If You Only Read A Few Books During Winter, Read These

Matt Lillywhite

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Winter is my favorite time of year to read. The cold weather forces a lot of us indoors for several months, so we have a brilliant opportunity to discover new books.

But with so many books out there, it’s often difficult to identify the brilliant from the mediocre. And when you invest your time and money into a book that’s average, it’s always disheartening.

Which is why I want to share with you my favorite books of all-time that specifically focus on mindset and creativity. I’ve re-read them many times over the past few months because they’re so damn brilliant. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy them, too.

Daily Rituals By Mason Currey.

A lot of my friends recommended this book to me. But the truth is that I didn’t read it for several years because I thought it would be average and a complete waste of time. I was wrong!

My friend gifted me a copy of Daily Rituals last Christmas, and during the following days, I found it to be absolutely fascinating. In essence, the book details the daily routines of famous writers, musicians, politicians, and many more. For example, Jane Austen, Mozart, and Benjamin Franklin are just a few of the names mentioned.

I loved being able to see how extremely successful people throughout history structured their days in a way that enabled them to fulfill their potential. The book immediately inspired me to adjust my own routine to work and relax a lot more efficiently.

This book is perfect for anyone wanting to adjust their daily routine during the winter months. After all, there’s a massive selection of people to learn and take inspiration from.

“Beethoven rose at dawn and wasted little time getting down to work. His breakfast was coffee, which he prepared himself with great care — he determined that there should be sixty beans per cup, and he often counted them out one by one for a precise dose. Then he sat at his desk and worked until 2:00 or 3:00, taking the occasional break to walk outdoors, which aided his creativity.” — Mason Currey

Essentialism By Greg McKeown.

What is essentialism? In McKeonwn’s own words: the disciplined pursuit of less. It’s about spending more time on everything that you find meaningful and then eliminating everything that isn’t.

I first read Essentialism when Matt D’Avella recommended it in a YouTube video (that’s since gained over 800,000 views). Since I love his content, I purchased the book and was immediately hooked.

It’s helped me identify aspects of my life that are incredibly important. For example, I’ve started placing a much higher priority on spending time with family and friends. But due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, a lot of my social life is currently happening via Zoom calls.

Prioritization is a skill. You only have a finite amount of time on this earth — so you might as well use it wisely. Because once you prioritize the essential things in life, it’s much easier to focus your time, energy, and attention solely on the things that matter.

“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?”―Greg McKeown

Stillness Is The Key By Ryan Holiday.

I have this book on my nightstand right now. And to be honest, it’s undoubtedly one of my favorite books of all-time.

Throughout history, artists, athletes, and visionaries have used one incredible quality to stand out from everyone else. Ryan Holiday calls it stillness —the ability to focus solely on the present moment.

He argues that stillness is the key to self-mastery, discipline, and focus. It’s what separates great leaders from mediocre, and excellent athletes from average.

He gives examples of how people throughout history have achieved the art of stillness. For example, he writes about John F Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the stoic emperors of Ancient Rome, and Winston Churchill’s determination to succeed during World War Two.

“The gift of free will is that in this life we can choose to be good or we can choose to be bad. We can choose what standards to hold ourselves to and what we will regard as important, honorable, and admirable. The choices we make in that regard determine whether we will experience peace or not.”―Ryan Holiday

The War Of Art By Steven Pressfield.

I used to struggle with sitting down at my desk and writing. I’d always find excuses as to why it wasn’t “the perfect time.” But this book helped to eliminate my excuses. And within a few months, I’ve become a lot more productive than I ever thought possible.

The War of Art is only 195 pages long. I carry it with me almost everywhere I go. It’s essentially a bible of creativity since it’s filled with practical strategies to overcome procrastination and improve your work ethic.

Do you regularly find yourself struggling to be creative? Do you often wonder if you should give up on your craft since you’re barely making any progress? If the answer to either of those questions is “yes,” this book will probably improve your mindset and fulfill your creative potential.

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”―Steven Pressfield

If you’re planning on reading a few books this winter, the above suggestions are certainly a great place to start. Each of them improved my mindset and level of creativity. I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

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