Books helped and help the most in my personal development. How cool is that knowledge of humanity is so easily available nowadays in the form of paper books, e-books and audio books or on blogs and websites. Did you notice, that often things the more accessible are the less demanded? Only a century ago, books were available mostly for the rich and who could access books and could read, generally became successful in life – knowledge was a super power and still it is today! I read stories from successful people how much restricted access they had to books in the previous centuries. Often they had to finish a book during one night, so they can return it in the morning. Would you do the same effort now just to read a book? Knowledge has never been more available than nowadays when everything develops so fast. Why can we see that less people benefit from this? In my opinion, distraction and laziness are contributing a lot in people’s reading habit. If you don’t see a good example in childhood from adults about reading, you likely will not read in adult age either. Unless you have a ”bookworm” friend or partner, (like me) who motivates you to read with her/his passion/love about books.
I noticed, while I read and my phone “whistling” (when getting a message) that makes me switch from reading to check that notification. When I get a link or a call, sometimes I get back to the page only 15 minutes later, when the reading mood long time ago gone. Also, reading is more time consuming than watching the TV. You can now choose to watch a story of a 500 pages long book in 2 hours, and we rather choose to watch somebody else’s imagination of a book rather than using ours. Lastly, we have a limited “bandwidth” daily we can spend on focusing; the notifications on our phone, the continuous information flow on social media and in the TV reserves most of the available bandwidth. I can see on myself, when I have the time to read, I am already too tired to focus on reading! Just too much things go around us in the World what we are now aware of. The key is to limit how much time you spend on your phone, on social media, with browsing the News and watching the TV, so you will have reserved capacity left focusing on reading! When you prepare for reading, mute your phone.
In the recent weeks and in the following months I travel a lot and actually I enjoy the time I spend on the airplane. On the plane you have no internet connection and you are cut off from the “noise” of the World. The 2-3 hours I fly to my destination I can fully dedicate to reading, fully focused. Next to me I can see passengers struggling with passing the time. I even could see people scrolling Facebook back and forth on the cached content their phone last time saved when was online…or they browse their photos and scrolling the pictures. They got used to spending the time without ‘noise’ with scrolling. How sad this is! While all the books and knowledge available anywhere, anytime. I was the same and sometimes I still do the same. It is a habit we must change on and we must appreciate the time in quiet and use that valuable time wisely.
In 2021 I had a target to read 15 books, which is not many as I read quite slowly and travelling consumed last year a lot of time and energy, what I could have spend with reading. But I managed to reach my goal. Here is the full list of the books I read last year and some personal notes about what each book gave me. Hope you will get an inspiration and motivation from this post to use that quiet time with reading.
Note: the list is in the order how I read them last year. Pick any of them and feel free to change the order.
- Robin Sharma: 5am Club. Started to read this book in December, 2020. It was a bit long to read, with less “life changing” thoughts than expected. If you have never read Robin Sharma before, you may will find more value in this book comparing to those who read his previous books.
- Hiro Arikawa: The traveling cat chronicles. The wording was a bit difficult to understand maybe because of the English translation. A tale of bittersweet memories, love, and loss from the eyes of a cat called Nana. I read this book in breaks between self-development books, it was nice story and perfect before going to sleep.
- Jen Sincero: You are a Badass! This was the first book from Jen and after that I read all of her books! If you have any mental barriers that are holding you back from achieving your goals then this book is for you. You have to be comfortable with the Law of Attraction, but if you’re open minded you will get a lot from this book. Personally this book really fired me and motivated. I shared the book with a friend who had a stroke twice. He struggled to get up from bed. After reading half of the book, he started walking again, exercising and even tidied up his big garden! This is how a powerful message can make miracle. A must read. Easy to understand and messages are easy to consume and apply in daily life.
- Rolf Potts: Vagabonding. This book is a must read for all traveller and digital nomads. Motivating book about this lifestyle, with great tips, website links. As per Google, “Modern day vagabonds usually work while they travel in order to earn a living and carry on moving from place to place. Most of these modern day vagabonds work online, giving themselves the common nickname, digital nomad.” If you consider yourself as a vagabonded, read this book.
- Jen Sincero: Badass at making money. The second book from Jen Sincero, I loved it. It is a financial book for those, who are not yet ready to deep dive into the financial topic but want to start somewhere with saving money, starting a business, investing. This was my first book ever money related I read and many followed later.
- Cami Walker: 29 Gifts. This book teaches about giving, why is it good being in serve of others. After reading this book, I started making regular donations, every month. I experienced how great feeling is helping others, helping them in a situation, event when they have no hope.
- Jen Sincero: You are a badass every day. Basic, daily self-growth messages for mostly those, who are new in the field of self-development. For me this book did not give much value but to keep the “inner fire” up is good for even those who are self-developing for years.
- Wallace D. Wattles: The science of getting rich. If you read The Secret and/or the Magic from Rhonda Byrne, this book will be an easy read. I assume the foundation of Rhonda’s books is from this book as found many similarity. It was good to read again the basics of the science of getting rich. Again, a nice book to start reading about money.
- Koen de Jong: The way of the IceMan. My first book I read about the Wim How Method and about the science behind it. I got more interested in the way Wim Hof can control his body and boost his immune system. The book gives a clear description about what to do if you want to try these techniques yourself accompanied with scientific studies, researches. It gives strong boost of willingness to keep continue on exposing to the cold.
- Robert Kiyosaki: Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In 2021 I invested more time into learning about finances, this book was on my reading list for years. What a great, little book with great value! A must read for young dads about what and how to teach their children to have the right mindset for financials and a must read for everybody who wants to get out of the “rat race”. This book can change your mindset about money and investment.
- Rhonda Byrne: The Greatest Secret. The latest book of the Secret series. This book was more “heavier” than Rhonda’s first book, with great value. One of the main secret is that Happiness is within me! The book is easy to understand and really connected the dots for me. It also contains amazing quotes from other authors. If you liked The Secret, this is a must read book. To be honest, I must read this book again along with the previous Secret books, over and over. These books are life changing when you apply the techniques in your life.
- Robert Kiyosaki: Cashflow Quadrant. This book was a great affirmation for me, I am on the right track being a Business owner and being financially Free. If you want to quit full time employment, want to start a business, this book is a good start.
- Robin Sharma: The Everyday Hero Manifesto. Started the year with Robins’s 5am Club book and finished the year with this book. I read most of his books and in my opinion, this is one of his Best! Many chapters have to be read over and over, because there are so many powerful messages. I loved the personal stories and getting know a little bit more about the author himself – who I am a big fan of.
- Steve Biddulph: Manhood. One of the best book I read in 2021! In my opinion, every men should read this book! Very powerful and eye opening, learn a lot about myself and my behaviours. I learnt why I do certain things and why I don’t do some…An essential user guide for men to know how to operate better. Recommended reading for men; young and old. Your partner, your children and family, your friends would also thank you for reading this book. I am shocked how the average men behave nowadays, how they operate. Certainly they/we can do better!
- Wim Hof: The Wim Hof Method. A very valuable book from Wim Hof, a must read if you want to start the breathing technique and/or cold shower. Or a perfect book to continue Koen de Jong’s book. The main message is that you don’t need expensive medicine, you don’t need a gym, you don’t doctors: do the 15-20 mins breathing exercise daily and few minutes cold shower daily! A very inspiring book backed up with tons of scientific studies and researches and great, motivating stories about Wim Hof.