I have a sincere appreciation for great book recommendations. It’s funny, though, because I haven’t always been able to say that. For a long time I wasn’t reading at all. I simply didn’t do it, I wasn’t interested. I went to pretty rigorous academic schools, but was never an avid reader. Outside of my homework or summer assignments, you wouldn’t catch me reading a book. The subject matter of the majority of literature I was required to read in high school was never exciting to me and always felt like a chore, so I was completely disconnected and turned off. This trend continued through college. I only read when I had to--I was the quintessential jock.
Eventually that changed, however, and I’m very happy that it did. I think the switch has a lot to do with my constant pursuit of evolving as a person as much as possible, wanting to understand what and where I come from and having the tools and discernment to live my best possible life mentally, physically and spiritually. One of the main books that fueled my appetite to read more was The Bible. When I started reading The Bible, I was going through a very low point in my life and was desperately searching for answers and direction. I recall reading and studying through the entire New Testament and from that point on, I never looked back. I was well on my way. I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be a book connoisseur--that’s not what I signed up for--but I can attest to particular books having a lasting affect on me.
Here are a few recommendations of books that have truly resonated with me over time and books that I’ll be continuously be reading over and over. Hopefully when you have an opportunity, you can add some of these titles to your list. Maybe you’ve already read a few (or all) of these, but whatever the case may be, here’s five books that have helped me along my journey so far.
The Noticer by Andy Andrews – The Noticer is all about perspective. The main character is a mysterious older gentleman named Jones. Jones speaks to that part in everyone that is yearning to understand why things happen and what we can do about it.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This book is so awesome and transformative. As we follow Santiago on his journey to find a hidden treasure, The Alchemist reassures everything you need is already around and within you.
Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover – Tim Grover is the legendary trainer that has worked with the likes of Michael Jordan, Dwayne Wade and my all-time favorite Kobe Bryant. Relentless shows you how even the best get better and how you can, too.
The Way of the Superior Man by David Dieda – One of the homeys recommended this and it’s excellent. Fellas this is the cheat code in book form. Ladies, it’s still a great read for you as well. It’ll give you the low-down on how we operate. The Way of the Superior Man presents the ultimate challenge-and-reward for today’s man--to “unify heart and spine” through the full expression of consciousness and love in the infinite openness of the present moment.
Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom & Success by Napoleon Hill – I remember how I felt after reading this for the first time. I thought my eyes were going to fall out of my face. Napoleon Hill digs deep to identify the greatest obstacles we face in reaching personal goals and reveals principles of good that will help us triumph and succeed over them.
As a writer, I’ve been told I need to read as much as I write, so that I can continue to strengthen my creative and intellectual muscles, but as I write this, I’m looking at a stack of about 10 books on my to-do list and have no clue as to when I’ll get to them. I will not let that be a deterrent though. I’m going to read all of the books on my list among others. I believe it’s best to look at life as a marathon, not a sprint. We literally can only take it one day at a time, moment by moment.
As we’re on the grind, it can be hard to focus on what can be seen as such a leisurely activity when you’re trying to figure out when your next paycheck is coming in or how you’re going to eat or put gas in your car. So believe me, if you feel overwhelmed I totally understand your plight. But I do want to stress the importance of reading as a way to help you on your path.