My Goodreads bookshelf is really starting to theoretically sag in the middle. I keep finding more and more books that will help me reach this never ending journey of excellence.
I think I enjoy searching for good books as much as I like reading them. But I realize that there is a tipping point in which one can do too much searching and not enough finding.
It happens all the time, to everyone everywhere.
Too many people become absorbed with the destination and forget to embrace the process. The process of learning and growing; the process of becoming excellent.
Self-mastery involves a lot of reflection; and with that, the ability to look deep into oneself in order to face the truth. A complete person must be able to admit that they have weaknesses. They have to be able to look into a mirror and face a person that is flawed.
Only when you are able to do this, will true growth begin.
Face yourself head on. Then tell that son of a bitch you are ready for war; A long grueling fight that you will win. That you must win.
Life is a lot like a long, drawn out grueling competition with yourself. You must learn to consistently compete and win against the “little bitch” that is within you, whispering to you things of comfort and weakness.
Telling you that is alright to keep searching for books because that is kind of like being productive anyways. It is not productive, it is simply part of the entire process; a very small part of the process.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says that you must Win Forever, but in order to accomplish that you must Always Compete.
- The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. I really enjoyed the underlying message of this book, which is that we can build talent and that we can build success. Building talent involves a certain set of external variables, as well as an undying level of internal motivation. The good thing is that all of the necessary components can be pieced together and anyone become more talented by simply embracing the reoccurring themes of those that already extremely talented. Hint: they more often than not come out of long established talent “hotbeds,” where some of the world’s most talented individuals first learn to master their craft. My post for The Outwork Book Club is here.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. I actually bought this book as a present, when I thumbed through it and realized it would be a good book to give to someone else that didn’t already understand that the most important tool/weapon/thing that a person possesses is their ability to cultivate a mindset that is able to choose their reactions to external variables. I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting as it does offer some real practical advice that is useful beyond just “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.” Other noteworthy suggestions from the book: Be aware of the snowball effect of your thinking, learn to live in the present moment, surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair, and my favorite, imagine yourself at your own funeral, which jives with the post Living a Life of Truth.
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I know I watched the movie but I couldn’t resist this book as it sat there staring at me from the airport bookstore. Most of the time when I read a story as inspiring as this one, I take the time to pen a more featured post, where I describe the book and tie it to the emotions that it triggered within me. Since I read most of this book on a series of flights from Louisville to California, I did not take the time to really convey how good of a book this really was. Just to be clear, it was a really good book with all of the necessary components of a best-selling, life-changing, eye-opening type of novel. I actually have a more detailed write-up on my Goodreads page.
- The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle. Having just read The Talent Code by the same author, I was intrigued to read this more practical handbook of Coyle’s research. I actually enjoyed this book much more, since I already understood the science behind its “52 tips for improving skills.” The information is more precise, delivered in a series of actionable tips. I distilled the list down ever further with my post on 10 Tips for Building Talent.
- Becoming The Iceman by Wim Hof. I have become slightly obsessed with learning about The Wim Hof Method. It started with a documentary I saw on Vice and then immediately after that I heard Wim on the Joe Rogan podcast. The show with Joe really had hooked on the mysterious and seemingly magical powers of Wim Hof. For example, Wim is able to withstand extremely cold temperatures and has used this ability to train himself to control the inner workings of his body; he has been able to complete some seemingly superhuman such as a marathon through the dessert with no water and climbing frozen mountains barefooted. However, the book wasn’t really good, actually, it was pretty terrible because half of it is about some college kid from Pennsylvania. But it did help to explain the process behind what Wim is doing and how he ultimately rose from a guy with a theory to a guy able to complete superhuman feats, who is now also able to cite loads of scientific research supporting his claims.
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. This was a mind altering book with simple information capable of producing life changing results. I first heard of this book on Tim Ferriss Podcast and I knew that it was going to be a must read for me. What I didn’t know was how much of a influence it would make on my life. Moving forward, this book will always be one of my top recommendations for mindset, motivation, and self-development. It has inspired at 2,000 word Outwork Book Club post and several other growth inspired messages, such as taking action to conquer to fear.
- The 10 “Deadly” Mistakes Athletes Make with their Pregame Mental Preparation by Dr. Patrick Cohn. This e-book is the first of many books that I will be reading with a strict emphasis on sport and performance psychology. This niche’ field of psychology is fascinating in how it teases out all of the necessary mental skills for success. It also routinely addresses things like consistency of mental toughness in preparing athletes for competition. The parallels of sport and business are not that much different from that of business and war and combat and sports; the bottom line is that the human machine is still apart of this complex equation. I have realized that the power of mental skills training shouldn’t be reserved for the boutique group of professional and Olympic athletes or the high powered corporate executives that are able to afford the services of high performance thought leaders. It should be for everyone that is looking to become better and for anyone in the long and arduous journey that is the pursuit of greatness. This e-book is not long and does a good job of providing some basic tips on pregame mental preparation.