I’ve always been fond of books and over the years many have made a significant impact on the way I think and the way I live my life. I often find lists of “Top 10 Must Read Books” and I find it fascinating to see why people suggest them – and this is how I end up finding new books to read.
Since these lists help me so much, I wanted to share my very own list of “Top 10 Must Read Books”. These are the books that have made a significant impact on my life and every opportunity I get I tell others about it.
Please note all the books on this top 10 list are non-fiction. There are countless fictional books that have shaped who I am as a person and the way I think. I will make a list of those soon. For me these books are not a one time read, I keep going back to the over and over again – each of them I have read countless times and each time I learn something new. I hope you find them useful. I have linked each of them to Amazon if you want to read them as well.
1) Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! – by Tony Robbins aka Anthony Robbins
Tony has had a significant impact on my life and how I live my life. This one man has single-handedly changed the lives of millions around the world and I am one of them. And this book was the key that opened the door to Tony’s teachings and way of life. It was after reading Awaken the Giant Within, I discovered all of Tony’s subsequent works and seminars. Awaken the Giant Within paved the path for my journey of self-improvement and discovery.
It helped me get clear on my purpose, who I wanted to be and how I wanted my life to be, the relationships I wanted to cultivate and allowed me to condition myself every day to live a life of fulfilment, passion and purpose. In other words, it was the very first step in my journey that allowed me to take complete control of virtually every area of my life and to live at the highest level each and every single day.
The principles that Tony teaches in this book were nothing new to me, I’ve heard them all my life (at least some form of it). But this was the first book that made it so simple to follow through and the order made so much sense. Of course, everything Tony discusses in this book are only expanded upon by the rest of his works, such as the Personal Power series, and his Unleash The Power Within seminars. This book was just the tip of the iceberg, and it was exactly the book I needed to read. It will always be on the top of my list!
For Warren, the content of this book started off as a blog, to share his findings of how asking questions shaped how we think and how we look at things. This quickly morphed into a book. In A More Beautiful Question, Warren investigates and shares his findings on how the power of questioning – deeply and beautifully can help us come up with ideas, find creative solutions to problems, create opportunities for ourselves, and innovate.
He discusses how as children we question everything around us, but after entering school around the age of four this habit of questions reduces drastically and the impact this has on us as adults. Why as parents and teachers, we should encourage questions and never provide answers when a child asks”why”. Instead, we should direct them to create a hypothesis and aid them to answer the question themselves. He goes on further to examine how questioning is part of a daily ritual for all innovators, highly successful people and innovative companies.
When I read A More Beautiful Question, my world changed. I was aware of how the way and the type of question we ask ourselves daily impacted our lives, thanks to Tony Robbins. But I didn’t realize questioning was the very root of our perspective and how we approach anything in life. Not only has Warren’s book forced me to question everything, but it has helped me to ask better (more beautiful) questions. I no longer rush to find answers, rather I ask meaningful questions first and the answers somehow seem to present themselves. I turn to this book over and over again and read it at least twice a year. A More Beautiful Question is also the book I gift to all my friends with kids (and the ones planning on having children), and to my network of startup founders. By using the strategies in this book I have learned to ask questions that help me grow and contribute on a daily basis.
Dr Frankl was a Psychiatrist of Jewish origin who was captured by the Nazis during WWII and had suffered the unbelievable horrors of the concentration camps. He lost all his family, experienced and witnessed unbelievable suffering during this time.
This book is his eye witness account of the suffering faced by those in the concentration camps. While, at the concentration camps and treating patients after, he noticed that those who survived the camps had something in common. Many that were brought to the concentration camps perished, yet those who survived saw or chose to attach an empowering meaning to their suffering and a greater sense of purpose. Which allowed them to persevere and survive the camps. By attaching a meaning such as “I am suffering, but I must survive! I must tell the world what has happened here. I will ensure this will never happen to my people again!” they were able to push forward with a renewed sense of purpose.
A powerful book, that each time I read, have a hard time fathoming the disgusting crimes against humanity that took place. Yet, at the same time, it never fails to teach me the importance and power of attaching empowering meaning to anything I undertake. To this day A Man’s Search For Meaning is perhaps the most important book that truly solidified the power of purpose and meaning.
Doesn’t matter what your circumstance in your life is, if you haven’t read this book, you should! The power of the human mind is incredible, coupled with meaning and purpose it is unstoppable.
4) The Better Brain Solution: How to Start Now–at Any Age–to Reverse and Prevent Insulin Resistance of the Brain, Sharpen Cognitive Function, and Avoid Memory Loss – by Steven Masley
I came across Dr Masley’s book while listening to a podcast. When I heard him discuss his finding on the podcast I was imminently hooked. Dr Masley said that his finds show that we are increasingly at risk dementia and Alzheimer’s. He also found that people are experiencing mental decline in their 30s. So I went an bought The Better Brain Solution and it changed my life when it came to diet, exercise and a balanced lifestyle.
Before reading this book I was healthy, fit and prided myself on my lifestyle. After reading this book I realized I was far from it. My daily eating plan consisted of 55% carbs, 25% protein and 20% fat. I thought this was the best way to maintain a great physique and my body did look great. But it turned out that I was consuming way more carbs than necessary and not enough smart fats. Fats that were essential for optimal brain health and to be a peak performer.
After reading this book I changed my entire diet. I switched to 25% carbs, 20% protein and 55% smart fats. I also incorporated intermittent fasting and cardio into my daily routine. Within a month, I saw the effects of this change. I was sharper than ever, I had more energy and my body looked even better. Thanks to Dr Masley I learned the truth about proper a balanced diet and a lifestyle that helps keep my brain in top shape. You can find my post on why I switched to high fat and low carb diet here: HIGH FAT AND LOW CARB DIET… I DID IT FOR MY BRAIN!.
This is one book I think everyone should read. It will literally change your life. And I am forever grateful for the podcast that led me to this book.
I have always been an admirer of Richard. This was one of those books I came across by chance at my local bookstore (Chapter Indigo). I had a few hours to kill while waiting for my friend to arrive when I saw this book and began reading. I was absolutely hooked on after reading a few pages. This book is very unconventional when it comes to leadership strategies and everything that has worked for Branson and Virgin. I love every point of wisdom Richard shares in this book. As I was only staring my startup at the time, this book was fundamental to the culture I wanted to cultivate in my newly fledgeling company.
Branson has always been an out of the box thinker and a master marketer. He had taken on ventures when conventional wisdom would have said don’t do it. Whether it is in starting a new airline, when everyone other airline was struggling to make a profit or starting a bank when banks were struggling in England… Branson and his team have come out on top and have drastically changed industries they are part of. In The Virgin Way, Richard talks about how the leadership style used by him and at Virgin led to great results. I keep going back to this book over and over again to incorporate similar leadership qualities in myself.
Lincoln has been one of my all-time heroes. The stories of him and the rise of honest Abe has always fascinated me. That is why I try to read every biography of Lincoln I can get my hands on. Doris Goodwin’s biography of Lincoln by analyzing Lincoln and his four rivals, in my opinion, is the best biography on Abe Lincoln ever written. Goodwin masterfully highlights Lincoln’s character that helped him rise above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. I absolutely love Lincoln and this book does justices to his legacy. The author not only highlights his extraordinary character but also goes in depth into his flaws. An extraordinary book.
I admire and worship Lincoln for all that he stood for. His rise to power was extraordinary. Yet, he never wavered from these values and till his very end sought to abolish the differences of his people and unit them, when all seemed lost.
Let’s face it, the Rockefeller name has been tarnished over the years and is associated with greed. I too believed the same until I read Titan. This book changed my whole perspective on the Rockefeller legacy. I became an admirer of John D. Rockefeller, Sr by the time I finished this book. Ron Chernow does a magnificent job of dissecting Rockefeller’s life and his rise as an oil tycoon. He shows Rockefeller for who he was, with all his merits and flaws. Titan made me appreciate the man and his genius. With each page, I was awed by John D and how he approached business and his life.
It was great to read about Rockefeller from an unbiased perspective and make a conclusion for myself. I was amazed by his character, his work ethics and his philanthropic ventures. To the later, we owe so much to him, especially in the area of medicine. Unlike Andrew Carnegie and other tycoons of the time, Rockefeller genuinely wanted to give back and did not do it to be immortalized.
This book makes my Top 10 Must Read Books because this was the very first book I read that inspired me to give back and to taught me how to do it in a smart and efficient way. I honestly believe that anyone planning on starting their own business should read this book, as there is a lot one can learn from Rockefeller, Sr.’s life.