was Grant Cardone’s latest book Be Obsessed or Be Average. To be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with Grant Cardone because he puts a lot of focus on money. I don’t mean to vilify money, but it has never been a big driver for me.
What I love about this book, though, is his point that the only people who’ve ever changed the world were obsessed with doing it. I think this book is a wake-up call for anyone looking to be successful. It not only makes its case, it also lays out a plan for anyone looking to break through and become great.
It’s no secret that I despise PowerPoint. In fact, I believe that somewhere in a North Korean prison, there’s a projector used for the most serious kind of torture. That would be because people aren’t following the rules laid out by Garr Reynolds in Presentation Zen.
PowerPoint should be much more than bullets on a screen and this book will show you how to create presentations that actually make sense and please the eye, rather than putting people to sleep.
The Obstacle Is The Way
Read any business article in 2016 and there’s a good chance you were going to see a mention of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aralias. That’s because of Ryan Holiday’s book, The Obstacle Is The Way, brings to life his philosophy of Stoicism for modern life.
Paraphrasing the basic message of the book, life is going to suck sometimes and there are a lot of things outside of our control, but by controlling our perspective, and taking action on the things that we can control, we can find peace and happiness. Holiday is much more eloquent, however, which is why you should read the book.
The Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume II
I will admit that I listened to this rather than reading it, and if you get the chance, I highly recommend doing the same. Grover Gardner reads the folksy life story of Mark Twain as he remembers his life in a series of flashbacks. It’s poignant, witty and hilarious. Many times I was laughing out loud at this sarcasm.
There are no known recordings of Twain’s voice and, therefore, I like to imagine that if he were alive today, he would sound exactly like Grover Gardner. It was pure joy to listen to.
Four books, that I enjoyed in January that I would highly recommend to anyone adding to their list for February. There is plenty to learn from, to laugh about and to lecture from. I loved these books and hope you will too.
Special Bonus: I keep all of my books in a Google Drive file. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share my library with you. You can read what I’m reading (or anything else I have) for free. Let’s fight disengagment together.