We’re all pressed for time. We have families, jobs, after-school activities ( unless you’re still in college – which I envy you… ), and shit like dry-cleaning to pick up. I can wake up some days at 4am and know I am going to crush it at work and in life all day. Other days, I wake up at 8:00 and don’t even know how to hit the toilet or make it down the stairs.
It happens to all of us. Fortunately, these little spells are short-lived and have a simple cure – a quick motivational read. I’ve got 5 motivational books that probably are not going to change your life, but they should at least help to get your ass out of bed and move towards accomplishing something meaningful this week. And sometimes that’s all the nudge you need.
The Miracle Morning
This is first on my list because I love mornings. There are lots of people out there that have written about the keys to success, but my dad used to always say you’re burning daylight just sleeping in. It’s 4:30 right now while I write this, and the sun is already finding its way up and I’m already on my second cup of coffee – energized and ready for the rest of the city to come alive and get to work!
Hal Elrod basically says the key to success is to create a live that’s so wonderful and engaging that you want to wake up and create the life you’re looking for. No one is going to do it for you, and hitting that snooze button one more time is just your own impedance to your day and your success. Grab The Miracle Morning, get out of bed and accomplish something great.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
So this one may seem a bit odd, but I picked up Marie Kondo’s book out of curiosity on how I could tie the methodology into what we’re doing at Swap.com and also to see how it compares to Greg McKeown’s book on essentialism. In my own life, I really don’t have much of a closet decluttering need as I’m pretty anal about my clothing being clean and organized already, but I did find tremendous value in decluttering the things in our home that weren’t so obvious when it comes to interfering with the things that allow my wife and I greater success.
Any book on cleaning your home that can gain millions of sales and tens of thousands of positive reviews is probably worth a glance, at minimum. But The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was surprisingly good and I can’t recommend it enough if you want to stop living in chaos.
Michael Hyatt is fairly new to me. I had never heard of him until just a few months ago, and I honestly am not sure how I even stumbled across him. Michael is a virtual mentor with thousands of followers ( or customers ) and his philosophy seems to be deeply rooted in religion and family, which I can respect. I’m not religious myself, but I admire his message and influence commitment to family first.
I picked up his newest book, Living Forward, which he wrote with a friend of his, Daniel Harkavy, to learn a bit more about Michael and his philosophy around leadership and success. Living Forward book took me about 3 hours to read. It’s not that it’s short, it’s just that the book is more of a guide to build your own roadmap for accomplishing more. The theories are simple when you start reading and getting into the book, but what is genius about Michael and Daniel’s book is that they take what we so easily overlook and help us to put these simple mindsets into action.
You may not follow or buy into everything they offer in Living Forward, but this book should be an encouraging reminder that mindfulness and focusing on yourself and your family can lead to bigger accomplishments in your life.
The Coaching Habit
I lead a marketing team as well as others at Swap.com, and some great feedback I get is that sometimes instead of coaching and nurturing success out of our team, I simply just put my head down and do the work myself. While being able to just sit down and get shit done can be a good thing, it can also be an inspiration and personal growth killer. I believe, and have learned over time, that true leadership is measured by having the ability to inspire and empower your team to accomplish meaningful things without you being involved. Much of this type of leadership comes down to simply asking your team the right questions.
In The Coaching Habit, this is exactly what Michael Bungay Stanier reminds us. Leaders should be spending their time in meetings asking questions like What’s the real challenge for you? and How can I help? instead of using it to take over and basically do things for their teams, which typically just causes a bigger mess. It’s common to try and show you’re the smartest person in the room when you lead a team. I’ve seen it probably thousands of times and am guilty of it myself. It’s hard to just sit, listen, absorb, and ask questions that inspires results.
How Full is Your Bucket?
This is a quick read full of ideas that no one really ever thinks about. The more people I meet, the more I wish others would read this book and help fill up my bucket!
How Full is Your Bucket? is 130 pages of quite interesting stories and strategies that you can use to dramatically increase the positive moments in your life, both professionally and personally, while greatly reducing the negative influence around you. Tom Rath and Donald Clifton show you how the conscious choice of filling other people’s emotional buckets with positivity make your life more engaging and give you a feeling of completeness and purpose.
This is probably one of those books I’ll read a couple of times a year. If you only grab one of these books, make it How Full is Your Bucket?
I’m always looking for motivational books to provide to my friends, team and family. If you have any good recommendations, I’d love to hear them.