I’m absolutely the nerdiest of nerdy when it comes to self-improvement. I love all podcasts, books, audio books, magazines, and every other vehicle for delivery of information that I believe could make me a better and more productive human. I am truly obsessed with being a better version of myself.
Do I follow all of the advice I read? Absolutely no. That would be crazy. And impossible. But, inevitably, small drops of wisdom seep in to my subconscious as I consume this information and I continue to be a fraction of a percent better at life every day.
If you’re reading this, my guess is that you are at least a little nerdy about self-improvement as well. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 best self-improvement resources out there today (according to yours truly).
5. The 5am Club by Robin Sharma
This book is on my list of best self-improvement resources because it truly changed my life. It converted me to a 5am-alarm-clock-going-off-working-and-writing-mom machine. Unfortunately, the device used throughout the entire book is, well . . . pretty ridiculous. And poorly constructed. And if you listen to it on Audible, you’ll consistently want to punch the reader in the kisser.
Nevertheless, it relentlessly drilled into my head that if I wake up at 5am every day, I will be successful. Do I believe that setting my alarm for 5am is the one key to success? Not even remotely. However, since I’ve read the book, I’ve finished my master’s degree and written a book that will be published in December while taking care of a two-year-old and managing a team of 46 people. If I didn’t wake up at 5am, not all of this would have been possible.
So, if you need someone to not-so-creatively brainwash you into believing that waking up at 5am is the key to success and happiness, read this book. I’ll admit — it’s annoying, but it totally worked for me.
4. Your Brain At Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long by David Rock
This book is SUUUUUPER nerdy and a little dense, but I really learned a lot about how the human brain works. David Rock explains the nuts and bolts of what’s inside our noggins through stories that surround a married couple with two kids (Emily and Paul) and how they make decisions.
This book really helped me understand how to attempt to remove distractions, how to maximize my brain capacity, and it also explained why my mental power shuts off around 4pm. It also helped me realize that if you focus on a particular thing, your brain automatically scans the planet for the thing on which you’re focused. Even if it’s negative.
If you like a good look under the hood and an explanation of how you can be more productive, this is a great read.
3. The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
I have a ridiculously long commute (well, I did have one before this whole global pandemic thing), so I love a good podcast. This one does not disappoint. Lewis Howes is a “lifestyle entrepreneur” who used to be a pro football player and a pretty gracious host. In this long-form podcast, he interviews experts in entrepreneurship, health, self-improvement, and relationships and it’s the perfect companion to a long drive to work.
I love the conversational tone of this podcast even though Lewis tends to talk over women a bit. Another great perk is that he just released all 987 of his episodes on iTunes so you can choose your own flavor of inspiration. Click the link on his name for a list of archived episodes with interviews of people from Alanis Morissette to Tony Robbins.
2. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
While Tim Ferriss has a podcast as well, I love this book a bit more. I keep Tools of Titans by my bed and I read a little bit at night before I go to sleep. It is basically the best little nuggets from his interviews on the podcast wrapped up in 2–4 pages per guest. I can flip to any page, get a little inspiration from one or two people, and go to sleep.
This book is a perfect self-improvement book for people who don’t have time to read self-improvement books. He includes interviews with people from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Seth Godin and you can hop in, grab a little nugget of inspiration or advice, and hop out as you please.
1. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
This book, in my opinion, is the perfect self-improvement book. It is conversational and an easy read, but it also incorporates an inordinate amount of research and science behind its advice. Burchard breaks up the habits of high performers into six easy bits: seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage.
Then, he breaks down each one of these and offers easily actionable tricks to incorporate them into your life. For instance, he suggests creating triggers in your life to help you exemplify the person you want to be. Thanks to this, to this day, I still automatically think to myself, “Powerful, kind, and observant” when I walk through the doorway of the conference room at work.
This book was so helpful to me that I listened to it two times in a row and then pop in every now and then to Burchard’s podcast. (Incidentally, I got the workbook as well, but it is so dense that it’s not super useful to me). I highly suggest that, if you want advice on improving your life in any way, you read High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.