“Whatever you’re working on right now, whatever problem you’re struggling with, is probably addressed in some book somewhere by someone a lot smarter than you.” – Ryan Holiday
Since I’ve started reading a lot more, I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my life. I’m better at my job, have a clearer sense of purpose, and understand why people behave in certain ways. I was playing trivia with some friends a few weeks ago, and I actually knew most of the answers. I never used to know the answers.
But most importantly of all, I now turn to books whenever I have a problem.
Want to win the lottery? There’s a book for that.
Having trouble sleeping? There’s a book for that.
Can’t find a job? Guess what? There’s a (free) book for that.
Now I’m going to share some books that helped me deal with problems that a lot of people have.
The Mission: To inspire you to read more.
You don’t have time to read?
Start with The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss. I finished this right before graduating college and immediately made it my goal to achieve the 4-hour workweek. As of now, I average about 6-10 hour workweeks, and it’s awesome. This book is more about time/life management, though, so it’s beneficial even if you’re content with your current work lifestyle.
You don’t like to read?
Get into young adult fiction. It’s written for teenagers, so it’s incredibly easy to read. Plus you some sweet life lessons. My favorites are…
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. This might be my favorite fiction book ever written (besides HP, of course). It’s hilarious, adorable, philosophical, and extremely depressing. You’ll love it, I swear.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. This book is about a futuristic video game world where everyone is obsessed with the 80s, and reading it makes you feel like you’re playing a video game. Your heart will race like you’re about to defeat Bowser.
Do you have trouble sitting still? Try playing with a rubber band while you read.
Once you establish a reading habit, you can start to tackle more difficult material.
Is your love life DOA?
Girls, read this. It should be required reading for every single woman. You’ll learn the common mistakes women make in relationships, how to avoid them, and how to value yourself more. Seriously read this book.
Guys, check this book out. It’s more about the pickup artist community than a “how-to” guide of hitting on women, but you’ll learn a lot about how to become the type of guy that women love.
If someone as unattractive as Neil Strauss can learn to pick up supermodels, then anyone can.
Grab The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. It explains the force that makes us procrastinate (The Resistance) and reveals how you can beat it. Do you have a secret ambition to become a writer? A stand up comedian? Do you kind of want to get in better shape? Read this.
I now think of like as a war between The Resistance and my Daemon (inner genius), and as long as my Daemon is winning, everything is okay. Without this book, I would never have started a blog.
Anyway, those are just a few books that have helped me out recently. The goal of this post isn’t to get you to take my recommendations so much as to encourage you to look to literature for guidance.
Stop thinking about your problems.
Start reading about them.