Picking Up A Book
When I was in my last year of elementary school, my friend Julien introduced me to reading novels. He recommended me a book called Amos Daragon and when I started reading it, I did not put it down until I finished it. I had never viewed reading as a form of entertainment, but when I read that book, I was visualizing the scenes in my head and it felt like I was watching a movie but better. When I did finish, I craved more, thankfully the series had twelve books in total. I kept reading several novels throughout high school but I stopped when I started college.
At the beginning of 2016 I saw a Facebook post that Mark Zuckerberg wrote about his goals of reading two books per month throughout the year and decided to adopt the same goal. But instead of reading fiction (like I always did) I decided to read different styles of books; biographies and books on well being, meditation and educational ones.
Out of all the books I have read so far, I chose three that I recommended to all my friends.
Book One – The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
This book is the best self-improvement book I have read thus far, it’s a very simple and short read yet you gain a lot from it.
Unlike most self improvement book that extend for hundreds of pages basically repeating the same thing over and over again, this one has four points that are stated clearly and simply. It’s a book that I’ve recommended to about ten friends and even if only four read it, they loved it and kept asking for more similar books.
The Four Agreements talks about slightly changing how you perceive yourself and others. It helps you understand four points in particular:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
The four agreements allows you to understand how powerful words can be and how they can affect people a lot more than we think. Also, how important it is to know who you are so you don’t need others approval to do so. It also brings up really good points of why it’s important to do your best in everything you do in life.
The reason I recommend this book is because it’s a simple read. The book is also short, so if you don’t like reading, it’s the perfect way to begin. Finally, the agreements are very easy to apply to your own life.
Book Two – Into The Magic Shop by James Doty
It’s the story of a neurosurgeon (the author) and his life from when he was a kid stuck with an alcoholic and aggressive dad and a suicidal mother and how he met someone that introduced him to meditation and mentored him to not let his surroundings destroy his future. The book has a very important life lesson about working towards your goals.
What I enjoyed about this book is that you read what feels like a novel but really is an autobiography of the authors life. It also has two lessons in it; the basics of meditation and an important story that will probably make you rethink your goals.
I recommend this book because it’s entertaining. It doesn’t feel like an autobiography, but rather a novel and yet you learn so much from it.
Book Three – The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
Sometimes you just need someone to tell you not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Mark Manson is that someone. This book was recommended to me by a friend, when I bought it and read the chapter titles, I was shocked. Why would my friend recommend me a book with such depressing topics. But when I started reading this book, I did not put it down until I finished it. It’s my latest read but also one of the best book I have read so far.
Unlike most self-improvement books, this guy doesn’t repeat the same thing over and over again while coming up with examples on xyz celebrity. His writing style is simple and straight forward. It tells you what most self-improvement gurus “forget” to tell you.
I’ve read a few self-improvement book that if I were to summarize all of them, they would all sound the same. This one is unique. Mark Manson’s book has made me rethink practically my whole self, and a lot of things that I previously learned through other books.
You won’t regret reading this book.
Let’s Sum It Up.
The most important thing I keep in mind when learning anything new in life is this Bruce Lee quote.
“Adapt what is useful
Reject what is useless
And add what is specifically your own”
Meaning that whenever I read something or learn something, I never blindly listen to all of it and follow it. I take what works for me and my lifestyle, reject what I don’t need and then I arrange it to my own style. Everyone was born different, it’s not because this person has it working perfect for them that it will to you.