Let me start with an unpopular opinion. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Reading”?
It’s usually that we feel like we’re obligated to read them word by word, cover to cover and it feels like a crime if we just put the book down without finishing it. Such is our relationship with books because of how we’re introduced to them through our Education system. But, here’s the shocker. You don’t need to read an entire book to benefit from it. Again, You do not need to read a full book to benefit from it. No matter how little you learn from a book. What matters more is how much of it you implement in your life Today!
I didn’t finish all of the following books yet they were enough for me to Leave my Government Job as a College Teacher, Understand how money works, Why hard work is not the only answer, etc. It’s the action that I took from these books, the ideas that stuck with me for over 10 years and guided my life decisions. So here’s the complete list and what I learned from each book:
1- The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss
This is the first book that I read that talked about an alternative lifestyle. See, before this current generation, the idea of a good life was to study hard, get into a safe job and work with your head down and wait for the retirement money you’d get from the company you work at. And I’m so glad that companies don’t give you enough now when you retire. That forced me to think if that doesn’t work anymore then what does? Enter the idea of not delaying your life until when you’d retire at the age of 60. The idea is that you can and have to be constantly looking for new opportunities, learning new skills, and being a student for life. That plus you have to enjoy what you make today, mentioned in the book as the idea of mini-retirements. This book holds a lot of lot more about lifestyle ideas that are still new and exciting. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about a new style of life & career choices. A new look at how the world works and how you can make the most out of it.
P.S. I didn’t finish this book, I read only like 20% of it. Yet it was enough for me to start thinking differently. I’ll visit this book back when I feel like it but right now I’m more interested in discovering new ideas that can change my life!
2- Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
Another book that I didn’t finish. Yet it gave me a whole new look into how there are two paths in life. Rich Dad is the one who owns his business and Poor Dad is the guy who works at a university as a Professor! Being a professor in Pakistan is a HUUUGE DEAL btw. For the 2 months, I was one, I had 1000x more respect from everyone around me. Even the two times I had to visit the Police Station for certificates and stuff. Even the POLICE respected me. I never would’ve imagined a world in which the police would be polite, respectful, and willing to help but being a teacher was all that. Yet, I felt like it wasn’t the path for me. You’ll read more about it in the book why being a University Professor isn’t better than being a Businessman. Why it’s okay to say no to the norm of society and make a world that fits best to who you want to be. That’s the common theme in all the books I’ve read btw. To say no to the norm and find your own path that fits better to you. If you try to compete with a monkey climbing trees or with a shark swimming, you most probably would not win. That’s the whole idea. Be who you are and do what you do best. Not playing into the games and ideas of culture and society.
3- I Will Teach You to Be Rich Ramit Sethi
I’ve followed Ramit Sethi with extreme enthusiasm when I was just entering the world of Self Help. 10 years ago, I had no clue at all that there were such people on earth who are focusing on how to be a better person. How to live a better life. Again, I haven’t read this complete book but the ideas inside it were a game changer for me. A small disclaimer that the book would get into specifics about which banks to open your account in and would name names of banks, and investment companies that are in the United States but just focus on the ideas and don’t worry about the specific stocks, banks, etc. Oh, and BTW I’ve been looking for the alternatives for the ideas in this book ever since and that hunt has been so fun. A bit frustrating at times but a huge win when I finally started understanding my investment options in Pakistan. I’ve made a video about it already that you can watch on my YouTube channel here.
The basic idea is that you don’t need to save all your life to invest in Property. You can start small from as low as 1000 rupees a month and you can start today! The sooner you start, the bigger the gains will be. Again, more on that on my YouTube channel.
4- Stop Worrying & Start Living, Dale Carnegie
This book has been a huge help recently. You can skip it if you feel like you don’t generally worry about your life but if you do. Man o man are you in for a treat! I absolutely love how this book doesn’t talk about any new scientific groundbreaking idea but common wisdom. We all have all the knowledge in the world we need to solve our problems and stop worrying but it is easier said than done. You need to be reminded and convinced that the knowledge you already have is enough to go about your daily life. But it shares a lot of examples and breaks it down into steps on how you can tackle specific problems. Now, this is one of the books that I actually have read from cover to cover since each chapter talks about a different way we end up in the trap of worrying. And each chapter is something new I learn each day. Well not new, but definitely a new perspective with example. A perspective about how to go about your life in a way that eliminates or minimizes your worries and focuses on the solutions and the right mindset for it. I’ve been a huge advocate of how your mind is the engine for your body. If the engine is working fine you can optimize the other parts of your life. But if you’re leaking oil, burning fuel, and your engine isn’t working the right way, you ain’t getting nowhere my friend!
5- The Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel
I finished this book recently and it’s such a fun take on money. I love human psychology and understanding why we do what we do. And this book combines that with money and talks about our money behaviors. It’s one thing to know about how to invest but it’s a whole other thing to understand why should we invest. And especially why we act the way we do. Things are easier in theory but as we go through life we end up acting in a very different way from what we actually planned. That’s the difference between our plans and what happens in the real world.
This book talks about a lot of those real-world scenarios so we can include those uncertainties and traps in our plans. Each chapter is a small bite-sized treat for you to learn about and it’s a story told in such a fun way that it doesn’t even feel like we’re reading about such an intense topic like investment and human behavior. I started reading this in the morning before my breakfast and not once did I feel frustrated or overwhelmed. That’s the beauty of this book.
Even though these books are amazing and have a lot of great ideas, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of “I’ll do X when I have done Y”. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll delay your actions before you’ve read these books. It’s actually much better to make the mistake first to be able to understand the beauty and impact of the ideas in these books. So keep moving forward, keep making mistakes and keep doing what moves you forward. Keep doing what makes you better than who you were yesterday. That’s all that counts. See you in the next blog post!
And I would really appreciate it if you connect with me and share anything, literally anything at all that comes to your mind or the feeling you’re left with at the end of this blog post. Feel free to share what you learned or just say a Quick Hello or send me a message on my Instagram or Facebook.