I did a quick google search to see what the most common New Year’s resolutions are. The top few were exercise more, lose weight, save more money, quit smoking, live life to its fullest, make a big change in their lives, and pick up a new hobby. No surprise there.
Most people spend no more than a few minutes at the end of every year to come up with a New Year’s resolution. For most people, it’s nothing more than a passing wish. Any day of the year we can choose to change our lives, but most of us don’t.
I love seeing people change their lives for the better. That’s why I do what I do. That’s why I write these articles. That’s why I keep studying. I push myself to be better in order to help others be better.
Recently, I sat down with two young girls in their early 20s to talk to them about their lives. I remember what it was like to be 20. I honestly had no idea where my life would take me. I had just returned from a study abroad program in Japan, and while I loved it, I never thought I’d end up living here.
After graduating, I still had no idea what I wanted to do. I sent in my resume to a bunch of companies and had some interviews, but didn’t get very far. I packed my bags and decided to spend a few months back home with my parents while I figure out what to do. It was a toss-up being grad school and getting some work experience. In the end, I went with the latter.
I came back to Japan and started my career teaching English to little kids. Not my dream job, but it paid the bills and I found I had a talent for it. A few years later I took the leap and became an entrepreneur. It wasn’t until I was 30 that I my real education began. Not from a school, but from books.
Over the next few years, I read over 700 books on the topics of business, personal development, marketing, copywriting and pretty much anything my favorite authors and speakers recommended.
I’ve found that in life, all change begins when we decided to start something new. I mean, really decide. At the age of 30, I decided to create my future self, so I did.
Though the girls I talked to the other day are in the same situation I was once in, they have so many more advantages than I did. They’re way ahead of me in their language mastery, both able to speak two languages. They’ve got the Internet, social media and smartphones. They don’t lack knowledge. They lack guidance. Despite all their advantages, they are unsure of what they want to do, something common for many people.
The best advice I had for them – do something new. It doesn’t make a difference if they fail. Failing often teaches you more than success. Failing tests your mettle. I was reminded of this watching the excellent family film, Fighting With My Family.
But for those reading this thinking, “Is that the best advice you’ve got?” I offer you a list of ten books that changed my life and could change yours.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
2. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
3. He Can Who Thinks He Can by Swett Marden Orison
4. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
5. The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
6. The Third Door by Alex Banayan
7. The Five Pieces of the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn
8. Atomic Habits by James Clear
9. Sex, Money, KISS by Gene Simmons
10. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But as Jim Rohn is famous for saying, “What’s easy to do, is easy not to do.” In my life, I’ve made some choices. Some good, some bad. Of the good, I made the decision to learn magic, to study martial arts and to become a productivity consultant, and I don’t regret a single one of them and these books helped get me started.
What have you got to lose?
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