July 3, 2020

My favourite books on Personal Development

I’m sure I’m not the biggest personal development buff there is, but among my friends and network, I know that I read a lot more personal development books than is typical.

 

The 7 strategies for wealth and happiness by Jim Rohn

  • Strategy 1: Goals. Writing down your goals and having absolute clarity on what your goals are every day (and updating these on a regular basis)
  • Strategy 2: Learning. Every single day, carve out some time in your day to learn something new. If it is something that you are interested in and can help give you a new skill or experience, all the better.
  • Strategy 3: Adapt. Income rarely exceeds personal development. It’s not enough to read non-fiction books and learn something new, you must apply what you have learned and take action.
  • Strategy 4: Your finances. Understand what your income is and what your expenses are. Learn to live on 70% of your income. What do you do with the other 30%? 10% goes to charity. 10% goes to investments. 10% goes to savings.
  • Strategy 5: Time management. Identify when you are the most productive. For a lot of us, this is a few hours after waking up. Don’t squander this time with e-mail, meetings or other busywork. Use this time to tackle your biggest challenges.
  • Strategy 6: Your network. Who and what kind of people are you spending the most time with? These people are often a reflection of your life. If you surround yourself with successful, ambitious and driven people, you will also become successful, ambitious and driven. If you surround yourself with people that are lazy, go out to spend money all the time, and complain about work, well you get the picture.
  • Strategy 7: Live well. Before you earn a living, make a life. Jim shares a story about you getting your shoes shined. At the end, you can decide to give one or two quarters. A quarter does not seem like much of a difference, but to the shoe shiner, one extra quarter is a world of difference (note that this was written a long time ago, so I suppose a corollary would be the difference between a $2 and $10 tip). Be the person that tips two quarters and you will find that it will have a great impact on your life and your mindset.

 

Life’s little instruction book by Zig Ziglar

  • When we do more than what we are paid to do, eventually we will be paid more for what we do. I used to think about coworkers and friends telling me about how they made X amount of bonus or Y amount of salary. I thought that I would just get paid more and then I would have greater responsibility, more work, more expectations and such. But, as I learned from life and this quote, it doesn’t work that way. Look at sites like designcrowd or upwork – basically you have to do the work so that you can prove you can do the work before you get paid well. You can’t just sign up and expect to get big cheques in the mail right away – you have to do the work above and beyond what you think you need to do, then you will get paid accordingly, it doesn’t work the other way around.
  • It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right kind of person. Two things about this that I like: one is that you cannot fully control who you fall in love with and marry (well you can sort of); however, you have much more control over the person that you can be. Second is this reminds me of Gretchen Rubin’s secrets of happiness – if you want to be happy, make others happy; if you want to make others happy, make yourself happy. In a similar way, you can make yourself the kind of person that others would want to marry and therefore have a better marriage or relationship.
  • Don’t wait until you feel like taking positive action. Take the action and then you will feel like doing it. Superb advice and one that applies to many habits that you want to take up or develop but never feel motivated enough to do it. For me, that’s exercising in the morning. I regularly wake up early to exercise but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it (though I put that aside for a while so that I can enjoy the long term benefits of it). Whenever I don’t feel like exercising though, I put on my gym clothes and tell myself that I’ll only be at the gym for 5 minutes. Then I give myself permission to leave. But what do you know – as I work out in those 5 minutes, the 5 minutes becomes 10 minutes and then it becomes 30 minutes and then by the end of it, I have gotten in a great workout. Don’t wait until you have motivation, just start!