Marxim. Gorky once wrote that: “Books open new horizons for me”.
The culture of reading is one of the most useful wisdoms method that people create. There are so many individuals who have changed their lives by simply meditating the “bed-pillow” books, such as Rich Dad, Poor Dad; The Richest Man in Babylon and so on.
For those who would like to change your mind to reach a better life, here are my 12 best books you should read before 40. Let’s get started!
Abundance Now: Amplify Your Life & Achieve Prosperity Today
Now, before walking you through this meaningful book, I want to ask you: How do you define a perfect way of life?
Living is the opportunity and also the choice of each person. Would you like to live as a rich or poor person? To live slowly or whirling like a whirlwind? To live with joyfulness or join in this rat-race life? Is our life interesting or boring, gloomy or nebulous, or is it a great harmony of all these colors?
Well, that all depends on our choice and our definition to it!
Abundance Now – written by Lisa Nichols, who is a successful colored businesswoman just after Oprah Winfrey. She who used to be a single mother and lived her life depending on social benefits has shared her own definition of the perfect way of life.
To her, life is to determine the goal and pursue it with passion, to achieve total intellectual wealth, relationships, dedication to work and heritage to build for the future. And, as an inevitable fact of life, to go through hard trials, you have to bear great hardships.
The successful formula started with four letters “E” is transmitted partly by Lisa Nichols about many useful life skills through her own life stories. They are also the experience of herself and her friends in the process of living a rich life.
Success is not determined by your bank account balance, the position in your career, or your impressive assets. Success is determined by how much you love and are loved so deeply. How do you feel free to go and get back from others, and how do you live in your passion? That’s the new definition of success.
Do not wait until you have a certain amount of money, start a dream career, or find someone you love, and live a wealthy life right now to come to an even better life. Be more loving today to love more in the future and practice your endurance and mental health so you can be ready for the big adventure ahead.
Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier
When people and the circumstances annoy you, how do you deal with them?
Usually, we feel like a victim, right? You are going to become painful, angry, and self-protective. You see the others as your enemies, and when things do not work out, it’s you, becoming your own enemy!
But what if we could overcome pain, anger, and self-defense?
Inspired by the Buddhist philosophy, this book discusses the four types of enemies we often encounter in life: external enemies, internal enemies, secret enemies and super-secret enemies – what prevents us from finding our inner freedom and true happiness.
Drawn from ancient spiritual wisdom and modern psychology, “Love Your Enemies” introduces useful tools for us to identify our true foes and, more importantly, transform our relationship with all our enemies.
The Art of Choosing
Next up is an interesting book by Sheena Iyengar – a professor of Business in the Management Department at Columbia University and also a leading expert on choice. She puts the heavy burden on helping us become more selective, which is also the mainstream of this book.
She has raised many interesting questions, like:
- Is the desire to choose innate or created by culture?
- Why do we sometimes choose the opposite of our personal preference?
- How much power do we really have for our choices?
And in the end, she gives unexpected and very profound answers, from her earnest and award-winning essay.
In this book, you will learn about the complex relationship between choice and freedom, and why these two things often do not come together.
You will also find that too many choices can overwhelm us, leading to uncomfortable experiences, from the simplest to the most complicated cases, like too many TV programs to watch all of them or too many health insurance plans to choose.
Perhaps most importantly, you will discover your options – both trivial and important – that are shaped by a variety of effects, both tangible and intangible.
This extraordinary work explores the joys and challenges of choice, showing us how we build our lives by choices.
Sheena Iyengar, she is considered one of the world’s top choice research professionals, having received many honors and the most notably might be the Presidential Prize for Scientists and Career Startup Engineers (Her research was frequently praised in such prominent newspapers as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and the Times, as well as in the bestselling book like Blink by Malcolm Gladwell or The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwart.
Our life is continuously facing with many important choices that with a wrong decision, it might lead to many serious consequences. So, I think it’s essential to have this book on hand, no matter who you are.
The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic
Alongside with “The Art of Choosing”, you should read this book, too.
This would be a perfect piece to give you an overview to make the best choice. Here, Dan Ariely – a well-known social scientist – has given multi-dimensional influences that lead people to make unwise decisions.
Now, in “The Upside of Irrationality”, he reveals the surprising impacts, both positive and negative, that the ‘irrational’ can affect our lives.
This book is a long-term researching of Dan Ariely on human’s behaviors at our workplace and relationships. From that point, he brings new insights and surprising facts about what motivates us to work, the way in which a lack of wisdom can become a habit, how we learn to love the people we live with, and so much more.
By using many experimental methods, it makes this masterpiece become one of the most discussed books in recent years, Ariely uses data from interesting and unique experiments to make interesting conclusions about how – and why – we act like that. From attitudes in our workplace, to romantic relationships, to the fact that we are always looking for the purpose of our lives, Ariely explains how to break stereotypes of thought as well as our behavior to make better decisions.
The Upside of Irrationality will change the way we perceive ourselves in work and in our family – and revisit our irrational acts in an entirely new light shade.
Besides, you will also know the reasons why many big bonuses can make CEOs work less effectively, why is revenge important and why is there such a huge difference between what we think will make us happy and what really makes us happy. Besides, he also mentioned to how do tangled directions work for us
You shouldn’t miss out this book, really!
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
Have you ever felt unbalanced or stuck in handling between your daily life, relationships and jobs? Are you distracted?
Well, it’s time to reorganize yourself to free your mind and focus more on what really matters! That’s also the brief yet can’t be fuller message of Allen, who is a senior coach as well as a management consultant, through this “Getting Things Done” Book!
Here, you will learn how to achieve the highest productivity without stress through David Allen’s effective methods to help you, as well as other thousands of people he has trained reduce stress and find more comfort in life.
More details, he teaches us how to apply the principle of “making, transferring, hanging and skipping” to free our memory. Besides, they are also the reassess goals and maintain refocus when circumstances change. Or, the way to plan and find ways to remove “hanging” as well as get over the feeling of embarrassment, anxiety and uncontrollability.
Last but not least, this book guides you how to feel satisfied with what you have not done, which I highly appreciate because commonly, human we often feel unpleased, unsatisfied and even angry when we haven’t finished something or reached a goal that was set beforehand. Do you feel the same way? This characteristic is pretty difficult to eliminate so, I think every of us should equip it – be satisfied with even what we haven’t done yet.
Living Big: Embrace Your Passion and Leap into an Extraordinary Life
We always ask ourselves the question, how to live a life as we dream and forget about the fact that we are still around with daily schedules and boring tasks that nearly paralyze our spirit to come out of it.
We want to live differently but still spend so much time watching television every day, soaking in too-fun-to-remember-the-day parties or sticking to work that we do not like. Yes, to have a life as a dream, it’s absolutely not enough if you just stop at desiring, craving, or doing a few separate actions. Why? Because to live another better life, it needs to the sum of many factors.
Living Big – the Pam Grout’s book will teach you how to change your attitudes, capture your ideas, and develop your own potential to reach potential success.
By thinking big, dreaming big and asking big questions, each of us will definitely make a difference in our lives from those surrounding us.
This book will give you a lot of complete and detail information from the principles of great living, examples of great living people who are very close to us, from a young disabled boy, a prisoner on the battlefield of Vietnam or Mozart and Picasso.
Each chapter is included to practical questions and exercises so you can practice applying it to your own life!
Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite
The world out there is what you think about. So, think of it differently and your life will change. That’s a basic and easy rule of thumb but I bet that rare of us can understand it.
Paul Arden, the author of several best-selling books in the world, is the creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. When you look back, there will be things making you regret. You think you’ve made the wrong decision.
No! Whatever the decision, it is the only decision. Everything we have done always gives us other choices. Then what to regret?
That feeling, we all know that we need it, but don’t be too obsessed to it! Always regret about the past, about what you have done yet will strain you down. So, let this book help you give up, feel peace and ready to get started.
How to Be Happy All the Time (Wisdom of Yogananda) (v. 1)
I used to be struggling in finding the true happiness because of my wrong definition about it. I thought it was something coming from the outsides, like when I bought an expensive pair of shoes which I saw my favorite celebrity worn it or when I earned a lot of money to live a rich life that would make many others admire me.
However, it by too often ended up with lonely, sad and empty feeling which I couldn’t explain by myself until I read this book!
It points out that finding happiness from the outside is like trying to tie a cloud. Happiness is not an item but a mental state.
There are always smiling people but hidden inside a heavy heart pain. They slowly die under the shadow of a smile. But there are some who smile only occasionally, but inside them are the source of peace.
What I love the most about “How to Be Happy All the Time” is the way it teaches us to feel piece in mind. Grace can make the arid heart become fertile, turning a desert into a green garden of inner happiness and peace. Besides, it reminds us the most important thing: Only unconditional love is the key to inner happiness.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
What’s interested in this book is it doesn’t teach how to achieve this or that, but how to throw it away and let go. I bet that at least once in your life, it’s clear the feeling that you’re saturated by caring about too many things around you.
However, rare of us understand that the key to a good life is not being more caring, but less caring, only interested in what is real, intimate and really important.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck will guide you how to close your eyes and believe you’re still okay even if falling backwards. It will teach you this – Don’t Give a F*ck!
Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
This book is for those who are suffering love sick!
Your love is over and you are really hurt. But no matter how much you suffer, you can still overcome it. Do not try to pull the old woman back to you. Do not lose yourself and try to make her love you again. Please do not!
Starting today, this breakthrough is the opportunity to change your life in a better direction, both inside and outside. Overcoming a breakdown is a practical and helpful roadmap to help you overcome the pain of breaking up in any relationship, even when your marriage breaks down.
Getting Past Your Breakup is a jolly good book written by Susan J. Elliott to help thousands of customers and readers get a better life after the breakdown. Now it’s your turn!
The Magic of Believing
As its title implies, this book written by Claude M. Bristol contains a proven secret of establishing and achieving goals, encouraging and enabling all potential faculties to become reality.
“The Magic of Believing” points out in a simple but persuasive way that suggestion can always be used to improve the efficiency of any job. It liberates all potential and helps us to believe in ourselves. It is also an effective secret to develop and nurture that belief.
Bristol encourages us to take the initiative in life – to build a positive attitude like those who believe in themselves. Almost every great achievement of humanity is not made by the most talented individual but by the people who are ready to face the greatest risks and challenges, and they have surpassed them. This can only happen through faith.
We all have faith, but only a few know how to build it. You can be a unique person just like the one you want to become, but that only happens when you know how to put aside the images that the others have set for you. And it only happens when you know the dream and have faith.
The more you believe in yourself, the more accomplished you will be. That’s what this book will bring to you.
Do not read it just to understand other people but read because you want to apply the power of belief in your personal and professional life.
The strength of faith contains a proven secret of establishing and achieving goals.
Bristol recommends that you read and re-read this book as long as it is a part of your daily life. Once you find that you are capable of handling every challenge in your life, it can turn all your potential energy into reality.
Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity
When talking about “ignoring everybody”, it does not mean you have you to ignore them all the time and forever.
Living with no feedback, comments or blames from the others play an essential role. (Of course!) In the beginning, the better the idea, the “weirder” it will be to other people, including those you love and respect. So, it’s a common case that at the beginning, you need to try it alone with less than one tenth the number of supporters needed. Don’t fret or discouraged because this is absolutely normal.
Hugh Macleod is a painter, specializing in advertising design and cartoonist. He set up the blog gapingvoid.com in 2001, posting both his caricatures and articles. He created a cartoon style on the back of a business card, ready to draw at any time, as soon as the idea appeared.
In 2004, he wrote “Ignore Everybody” on his blog – a combination of caricatures and practical tips on driving innovation, has been downloaded by millions of readers.
With 40 parts, in fact, 40 brief and concise lessons combining with caricature and humorous “motto”, this book is the answer to the constantly-asked questions at the beginning of our work:
- How can new ideas emerge in this skeptical and risk-averse world?
- How to inspire?
- How to determine the boundaries between what is available and what is not?
Each question has a satisfactory answer.
But this does not mean that the devotee of this book is able to immediately open up his creative resources and spread it outside the world.
These tips only give you the power to work harder, more creative and more serious. To help the young keeps at bay their illusion that artists are allowed to hang out in the bar all day, expecting their Ms. Right suddenly knock on the door, giving an endless source of inspiration, making them immediately draw out a masterpiece and then, take one step to glory.
Innovation is the true work, arising in the process of work, not in the day-dream to wait for the God of wealth.
The book may also be the answer or help for young people to assert their choice of whether to trade off their current job to pursue their personal interests or vice versa to not fall into embarrassing and disturbed situation between the two roads and then get no results.
You can easily read these books in one go. Or, you can also choose any chapter that you think is right for you and slowly explore its depth independently. Either way, books, they will reveal key points to help you discover the true potential hidden within you.
Spending time and effort in getting knowledge and improving yourself is the smartest and most effective investment. Use all goodness in your favorite books to set as the direction of your life!