The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

I’ve been following Mark’s blog for years and is one of my favorite writers online today. Mark approaches self-improvement from a completely different angle than most and thinks in a very stoic way that I resonate with. His new book is the best I’ve read in 2017. To me, Stoicism has always been the art knowing what to–and what not to–give a fuck about. That’s what Mark’s book is about. He’s as painfully honest as he is outrageously funny. I find his honesty to be refreshing and fulfilling. When everyone else out there is trying to sell you some cheap, perfect, feel-good theory advice… Mark delivers the honest, practical, real world advice that you need to hear. 

It’s a book about moving lightly despite your heavy burdens, resting easier with your greatest fears, laughing at your tears as you cry them. This book will not teach you how to gain or achieve, but rather how to lose and let go. It will teach you to give fewer fucks.

First, Break All The Rules: What The World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently

A friend of mine who owns a successful real-estate company texted me the other day and told me to get this book ASAP. Management is an intangible skill so it can be hard to clearly define sometimes. This book does a great job of breaking management down into what great managers “Do” and “Don’t do.” So far it is the best book I’ve found on the subject.

“A manager must be able to do four activities extremely well: select a person, set expectations, motivate the person, and develop the person. These four activities are the manager’s most important responsibilities. You might have all the vision, charisma, and intelligence in the world, but if you cannot perform these four activities well, you will never excel as a manager.”

The Lombardi Rules: 26 Lessons From The World’s Greatest Coach

The average person has a “good enough” mentality. That will not take you to elite levels of success. Coach Lombardi says you should always strive for perfection. You may never execute perfectly but the expectation has to be perfection. That’s the only way to maintain an elite level of excellence in everything you do. You’ll find a lot more great thoughts on leadership in this book.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

This book is all about leadership in the work place. The chapter on the 4 happiness chemicals in our brain (Endorphins, Dopamine, Serotonin, & Oxytocin) is worth buying the book alone. Here’s the biggest leadership lesson I took away:

The role of the leader is not to bark commands and be completely accountable for the success or failure of the mission. It is a leader’s job instead to take responsibility for the success of each member of his crew. It is the leader’s job to ensure that they are well trained and feel confident to perform their duties.

To give them responsibility and hold them accountable to advance the mission. If the captain provides direction and protection, the crew will do what needs to be done to advance the mission.

The Law of Attraction Success Planner

This is the planner I use to plan my days, weeks, months, and years. I write in it daily and don’t go anywhere without it. Most of us plan for our next vacation. But for some strange reason, it never occurs to us to plan our lives.

I’m a believer in writing down your goals daily and this is the book I use to do it. This is also the planner where I publish my daily Power List – the list of 1-2 critical tasks I need to accomplish in order to chalk the day up as a “Win” and move forward.

I’m sharing this resource with you for an important reason. If you’re not actively planning your life, you will naturally start drifting through life.

Consequences of Drifting: Confusion, Expense, Lost Opportunity, Pain, Regret.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers

Tools of Titans is the latest groundbreaking book from Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Four-Hour Workweek (a book that changed my perspective on time forever). For the last two years, Tim has interviewed nearly two hundred world-class performers for his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs, professional athletes, and thought leaders.

Even if you have been following Tim’s podcast like me, I strongly recommend getting this book. Tools of Titans packages all the tools, tactics, and wisdom from these world-class performers and distills them in an easy format for immediate application. The book is not meant to be read like a normal book, it’s more like a vetted field manual that you should come back and reference frequently.

Powerful quote: “You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.” – Tim Ferriss

The amount of actionable details found here is shocking. Now, buy this book and learn something.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love

More than 3/4 of the world suffers from declining workplace happiness.  The basic premise of this book is that “Skills Trump Passion” and “Follow Your Passion” is terrible advice. I’ve always been curious about what makes a compelling career and this book answered a lot of my questions. If you’re like me and want to find work you love, read this book.

A job is a way to pay the bills, a career is a path toward increasingly better work, and a calling is work that’s an important part of your life and a vital part of your identity.

Here is one of my favorite ideas from the book — an idea that I’ll return to regularly. In order to create compelling careers we need to adopt a “craftsman mindset” rather than a “passion mindset” that is suggested by the mainstream.

“The first is the craftsman mindset, which focuses on what you can offer the world. The second is the passion mindset, which instead focuses on what the world can offer you.” 

Build skills, become awesome at what you do, collect “career capital“, and let the passion follow.