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These 20 Books Are Game Changers, Read Them Before You Turn 30

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These 20 Books Are Game Changers, Read Them Before You Turn 30

Books offer wisdom that we ourselves might need years to figure out. Between 20 and 30, we all would undergo lots of struggles and have lots of doubts. Below are 20 books that can make your way much clearer, promising and easier.

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job – Jon Acuff

quitter

    Through wit and experience, Jon Acuff takes us through a journey from dispising your current job to getting your dream job. Acuff shows us the way by making sure we don’t quit too soon or too late.

    This is a fun and very helpful read for those who want to make the jump and make their dreams a reality.

    The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

    ThePowerofHabit

      Through the use scientific studies, author Charles Duhigg shares his labor of love by breaking down how habits are created and how we fail to stop them in life and in business.

      This is an excellent read for anyone looking to break bad habits and start new ones that lead to success.

      Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

      money

        For over 20 years, personal finance coach and radio personality Dave Ramsey has brought his no nonsense advice to a very easy to follow how-to guide. His baby steps from establishing an emergency fund to living on cash are priceless.

        I highly recommend this book, as my wife and I have used it to great success in our finances.

        Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life – Henry Cloud and John Townsend

        Boundaries

          Having problems with people who keep stumbling into what you feel is your personal boundary? Whether you are looking for help emotionally, physically, or mentally, Boundaries is the book you want to read.

          Authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend give you the blueprint for setting clear boundaries in any facet of your life.

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          The $100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau

          100Startup

            Much like Tim Ferriss, Chris Guellebeau is a world traveling writer. In The $100 Startup, the author cites example after example of people who start businesses with very little money and make their businesses much larger.

            This book offers great inspiration for those who want to start a side business.

            Do The Work – Steven Pressfield

            do the work

              Known best for his fiction writing (The Legend of Bagger Vance) and his first book on work, The War of Art, Pressfield helps guide us through what it takes to get through any project we might be working on. A short and easy read, Do The Work is simple, yet very inspirational for those who long to do something outside of their own comfort zone.

              Pressfield writes:

              “The opposite of fear is love – love of the challenge, love of the work, the pure joyous passion to take a shot at our dream and see if we can pull it off.”

              The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions That Determine Personal Success – Andy Andrews

              travel

                After being rejected by over 50 publishers, Andy Andrews finally published this book in 2005. Written as a fictional, but motivational, historical book, the story follows 46 year old David, who after losing his job is involved in a nasty car accident. While out cold in the hospital, David is transported back in time and meets Lincoln, Truman, and 5 other great historical leaders. He learns wisdom from them in their toughest hours.

                Andrews writes:

                “Those who are critical of my goals and dreams simply do not understand the higher purpose to which I have been called.”

                Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink

                drive_book_page

                  Daniel Pink shows us that science and business are in very different realms in the 21st century. Science shows us that we are moving beyond the carrot and stick style of management (Motivation 2.0) to a self-motivated autonomy where employees are working with purpose, mastery, and in a state of flow (Motivation 3.0).

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                  This book is great help for those of us trying to understand our purpose.

                  Essentialism – Greg McKeown

                  essentialism

                    Less is more. That’s it. One great method Greg McKeown uses is a filter for choosing what to do in our lives. If the choice you need to make isn’t a 9 or 10 (10 being something you have to do), then don’t do it.

                    I highly recommend this book for pairing down your life and making a systematic discipline in whatever you do.

                    48 Days to the Work You Love – Dan Miller

                    48DaysBook

                      Career coach and author Dan Miller is a firm believer in getting people to realize that we all have certain skills, abilities, and passions. This book helps us understand that the road to happiness is finding work that is gratifying and profitable. 85% of the job search is understanding yourself and the other 15% is finding work that fits you.

                      It could save you thousands of dollars in unwanted student loans by helping you find a career that fits you.

                      The 4 Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss

                      4HourWorkWeek

                        Originally published in 2009, Tim Ferriss introduced the Lifestyle Business to the world. After having a panic attack while traveling in Spain, Ferriss maps out how to build a business that can be run from anywhere in the world. In addition, he shows how to live very well in cities around the world.

                        While I would not suggest what Tim does is for everyone, his concepts and ideas are worth the read.

                        Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller

                        BlueLikeJazz

                          While considered a Christian book, Donald Miller takes us on his unsuspecting journey to find his faith in Christ. As a college student in his late teens and early twenties, Miller takes us on his interesting ride of finding his faith in a city (Portland) not known for its religious fervor.

                          Donald’s conversational style of writing makes this an enjoyable read for anyone looking to understand their own faith walk.

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                          How to Win Friends and Influence People –  Dale Carnegie

                          HowToWinFriends

                            This classic self-help book has been around since the 1930s. Based upon what Carnegie learned from interviews with the business giants of the day (including Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison), the author lays out ways to maximize your potential through understanding how to interact with others.

                            This book is still relevant today as it was 70 plus years ago.

                            The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon

                            TheEnergyBus

                              Written in a inspirational fictional format, this fascinating book follows the hard luck times of a marketing team leader who is on the brink of losing his job. Forced to ride the Energy Bus because his car needs a lengthy repair, our protagonist learns the 10 rules of injecting fun and positive energy into his work and family life.

                              This is a quick and powerful book for anyone looking to turn their situation into a positive one.

                              Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl

                              MansSearchForMeaning

                                After surviving four Nazi death camps and watching much of his family die, Frankl became a psychiatrist. Countering Freud’s contention that man’s sole desire is finding pleasure, Frankl contends that what really drives men is their pursuit for meaning in their lives.

                                While rather deep at times, Man’s Search for Meaning is a must-read.

                                The Greatest Salesman in the World – Og Mandino

                                TheGreatestSalesmanintheworld

                                  Don’t let the title scare you. This book, while having some relation to sales and salesmanship, is more about living a life of servant leadership.

                                  The Greatest Salesman is a quick read but leaves you feeling inspired.

                                  Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned From a Lumpy Couch – Nick Pavlidis

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                                  ConfessionsofaTerribleHusband

                                    While not every 20-something will think of being a husband, Nick Pavlidis takes us through his journey from being a self-absorbed jerk to a loving husband.

                                    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

                                    Quiet

                                      Here’s a must-read for anyone looking to understand why they feel exhausted when they’re done talking to a group of people. Through psychology and neuroscience research, Susan Cain does a brilliant job of explaining how one third of us (introverts) cope with the rest of the extroverted population.

                                      The Bible

                                      TheNIVBible

                                        Do you know the one subject that the Bible mentions more times than any other? Money. That’s right – money. You don’t need to be a devout Christian to read the Bible. Take a year and breakdown the 66 books in the Bible. Look for the New International Version for one of the easier to read translations.

                                        You might be surprised how much our daily lives in Western culture stem from what the Bible teaches.

                                        The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

                                        TheObstacleistheWay

                                          Through the use of stoicism, or the the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience, this book shows that the way to success is through the very path that stands in the way of success. Ryan Holiday takes us through a myriad of leaders who have used stoicism to overcome any obstacle.

                                          This is a delightful read for anyone stuck on a project in need of help.

                                          Conclusion

                                          If you read more than one book per year, you are way ahead of the crowd. Take the time to read one or any of these great books. Then apply what you learn. You will grow immensely from it.

                                          If there are any other books I missed, let me know. Please share and leave a comment.

                                          Featured photo credit: Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                                          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                                          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                          Warming up

                                          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                          Stay hydrated

                                          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                          Meditate

                                          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                          2. Focus on your goal

                                          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                          3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                          4. Understand your content

                                          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                          5. Practice makes perfect

                                          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                          6. Be authentic

                                          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                          7. Post speech evaluation

                                          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                          Improve your next speech

                                          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                          • How did I do?
                                          • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                          • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                          • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                          • How was the flow of the speech?

                                          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                          Reference

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