“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn
Jim is right! We all draw inspiration from somewhere, and our environment plays a huge role in that. So how can you use this to your advantage? Cutting out one loser friend, and adding someone who you want to be like might seem obvious, but that can be a big leap for some, especially those just waking up. So let’s put an easier, more practical spin on this. All of us consume content in one form or another. I know this because you are either reading this on my website or social media. What’s amazing about that, is we can use technology, and where our attention goes, to our advantage. It all starts by seeing a YouTube video, and liking one Facebook page, to listening to one podcast. Next thing you know, you have submerged yourself with what inspires you. Everything is so fast paced in our society today allowing audio to gain enormous popularity due to its passive nature. You are the average of not just who you spend the most time with, but also the content you consume.
Since audiobooks and podcasts have helped me immensely live a more intentioned life, and continuously keep me on track, I wanted to put together a list of the most influential works that have helped me. Weather you are looking to wake up and live life with more clarity, or just want to hear a different perspective on things, one of these is sure to resonate with you.
The Reading List
This list is designed to help people just starting out. As I continuously consume roughly two to three books a week, I am constantly looking for the ones that spark emotion and hit me hard, or just make too much sense to ignore. So what I did was put together a book course that goes in order from 1 – 12. This is my suggested order of attack for those who may feel a bit lost, but know they want something more for themselves. Read on as I explain my reasoning for why I chose each one as you go through the list.
#1 Life’s Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard
We kick the journey off with a not so standard approach to self-development. This book is a fictional story about a man facing his fears and decisions to overcome a rough patch in his marriage. This book will crack you open as I am sure more than one of the many lessons in this book with resonate with you. For me, I levied uncommunicated expectations on other for many years, and it burned a lot of bridges. I may never be able to salvage those relationships, but I can make sure it never happens again, and this point hits that point home.
#2 Mindset by Carol Dweck
When you hear the term “growth mindset”, this is the source that is cited. One of they key pillars to becoming your best self is to get out of your own way. Mindset dives into the key areas of our lives and helps make you aware of some common thinking, and how to change it. Again, this book is the foundation for the entire self-development ecosystem.
#3 The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
Now that we are a little bit ripped open, and fully understand what a growth mindset is, let’s really shake things up. Vishen will make you question the way you think about your entire existence, and after he gives you a blueprint to piece it all together again for a deeper understanding of yourself, and the universe around you.
#4 How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book is almost 100 years old, and was the first self-development book I read. It was passed down from my father, and I have read it twice now. A lot of the lessons are examples around business, but the reason this book stands the test of time is they are lessons used by all.
#5 The Third Door by Alex Banayan
This is a unique book. Many times you either have inspirational stories, or tactical tools of thought. The third door is both. Alex walks us through is very relatable thought patterns as he takes enormous risk and designs his life for himself. At the end, he ties every little thing together to solidify it all.
*Audiobook for this one is a must. There is so much emotion conveyed as Alex tells his story, and I feel like it wouldn’t be the same if it was just read.
#6 Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek and his viral interview with Tom Bilyeu is what pivoted me to self-development. If you are in this space you have probably heard of him or encountered the golden circle from Start With Why. Leaders Eat Last takes the golden circle concept and tailors it to practical leadership with the science to back it up. Probably the best all around leadership book I know of.
#7 Dare To Lead by Brené Brown
This book will force you to be very candid with yourself. It forces you to the core of vulnerability through courage, and helps you establish your core values. Once you have a bit of yourself figured out, it is all about building trust and how to do it yourself. Brené is in her element when she is teaching us the foundations of being a human being.
#8 The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle
You only pick this book up once. This is all about teamwork and getting the best from people. After a deep dive on safety, vulnerability, and common purpose, you will be eager to be a better leader in any environment.
#9 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
To transition away from our deep dive on leadership, The Alchemist is another story based book. It is a short read, and almost always on peoples list. It conveys the ideal of a Gary Vee quote “doing the right thing, is always the right thing” and helps you dig deep to realize and execute on your purpose.
#10 High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
As we near the end of our journey so far we are going to hit a couple books that give you tactical tools to live more intentioned, and HPH is just that. Brendon has done so much research oh what it is that makes someone a high performer and boils it down to the top traits. Throughout the book there are checkpoints to help you gauge how you do with these top traits, and how to do better.
#11 Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards
Vanessa Van Edwards is one of my favorite people to follow for tips on how to interact with others. I take her courses all the time, and have benefitted from the results of recognizing signals and understanding others better. This book covers some very communication concepts and shows you exactly what to observe and do in any social situation.
#12 Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
This is the last book in the list. Why?…because when you are finished reading it you will have the motivation to do anything. David has been to hell and back multiple times throughout his life, sometimes on purpose, and has learned every step of the way. If you want an example of what human potential really is, YOUR POTENTIAL, this is it. Now you just have to take the knowledge and experience from the other books, and motivation from this and EXECUTE.
*BONUS* The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
This book isn’t even out yet and I already know it is going to be on the list. Simon has a way of explaining big, esoteric ideals that just make sense. This book is going to be all about perspective, and probably blow your mind about life in general, especially when it comes to the concept of winning and success. I cannot wait to dive in and hear what knowledge bombs Simon has in store for us.
The Podcast List