I am always getting asked about books and, particularly, what books I would recommend for someone who wants to either begin or further their self development journey.
Up until a few years ago I had never really been much of a reader, in fact, I could count on one hand the number of books I had read – one was the Hobbit as part of a school project and the others were the odd autobiography that I might have read whilst on holiday.
But around 4 years ago after a weekend away with some friends and a very interesting conversation which ended up with us agreeing to set up a book club between us; I got into the habit of reading more.
At first, I was just reading whichever book was on the list of our book club but by committing regularly to finding time to read and getting through a different variety of books, I started to realise that I enjoyed reading books which I felt I could learn from. So I started researching more and more self development books and books with a meaning or learning to them. I would ask other people for recommendations, until I had a list of around 30 books on my phone – a list which I still add to and is probably more at like 200 now!
Then I whittled down my favourites and started buying and reading them. I would say that now I probably read somewhere between 10-15 books per year. Which is a huge amount considering I would practically never pick up a book before a few years ago.
There are tons of books out there in the self-help / personal development / understanding of life space but I wanted to share a few that really resonated with me and opened up my mind to new ways of thinking. And I think that now, we need to open up to this understanding and connectedness of life more than ever.
Here’s my list:
Mindset – Dr Carol Dweck
This is the book I have been recommended the most from others and is the book I have most recently read.
It breaks down the differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, with plenty of examples of both of these mindsets in action.
It’s filled with interesting stories and examples of the growth mindset in use and there are plenty of chapters relating to different areas of your life; work, relationships, teaching, parenting etc
Tools of Titans – Tim Ferriss
A monster of a book! But FULL of interesting insights from some of the biggest names and most inspiring conversations that have taken place on Tim Ferriss’ podcast.
It’s broken into 3 sections; healthy, wealthy, wise.
A great read if you want to read it cover to cover (like I did) or if you just want to dip in and out.
It features interviews with some of the biggest names in the world; Arnold Schwarzneger, Jamie Foxx, Seth Rogen, Casey Neistat, Ric Rubin, Paulo Coelho and more.
This is the book I have taken the most practical information from.
Worth checking out it’s followup; Tribe of Mentors
Freedom From The Known – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher for over 70 years, until he died in 1986. He has over 400 books written in his name, all made up from his talks and teachings.
This particular book is a very good entry level into his work, it introduces you to his philosophies and a deeper understanding of life.
I love how a big theme of his teachings are about no attachment to anything and just living in the present.
I would also recommend another of his books; Awakening of Intelligence
Path of No Resistance – Garret Kramer
‘Why overcoming is simpler than you think’
Originally recommended to me by my mentor, John Dashfield.
A book about an understanding of living and the relationship between our thoughts and our feelings and how they impact the way we experience any given moment.
There’s lots of examples tied into the world of sports as the author works mainly in that industry but the teachings within the book can be applied to any area of your life.
A New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
Famed for his ‘The Power of Now’ book, Eckhart Tolle is a fascinating man with an incredible understanding of life. As much as I would recommend the former book, for me, ‘A New Earth’ is a holistic understanding of life and it’s meaning. It’s broken down in a way which is simple to digest and will leave you questioning (in a good way!) everything you think you know about life.
Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
A fictional story with a strong spiritual message about life written into it.
This is a great story about a journalist who travels to Peru to discover a hidden ancient manuscript and as he goes through his journey, he starts to experience a deeper sense of living
It teaches you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now and what’s to come in the future.
Also see; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Way of The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
These are my top recommendations, but be sure to also let me know your top 3 books hitting me up on instagram at @IAmAlexManzi, as I am always looking to add to my reading list.
Peace and love,