February 19, 2018 Three books that changed my life
There are three books I read last year that left a lasting impression, particularly around the way I work and organise my life around it.
Now, I’ve never been an avid reader.
In truth, I always struggle to find the time.
Last year, I switched to audiobooks and it made a big difference – I listen in the car, when going for a run, gardening, you name it. With family and business eating up the bulk of my waking hours nowadays, I tend to stick to books that help me work more efficiently and free up time.
While the three books are fantastic stand-alone reads, they actually share a common synergy and are worth reading back-to-back.
I’d highly recommend grabbing all three and reading them in the following order.
Three books that changed my life:
The 4-Hour Work Week
If I had to recommend one book, this would be it.
Now, I know Ferris is loved and loathed in equal measure. I’ve always been on the fence.
In saying that, within the first chapter I felt he was someone I could relate to. There were definite parallels with his experiences as an entrepreneur and me swapping the corporate world for putting my own entrepreneurial hat on to launch Orange Wealth with my brother, Jason.
It really resonated and, to be fair, it acted as a bit of a confirmation as to how I’ve transformed my own thinking over the past five years, particularly in relation to money, time and family.
These were my key takeaways…
The book helped shift my thinking around money being intrinsically tied to success.
Rather than thinking I needed X amount of money to realise my dreams, I could accomplish some of those with much less than what I thought I’d need.
This is a big one.
It took a little while to break what was a well-worn habit, but the book helped me change the way I think about the concepts of ‘time’ and ‘work’ – and the fact that you don’t have to put in 80 hours a week to be successful.
Thinking back to the second point for a second, once I broke the time-money illusion, it made me realise that my family’s happiness is paramount and that family trumps work every time!
The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up
I wish I’d read it earlier.
Long story short, I managed to read it in three days, which is no mean feat when you’ve got two young children to contend with.
While I was initially a little dubious about the book’s manifesto – ‘how to put your space in order in a way that will change your life’ – and self-help overtones, it’s much more than that.
Sure, it’s one part strategy around decluttering, one part philosophy.
But what really struck a chord with me is the psychology behind why we tend to have so much trouble throwing things out. It actually made me rethink the way I look at owning ‘things’. In fact, I’ve slowly but surely started to take on a different mindset.
Rather than asking myself, ‘what should I get rid of?’, I now ask myself, ‘why should I keep this?’.
Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise
When you run your own business, you’re always looking at new ways of working and new ideas.
Here, often a book can help you look at the way you work through a different lens. Which is why I found Ericsson’s book so powerful.
Essentially, the book gives you a learning strategy.
And one that’s based on nigh on 30 years of research experts in the field – from athletes right through to violin virtuosos.
The biggest takeaway for me is getting yourself into a mindset where you take constant deliberate action and, perhaps more importantly, constantly pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone – the latter being something I’ve always found quite challenging.
Beyond that, it comes down to devising well-defined goals and applying full conscious attention to everything you do.