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Published on August 4, 2020

25 Best Audiobooks to Make the Most of Your Commute

25 Best Audiobooks to Make the Most of Your Commute

Reading has been on the decline for years. All you have to do is think back to the last time you have stepped into a library to see my point.

One of the biggest reasons for the decline in book sales and going to libraries is the leaps and bounds in technology. Why buy a book when you can conveniently buy audiobooks instead?

I can see your point in thinking this way, however, I’d argue that it’s still worth picking up books.

First, I personally read every day. I read about productivity, entrepreneurship, leadership, and anything related to personal growth. Reading has inspired/helped me a lot in my work and personal life.

Second, many successful people credit reading as a factor in their success, and there are many examples of this.[1]

Only when I’m driving, commuting, or doing exercises do I listen to audiobooks. In light of that, I recommend you to listen to audiobooks too as a start. If you love it, buy a physical copy of the books, too.

Here are 25 of the best audiobooks you can find.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook

    One of the best audiobooks around for self-improvement is Stephen R. Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’. It is one of the best modern self-improvement books you can pick up.

    I say modern, even though it was published in 2004. The reason I make that claim is due to Covey’s overall approach. He doesn’t indulge in pop psychology or common trends. He doesn’t say what so many people in this industry talk about.

    The latest version has a foreword and afterword where Covey explains the relevance of these habits in the modern world and answers questions he’s been asked over the years since.

    Get this audiobook! 

    2. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

      Another one of the books to listen to is ‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’. Written by Shunryu Suzuki, this 2011 book is one of the most beloved American Zen books.

      To give you a taste here is the first line of the book: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” It is an immensely powerful line and it is filled to the brim with these particular nuggets of wisdom.

      Get this audiobook!

      3. The Power of Now

        Published in 2000, ‘The Power of Now’  explains a journey—a journey that encourages you to dismiss your analytical mind and set aside your ego as well. Already, you can tell that journey is difficult, but the author, Eckhart Tolle, guides you through these transitions with easy to understand words and phrases.

        The purpose of this book is to help you through living in the current moment—the “now.”

        Get this audiobook!

        4. Daring Greatly

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          Over one million copies sold, Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown is among the list of best and most famous audiobooks. The premise of the book is the idea that we all experience vulnerability in our lives and Brown argues that it’s alright that these happen.

          The book also stresses that it’s not always about winning or losing these battles of vulnerability. Instead, it’s about courage, willingness to accept vulnerability, and throwing ourselves into further risk.

          Get this audiobook!

          5. Good Morning, I Love You

            One of the Amazon audiobooks you’ll want to pick up is ‘Good Morning, I Love You’ by Shauna Shapiro. Another zen-related book, Shapiro’s approach is a bit different from other zen books.

            Most people encourage meditation, but Shapiro pushes for something different. Instead, she brings up the science and explains why we feel what we feel instead rather than trying to “empty your mind with mindful meditation.”

            Get this audiobook!

            6. The Four Agreements

              Written by don Miguel Ruiz, ‘The Four Agreements’ covers the sources of limiting beliefs. Using Toltec wisdom, this is one of the audiobooks that uses ‘the four agreements’ as a powerful code of conduct to transform your life and thrive.

              Get this audiobook!

              7. Practicing Mindfulness

                For those looking for mindful meditations, ‘Practicing Mindfulness’ by Matthew Sokolov is one of the best audio novels to pick up. The book provides 75 exercises that are backed by science to help you bring calmness and compassion into your daily life.

                Get this audiobook!

                8. The Alchemist

                  From the title alone, you’d think that you won’t find this in the audio self-help books section. The reality is that it’s one of the most powerful audiobooks around.

                  Written by Paulo Coelho, this book has inspired a following all across the world. It presents a simple—and yet dazzling—story. It is one of the best audio stories you’ll hear.

                  In short, it talks about the journey of a boy named Santiago who travels from Spain to Egypt in search of riches. Along the way, he meets three characters, a gypsy woman, a man who thinks he’s a king, and the alchemist. These characters help guide Santiago to his goal, but over time that goal changes. It moves away from worldly riches to something deeper and more profound. I’ll let you figure out what that is.

                  Get this audiobook!

                  9. The Power of Habit

                    Written by Charles Duhigg, ‘The Power of Habit’ talks all about the power behind habits using various cases and scenarios to present Duhigg’s points. In the book, Duhigg distills complex systems and methods into easily digestible stories that people and businesses can relate to.

                    These stories bring us to what goes on behind the doors at Proctor & Gambles and bring us to the sidelines of NFL team tactics. All in all, it presents valid arguments when it comes to habit building and explains it in a way you have never seen before.

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                    Get this audiobook!

                    10. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

                      As the title suggests, ‘The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success’ talks about seven natural laws of success. Written by Deepak Chopra, Chopra uses all his years of teaching and distills them into seven simple principles or laws that you can apply to see success.

                      Beyond that, the book aims to shatter the myths surrounding success and gives the reader a peek at what it’s really all about.

                      Get this audiobook!

                      11. Outliers

                        Written by Malcolm Gladwell, this book is, well, an outlier amongst self-improvement books. It is the book that popularized the idea that practicing 10,000 hours total will make you an expert in that area.

                        There is that factoid, but it also covers other aspects that many of today’s billionaires and successful people use—things that stretch beyond traditional methods.

                        Get this audiobook!

                        12. The Seven Most Effective Methods of Self-Hypnosis

                          One of the easiest ways to make drastic changes in your life is the idea of self-hypnosis. Over the years, many great books have pushed the importance of this, from Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’  to Tony Robbins ‘Awaken the Giant Within’. The idea behind this book is to expand on those ideas and give you seven of the best methods that you can use and how to use them. 

                          Get this audiobook!

                          13. Becoming

                            Written by the former First Lady of the 34th US President, Michelle Obama’s book is one of the many powerful audio autobiographical books you can get this year. In short, it’s a powerful and inspiring memoir from her that explains in vivid detail the events that helped shape who she is today.

                            Get this audiobook!

                            14. Close Your Eyes, Get Free

                              Another self-hypnotism book to consider, this one drives home three main points: 

                              1. What hypnosis is and isn’t
                              2. How powerful your subconscious mind really is
                              3. Simple practices you can use to improve various emotional aspects—things like boosting confidence, self-esteem, and calming anxiety, amongst others.

                              The book is simple in its direction, but you know precisely what you are getting into with this book, and I love it.

                              Get this audiobook!

                              15. I’ve Decided to Live 120 Years

                                One of the biggest problems in life is that it’s relatively short. While we have made leaps and bounds to prolong life, the average life expectancy of someone is about 79 years old. It’s still good considering how far we’ve come, but clearly, people have lived longer.

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                                In this book, the author Ilchi Lee challenges us to radically think differently about life, longevity, and other ideologies. It’s also been praised by several famous authors, some of whom I’ve mentioned in this list already.

                                Get this audiobook!

                                16. Real Love

                                  ‘Real Love’ provides you with a creative tool kit for mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques to help you engage in the current moment in your life. The goal is to help you have a deeper appreciation of yourself, those around you, and the events that occur in your life.

                                  The book argues that to obtain those aspects, you need to shed the layers of negative habits and obstacles and help ourselves to experience authentic love.

                                  Get this audiobook!

                                  17. Mindfulness in Action

                                    There are so many kinds of mindfulness books out there and you can see why. Time and again, the benefits of this practice have proven themselves—a better sense of well being, lower stress, and high concentration, to list a few.

                                    The purpose of this book is to help guide you through meditation on the surface level. It’s amazing for those who want to start. However, it also dives into deeper questions that many veterans of this practice have been asking themselves as well.

                                    Get this audiobook!

                                    18. 12 Rules of Life

                                      Humorous, surprising, and informative are three words that aptly describe this book. To summarize, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson explains in great detail the rules of life from easily relatable scenarios—from why we should pet the cat that’s been walking down the street to why we the skateboarding boys and girls ought to be left alone.

                                      This book brings in unusual examples to explain fundamental principles that we could all use in our lives. It is both comical and truly insightful.

                                      Get this audiobook!

                                      19. The ONE Thing

                                        For the extremely busy folks, this book is for you. If you want less on your plate and more for your life and career, this is the book to pick up.

                                        ‘The ONE Thing’ is a book that’s written to bring your life and work into focus. It teaches you how to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, master what matters most to you, and ease yourself from stress all at the same time.

                                        Get this audiobook!

                                        20. The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

                                          Similar to other list-based books that establish laws, this particular book focuses on the overall guiding principles of growth. According to John C. Maxwell, there is such a thing as laws of growth. For over 50 years, he’s built up his knowledge of growth and has written a book to share what those particular laws he has established are.

                                          Get this audiobook!

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                                          21. Mindset

                                            Written by a university psychology professor, this is another profound book that has shaken the industry. Carol Dweck PhD. explains in detail how success in everything that we do can be dramatically enhanced by how we view our own abilities and talents. In short, the book explains the major differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset—a topic that I’ve talked about many times before.

                                            Get this audiobook!

                                            22. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

                                              While it is a little unusual this book made it to the list, I swear it’s for a very good reason. While we think of organizing and cleaning to be a chore, there is a certain way to go about it to make your life easier. In this book, you’ll learn how the Japanese declutter and clean up their surroundings and establish a system that saves you time and energy for years to come.

                                              Get this audiobook!

                                              23. Blink

                                                Another great book written by Malcolm Gladwell, Blink is a book that gets you to be thinking about all kinds of things. From our rapid-fire choices to even something as meta as thinking itself, this book brings people from all manners of life and how they can use unique abilities in an instant.

                                                From a psychologist who can predict if a couple is doomed or not to a tennis coach who can tell whether a player will double-fault before the racket hits the ball, this book will challenge a lot of aspects of people and our thought process.

                                                Get this audiobook!

                                                24. Thinking Fast and Slow

                                                  Written by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, this book is based on his seminars revolving around behavioral psychology, behavioral economics, and happiness studies. This book provides a convenient summary of all of these aspects in his first-ever public book.

                                                  This is a big deal as the discoveries that Kahneman uncovered revolutionized the cognitive psychology world and sprung several industries from these concepts.

                                                  Get this audiobook!

                                                  25. Switch

                                                    The last of our long list of audiobooks is Switch. This book talks about the struggles to make long-lasting changes in various environments. From companies and communities to our very own lives, ‘Switch’ provides some insight into what are the leading causes and help us to “make the switch”.

                                                    The solutions presented are based on something that psychologists have uncovered. It presents two types of mindsets: the rational mind and the emotional mind. The premise of the book establishes these things and how we can use them to our advantage.

                                                    Get this audiobook!

                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    With new authors emerging every single day and multiple books coming out and shaping industries, it’s easy to find many influential books that challenge the way many of us see the world. Authors provide a glimpse into their own thought process and through that, we all grow together.

                                                    This is the beauty of books and audiobooks alike. It’s a chance for us to grow and develop ourselves. So don’t dismiss books so readily as they are the treasure trove to your own growth.

                                                    More Audiobooks You Should Check Out

                                                    Featured photo credit: Henry Be via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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                                                    Leon Ho

                                                    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                                                    Last Updated on September 24, 2020

                                                    17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

                                                    17 Ways Learn New Skills Faster and Enjoy the Process

                                                    In the movie The Matrix, everyone was intrigued with the ability that Neo and his friends possessed to learn new skills in a matter of seconds. With the incredible rise in technology today, the rapid learning in the movie is becoming much more of a reality than you realize.

                                                    The current generation has access to more knowledge and information than any before it. Through the internet, we are able to access all sorts of knowledge to answer almost every conceivable question. To become smarter, it’s more about the ability to learn faster, rather than being a natural born genius.

                                                    Here are 17 ways to kickstart your Matrix-style learning experience in a short amount of time.

                                                    1. Deconstruct and Reverse Engineer

                                                    Break down the skill that you want to learn into little pieces and learn techniques to master an isolated portion. The small pieces will come together to make up the whole skill.

                                                    For example, when you’re learning to play the guitar, learn how to press down a chord pattern with your fingers first without even trying to strum the chord. Once you are able to change between a couple of chord patterns, then add the strumming.

                                                    2. Use the Pareto Principle

                                                    Use the Pareto Principle, which is also known as the 80 20 rule. Identify the 20% of the work that will give you 80% of the results. Find out more about the 80 20 rule here: What Is the 80 20 Rule (And How to Use It to Boost Productivity)

                                                    Take learning a new language for example. It does not take long to realize that some words pop up over and over again as you’re learning. You can do a quick search for “most commonly used French words,” for example, and begin to learn them first before adding on the rest.

                                                    3. Make Stakes

                                                    Establish some sort of punishment for not learning the skill that you are seeking. There are sites available that allow you to make a donation toward a charity you absolutely hate if you do not meet your goals. Or you can place a bet with a friend to light that fire under you.

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                                                    However, keep in mind that several studies have shown that rewards tend to be more motivating than punishment[1].

                                                    4. Record Yourself

                                                    Seeing yourself on video is a great way to learn from your mistakes and identify areas that you need to improve. This is very effective for any musicians, actors, speakers, performers, and dancers.

                                                    5. Join a Group

                                                    There are huge benefits to learning in a group. Not only are you able to learn from others but you’ll be encouraged to make progress together. Whether it’s a chess club, a mastermind group, or an online meet-up group, get connected with other like-minded individuals.

                                                    6. Time Travel

                                                    Visit the library. Although everything is moving more and more online, there are still such things called libraries.

                                                    Whether it’s a municipal library or your university library, you will be amazed at some of the books available there that are not accessible online. Specifically, look for the hidden treasures and wisdom contained in the really old books.

                                                    7. Be a Chameleon

                                                    When you want to learn new skills, imitate your biggest idol. Watch a video and learn from seeing someone else do it. Participate in mimicry and copy what you see.

                                                    Studies have shown that, apart from learning,[2]

                                                    “Mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them.”

                                                    Visual learning is a great way to speed up the learning process. YouTube has thousands of videos on almost every topic available.

                                                    8. Focus

                                                    Follow one course until success! It’s easy to get distracted, to throw in the towel, or to become interested in the next great thing and ditch what you initially set out to do.

                                                    Ditch the whole idea of multitasking, as it has been shown to be detrimental and unproductive Simply focus on the one new skill at hand until you get it done.

                                                    9. Visualize

                                                    The mind has great difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imagined. That is why athletes practice mentally seeing their success before attempting the real thing[3].

                                                    Visualize yourself achieving your new skill and each step that you need to make to see results. This is an important skill to help when you’re learning the basics or breaking a bad habit.

                                                    Take a look at this article to learn how to do so: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

                                                    10. Find a Mentor

                                                    Success leaves clues. The best short cut to become an expert is to find an expert and not have to make the mistakes that they have made.

                                                    Finding out what NOT to do from the expert will fast-track your learning when you want to learn new skills. It is a huge win to have them personally walk you through what needs to be done. Reach out and send an email to them.

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                                                    If you need help learning how to find a mentor, check out this article.

                                                    11. Sleep on It

                                                    Practice your new skill within four hours of going to sleep.

                                                    Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, is a noted rapid learning expert. He says that any practice done within this time frame causes your brain to embed the learning more rapidly into its neural pathways. Your memory and motor-mechanics are ingrained at a quicker level.

                                                    12. Use the 20-Hour Rule

                                                    Along with that tip, Kaufman also suggests 20 as the magic number of hours to dedicate to learning the new skill.

                                                    His reasoning is that everyone will hit a wall early on in the rapid learning stage and that “pre-committing” to 20 hours is a sure-fire way to push through that wall and acquire your new skill.[4]

                                                    Check out his video to find out more:

                                                    13. Learn by Doing

                                                    It’s easy to get caught up in reading and gathering information on how to learn new skills and never actually get around to doing those skills. The best way to learn is to do.

                                                    Regardless of how unprepared you feel, make sure you are physically engaged continuously. Keep alternating between research and practice.

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                                                    14. Complete Short Sprints

                                                    Rather than to force yourself into enduring hours upon hours of dedication, work in short sprints of about 20-30 minutes, then get up and stretch or take a short walk. Your brain’s attention span works best with short breaks, so be sure to give it the little rest it needs.

                                                    One study found that, between two groups of students, the students who took two short breaks when studying actually performed better than those who didn’t take breaks[5].

                                                    15. Ditch the Distractions

                                                    Make sure the environment you are in is perfect for your rapid-learning progress. That means ditching any social media, and the temptation to check any email. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

                                                    Before you sit down to learn new skills, make sure that potential distractions are far from sight.

                                                    16. Use Nootropics

                                                    Otherwise known as brain enhancers, these cognitive boosters are available in natural herbal forms and in supplements.

                                                    Many students will swear by the increased focus that nootropics will provide[6], particularly as they get set for some serious cramming. Natural herbal nootropics have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic traditions to improve the mind and learning.

                                                    Find out more about brain supplements in this article.

                                                    17. Celebrate

                                                    For every single small win that you experience during the learning process, be sure to celebrate. Your brain will release endorphins and serotonin as you raise your hands in victory and pump your fits. Have a piece of chocolate and give yourself a pat on the back. This positive reinforcement will help you keep pushing forward as you learn new skills.

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                                                    The Bottom Line

                                                    Learning a new skill should be exciting and fun. Whether you use online courses, real world experience, YouTube videos, or free online resources, take time to learn in the long term. Keep picturing the joy of reaching the end goal and being a better version of yourself as continual motivation.

                                                    More Tips on How to Learn New Skills

                                                    Featured photo credit: Elijah M. Henderson via unsplash.com

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