2 Books that will change your life

Tookachange

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It seems that every day we are exposed to more and more people providing "the fix" to all our problems.

I too have fallen a victim to the idea that all the problems in my life would go away if I could just find that ONE special trick that all successful people do.

I have downloaded apps, copied morning routines, and read countless books. All in the name of progress. And what did I find with all this research and work?

Not much...

If anything I felt worse for having tried and failed. Maybe it was just me and I was doomed to be a failure?

It was at my lowest point that I stumbled across two books that were radically different from all the others. Books that, sure, claimed to have the answer, but promised it wasn't what you thought.

Having nothing to lose I gave it a try and was surprised to find they were right.

No two books have so radically changed my view on life and the world around me. No books have forced me to take such responsibility for my life like these.

No books have helped like these two...

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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson

Starting as a simple blog post that grew into a book and an entire movement. Mark Manson's book took the world by storm when it was released.

Giving to me by a friend who could see I was going through a rough time, I sat down to glance at it and ended up reading it from cover to cover.

In a hilariously vulgar and engaging way, Mark discusses that learning to not care so much is the way to be able to care about what matters most more. It was the first foray into the idea of truly prioritizing what precious time you have on this earth.

Another very jarring and ultimately beneficial idea that Mark introduced was that it was better to not believe you are special.

Mark says it best below

“My recommendation: don’t be special; don’t be unique. Redefine your metrics in mundane and broad ways. Choose to measure yourself not as a rising star or an undiscovered genius. Choose to measure yourself not as some horrible victim or dismal failure. Instead, measure yourself by more mundane identities: a student, a partner, a friend, a creator. The narrower and rarer the identity you choose for yourself, the more everything will seem to threaten you. For that reason, define yourself in the simplest and most ordinary ways possible. This often means giving up some grandiose ideas about yourself: that you’re uniquely intelligent, or spectacularly talented, or intimidatingly attractive, or especially victimized in ways other people could never imagine. This means giving up your sense of entitlement and your belief that you’re somehow owed something by this world.”

The knowledge that you aren't special can be difficult to accept at first. But once you got over the initial shock, it becomes the ultimate motivator to work harder and longer than the person next to you.

These days when I feel my motivation lacking, I just remind myself that I'm not special. To achieve more than the normal person, I need to work harder and longer than the normal person.

The effect has been life-changing.

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Atomic Habits

by James Clear

Another book that just melted my brain when I first read it.

I had been following James' weekly email for years so it was a no-brainer to give his book a shot. What I got was the single greatest blueprint for how to achieve the life I always wanted. If I had the patience and perseverance to achieve it.

James breaks down the science behind human habits and how they more closely predict a person's success than any other metric.

He then goes onto explain why most people fail at their attempts to better themselves.

“The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty. Perhaps this is why we get caught up in a never-ending cycle, jumping from one workout to the next, one diet to the next, one business idea to the next. As soon as we experience the slightest dip in motivation, we begin seeking a new strategy—even if the old one was still working.”

Not being content to just point out a problem and not provide a solution. James lays out the structure and framework to slowly correct your habits and change the direction of your life. From the slow downward-spiral, we all know, to a lifelong project you can be proud to watch bloom.

Throughout the book, James provides real-world examples and historical accounts. Not only to educate you but to motivate you to keep trying when faced with adversity.

Atomic Habits helped me understand that it is the little things I do again and again that define who I am, more than the occasional grandiose gesture.

It has helped me lay out the structure for how to improve my life and provided me with a deep understanding of why it is so important to do so.

This I'm sure will keep me motivated for decades to come.

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On a journey to discover better ways of living and succeeding in the modern world. Writing articles about my discoveries on the way!

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