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So this list is definitely not an exhaustive list of the greatest business and entrepreneur mindset books available, but these are biooks that I have found invaluable in my adventures in self-publishing. None of them is specifically about writing as such, but the mindset that these books encourage is vital in any pursuit of purpose and ambition. Check them out and add any more in the comments section.
1. THE VALUES FACTOR: THE SECRET TO CREATING AN INSPIRED AND FULFILLING LIFE by Dr John DeMartini
Based on his landmark research and teachings, Dr. John Demartini has discovered the key to fulfillment in all aspects of life. What is the most important step you can take to achieve the life you’ve always dreamed of? You might think the answer is something like start saving money, get a better job, find my soul mate, or improve my marriage. Solutions like these might offer temporary satisfaction, but none of them can provide true, lasting fulfillment or help you achieve your unique purpose in life.
The Values Factor shows you how to create a life in which every minute can be inspiring and fulfilling. The first step is to identify what you find most meaningful – the values in life that are most important to you. Once you understand your own unique values and align your life accordingly, you can achieve fulfillment in every aspect of your life: deepening your loving relationships, creating an inspiring career, establishing financial freedom, and tapping into a rich spiritual life.
Dr. Demartini’s provocative 13-part questionnaire will reveal to you what you value most. The answers may surprise you! Then, each chapter of this audiobook explains how to align every aspect of your life with your true values, so that you can finally achieve the success that you were capable of all along.
2. ON FIRE: THE 7 CHOICES TO IGNITE A RADICALLY INSPIRED LIFE by John O’Leary
In the best-selling tradition of Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and Nick Vujicic’s Life Without Limits comes a rousing seven-step plan for living a life on fire, filled with hope and possibility – from an inspirational speaker who survived a near-fatal fire at the age of nine and now runs a successful business inspiring people all around the world.
When John O’Leary was nine years old, he was almost killed in a devastating house fire. With burns on 100 percent of his body, O’Leary mustered an almost unimaginable amount of inner strength just to survive the ordeal. The insights he gained through this experience and the heroes who stepped into his life to help him through the journey – his family, the medical staff, and total strangers – changed his life. Now he is committed to living life to the fullest and inspiring others to do the same.
An incredible and emotionally honest account of triumph over tragedy, On Fire contains O’Leary’s reflections on being that little boy, the life-giving choices made then, and the resulting lessons he learned. O’Leary very clearly shares that without the right people providing the right guidance at the right time, he never would have made it through those five months in the hospital, let alone the years that followed as he struggled to regain mobility, embrace his story, and ignite clarity of his life’s purpose.
On Fire encourages us to seize the power to choose our paths and transform our lives from mundane to extraordinary. Once we stop thinking solely on the big moments in our lives, we can begin to focus on those smaller opportunities that tend to pass us by. These are the events – the inflection points in our lives – that can determine how we feel about life now, where we are headed in the future, and how many lives we can impact along the way. We can’t always choose the paths we walk, but we can choose how we walk them. Empowering, inspiring, remarkably honest, and heartfelt, O’Leary’s strength and incredible spirit shine through in every minute.
3. RESILIENCE: HARD-WON WISDOM FOR LIVING A BETTER LIFE by Eric Greitens
You cannot bounce back from hardship. You can only move through it. There is a path through pain to wisdom, through suffering to strength, and through fear to courage if we have the virtue of resilience.
In 2012, Eric Greitens unexpectedly heard from a former SEAL comrade, a brother-in-arms he hadn’t seen in a decade. Zach Walker had been one of the toughest of the tough. But ever since he returned home from war to his young family in a small logging town, he’d been struggling. Without a sense of purpose, plagued by PTSD, and masking his pain with heavy drinking, he needed help. Zach and Eric started writing and talking nearly every day, as Eric set down his thoughts on what it takes to build resilience in our lives.
Eric s letters drawing on both his own experience and wisdom from ancient and modern thinkers are now gathered and edited into this timeless guidebook. Resilience explains how we can build purpose, confront pain, practice compassion, develop a vocation, find a mentor, create happiness, and much more. Eric s lessons are deep yet practical, and his advice leads to clear solutions.
We all face pain, difficulty, and doubt. But we also have the tools to take control of our lives. Resilience is an inspiring meditation for the warrior in each of us.
4. SOLVE FOR HAPPY: ENGINEER YOUR PATH TO JOY by Mo Gawdat
Solve for Happy is a startlingly original book about creating and maintaining happiness, written by a top Google executive with an engineer’s training and fondness for thoroughly analyzing a problem.
In 2004 Mo Gawdat, a remarkable thinker whose gifts had landed him top positions in half a dozen companies and who – in his spare time – had created significant wealth, realized that he was desperately unhappy. A lifelong learner, he attacked the problem as an engineer would, examining all the provable facts and scrupulously following logic. When he was finished, he had discovered the equation for enduring happiness.
Ten years later that research saved him from despair when his college-age son, Ali – also intellectually gifted – died during routine surgery. In dealing with the loss, Mo found his mission: he would pull off the type of moonshot that he and his Google [X] colleagues were always aiming for – he would help 10 million people become happier by pouring his happiness principles into a book and spreading its message around the world.
One of Solve for Happy’s key premises is that happiness is a default state. If we shape expectations to acknowledge the full range of possible events, unhappiness is on its way to being defeated. To steer clear of unhappiness traps, we must dispel the six illusions that cloud our thinking (e.g., the illusion of time, of control, and of fear); overcome the brain’s seven deadly defects (e.g., the tendency to exaggerate, label, and filter); and embrace five ultimate truths (e.g., change is real, now is real, unconditional love is real).
By means of several highly original thought experiments, Mo helps listeners find enduring contentment by questioning some of the most fundamental aspects of their existence.
5. NO ORDINARY MOMENTS: A PEACEFUL WARRIOR’S GUIDE TO DAILY LIFE by Dan Millman
If life is a journey, No Ordinary Moments is a map of the territory. The arena is daily life. The method is simple action. The time is now. It starts where you are, and it works at every level. In this audio program, Dan Millman expresses the heart of the peaceful warrior’s way and clarifies:
– the hidden gifts of adversity
– expanding self-worth
– overcoming addictions
– living in the present
– finding the will to change
– the power of happiness
– transcending self-concept
and much more…
By changing yourself, you can change your world. Join Dan as he shares ancient wisdom for modern men and women – spiritual practices, principles, and perspectives; inspiration that lasts a moment; and guidance that lasts a lifetime.
Learn to live as a peaceful warrior, and discover for yourself one of life’s great truths: There are no ordinary moments.
6. THE ANTIDOTE: HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN’T STAND POSITIVE THINKING by Oliver Burkeman
In this fascinating new book which he narrates himself, Oliver Burkeman argues that “positive thinking” and relentless optimism aren’t the solution to the happiness dilemma, but part of the problem. And that there is, in fact, an alternative path to contentment and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid – uncertainty, insecurity, pessimism, and failure. Thought-provoking, counter intuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.
7. CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS, CHANGE YOUR LIFE: LIVING THE SECRETS OF THE TAO by Wayne Dyer
Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a God-realized being named Lao-tzu in ancient China dictated 81 verses, which are regarded by many as the ultimate commentary on the nature of our existence. The classic text of these 81 verses, called the Tao Te Ching or the Great Way, offers advice and guidance that is balanced, moral, spiritual, and always concerned with working for the good.
In this program, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has reviewed hundreds of translations of the Tao Te Ching and has created 81 distinct essays on how to apply the ancient wisdom of Lao-tzu to today’s modern world. This work contains the entire 81 verses of the Tao, compiled from Wayne’s researching of 10 of the most well-respected translations of text that have survived for more than 25 centuries. As Wayne says, “This is an audiobook that will forever change the way you look at your life, and the result will be that you’ll live in a new world aligned with nature. I’m so proud to present this interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, and offer the same opportunity for change that it has brought me.”
8. EMERGENCE: SEVEN STEPS FOR A RADICAL LIFE CHANGE by Derek Rydall
The harder we try to change, the deeper in the hole we get. We find a new partner but have the same old fights. We strive for an ever bigger paycheck but end up broke at a higher income bracket. This is what happens when the basic principle of life – the law of emergence – is disrupted, stopping you from knowing that you are the perfect you. There is not a part of you from beginning to end that isn’t exactly what you should be.
Emergence provides the foundation to reengage with this ancient principle. In this seven-stage framework, spiritual life coach Derek Rydall shows that we aren’t lacking anything; everything we need to fulfill our full potential is already inside us. Backed by an ancient truth that has largely been lost, Rydall changes the conversation around how to achieve your potential by showing you how to activate the genius already in you and empower your purpose in life.
9. HOW TO THINK LIKE LEONARDO DA VINCI: SEVEN STEPS TO GENIUS EVERY DAY by Michael J Gelb
Here’s a personal growth guidebook that’s won the admiration and recommendation of Ted Hughes, poet laureate of England. He calls this “a brilliant, practical guide to awakening and training our vast, unused resources of intelligence and ability”.
Author Michael Gelb, founder of High Performance Learning and consultant for companies including AT&T and National Public Radio, says that we all can unlock the “da Vincian” genius inside us. Gelb says there are seven critical principles that need to be followed for success, whether you’re learning a new language, studying to be a gourmet chef, or just hoping to be more effective on the job.
10. REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
From the founders of the trailblazing software company 37signals, here is a different kind of business book one that explores a new reality. Today, anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now easily accessible. Technology that cost thousands is now just a few bucks or even free. Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is now simple.That means anyone can start a business. And you can do it without working miserable 80-hour weeks or depleting your life savings. You can start it on the side while your day job provides all the cash flow you need. Forget about business plans, meetings, office space – you don’t need them.
With its straightforward language and easy-is-better approach, Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own. Hardcore entrepreneurs, small-business owners, people stuck in day jobs who want to get out, and artists who don’t want to starve anymore will all find valuable inspiration and guidance in these pages. It’s time to rework work.
I hope these books will help you find your sense of purpose in your writing and your life in the same way they have helped and inspired me. Admittedly I’m an enthusiastic consumer of personal development and self improvement so this list is completely indulgent. I’m also going to add another book to the list and it is probably the book that continues to be my all time favourite thirty years after I first read it. Read it if you haven’t already and you will truly fly higher than you’ve ever flown before.
JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL by Richard Bach
This is the story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than they ever dreamed.
Writerpreneur Magazine has been created by author and journalist Ruth Newman to guide, encourage, inform and inspire you on your self-publishing adventures.