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10 Success Books That People In Their Thirties Should Read

10 Success Books That People In Their Thirties Should Read

Your twenties are behind you. You have a job and responsibilities, but you know there’s more to life.

You’re looking for inspiration for that next great idea, getting ahead in your career, improving your relationships, being more confident, and finding success.

Here’s how to earn 20 years of experience in seven days…

Read books.

Easy, right? Yet few people do it.

Reading books sets your learning to light-speed. It’s an indespensible, transformational life hack.

Friends of mine who know I read at least one book per week often ask me, “What’s your favorite book?” and “Who inspires you the most?”

Here are 10 of the very best books that you MUST read if you want to ramp it up and get ahead.

1. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman

The Personal MBA

    Spend $100,000+ at a top-notch business school or learn the same (or better) for 10 bucks. Kaufman takes years of business knowledge and distills a massive list of books and concise descriptions of key concepts into a single, powerful book.

    His bold premise? You don’t need an MBA to be successful in business. In fact, much of what is taught at prized business schools is outdated, and none of it will guarantee you anything. More of a reference and less of a narrative, The Personal MBA is a timely business school hack if you want to skip the line.

    Although he does cover traditional topics such as marketing and finance, Kaufman also delves into human psychology and systems, two of my favorite topics. I’ve gone back to this many times to brush up on concepts like scarcity, habits, testing, and automation.

    2. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

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    I Will Teach You To Be Rich

      First, get past the scammy-sounding title. Then read it. This is the book that made me question everything about personal finance (and, honestly, more than that). Written by the successful and always unconventional Ramit Sethi, this book smashes every “truth” about personal finance.

      Sethi illustrates through common sense and testing why cutting lattes is a stupid way to save money. Instead, go after the big wins like your car and negotiating down your bills. “Spend extravagantly on the things you love, and cut costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.”

      You need a “set it and forget it” system to automate your finances. You only need to spend a few hours every month on investing. You can only save so much; but you can earn infinity – think about both sides. This book is stuffed with fresh insights like these.

      3. The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth by James Altucher

      The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth

        Written by James Altucher, one of my favorite writers and podcasters, this book is chock full of unconventional advice on how to navigate the “new world” of today’s economy and understand the hard truths you’ll want to grapple with if you want to be successful.

        Based on its title, you might think this book is about money. Instead, the principles here are rooted in human psychology and Aluther’s open-eyed view of today’s idea-centered world. These principles are applicable to many areas of life – from relationships to personal development. And Altucher gives it to you through the authenticity of his personal experiences.

        My biggest takeaway was this: Write down 10 ideas every day. It’s something I’ve started doing, and it’s starting to turn me into an “idea machine.” If you want a new, actionable take on success, read this book.

        To learn more about one of my favorite themes in this book, read my in-depth review here.

        4. The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson

        The Social Animal

          This is the book on human behavior and how people can be persuaded to do just about anything. Aronson has revised this book every four years since it was first published in the early 1970s. One of the key takeaways is that calling people who do extreme things “crazy” ignores context. If we can understand the situation, we can prevent such actions in the future. Arsonson explores the use of propaganda and aggression, but also love and interpersonal sensitivity.

          The reverse is also true. If you deeply understand human behavior, you can change the situation and environment to improve yourself and others. I’ve applied some of his insights to how I communicate with family, friends, and colleagues.

          A word of warning. The book is priced more like a textbook, so if you can find a used copy for less, go for it. Either way, it’s worth having this in your collection.

          5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

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          The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

            Considered a classic, this very inspiring book by Covey explores “deep… painful problems – problems that quick fix approaches can’t solve.” His premise is that to change yourself, you must change your mindset. The seven habits are based on internalizing universal principles that lead to happiness and success.

            Like many of the books on this list, it’s really about psychology. How we think but, more importantly, how we perceive:

            “Our paradigms, correct or incorrect, are the sources of our attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately our relationships with others.”

            Savor this one and refer to it often. My favorite habit is Think Win/Win, in which both sides can gain value from a relationship. This abundance mentality has never failed me.

            6. The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday

            The Obstacle Is the Way

              In this book, Holiday introduces you to stoicism through personal anecdotes and stories. Stoicism is a philosophy that goes back 2300 years and is centered on how you behave rather than what you say.

              In other words, take action. You will fail more than anyone else. Learn, and be better for it. Let go of your preconceived notions of failure. This philosophy has served the most successful figures in history. Holiday writes:

              “From the stories of the practitioners we’ll learn how to handle common obstacles… Because obstacles are not only to be expected but embraced. Embraced?  Yes, because these obstacles are actually opportunities to test ourselves, to try new things, and, ultimately, to triumph.”

              Successful author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss wrote an excellent in-depth review here if you want to learn more.

              7. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

              Steve Jobs

                This is the ultimate biography of Steve Jobs, the controversial but supremely successful founder of Apple. Learn about his intense and polarizing life based on interviews with the people who knew him best. This book has countless lessons on human psychology, viewed through the extreme lens of Jobs’s personality.

                For example, Jobs didn’t want to give away the computer his friend Steve Wozniak created, which later translated into the premium price his products demanded. The lesson? Customers value what they pay for.

                I was fascinated. Couldn’t put this one down. You’ll find out about Apple, NeXt, and Pixar, his volatile personal life, how he treated others, and the genius behind his (mostly unilateral) business decisions.

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                8. The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh

                The Art of Communicating

                  What is a book written by a Buddhist monk doing on my list? It’s just so refreshingly different. What separates this from others in the self-improvement genre is its completely unique perspective.

                  Rather than delve into science, psychology, or detailed tactics for the myriad ways we communicate, Hanh focuses on practices as simple as mindful breathing and walking. He describes scenarios you can relate to, from family arguments to workplace meetings, and how coming “home” to yourself, listening, and communicating with love can make a huge positive difference.

                  This extends to the written word, as well:

                  “What you read and write can help you heal, so be thoughtful about what you consume. When you write an e-mail or a letter that is full of understanding and compassion, you are nourishing yourself during the time you write that letter.”

                  I like this book is because we sometimes get lost in a jackhammer of activity that distracts us from truly hearing each other. Hanh reminds you to step back and be mindful. Be generous. Talk to yourself (but not in a crazy way), and you will connect with others.

                  9. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

                  Mindset

                    People often say, “it’s all about your mindset!” when it comes to {fill in the blank}. But few people can tell you exactly what that means or how to take action to improve your mindset.

                    That’s where this book comes in. Dweck tears apart the psychology of why we’re different and suggests it comes down to two possible mindsets: fixed and growth.

                    With a fixed mindset, you believe things are “this or that” and your traits are what they are. With a growth mindset, you can improve and nurture your qualities through effort and persistence. And doing this leads to new actions and thoughts. And these lead to great ideas.

                    Dweck asks:

                    “How can one belief lead to all this – the love of challenge, belief in effort, resilience in the face of setbacks, and greater (more creative!) success?”

                    Read this book to find out.

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                    10. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath

                    Made to Stick

                      The last book on my list is about sharing your ideas. Although I could have listed some excellent public speaking books (classics by Dale Carnegie for example), I chose this one. It’s about how to communicate your ideas effectively, and the advice is both counter-intuitive and easy to implement.

                      Here is one of my favorite quotes:

                      “Almost no correlation emerges between ‘speaking talent’ and the ability to make ideas stick… The stars of stickiness are the students who made their case by telling stories, or by tapping into emotion, or by stressing a single point rather than ten… A community college student for whom English is a second language could easily outperform unwitting Stanford graduate students.”

                      The takeaway is that telling a simple, emotional story is more valuable than your physical delivery at getting your idea across. It really doesn’t matter if you have so-called speaking talent or not. Some of my best speeches were on-the-spot and from the heart. They were personal stories.

                      What’s your story, and how will you tell it?

                      Final Thoughts

                      I wish you all the best in your search for success. Reading these books will help in a big way.

                      Reasons why I love to read:

                      Need more ideas?

                      1. Search online for “{blank} favorite books”, where {blank} is your favorite successful person
                      2. Ask people you know and admire for recommendations
                      3. Search forums like reddit and Quorum for “best books for {blank}” questions

                      Have you read any books on the list? What are your favorites? What else would you have included?

                      Featured photo credit: Flickr/David Goehring via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 12, 2019

                      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                      12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

                      Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

                      While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

                      What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

                      Here are 12 things to remember:

                      1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

                      The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

                      However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

                      We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

                      Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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                      2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

                      You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

                      Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

                      Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

                      3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

                      Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

                      Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

                      4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

                      Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

                      No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

                      5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

                      Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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                      Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

                      6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

                      Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

                      Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

                      Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

                      7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

                      Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

                      Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

                      And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

                      8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

                      When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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                      Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

                      9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

                      Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

                      Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

                      Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

                      10. Journal During This Time

                      Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

                      This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

                      11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

                      It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

                      The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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                      Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

                      12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

                      The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

                      Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

                      When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

                      Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

                      Final Thoughts

                      Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

                      Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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