Some books are like an ice cold glass of water on a hot day. They’re immediately refreshing, and you finish the entire book in one sitting.
Others are like a fine, 20-year old oak barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon. You don’t want to rush it. You can’t.
Just like every small sip comes with a new world of flavors and smells, every paragraph of these 13 books brings paradigm-breaking truths and powerful knowledge you must absorb slowly in order to implement the principles in your life.
These types of books are often more difficult to read. They require patience, deliberate thinking, and time away from reading to process and implement the knowledge. Many people simply do not have the patience or focus to read slowly and carefully.
But for anyone willing to spend the extra time and effort, these 13 paradigm-shifting books can change your life — like they changed mine.
1. A 2,000-year-old library of wisdom by one of the world’s greatest leaders
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”
“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”
2. An exhaustive research study of the habits and behaviors of millionaires
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley
“I am not impressed with what people own. But I’m impressed with what they achieve. Always strive to be the best in your field…. Don’t chase money. If you are the best in your field, money will find you.”
“Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth. Then, we discovered something even odder: Many people who have a great deal of wealth do not even live in upscale neighborhoods.”
3. A timeless parable that reveals how to become rich, wealthy, and prosperous
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
“As for study, did not our wise teacher teach us that learning was of two kinds: the one kind being the things we learned and knew, and the other being the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know?”
“‘Fickle Fate’ is a vicious goddess who brings no permanent good to anyone. On the contrary, she brings ruin to almost every man upon whom she showers unearned gold.”
LO, MONEY IS PLENTIFUL FOR THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND THE SIMPLE RULES OF ITS ACQUISITION
- Start thy purse to fattening
- Control thy expenditures
- Make thy gold multiply
- Guard thy treasures against loss
- Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
- Ensure a future income
- Increase thy ability to earn
4. Become an insanely positive thinker with a simple mindset tweak
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them?
Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
“Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up.”
5. A collection of wisdom & life principles that have stood the test of time
The Business of Living by Frank Crane
“The good player is not the one who always wins, but the one who plays a poor hand well.”
“So let not a young man be discouraged if he has committed follies; for there seems to emerge a peculiar and vivid wisdom from error, from making an ass of oneself, and all that, more useful to one’s own life than any wisdom he can get from sages or books.”
“All good men are of one religion.”
6. Turn your largest challenges into your greatest advantages
The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Ryan Holiday
“The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth.”
“Problems are rarely as bad as we think they are — or rather, they are precisely as bas as we think.”
“Adversity can harden you or it can loosen you up and make you better.”
“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”
7. Mastering the trait that allows you to overcome anything
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
“Most dazzling human achievements are, in fact, the aggregate of countless individual elements, each of which is, in a sense, ordinary.”
“Yes, but the main thing is that greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.”
“Being a “promising beginner” is fun, but being an actual expert is infinitely more gratifying.”
“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”
8. A blunt mental training curriculum on how to become lethal in anything you do
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover
“You control your body, it does not control you. You shut out the fear and emotion and physical stress and you do the thing you dread.”
“Would you be as successful if you followed all the rules and always behaved and never took chances? No, you’d be just like everyone else, scared about failing and worried about being liked.”
“I don’t compete with anyone. Everyone competes with me.”
9. A study explaining how to become a master of anything through Deliberate Practice
Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise by Anders Erricson
“‘Naive’ practice is doing something repeatedly and expecting repetition alone will improve one’s performance.”
“Doing the same thing over and over again is exactly the same way is not a recipe for improvement — it is a recipe for stagnation and gradual decline.”
“Deliberate practice is both purposeful and informed.”
10. The holy grail of starting a sustainable, self-run personal business
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.”
“Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive. Capacity, interest, and mental endurance all wax and wane. Plan accordingly.”
“But you are the average of the five people you associate with most, so do not underestimate the effects of your pessimistic, unambitious, or disorganized friends. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they’re making you weaker.”
11. A guide to learn how to quit your full-time job and start working for yourself
The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
“The eager-beaver employee expends extra effort to make a mark but soon learns that effort doesn’t scale.”
“The art of moving forward lies in understanding what to leave behind.”
Writing a resume isn’t particularly difficult. The layout, typography, and paper stock are standardized. The purpose of the resume hasn’t changed, but the way it’s processed has. It’s not unusual for a big company to get more than 2,000 resumes a day. And they’re not read by a person; they’re read by a computer. The computer is looking for signals — signals of conformity.”
12. A simple 6-step guide on how to wake up early and have uber-productive mornings
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod
“The moment you accept responsibility for EVERYTHING in your life is the moment you can change ANYTHING in your life.”
“You are where you are because of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.”
“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
13. A no-nonsense motivational kick in the butt on doing the work you need to do
Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield
“Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”
“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
“That last thing we want is to remain as we are.”
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This article originally appeared in Medium.