Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest and inspirational individuals on this planet was once asked how people can get smarter? Buffett responded by holding up a stack of papers and saying, “read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.“
A common characteristic amongst a large number of successful individuals is that they all read a lot of books. Reading good books has many advantages. Here are some examples:
- Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
- You might lose everything like your job, your possessions, your money, or even your health. However, the knowledge that you gain from reading can never be taken from you.
- Reading is a fundamental skill builder – every good course on the planet has a matching book to go with it. Why? Because books help clarify difficult subjects. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.
- Improves concentration and focus because reading books takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.
- Improves your discipline. Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but very few people schedule book reading time every day. That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.
- Improves creativity, because through reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas.
- Decreases mistakes when you gather the deep and wide wisdom that books can provide, you are less apt to make mistakes.
As you are on your ambitious journey we have decided to give you 5 books that can help you achieve your goals and ambitions. We have chosen books that will help you with understanding that you can learn or get better at anything you want in life as long as you have the right mindset. Below is a brief review of each of the 5 books we have chosen and what you will learn from each of them.
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell
In Outliers you will learn that it is not the brightest who succeed. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them. The book exposes exposes the flaws in the success stories we tell ourselves without much context. We pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. While the book is not very prescriptive about how you can achieve your goals and ambitions, the example stories in the book leave you with a shifted perspective on how people actually become successful. An easy introduction into the topic and entertaining book to read, that is why we have listed it first.
Bounce – Mathew Syed
Bounce is written by Olympian Matthew Syed and he explores the truth about our competitive nature. Why we win, why we don’t, and how we really play the game of life. Backed by scientific research and case studies, the book shatters long-held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind. It explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will. Some conclusions are obvious – the harder you work, the better you get, however it is always good to be reminded of such important lessons.
Talent Is Overrated – Geoffrey Colvin
In Talent Is Overrated the primary message is that people are not born with all the natural talent and abilities that will make them great at life. Aside from some physical attributes that may give an athlete an advantage in a particular sport, everyone can achieve world-class performance through deliberate practice in his or her chosen field – business, music, sports, etc. Well known successful individuals such as Tiger Woods and Mozart are used as examples to break down the talent myth. The book explains, drawing from several research-based conclusions, that deliberate practice is designed, can be repeated a lot, requires constant feedback, is highly demanding mentally, and isn’t always fun.
The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle
This book is an interesting combination of cutting-edge brain science and psychology. The Talent Code examines hotbeds of talent around the world to figure out how they create so many skilled people. The author investigates highly successful places like a Russian tennis camp, Brazilian soccer clubs, outperforming academic programs, the Z-Boys skateboarders, and a prestigious music school, among others. The book investigates similar patterns in how people become skilled at what they do, and builds up a scientific theory on how the brain learns a new skill and becomes better at it. The book is broken down into 3 factors that encourage skill development:
- Deep practice — how to acquire skill by building the most myelin.
- Ignition — what motivates deep practice and what the author calls “primal cues.”
- Master coaching — how teachers encourage deep practice and ignition.
Goals – Brian Tracy
After understanding that you can learn or get better at anything you want in life it is important to set the right goals and move toward achieving them. That is why we have included this book as the last one on the list. The book goes in deep details about goals settings and what you could do to set and organise what you what you want from life. Based on more than 20 years of experience and 40 years of research, this book presents a practical, proven strategy for creating and meeting goals that has been used by more than 1 million people to achieve extraordinary things in life. The book explains the 7 key elements of goal setting and the 12 steps necessary to set and accomplish goals of any size using simple language and real-life examples. The great part about this book is that it is very practical and you can apply the actionable lessons you learn immediately after you finish reading the book.
There are hundreds of books on talent and success out there, while we cannot list all of them, this is a good starting guide of books we have read and we highly recommend. The journey of the ambitious can be very challenging, you will need all the help you can get. Sharpen the saw by picking up some of these books.