I went through my Amazon book purchases and here are the books that made the most impact on my life and business. By the way, these are great gift ideas too!
- The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea, at the Right Time — how to be creative – how to put yourself in the right spot, I find myself coming back to these concepts over and over and over as I’m trying to “get lucky” again. I interviewed Allen here.
- The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level — this will change your mindset — it did mine. Specifically as we how we sabotage our own success. True story!
- Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success — it’s all about environment … this book was exactly what I needed to make some big changes in my life. We are mostly a product of our environment. I started examining my environment and its effect … and made changes.
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones — it’s all about identity too
- Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain — the open and closed case for exercise as the ultimate drug and way to happiness. The chapters on addiction, learning and depression are incredibly inspiring. NOW — to add in DAILY exercise to my life.
- The Alter Ego Effect: Defeat the Enemy, Unlock Your Heroic Self, and Start Kicking Ass — love the idea of putting on an alter ego to attempt great things. Bo Jackson is referenced in this and it’s pretty inspiring. Mine is Racer.
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship — legendary Drucker … he lays out a systematic framework to finding and discovering innovation that I’m still wading through and returning to often. Paired with Creative Curve above, these two have helped me balance the “all gut instinct” approach with a thoughtful systematic one.
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness — based on his 8-week mindfulness stress reduction workshop, this is classic and I can’t believe I finally landed on it (by reference of my counselor). Along with daily exercise, I’m working on adding in the other wonder drug of mindfulness to my life.
- The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life — ever since I listened to the author’s TedTalk, I’ve been infatuated and consumed by the psychology of time he lays out. Particularly my emphasis on Past Negative instead of Past Positive.
- Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World — making your bed to the author (retired admiral and Navy SEAL) is a keystone habit. I love his view that it’s something to do when you wake up … but also if all goes to hell, at the end of the day, you come home to a made bed.
- The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery — really dove into Enneagram this year (I’m a 9 Peacemaker). Gave me a different perspective (and true!) on myself and some things I’m specifically working on.
- Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge — I love small peer groups. They’ve made an incredible impact on my life — both in my happiness and success. This book was another look … and ties in to our Leader Huddles.
- The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t) — if you’re starting a business, or running one already … this is for you. Such a distinct and helpful book for entrepreneurs.
Become a Better Leader 3-Pack
I put these together because I kept writing “must read for any leader” on all three.
- Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World — I anxiously waited for this book by Marcus Buckingham and it didn’t disappoint.
- The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace
- It’s the Manager — I was so eager to get this book, I bought the print edition because they delayed the Kindle version. Something I rarely do. But it was FULLY worth it.
OK, that rounds out the best of the best books I read in 2019. Most of these I go back to frequently.
The Book I Would Buy ANY Young Person for Christmas
I was talking to my second cousin over the Thanksgiving break. He’s 18 and going into college next year. He’s got big dreams, big thoughts. And I love it. We need that from the next generation!
The book I told him to read is: Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by Peter Diamandis.
I joke that it ruined my summer a couple of years ago but in such a good way.
And I believe in it so much that I bought it for my cousin.
So if you have a young big thinker …. rock their world with a great book like this.
By the way …. if you want ideas for another book, make a comment below and tell me some details about who you’re trying to buy for and I’ll try to help out!