Best Motivational Books

Down on your luck? Need some motivation to get out of bed? How about grabbing a book? Let us guess: you would, but you’re out of ideas regarding its author or title.

Worry not: we’re here to help!

Just bookmark this article, and you’re covered for the whole of 2019; even if need less than three days to read a 300-page book! Whether it is self-improvement you’re interested in or books about personal growth, whether you want the best motivational books for women or the best motivational books of all time – they are all here.

And we’ve provided a brief, unique summary/review for each of them, and categorized them on ten different self-explanatory shelves.

So, seriously, bookmark this article: it’s that useful

Without further ado – let’s roll.

The 101 Best Motivational Books List

(Click a title below to go to the respective shelf)

1. Basics of Motivation
2. Rules for Life
3. Power of Positive Thinking
4. You Are a Badass
5. Great Lecture
6. Why Would You Give a Damn
7. Fables and Fiction
8. Inspirational Biographies
9. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
10. Show Me the Money
Wildcard

1. The “Basics of Motivation” Shelf

You can’t motivate yourself without learning what motivation is. Want to do that? Well, these 10 books offer a great philosophical and theoretical framework!

The Motivation Manifesto1.1 Brendon Burchard – The Motivation Manifesto

About the Book: What better way to start a list of the 101 best motivational books you should read in 2019 than with a motivation manifesto? And Brendon Burchard’s really lives up to its name! His “9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power” will energize you to your very core! This is one you should keep on your bedside table. Or even under your pillow. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Without making the actual attempt, without trial and strife, there can be no true knowledge, no progress, no high achievement, and no legend.

Find Your Why1.2 Simon Sinek – Find Your Why

About the Book: In Start with Why, Simon Sinek proposed to the world – in his very own words – “the world’s simplest idea.” Namely, that why you are doing what you’re doing is more important than how you’re doing it or even what it is that you’re doing. In Find Your Why Sinek teams up with Peter Docker and David Mead and gives us the book we’ve all been waiting for: a practical guide to discovering that why. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.

Drive1.3 Daniel H. Pink – Drive

About the Book: The subtitle of Daniel H. Pink’s thought-provoking 2011 bestseller, Drive – “The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” – tells you everything you need to know about this book. First of all, it explores the roots of motivation; and secondly, it reaches unexpected conclusions. In a nutshell, that money doesn’t motivate us; what does is autonomy, mastery, and purpose. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Drive
Favorite Quote:

Pay your son to take out the trash — and you’ve pretty much guaranteed the kid will never do it again for free.

The Power of Habit1.4 Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit

About the Book: We are creatures of habit, and Duhigg knows that the real power of this insight lies in the fact that “your habits are what you choose them to be.” However, as you know full well, it’s not easy to choose them: you are intrinsically motivated to do some things much more than some others. And though it’s not easy to change them as well, you can actually do it: just replace the routine but keep the initial cue and the final reward. Apparently, this works 100% of the time! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The Power of Habit
Favorite Quote:

The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.

Switch1.5 Chip and Dan Heath – Switch

About the Book: Speaking of habits and how to change them – here’s another classic in the field: Chip and Dan Heath’s Switch. According to the Heath Brothers, all successful changes follow the same pattern. Namely, people who change all have a clear direction, plenty of motivation, and a supportive environment. Or to use the Jonathan Haidt analogy they use: you need to direct the rider; motivate the elephant, and shape the path. You’ll know what we mean: just see 9.7 below. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Switch
Favorite Quote:

Change is hard because people wear themselves out.

Thinking, Fast and Slow1.6 Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow

About the Book: Daniel Kahneman is a world-renowned psychologist with – get this – a Nobel Prize in Economics. So, basically, he already knows about you more than you’ll ever know about yourself. Thinking, Fast and Slow is a summary of his life-long research, exploring the dichotomy between fast and slow thinking. We don’t think that you’ll place that much value in your own judgment after reading this book. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Favorite Quote:

A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.

David and Goliath1.7 Malcolm Gladwell – David and Goliath

About the Book: Even in his forties, Malcolm Gladwell was already one of the most influential thinkers of our times. Now at 55, he is nothing less than an icon. Even though – like all of his books – a New York Times bestseller, David and Goliath may be his least famous book. But, in our opinion, it may be his most motivating one. Because it can show you why – and how – you can win, even when all odds are against you. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

David and Goliath
Favorite Quote:

Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times, and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.

The Power of Myth1.8 Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers – The Power of Myth

About the Book: People have found different ways to motivate themselves to endure and succeed ever since the beginning of times. In The Power of Myth – a book based on the six one-hour conversations taken between journalist Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell in the last year of Campbell’s life – you can see why (and how) these most ancient strategies still work. “Follow your bliss,” says Campbell, “and doors will open where there were no doors before.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.

How Will You Measure Your Life?1.9 Clayton Christensen – How Will You Measure Your Life?

About the Book: Clayton Christensen is a Harvard-based scholar most famous for his theory of “disruptive innovation.” However, in How Will You Measure Your Life? – co-authored with James Allworth and Karen Dillon – rather than giving us another analysis of Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, he gives us a book more in the tradition of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture (see 5.10). And we should be grateful for it! Because How Will You Measure Your Life? introduces the “hygiene-motivation theory,” according to which, it is not money, but work conditions and job security, combined with recognition, personal growth, and sense of responsibility that are the true motivating factors of existence. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time.

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does1.10 Susan Fowler – Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does

About the Book: Motivation, according to Susan Fowler, is a skill. Meaning, like all other skills, it can be taught and acquired. However, misunderstanding what motivation is leads to a “misapplication of techniques to make it happen.” For this reason, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does sets before itself an objective to dispel all myths about motivation. Here you’ll learn how external undermine internal motivators and how, in order to be motivated, you need to live under an ARC of Freedom. We’ll let you find out what ARC stands for. But we’ll tell you that “people who experience ARC are thriving. They do not need something or someone else doing the driving.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Motivation is a skill. People can learn to choose and create optimal motivational experiences anytime and anywhere.

2. The “Rules for Life” Shelf

There are some people who can tell you how you should live your life. And usually, they are smart enough to pack their lifetime of knowledge in several rules. Your job: to merely follow them!

12 Rules for Life2.1 Jordan Peterson – 12 Rules for Life

About the Book:  By all accounts, Jordan Peterson is “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now.” His 12 Rules for Life are both humorous and revelatory. And they cover everything – from standing up straight with your shoulders back and putting your house in order to be precise with your speech and – yes! – petting a cat when you encounter one on the street. It’s Peterson, so of course there’s more to it; and of course, it’s as motivating as hell! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.

The Four Agreements2.2 Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements

About the Book: In his “practical guide to personal freedom,” Mexican neo-shaman Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the four tenets of true joy and happiness. Though fairly simple – as all wisdom is – the four agreements will probably affect you in a life-changing, world-shattering kind of way. Want to immediately find out what are they? Read here. (Read a brief summary of the book | Read the best quotes from the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The world is very beautiful and very wonderful.  Life can be very easy when love is your way of life.  You can be loving all the time. This is your choice.

Just Shut Up and Do It2.3 Brian Tracy – Just Shut Up and Do It

About the Book: You already know that Brian Tracy is a no-excuses kind of guy. Hence the title. In Just Shut Up and Do It he presents his 7 steps to conquer your goals. So, you can learn how to: surmount the biggest obstacle to success; take charge of your life; dare to go forward; decide what you really want; overcome procrastination; become a lifelong learner; and never give up. (Read a brief summary of the book | Read more about Brian Tracy | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Top people build learning into each day. They read thirty to sixty minutes each morning—approximately one book per week.

Emotional Habits2.4 Akash Karia – Emotional Habits

About the Book: Akash Karia is a peak performance coach and a celebrated NLP trainer; and in Emotional Habits, he shows how Subtitled “7 Things Resilient People Do Differently and How They Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life,” this book is “a quick read that can have immediate and long-term benefits.” (Phil Barth) Not the least because it includes spot-on practical executrices. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The goal of building emotional strength is not to somehow make every situation in life happy and rosy.

Simple Rules2.5 Donald Sull and Kathleen M. Eisenhardt – Simple Rules

About the Book: Life is difficult as it is to make it even more unbearable by adhering to complex rules. If you are – then this book is for you. Drawing on hundreds of studies and more than a decade of research, in Simple Rules Sull and Eisenhardt show how simple rules are the deal and how, armed with just a few of them, “you can tackle even the most complex of problems.” And thrive. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Simple Rules
Favorite Quote:

Investing the time up front to clarify what will move the needles dramatically increases the odds that simple rules will be applied where they can have the greatest impact.

The Daily Stoic2.6 Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman – The Daily Stoic

About the Book: Another obligatory bedside-table – or even under-the-pillow – book. Compiled by one of the leaders “for the charge of stoicism,” Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic contains “366 meditations on wisdom, perseverance and the art of living” – one for each day of the year, for the rest of your life. And they are all commented upon by Holiday who has a knack for illustrating how relevant this ancient school of philosophy is for our modern world. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Serenity and stability are results of your choices and judgment, not your environment.

Ignore Everybody2.7 Hugh MacLeod – Ignore Everybody

About the Book: Hugh Macleod (of gapingvoid.com) is a pretty creative guy; so, when he publishes a book sharing a list of his 40 keys to creativity, it is bound to make a splash. A paean to originality and nonconformity, Ignore Everybody is both a humorous and engaging read; not to mention inspirational. By the end of the book, you’ll definitely want to take your kindergarten crayons back. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.

The Art of Nonconformity2.8 Chris Guillebeau – The Art of Nonconformity

About the Book: Chris Guillebeau has lived a pretty unconventional life, volunteering with Mercy Ships, founding a $100 startup, and visiting all 193 countries of the world by the age of 35. So, in a way, he has mastered the art of nonconformity. Based on his popular online manifesto, “A Brief Guide to World Domination,” this book shares what he learned throughout the process. And can help you learn not only how to set your own rules and live the life you want, but also how to change the world. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Unreasonable, unrealistic, and impractical are all words used to marginalize a person or idea that fails to conform with conventionally expected standards.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success2.9 Deepak Chopra – The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

About the Book: In the eyes of most people – yes, we’re looking at you, mums and dads – dreams are an antonym of reality. However, in the eyes of Deepak Chopra, reality and dreams are interconnected, and “the same laws that nature uses to create a forest, a star, or a human body can also bring about the fulfillment of our deepest desires.” A pocket-sized practical guide to the fulfillment of dreams, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, shares the whys and the hows; and it’s both motivating and enlightening. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Favorite Quote:

The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why this moment is called ‘the present.

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind2.10 Vishen Lakhiani – The Code of the Extraordinary Mind

About the Book: True, many books can claim to contain “10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed on Your Own Terms,” but Vishen Lakhiani’s bestseller actually does. There’s a high chance that you’ve encountered upon none of them (at least in the form they are shared here) in any other book you’ve ever read. And yet, from law #1 (“transcend the culturescape”) through law #7 (“live in blissipline”) to law #9 (“be unf*ckwithable”) – they all make sense and are helpful! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.

3. The “Power of Positive Thinking” Shelf

Science has repeatedly shown that glass-half-full people live longer and happier lives than the rest of, well, us. These books show why. And how you can become one of them.

As a Man Thinketh3.1 James Allen – As a Man Thinketh

About the Book: Published more than a century ago, As a Man Thinketh is a literary essay by James Allen, one of the first which deals “with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues.” Described by Allen himself as “a book that will help you to help yourself,” As a Man Thinketh is one of the earliest self-help books; and it is still one of the best. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.

The Power of Positive Thinking3.2 Norman Vincent Peale – The Power of Positive Thinking

About the Book: Even though published fifty years after James Allen’s masterpiece, The Power of Positive Thinking is usually credited as the book which started the “positive thinking” revolution. Justly so, bearing in mind the fact that it’s written in a simple, yet engaging, style, and that it compiles an extensive list of case histories to go with the practical instructions. A classic. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture.

The Secret3.3 Rhonda Byrne – The Secret

About the Book: Rhonda Byrne doesn’t hide the fact that The Secret is directly inspired by the ideas of Norman Vincent Peale – or those by Wallace Wattles (10.1), Napoleon Hill (3.8 & 10.2) or Helena Blavatsky. And, indeed, The Secret doesn’t offer any new insights. But it does explain the law of attraction in the simplest manner possible – which is why the book sold over 30 million copies and was translated into 50 world languages. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The Secret
Favorite Quote:

The truth is that the universe has been answering you all of your life, but you cannot receive the answers unless you are awake.

Ask, Believe, Receive

3.4 David Hooper – Ask, Believe, Receive

About the Book: Byrne’s The Secret may be inspired by Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, but Ask, Believe, Receive is a direct sequel to The Secret. Inspired by the fact that “The Secret exposed the world to the Law of Attraction in ways James Allen, Earl Nightingale, and others hadn’t,” David Hopper wrote this book to complement it with a practical guide. It is a “step-by-step formula, actually five of them, to help you achieve what you want in specific areas of your life – money, relationships, health, employment, and business.” In seven days. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The Law of Attraction won’t enclose you in a cushy cocoon, so you never have to deal with problems again – but it can give you greater control over how many of those problems you experience.

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life3.5 Brian Tracy – Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life

About the Book: A list of 101 best motivational books is bound to include quite a few Brian Tracy entries; after all, he is a powerhouse – if not the powerhouse – in the world of motivational speakers. In Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, Tracy provides a step-by-step blueprint on how to transform your ways of thinking about yourself and your potential and, thus, change your life for the better. If not – for the best. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The very best way to predict the future is to create it.

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind3.6 Joseph Murphy – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind

About the Book: “I have endeavored to explain the great fundamental truths of your mind in the simplest language possible,” writes Joseph Murphy in the introduction to his ultra-popular The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. And he does. The result? The best book on the “miracle-working power of your subconscious mind” and its ability to “heal you of your sickness” and “make you vital and strong again. “ (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Busy your mind with the concepts of harmony, health, peace, and good will, and wonders will happen in your life.

You Can Heal Your Life3.7 Louise L. Hay – You Can Heal Your Life

About the Book: Just like is the case with most of the books in this category, the premise of You Can Heal Your Life is quite simple: everything is connected, and you can use this to your own benefit. However, if the other books explore the links between your mind and the universe, Louisa L. Hay’s perennial bestseller is mainly focused on the interconnections between your mind and your body. The main takeaway: most diseases are actually mental diseases; and they can be cured via your mind. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us.

Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude3.8 Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone – Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude

About the Book: After the Second World War, the godfather of self-help books and New Thought guru, Napoleon Hill, teamed up with businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone. Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude is the final result of their collaboration. “These two men,” commented upon it none other than Norman Vincent Peale, “have the rare gift of inspiring and helping people… In fact, I owe them both a personal debt of gratitude for the helpful guidance I have received from their writings.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
Favorite Quote:

Whatever your mind can conceive and can believe, it can achieve.

The Road Less Traveled3.9 M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Traveled

About the Book: It’s been half a century since The Road Less Traveled was first published, so it may be a bit difficult today to understand the spiritual impact this book exerted upon publication. Read it, and you’ll instantly see why it sold almost 10 million copies long before books of its kind became mainstays of the bestseller lists. Exploring the topics of discipline, love, religion, and grace, Peck’s book will etch in your mind such truisms as “laziness is the ultimate sin” and “love is not a feeling, but an action.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

The Power of Now3.10 Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now

About the Book: Translated into more than 30 languages and recommended by Oprah Winfrey on numerous occasions, The Power of Now is one of the best manuals you’ll ever find on how to conquer your ego and let go of your worries. A mixture of Buddhism, mysticism and New Age, Eckart Tolle’s masterpiece suggests that about nine-tenths of your anxieties come not from things which are happening, but of things which have happened or might happen. And this is something you can – and should – change. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The Power of Now
Favorite Quote:

As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle to dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease.

Best Motivational Books

4. The “You Are a Badass” Shelf

As the story itself demonstrates, there’s a Goliath in every David; in other words: it’s all in the state of mind. The biblical David had God as his guide; we are positive that these ten great motivators can serve the same purpose in your transformation from a David to a Goliath.

Rising Strong4.1 Brené Brown – Rising Strong

About the Book: In the world of motivational thinkers, Brené Brown is all but a legend. And Rising Strong is her call for “a critical mass of badasses who are willing to dare, fall, feel their way through tough emotion, and rise again.” And the rising process she suggests is a simple 3R procedure. First, you reckon with your emotions; then you rumble with your stories; and, finally, you revolutionize your existence. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.

You Are a Badass4.2 Jen Sincero – You Are a Badass

About the Book: Hilarious and inspiring, You Are a Badass is the debut book of Jen Sincero, a motivational coach who has helped numerous people worldwide transform their lives and finally experience happiness. It is a 250-page tour-de-force of inspiration, shared out in 5 parts and 27 chapters. Through quite a few inspiring stories, wise advices, and simple exercises, Sincero goes on a mission to teach you “how you got this way,” “how to embrace your inner badass,” “how to tap into the motherlode,” and “how to get over your b.s. already.” You know, the lot which will help you learn “how to kick some ass.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse.

Grit4.3 Angela Duckworth – Grit

About the Book: Angela Duckworth is University of Pennsylvania’s Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology and a 2013 MacArthur Genius Fellowship awardee. So, it’s safe to say she knows some things about human nature. In her debut, Grit, she claims that talent is only one part of the equation for success. Moreover, that it may even be the least important part. As she repeatedly shows in this great book, the ones who succeed are rarely the ones who are the best. It’s the ones who are the grittiest. Or, to clarify that a bit, the ones with the passion and the perseverance to succeed. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Grit
Favorite Quote:

With effort, talent becomes skill and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive.

The Power of Self-Confidence4.4 Brian Tracy – The Power of Self-Confidence

About the Book: Oftentimes, average players can become great overnight; the only thing that’s changed in the meantime: their confidence. Brian Tracy’s book shows the extent to which self-confidence is the secret ingredient to success; and teaches you how you can attain it so that you can become unstoppable, irresistible, and unafraid in every area of your life. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?

Girl, Wash Your Face

4.5 Rachel Hollis – Girl, Wash Your Face

About the Book: It’s not you: nobody has life figured out. Rachel Hollis, for example, has four children, owns an ultra-popular blog, and is the CCO of a company she has founded. How does she do it? Well, actually, she doesn’t: she has merely let the chaos of her life spur her onwards. In Girl, Wash Your Face she shares the tips and tricks. Oh, yes: if the title wasn’t a giveaway, guys, turn away – this one’s for the girls only. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

You, and only you, are ultimately responsible for who you become and how happy you are.

Year of Yes4.6 Shonda Rhimes – Year of Yes

About the Book: Among other things, Shonda Rhimes was the creative force behind one of the most popular TV shows ever: Grey’s Anatomy. She was also a workaholic with barely a minute to spare on her three children or dearest friends. That all changed in 2015, her “Year of Yes.” This book chronicles her experiences of that year; and can certainly inspire you to do something and start creating some of your own. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.

Choose Yourself4.7 James Altucher – Choose Yourself

About the Book: Rife with insightful interviews and astute life lessons, Choose Yourself is one of the best self-improvement and motivational books you’ll ever read. The basic premise is (once again) quite simple (just see the title), but the way it’s related and the sheer force of the arguments is compelling. Because, as Altucher says, if there ever was a time in history when you could choose yourself – that time is today. Make the most of it. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Forget purpose. It’s okay to be happy without one. The quest for a single purpose has ruined many lives.

Awaken the Giant Within4.8 Tony Robbins – Awaken the Giant Within

About the Book: Tony Robbins is a motivational powerhouse. In fact, just seeing him or hearing him talk is enough for one to realize that he’s all kinds of a powerhouse. Awaken the Giant Within, a massive 600-page book, is perhaps his still best-known and best-loved work. As you’ll find out in it, getting rid of your old limiting belief systems is a painful process; but if there’s someone who can inspire you to endure the pain necessary to develop an empowering belief system, well, Robbins is your guy. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Awaken the Giant Within
Favorite Quote:

I truly believe we all have a sleeping giant within us.

Now, Discover Your Strengths4.9 Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton – Now, Discover Your Strengths

About the Book: As its title suggests, Now, Discover Your Strengths is a sequel to Buckingham’s debut, First, Break All the Rules, with the sole aim to help you – and we do mean you – realize your innate potential. It does this via the Internet-based StrengthsFinder Profile, based on a multimillion-dollar 25-year-long study. Once you buy the book, you’ll discover your unique number to use the program. And after going through the internet analysis and discovering your strengths, you are advised to come back to the book and find the best way to use them. Very unique, Now, Discover Your Strengths is not only groundbreaking but also an extremely useful book. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If you stop investigating yourself for fear of how little you might find, you miss the wonder of your strengths.

Finding Your Element4.10 Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica – Finding Your Element

About the Book: If you don’t know who Ken Robinson is, then there’s a high chance that you don’t know what TED is either; because Robinson’s 2006 speech, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” is by far the most viewed TED Talk of all time. Finding Your Element builds upon that speech and its prequel-book (The Element), which taught us that the Element is the point at which “natural aptitude meets personal passion.” Here you’ll learn how to discover it and transform your life. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Finding your Element is vital to understanding who you are and what you’re capable of being and doing with your life.

5. The “Great Lecture” Shelf

Regardless of who you are or who you’ll become, a large part of it (for better or for worse) will always be the aftereffect of your professors’ lectures. We can only wish that some of them looked like these ten.

5.1 Elbert Hubbard – A Message to Garcia

About the Book: On February 22, 1899, Elbert Hubbard, an American philosopher and publisher, was irked by a lazy worker. That very night, he wrote this 32-page essay in an attempt to expose “the imbecility of the average man” and his “inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.” His starting point for comparison: a certain soldier named Andrew S. Rowan, who, just prior to the Spanish–American War, was tasked with carrying a message from President William McKinley to the Cuban insurgents’ leader, Gen. Calixto García, “somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba—no one knew where.” Hubbard’s main point: Rowan asked no questions; he just took the message and delivered it. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The hero is the man who does the work.

This Is Water5.2 David Foster Wallace – This Is Water

About the Book: Due to his problems with depression and anxiety, David Foster Wallace lived a famously secluded life. In fact – and unfortunately – the only public speech he ever gave in his life was the commencement speech delivered on May 21, 2005 to the graduating class at Kenyon College. An unforgettable lecture on awareness and empathy, the speech was published in a slightly extended version as this book in 2009, a year after Wallace decided to end his life. Regardless of whether you’ll listen to the speech or read the book, Wallace’s messages will most certainly remain with you for many years to come. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book | Listen to the speech)

Favorite Quote:

You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

Harvard Commencement Speech5.3 J.K. Rowling – Harvard Commencement Speech

About the Book: Back in 1994, J. K. Rowling was a single mother of one, diagnosed with clinical depression and as “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless.” A year later, 12 publishing houses rejected her manuscript of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Today, she is one of the bestselling authors in history. In her 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech Rowling looks back at it all and shares the two lectures she wishes she had been taught at university: the importance of imagination and the usefulness of failure. (Read a brief summary of the speech | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case, you fail by default.

Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach5.4 Atul Gawande – Want to Get Great at Something? Get a Coach

About the Book: Atul Gawande is an exceptional American surgeon and public health professor. In this TED2017 speech, he explains that, regardless of his level of expertise, he still needs a coach to get better – or at least not to regress. Athletes have been aware of this fact ever since the beginnings of sport. Even a Michael Jordan or a Garry Kasparov needs a coach. Doesn’t that mean, by implication, that we all do? (Read a brief summary of the speech | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

Great coaches…are your external eyes and ears, providing a more accurate picture of your reality.

The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage5.5 Susan David – The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage

About the Book: There are objective facts and events; and, then, there are also our emotional reactions to them. It is the latter which actually shape our lives, everything from our health through our relationships and careers to the genuineness of our happiness and contentment. That’s why it’s exceptionally important to develop emotional flexibility; and Susan David’s speech will tell you how you can achieve that. (Read a brief summary of the speech | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

Diversity isn’t just people; it’s also what’s inside people, including diversity of emotion.

Make Your Bed5.6 William H. McRaven – Make Your Bed

About the Book: The title of this book is the first of Admiral William H. McRaven’s ten life lessons. It’s a different way of saying “start your day with a task completed.” The other nine are the following ones: you can’t go it alone; only the size of your heart matters; life’s not fair – drive on; failure can make you stronger; you must dare greatly; stand up to the bullies; rise to the occasion; give people hope; and never, ever quit. Funny and inspiring, McRaven has a host of personal anecdotes to illuminate each of these suggestions; and to inspire you to dare greatly. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.

You Don’t Have to Be an Expert to Solve Big Problems5.7 Tapiwa Chiwewe – You Don’t Have to Be an Expert to Solve Big Problems

About the Book: “Even if you’re not an expert in a particular domain,” says Tapiwa Chiwewe in this endlessly unassuming and infinitely inspiring speech, “your outside expertise may hold the key to solving big problems within that domain.” In his case, it was his background in computer engineering that helped him solve an ecological problem. What will the combination be in your case? The combinations are endless. And that’s the point. (Read a brief summary of the speech | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

Sometimes just one fresh perspective, one new skill set, can make the conditions right for something remarkable to happen.

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are5.8 Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

About the Book: The second most watched TED Talk in history, Amy Cuddy’s Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are can be summed up in a single sentence: strike a “power pose” (think Wonder Woman) and your body will start releasing hormones to boost your feelings of confidence. In other words, regardless of whether you’re actually confident or not – you can trick your body to trick your mind that you are. (Read a brief summary of the speech | Read some Amy Cuddy quotes | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it…Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize it.

Tuesdays with Morrie5.9 Mitch Albom – Tuesdays with Morrie

About the Book: Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor, was Mitch Albom’s favorite teacher at Brandeis. However, even though he had promised him the opposite at his graduation day in 1979, Mitch (now a nation-famous sportswriter) had not corresponded with Morrie for the next 16 years. And then he learned from an interview with Schwartz on the TV show Nightline that his university professor is dying from ALS. He called him immediately and for the next fourteen weeks, Mitch Albom spent every Tuesday with Morrie Schwartz. This book describes their discussions, covering everything from family to religion to the meaning of life. And it’s everything you’d expect it to be: poignant, heartbreaking, life-changing. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

Tuesdays with Morrie5.10 Randy Pausch – The Last Lecture

About the Book: What if you suddenly find out that you have barely a few months left to live on this planet? We know what you’re thinking: there are so many things I’d do, so many dreams I have yet to achieve. Well, what’s stopping you now? In a nutshell, that’s the question Randy Pausch thinks is the most important one you can ask yourself. And the question he tried to answer in a poignant and inspiring one-hour talk, which he gave before a packed audience, merely 8 months before he passed away. This book grew out of that talk. And it’s so wonderful that we can honestly say to you this: if Pausch can’t motivate you to start achieving your dreams today, well, we don’t know who can. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book | Watch the speech)

Favorite Quote:

We cannot change the cards we are dealt; just how we play the hand.

6. The “Why Would You Give a Damn” Shelf

You know what? You worry about too many trivial things in your life. And that’s what stopping you from being happy. Here are ten books which can teach you how to give less damn about, well, almost everything.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living6.1 Dale Carnegie – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

About the Book: Published in 1948, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie – the godfather of self-improvement – is widely considered a self-help classic and one of the best books on the topic ever written. Carnegie wrote it because, in his own words, he “was one of the unhappiest lads in New York.” And these are the time-tested methods which helped him recognize and overcome his worries. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Nobody is so miserable as he who longs to be somebody and something other than the person he is in body and mind.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck6.2 Mark Manson – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

About the Book: Mark Manson is not a guy who’ll ever try to sugarcoat his words or his messages. And, albeit The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck cites quite a few academic studies, very early on you get the feel that this book is the best (unsubtle) proponent of the message he’s trying to relate to his readers. Namely, that life is unfair and that no matter how much you try to make it right, it will certainly find a way to hit you with a hammer at the least convenient moment. Your job is to find a way to absorb the blow. And not giving a damn about 99% of the things you are – is the best way to do it. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Favorite Quote:

Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.

Don’t Sweat Over the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff6.3 Richard Carlson – Don’t Sweat Over the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff

About the Book: Profoundly believing that “stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness,” Richard Carlson — a renowned psychotherapist and motivational speaker — spent almost all of his (unfortunately short) life studying the ways to overcome it. And the trademark-titled Don’t Sweat Over the Small Stuff is his best-known book on the subject. It shows marvelously how important is to simply calm down and chill out in life. True, the idea is simple, but so is Carlson’s style. Which makes both for an enjoyable and an inspiring read. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We deny the parts of ourselves that we deem unacceptable rather than accepting the fact that we’re all less than perfect.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck6.4 Sarah Knight – The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck

About the Book: “The life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck,” writes Sarah Knight in this “practical parody” of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “is all about prioritizing. Joy over annoy. Choice over obligation. Opinions vs. feelings.” Hilarious and stimulating, Sarah Knight’s profane language, coupled with her blunt honesty, will teach you “how to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do.” Don’t like it? Well, Knight couldn’t care less about it. It’s there on the first page: this is “a no f*cks given guide.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

I call it the NotSorry Method. It has two steps: 1. Deciding what you don’t give a f*ck about; and 2. Not giving a f*ck about those things.

Ego Is the Enemy6.5 Ryan Holiday – Ego Is the Enemy

About the Book: At first glance, the title of this book says it all. What it doesn’t say, however, is that Ryan Holiday is a modern-day Stoic (see 2.6) and that, for him, ego is not merely a clinical term in Freudian theory, but a word to describe “an unhealthy belief in your own importance.” And this belief is something you must get rid of, Holiday says, going over a host of killing-the-ego-related positive anecdotes – as well as cautionary tales – to make his point. Some of the great historical and contemporary figures mentioned in his book are George Marshall, Christopher McCandless, Jackie Robinson, Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as Larry Page, Paul Graham, and Steve Jobs. See why. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Ego Is the Enemy
Favorite Quote:

Be lesser, do more. Imagine if, for every person you met, you thought of some way to help them, something you could do for them? And you looked at it in a way that entirely benefited them and not you.

The 4-Hour Workweek6.6 Timothy Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek

About the Book: Before he became the world-famous entrepreneur that he is today, Timothy Ferriss was not much different from you; in other words: he worked about two-thirds of the day – and slept away the last one. There must be more to life – he thought to himself one day while on a 3-week sabbatical to Europe. And that’s when he stopped checking email and started outsourcing assignments. The result? Well, see the title. If that seems like a stretch, we guarantee you at least this: stick to Ferriss’ advice and you will at least undoubtedly escape the boring 9-5 lifestyle that’s draining all of your energy. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

The 4 Hour Workweek
Favorite Quote:

Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is not laziness.

Why Men Love Bitches6.7 Sherry Argov – Why Men Love Bitches

About the Book: A practical “from doormat to dreamgirl” guide for women, Why Men Love Bitches answers the rhetorical question from the title in an example-rich and emphatic fashion. We’ll let Argov’s definition of what being a bitch actually means give you a taste of what to expect from this brilliant New York Times bestseller: “A woman who won’t bang her head against the wall obsessing over someone else’s opinion – be it a man or anyone else in her life. She understands that if someone does not approve of her, it’s just one person’s opinion; therefore, it’s of no real importance. She doesn’t try to live up to anyone else’s standards – only her own. Because of this, she relates to a man very differently.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Be an independent thinker at all times, and ignore anyone who attempts to define you in a limiting way.

What If It Does Work Out?6.8 Susie Moore – What If It Does Work Out?

About the Book: If you’re anything like us, the first question you ask yourself every time you come up with an idea for something big is “what if it doesn’t work out?” Well, it’s time for a why-worries paradigm shift: in What If It Does Work Out? Susie Moore takes you on a step-by-step journey of how to transform your side hustle into cash; and, by way of proxy, your mediocre present of whys and what-ifs into a bright future of passion and fulfillment. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

You are not your job. You are much bigger than and not restricted by whatever your job title says you are – even if you love your current career.

Braving the Wilderness6.9 Brené Brown – Braving the Wilderness

About the Book: In the words of Joseph Campbell (see 1.8): “if you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” So, “stop walking through the world looking for a confirmation that you don’t belong,” Brené Brown joins in (see 4.1). “The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.” And no one can teach you to stop worrying about the world and brave the wilderness inside you better than Brown. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

I have started to believe that crying with strangers in person could save the world.

When Things Fall Apart6.10 Pema Chödrön – When Things Fall Apart

About the Book: Almost any book illuminating the principles of Tibetan Buddhism can teach you to worry less and accept more. This one – one of our favorites – is written by a Berkeley-educated disciple of that crazy sage, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche; and abounds with piercingly beautiful pieces of counterintuitive “heart advice for difficult times.” The bottom line: you can overcome any pain by embracing it; and Pema Chödrön has a knack for choosing the right words in teaching you how. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.

top motivational books

7. The “Fables and Fiction” Shelf

“I give you the truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion,” informs us Tom Wingfield at the beginning of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie. And that’s what great fiction always does; and that’s why you can learn more about real life from these ten fictional stories than you can from, well, real life itself.

Allegory of the Cave7.1 Plato – Allegory of the Cave

About the Book: Imagine a group of prisoners incarcerated in a cave and chained in such a manner that they are merely facing a blank wall; and on the wall: nothing but shadowy projections of people and things passing in front of a fire burning behind them. And yet, since they can perceive nothing else, the shadows are what constitutes reality for these prisoners. According to Plato, in this unforgettable excerpt from The Republic, it is the job of the philosopher to break away from the chains and inspire others to see that there’s more to reality than mere projections; and it is a job he did flawlessly. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light.

The Alchemist7.2 Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

About the Book: Inspired by an old folktale (search for the Peddler of Swaffham), Paulo Coelho’s most-celebrated book, The Alchemist, follows the journey of a young shepherd named Santiago, from the pastures of Andalusia to the pyramids of Egypt – and back again. The reason for this journey: a recurring dream which promises the poor boy treasure. In the end, he finds it; but it’s not where he expected it to be; and, moreover, it’s not what he expected it to be. Oh, just when will they finally release that Idris Elba-starring movie adaptation? (Read a brief summary of the book | Read the best quotes from the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

The Greatest Salesman in the World7.3 Og Mandino – The Greatest Salesman in the World

About the Book: According to Norman Vincent Peale (see 3.2), The Greatest Salesman in the World is “one of the most inspiring, uplifting, and motivating books” in existence; and, according to Matthew McConaughey, it profoundly changed his life. A parable set in the last years of the first century before Christ, this tiny booklet weaves mythology and practical tips in a way which makes life much more graspable and the act of selling (in the words of Daniel H. Pink) an inherently human – and humane – endeavor. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand.

TheMonk Who Sold His Ferrari7.4 Robin Sharma – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

About the Book: In a novelistic fashion, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari retells the story of Robin Sharma’s actual real-life transformation. A motivational fable, it is presented in the form of a conversation between two friends, Julian and John, during which the first one, a successful trial lawyer, recounts to the second one how he sold his Ferrari and his holiday home after suffering a heart attack. And how that decision was the best in his life, because it funded a Himalayan journey which, ultimately, changed his whole perception about himself – and life itself. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Life has bigger plans for you than you can possibly know.

Who Moved My Cheese?7.5 Spencer Johnson – Who Moved My Cheese?

About the Book: A very short 32-page barely illustrated story, Who Moved My Cheese? tells the story of two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw). They live in a maze and are in a constant pursuit for cheese. After they find a whole bunch of it, the little people seem quite content with the discovery, while the mice are already thinking about the day they’ll have none. Sure enough, that day comes. And the little people have no choice but to learn how to deal with the scarcity of food. One of them deals with it better. And tries to motivate the other. And, much more importantly, by way of proxy, you. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If you do not change, you can become extinct.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull7.6 Richard Bach – Jonathan Livingston Seagull

About the Book: What can a story about an outcast seagull who prefers mastering the art of flying to, well, eating, tell you about how you should live your life? Surprisingly: a lot. It is not for nothing that the book is dedicated to “the real Jonathan Seagull, who lives within us all.” Critically acclaimed Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury once wrote that Richard Bach “does two things: he gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both, I am deeply grateful.” We are too, Ray, we are too. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Overcome space, and all we have left is Here. Overcome time, and all we have left is Now.

Siddhartha7.7 Hermann Hesse – Siddhartha

About the Book: Profoundly influenced by Western (Jungian) psychoanalysis and Eastern (Buddhist) philosophy and written in the simplest and most lyrical of styles, Siddhartha is one of the all-time classic novels of self-discovery and enlightenment. Siddhartha, a contemporary of the Buddha, experiences everything from the silence of asceticism through the pleasures of sex to the emptiness of loss – only to ultimately realize that life is actually what happens deep within ourselves. Let Hermann Hesse guide you on this very same path through the pages of this absolutely mesmerizing book. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.

Walden7.8 Henry David Thoreau – Walden

About the Book: Remember how John Keating motivated his students in Dead Poets Society? Well, this is the book he used to do that. And if you want to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life” – it is certainly the book you should read as soon as possible! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

The Old Man and the Sea

7.9 Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea

About the Book: Ernest Hemingway had written quite a few immense novels adored by literary critics before he penned The Old Man and the Sea in 1951 in Cuba, but it seems that both the Nobel Prize Committee and the general public of the world really made note of him as a writer because of this novella. A story about a Cuban fisherman and his exhausting fight with a 5.5-meter-long marlin and quite a few hungry sharks, The Old Man and the Sea reads as something even more than an unforgettable allegory: a modern myth. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Man is not made for defeat… A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven7.10 Mitch Albom – The Five People You Meet in Heaven

About the Book: Killed in an amusement park accident while trying to save a little girl from a falling cart, 83-year-old Eddie awakes uninjured in heaven. He is afterward taken on a journey through all five levels of it, meeting, at each step, a person whose life had been interrelated with his own while on earth. A timeless tale, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is as profound and as moving read as Tuesdays with Morrie (see 5.9); and at least as life-altering. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We are all connected. You can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind.

8. The “Inspirational Biographies” Shelf

Some lives can be just as inspiring as any book or movie; the least they deserve is to be put on paper or adapted for the big screen. Here are our ten choices.

Man’s Search for Meaning8.1 Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning

About the Book: Voted one of the ten most influential books in the United States, Man’s Search for Meaning is a once-in-a-lifetime life-changing book. Written by Viktor Frankl, an Auschwitz survivor, the book is not merely a haunting memoir of his soul-crushing experiences in the concentration camp (something which would have been enough to earn this book a place on this list in itself), but it also introduces a psychotherapeutic method which has helped numerous people around the world to overcome any kind of difficulty in their own lives. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Man’s Search for Meaning
Favorite Quote:

So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!

The Diary of a Young Girl8.2 Anna Frank – The Diary of a Young Girl

About the Book: Here’s another memoir straight from the depths of despair and the abysses of human evil. Arguably the most famous among many written against the background of the horrors of the Holocaust, Anne Frank’s Diary chronicles the last two years of her prematurely ended life. However, what has really made this book “one of the most enduring documents” of the 20th century is Anne Frank’s “triumphant humanity in the face of unfathomable deprivation and fear.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them because, in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

What Is the What8.3 Dave Eggers – What Is the What

About the Book: What is the What is subtitled “The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng” which may even sound a bit strange if you don’t know Dave Eggers’ aptitude for combining fiction and non-fiction to create unforgettably imaginative novels firmly rooted in reality. Yes, that means that Valentino Achak Deng is a real person and that Dave Eggers is essentially writing his story in his place. And what a story it is! One of the Lost Boys of Sudan, battling being orphaned, starvation, soldiers and lions (yes, lions!) only to finally be offered a new life in the United States and end up discriminated. Remind us, Primo Levi: what does it mean to be a human? (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Humans are divided between those who can still look through the eyes of youth and those who cannot.”

When Breath Becomes Air8.4 Paul Kalanithi – When Breath Becomes Air

About the Book: Paul Kalanithi was an Indian-American neurosurgeon with an MA in Literature and a bright future ahead of him when he was diagnosed with metastatic stage IV lung cancer. He passed away two years later, a month shy of his 38th birthday. Behind him he left a loving wife, a newborn daughter and a thought-provoking book which will undoubtedly enthuse you with a new-found love for life; whilst, expectedly, bringing quite a few tears to your eyes. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Even if I’m dying, until I actually die, I am still living.

Unbroken8.5 Laura Hillenbrand – Unbroken

About the Book: Adapted in a 2014 Angelina Jolie-directed movie, Unbroken tells the story of Louis “Louie” Zamperini, the youngest US Olympian in history and a World War II hero. After suffering a plane crash, Zamperini survived 46 days drifting in the ocean before landing on the occupied Marshall Islands and ending up a Japanese prisoner of war. And he overcame everything to die peacefully in the 97th year of his life. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain.

The Glass House8.6 Jeannette Walls – The Glass House

About the Book: Back in 1963, Jeannette Walls set herself on fire while trying to cook herself some hot dogs on the stovetop because her mother was too busy painting to bother making her lunch. The most frightening part of that story: she was merely three years old. Still under the impression that you had a bad childhood? Walls’ remarkable memoir, The Glass House, is here to shatter for you that impression, all the while redefining the meaning of some words such as “family” and “love.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Things usually work out in the end.’ ‘What if they don’t?’ ‘That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.

Long Walk to Freedom8.7 Nelson Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom

About the Book: “Do not judge me by my success,” said Nelson Mandela once. “Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Long Walk to Freedom, his autobiography which served as the basis of the similarly titled 2013 movie adaptation, documents all of his pre-1994 falls and, more importantly, ascends. History has already judged them; by taking a bow. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones.

Way of the Peaceful Warrior8.8 Dan Millman – Way of the Peaceful Warrior

About the Book: Based upon the author’s early life, Dan Millman’s Way of the Peaceful Warrior tells the story of the life-changing meeting between a hurt world champion gymnast and a powerful old warrior/gas station attendant nicknamed Socrates. It may sound stranger than fiction, and yet, it’s all but. The 2007 movie adaptation was dubbed “Rocky for the soul,” and Eckhart Tolle (see 3.10) praised it with the words: “Watch it and be transformed.” Let us paraphrase him: read the book and change your outlook on life. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Shoe Dog8.9 Phil Knight – Shoe Dog

About the Book: Phil Knight is currently worth more than $30 billion; and yet, just fifty years ago, he was basically a penniless entrepreneur with a risky idea. Namely, to strike an exclusive deal for the US distribution rights of the Tiger shoes with the Japanese Onitsuka company by presenting himself as a representative of Blue Ribbon Sports. The trick is: Onitsuka is a giant, and Blue Ribbon Sports is located in Knight’s parents’ house and has only him as the sole employee. Shoe Dog tells the rest of the story. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Shoe Dog
Favorite Quote:

Let everyone else call your idea crazy… just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.

Losing My Virginity8.10 Richard Branson – Losing My Virginity

About the Book: If not the favorite, Richard Branson is certainly the most colorful and least boring of all great entrepreneurs (Elon Musk comes close second). Judging by the quote below, you can easily guess why. Losing My Virginity is the first part of his autobiography – and it’s as outrageous and inspiring as you would expect! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.

9. The “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” Shelf

According to most philosophers, happiness is the ultimate goal of human life; in fact, according to Aristotle, it is the only thing human beings desire for its own sake. But should it be? Find out with some of the most motivational books on the subject of happiness ever written.

Stumbling on Happiness9.1 Daniel Gilbert – Stumbling on Happiness

About the Book: “If you have even the slightest curiosity about the human condition,” writes Malcolm Gladwell (see 1.7), “you ought to read this book.” And you really should! Written by a Harvard psychologist, it is witty and engaging, wide-ranging and thoroughly researched. Not to mention it answers some of the most troublesome questions of your life! Like, for example, why does the grocery store line slow down the very moment you join it? (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If you are like most people, then like most people, you don’t know you’re like most people.

The Happiness Project9.2 Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project

About the Book: If there’s one thing that Gretchen Rubin is famous for – other than long, long subtitles – is her interest in all topics happiness-related. In this case, she explains why she spent a year trying to sing in the morning, clean her closets, fight right, read Aristotle, and generally have more fun. And how that all worked out. By the way, the project had a sequel in Happier at Home which was all about kissing more, jumping more, abandoning a project, reading Samuel Johnson – and some other experiments in the practice of everyday life. So be sure to check that one as well! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.

The Art of Happiness9.3 Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler – The Art of Happiness

About the Book: Who better to tell you how you should live a happy and worry-free life than the man a large part of the world population considers the most enlightened human being currently treading the earth? In The Art of Happiness, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, shares his simple philosophy on the art of happiness – all the while providing you with a multipurpose handbook for living. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

The How of Happiness9.4 Sonja Lyubomirsky – The How of Happiness

About the Book: It’s easy to experience a moment of happiness; what’s difficult is sustaining it for the long run. The How of Happiness by Russian-born American psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky – justly advertised as “a scientific approach to getting the life you want” – is focused on this letter part of the equation. And for a reason: according to studies, 40% of your happiness depends on your intentional activities and only 10% on the circumstances. True, the other half is genetically determined, but look at it this way: even in the worst-case scenario, you’re responsible for at least half of your own happiness. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

People have a remarkable capacity to become inured to any positive changes in their lives.

Happiness9.5 Richard Layard – Happiness

About the Book: One of the preeminent economists of happiness today, Richard Layard has been fascinated for most of his life with something called the Easterlin paradox. Namely, it seems that people’s happiness depends on their income only until a certain point – after which, money has no effect whatsoever on their wellbeing. The interesting thing: the paradox is as factual as Napoleon’s date of birth. Richer societies? Oh, no – says Layard in Happiness. We need to strive for happier societies. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The more television people watch, the more they overestimate the affluence of other people. And the lower they rate their own relative income. The result is that they are less happy.

The Happiness Equation9.6 Neil Pasricha – The Happiness Equation

About the Book: In the words of Susan Cain, author of Quiet, Dale Carnegie (see 6.1) was last century, Stephen Covey was last decade, but Neil Pasricha is what’s now. And after earning himself a name with The Book of Awesome series and giving one of the most inspiring TED Talks ever (“The 3 A’s of Awesome”), Pasricha is back again with the simplest of all happiness equations: want nothing + do anything = have everything. Believe it or not – it is not a contradiction in terms. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Motivation doesn’t cause action. An action causes motivation.

The Happiness Hypothesis9.7 Jonathan Haidt – The Happiness Hypothesis

About the Book: In The Happiness Hypothesis, award-winning psychologist Jonathan Haidt examines – in as many chapters (not counting the conclusion) – ten ancient ideas about what it means to be happy; and he extracts the most applicable parts of them all. The main metaphor he uses – that of the dichotomy between the rider (the conscious mind) and the elephant (the unconscious mind) – has been reused by many authors during the last decade – the finest evidence in favor of the popularity and significance of this book. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants.

The Happiness Advantage9.8 Shawn Achor – The Happiness Advantage

About the Book: An advocate of positive psychology, Shawn Achor is a Harvard-educated researcher in happiness and the presenter of one of the most popular TED Talks on the platform, “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” And someone whose books would fit just as nicely on our third shelf. Because his main thesis is that it isn’t success which brings happiness, but, the other way around: it’s happiness which brings success. His seven principles of positive psychology are as thought-provoking as funny-named. And we bet you want to immediately find out what does “Tetris effect” and “Zorro Circle” stand for. Please do. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We tend to miss what we’re not looking for.

The Little Book of Hygge9.9 Meik Wiking – The Little Book of Hygge

About the Book: According to almost every study ever conducted, Denmark is the happiest country in the world. According to Meik Wiking – who is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and is, of course, Danish – this is because the Danish have mastered the art of hygge. Wikipedia defines it as a “mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment;” Wiking has the details. And a bunch of practical tips. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happens but seldom.”

Feeling Good9.10 David D. Burns – Feeling Good

About the Book: As we told you in 9.4 above, about half of happiness is genetically determined; which means that there are numerous people on this planet who are, simply put, almost incapable of being happy. Most of them suffer from depression. David D. Burns’ Feeling Good is specifically written for them. Drawing on the ancient philosophy of Stoicism (see 2.6), Burns provides readers with a problem-focused and action-oriented mood treatment which actually and undoubtedly helps. It is called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and it is widely believed to be as effective as psychoactive medications. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Your thoughts create your emotions; therefore, your emotions cannot prove that your thoughts are accurate.

10. The “Show Me the Money” Shelf

As hinted in 9.5 above, money can’t buy you happiness; but, as Clare Boothe Luce, once quipped, “it can make you awfully comfortable while you’re being miserable.” Need some motivation to start earning? Then have a look at these ten books!

The Science of Getting Rich10.1 Wallace D. Wattles – The Science of Getting Rich

About the Book: The book which directly inspired Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret (see 3.3), The Science of Getting Rich is a century-old classic on the subject of wealth attraction. “There is no reason for worry about financial affairs,” claims Wattles. “Every person who wills to do so may rise above his want, have all he needs, and become rich.” Just follow Wattles’ rules, and you will become rich; with – and this is a direct quote – “mathematical certainty.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.

Think and Grow Rich10.2 Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich

About the Book: Written in 1937, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is the ultimate classic in the genre. Inspired by a suggestion from none other than Andrew Carnegie – at the time the richest man in the world – the book lays out the 13 principles of the Philosophy of Achievement: desire, faith, autosuggestion; specialized knowledge; imagination; organized planning; decision; persistence; power of the mastermind; the mystery of sex transmutation; the subconscious mind; the brain; the sixth sense. It’s difficult to argue with any of them. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Think and Grow Rich
Favorite Quote:

One of the main weaknesses of mankind is the average person’s familiarity with the word ‘impossible.

The Richest Man in Babylon10.3 George S. Clason – The Richest Man in Babylon

About the Book: Advertised as “the most inspiring book on wealth ever written,” The Richest Man in Babylon is yet another of the undisputable all-time self-help classics. Just like Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, George Samuel Clason imparts his wisdom and knowledge through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

It costs nothing to ask wise advice from a good friend.

Rich Dad Poor Dad10.4 Robert T. Kiyosaki – Rich Dad Poor Dad

About the Book: Just like Clason’s classic, Robert T. Kiyosaki’s bestseller – according to many lists, the #1 personal finance book of all times – is also written in a simple style abounding in immediately comprehensible parables. Its wisdom boils down to something that should be a truism: you can’t become rich without a proper education; and your school doesn’t provide it; neither your proper-education-bereaved poor or middle-class family. Let Kiyosaki. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Rich Dad Poor Dad
Favorite Quote:

Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.

MONEY Master the Game10.5 Tony Robbins – MONEY Master the Game

About the Book: After publishing Awaken the Giant Within in 1991 (see 4.8), Tony Robbins published just one book in the next 23 years: the incremental-changes guide Giant Steps in 1994. And then, two decades later, inspired by the financial crisis, he came up with this exceptional “7-step blueprint for securing financial freedom.” “If there were a Pulitzer Prize for investment books,” noted at the time a review in Forbes magazine,  “this one would win, hands down.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

MONEY Master the Game
Favorite Quote:

Money can have the power to create or the power to destroy. It can fund a dream or start a war.

The Total Money Makeover10.6 Dave Ramsey – The Total Money Makeover

About the Book: Dave Ramsey is the common-sense financial guru of millions of Americans. And most of them will tell you that The Total Money Makeover is essentially their Money Bible. Time to make it yours. Why? Because it will help you create a plan for paying off all of your debt; because it will dispel for you the most dangerous money myths out there; and, finally, because it will inspire you to take control of your financial freedom. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.

Retire Inspired10.7 Chris Hogan – Retire Inspired

About the Book: Chris Hogan is Dave Ramsey-approved (“In my opinion, Chris Hogan is the voice of retirement in America today.”) And that should tell you enough. In Retire Inspired, he teaches that retirement isn’t an age, but a financial number. Which means that if you follow his advice – based on the amount of money you need to start living out your dreams – you can retire at any age you like; all you need to be is reasonable. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

It’s hard to live your dream in your golden years when you’re trying to make it on an income that’s actually below the poverty line.

The Millionaire Next Door10.8 Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko – The Millionaire Next Door

About the Book: If you are like most people, you don’t become rich by suddenly obtaining lots of money; you become rich by consistently spending less than you earn. It’s that simple. And Stanley and Danko’s comparison of UAWs (under accumulators of wealth) and PAWs (prodigious accumulators of wealth) is ample evidence in favor of this. The bottom line: the rich are your neighbors, and status items are for showoffs. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

Whatever your income, always live below your means.

The Power of Broke10.9 Daymond John – The Power of Broke

About the Book: From time to time, it’s good to have someone turn things on their head. If the power of money won’t do the trick for you – says Daymond John – The Power of Broke undoubtedly will. Published only recently, John’s manual for start-up entrepreneurs gives all the details on “how empty pockets, a tight budget, and a hunger for success can become your greatest competitive advantage.” (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

The easiest thing to sell is the truth.

Tools of Titans10.10 Tim Ferriss – Tools of Titans

About the Book: Once he successfully limited his workweek to four hours (see 6.6), Tim Ferriss started The Tim Ferriss show, “the first business/interview podcast to pass 100,000,000 downloads” and “generally the #1 business podcast on all of Apple Podcasts.” For it, he had the privilege and honor to interview over 200 world-class performers. Tools of Titans reveals their secrets, in a structured, easy-to-read and easier-to-apply manner. (Read a brief summary of the book | Buy the book)

Tools of Titans
Favorite Quote:

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

The Wildcard

The Little Prince101. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – The Little Prince

About the Book: Some books manage to sell 2 million copies overall, and are considered exceptional successes; The Little Prince sells as much on a yearly basis for the past 70 years! Translated into more than 300 – yes, 300! – languages, this is one of the best-selling books ever published. Also: one of the very best. Fortunately, it just entered the public domain, so now everybody can read it. And everybody should. Because just like Ancient Greek myths or Jesus’ parables, it is timeless; and just like them – you can enjoy it – and understand it differently – regardless of your age. (Read the book | Buy the book)

Favorite Quote:

One sees clearly only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eye.

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The Daily Stoic PDF Summary

The Daily Stoic PDF Summary

366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

You want to live a happier and more fulfilled life?

Then, please do – with Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman’s “The Daily Stoic.”

There’s a lesson here for every day in the year.

And each of them is timeless.

Who Should Read “The Daily Stoic”? And Why?

You don’t have to be interested in philosophy to read “The Daily Stoic.”

In fact, the goal of the book is to show that the Stoics were the original self-helpers and motivational coaches, and that, moreover, they were far better (because smarter) than their contemporary colleagues.

So, think of this book both as an introduction to Stoicism – if you need one – and as a guide through life – because, let’s face it, we all need one.

About Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman

The Daily Stoic PDF SummaryRyan Holiday is an American author, media strategist, and marketer.

After dropping out of college at the age of 19, Holiday went on a successful professional writing career, during which he has so far authored seven bestselling books.

This is the fifth one we have summarized. Check out our other four summaries: “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” “Growth Hacker Marketing,” “The Obstacle Is the Way” and “Ego Is the Enemy.”

Stephen HanselmanStephen Hanselman is a literary agent, bookseller, and publisher.

“The Daily Stoic” is his first book.

“The Daily Stoic PDF Summary”

“Of all people only those are at leisure who make time for philosophy, only they truly live,” wrote Seneca once. “Only an ingrate would fail to see that these great architects of venerable thoughts were born for us and have designed a way of life for us.”

In an age when life is understood to be an adventure and when basically every social media site abounds with testimonies that living your life to the fullest means drinking huge amounts of alcohol and taking selfies – it sure seems strange to see this passage quoted as an epigraph to any non-academic book, let alone one which aims to teach you the art of living.

But that’s how “The Daily Stoic,” “a beautiful daily devotional of Stoic meditation,” begins: with a sincere belief that living will always be the end result of thinking about life, and not what happens after you press the pause button of your brain.

But, wait a second!

You want us to believe that only philosophers – aka “no-thank-you-I’d-rather-spend-my-night-reading” nerds – truly live?

I won’t buy that!

Well, you should – because if you stretch that definition a bit, the answer to your question is “yes.”

Just a quick comparison:

Remember that time when you broke the screen on your iPod, and you couldn’t get your act together for the next month or so?

Well, Epictetus – one of the stars of this book – was a slave with a disabled leg and he was supposedly capable of accepting both things, spending most of his life without ever feeling angry or sad.

Fast forward two millennia, and you have William Ernest Henley, a poet with an amputated leg, Nelson Mandela, a prisoner for 27 years, and James Stockdale, a Vietnamese prisoner of war – all surviving through some of the worst things that can happen to anyone in life, by reading Epictetus and the other great Stoic philosophers.

If you want to join their company, then “The Daily Stoic” may be the best book you can find on the market.

No summary will do the book enough justice, since, as we said above, it’s structured as a daily devotional, meaning you should read one page of it per day.

Every single page contains a newly translated quote from some of the most important Stoic philosophers – mainly, the holy triumvirate of Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca, but also some lesser-known Stoics such as Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus – along with a commentary provided by the authors.

These are in turn divided into three parts (coinciding with Stoicism’s three critical disciplines):

#1. THE DISCIPLINE OF PERCEPTION

This part refers to how we perceive (and how we should perceive) the world around us.

It contains the first four months of the year, during which you’ll learn how to achieve clarity in your vision (January), how to restrain your passions and emotions (February), and how to be aware (March) and unbiased (April).

Needless to say, the book starts (January 1st) with Stoicism 101, i.e., Epictetus’ dichotomy of control:

The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…

#2. THE DISCIPLINE OF ACTION

This part is all about how actions should always be taken with the end in sight, as the product of clear and unbiased perception.

In May you’ll learn about right actions, in June about problem-solving, in July about duty and in August everything you need to know about pragmatism.

Here (June 7th) you’ll happen upon Seneca’s brilliant advice from “On the Shortness of Life” concerning role models (aka, why people write and you should read this kind of books):

We like to say that we don’t get to choose our parents, that they were given by chance – yet we can truly choose whose children we’d like to be.

#3. THE DISCIPLINE OF WILL

The Discipline of Will part is dedicated to the problem of “how we deal with the things we cannot change, attain clear and convincing judgment, and come to a true understanding of our place in the world.”

Or, more precisely, to fortitude and resilience (September), virtue and kindness (October), acceptance/amor fati (November) and meditation on mortality (December).

It is in this part that, on October the 3rd, you’ll come across Marcus Aurelius channeling his inner… Martin Luther King Jr.:

Meditate often on the interconnectedness and mutual interdependence of all things in the universe. For in a sense, all things are mutually woven together and therefore have an affinity for each other — for one thing follows after another according to their tension of movement, their sympathetic stirrings, and the unity of all substance.

All in all, a book you should own.

Because, as Kipling implicitly put it in “If–,“ becoming a Stoic is not that much different from becoming a man.

Over to you!

Key Lessons from “The Daily Stoic”

1.      The Three Stoic Interests
2.      The Three Stoic Disciplines
3.      The Easiest Way to be a Stoic: The Four Fundamental Habits

The Three Stoic Interests

Stoics were interested in only three aspects of philosophy: logic, physics, and ethics.

In fact, they often used the analogy of the fertile field to describe their endeavors.

In the analogy, physics (or Nature) was the field itself with all of the laws governing its existence; logic was the fence protecting the field from outsiders (think: superstitions, false beliefs… khm… alternative facts); finally, ethics was the crop you produce, that is the life you manage to extract out of what you are naturally endowed with.

The Three Stoic Disciplines

Now, in order to extract as much as possible out of life, the Stoics were profoundly interested in mastering three disciplines: the discipline of perception, the discipline of action, and the discipline of will.

The discipline of perception was all about learning to see the world clearly; the discipline of action dealt with the decisions and actions we take – and to what end we take them; finally, attaining a discipline of will meant conquering your fears and doubts by accepting what you can’t change.

The Easiest Way to be a Stoic: The Four Fundamental Habits

These are the four steps to becoming a Stoic:

#1. Learn how to differentiate between what is true and what is not and accept only the former;
#2. Try to harmonize your needs and desires with what you can control;
#3. Embrace that which you can’t;
#4. You are part of humanity: work toward the common good.

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“The Daily Stoic Quotes”

Knowledge—self-knowledge in particular—is freedom. Click To Tweet The more you say no to the things that don’t matter, the more you can say yes to the things that do. Click To Tweet Pretend that each event—whether desired or unexpected—was willed to happen, willed specifically for you. Click To Tweet Having an end in mind is no guarantee that you’ll reach it—no Stoic would tolerate that assumption—but not having an end in mind is a guarantee you won’t. Click To Tweet Serenity and stability are results of your choices and judgment, not your environment. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Daily Stoic” is “The Upper Room” for secularists. So, no reason why – to quote Jack Canfield – you shouldn’t make it “your guide and [start growing] in clarity, effectiveness, and serenity each day!”

In the meantime, check out The Daily Stoic’s website and browse through it for free.

If you find it appealing, then do buy this book.

And grow into a Stoic – day by day.

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Ego is the Enemy Summary

Ego is the Enemy PDFEverybody “owns” an ego. However, the ego doesn’t serve your interest. It’s more likely that it will block your way to success.

In our summary of “Ego is the Enemy,” we show why having a big ego is bad for you, and what strategies you can utilize to neutralize the ego’s impact.

Who Should Read “Ego is the Enemy”? and Why?

“Ego is the Enemy” is a book that recommends that people stopped looking for their passions, and start looking for a purpose.

Author Ryan Holiday argues that accepting failure, learning from your mistakes and continuing to work hard is the only way to succeed. He shares stories about politicians, professional athletes and business leaders who have already learned harsh lessons about the dangerous side of ego. He also shares anecdotes about amazing quiet workers who made significant differences in the world and remained unknown.

We recommend “Ego is the Enemy” for all readers who want to move forward by working on self-improvement.

If you want to tame your ego, Ryan Holiday will show you how.

About Ryan Holiday

Ryan HolidayRyan Holiday is a best-selling author and the former director of marketing at American Apparel.

“Ego is the Enemy PDF Summary”

Every ambitious person has an ego. People who work to improve their skills and to meet their goals have an ego. Scientists, artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs achieve their goals by desiring to create and discover.

However, most of the time, ego is the driver of these activities. Getting ahead is necessary. However, too much of anything is a bad thing: too much ego will have the opposite impact and stop your progress.

Ego fuels self-congratulatory, lazy daydreaming. It undermines your capability to grow.

To accurately assess your strengths, accept a feeling of confidence and humility. Recognize that also ego can offer you the comfort of self-satisfaction, it can make you blind to opportunity.

If you wish to become great, you have to realize that greatness is a quiet act. Know the difference between working to get something accomplished and working for recognition.

Being “somebody” is much easier than getting things done.

You have probably heard or read advice on finding your passion many times before. However, this can be wrong advice, since passion leads to enthusiasm, and thoughtful deliberation suffers in the process.

Passion fills you with excitement and energy that can hide weaknesses. However, those flaws are bound to appear eventually.

So, our advice to you is that instead of passion, you look for purpose.

Furthermore, feelings of resentment, anger or pride can cloud your reasoning.

Accept that you are not unique or irreplaceable just because you studied in a good school, you are a hard worker, or your family is influential.

Ego Is the Enemy
You may think your colleagues are frustrating or your boss is rude, but just pointing the finger at everyone and thinking you deserve better will not get you anywhere.

Instead, focus on your work and value the lessons that you get along the way. We promise you, you will be much happier.

Key Lessons from “Ego is the Enemy”

1.      “The Canvas Strategy”
2.       Problems with Narratives
3.       Keeping the Motion

“The Canvas Strategy”

The canvas strategy translates as: be a canvas for other people to paint on. In other words, you should move from the short-term satisfaction that resentment gives you, and embrace the long-term “magic” of self-development.

To use the canvas strategy, whenever you start out some work, keep the following ideas in mind:

  • Chances are you will need to cultivate a better attitude.
  • You are not as good or important as you may believe you are.
  • You do not know everything, and you need to gain more knowledge than your education gave you.

Your success will often come along with the success of other people around you. So, work to make the work of people that surround you easier. You may get an initial feeling of subservience, but starting at the bottom gives you a chance to learn how something works.

Problems with Narratives

Stop talking and start doing. Social media, for instance, encourages a lot talk and very little productivity. Posting updates all on your social media profiles focuses your attention on words over action. Status and picture updates create the false impression of confidence and accomplishment. However, all of that talk just takes up your energy that you could use for doing real work.

Furthermore, goal visualization may help you to focus at the beginning of a project, but when you do it in the midst of your work, it gives a misleading impression of progress.

Accept Failure

Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are part of human experience. Being a creative person or an entrepreneur requires you to take risks, and risks do not always yield positive outcomes.

The problem is not a failure. The problem is identifying with failure.

Your ego makes you think that there are only two options: success or failure.

However, failure is not who you are – it is what you did. Let that resonate, and you will feel much better.

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“Ego is the Enemy” Quotes

Doing great work is a struggle. It’s draining, it’s demoralizing, it’s frightening – not always, but it can feel that way when we’re deep in the middle of it. We talk to fill the void and the uncertainty. Click To Tweet The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice because it prevents us from getting any better. Click To Tweet Be lesser, do more. Imagine if, for every person you met, you thought of some way to help them, something you could do for them? And you looked at it in a way that entirely benefited them and not you. Click To Tweet You’re not able to change the system until after you’ve made it. In the meantime, you’ll have to find some way to make it suit your purposes – even if those purposes are just extra time to develop properly, to learn from others on their… Click To Tweet Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of – that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Ego is the Enemy” is a book written in a warm and conversational style. The chapters are short and easily understandable so just about anyone can read it. However, if you decide to read it, be prepared for some repetition and similar topics in a few different entries.

[NEW] “Ego is The Enemy Summary —- Extended

Many people do not know, but the most significant deterrent to your success lies in you: it’s your ego. It keeps you from learning new things, hinders you from seeing your mistakes and seduces you into believing you are better than everyone else. Do not be fooled: he does not want you to succeed.

The battle against the ego is complicated, but we can not give up. If you want to learn some tactics not to be dominated by your ego or if you want to find out how to be a better person and achieve success with humility, read this microbook!

Think Great But Have Attitude

Our culture has raised a generation of people who believe they can achieve great things with ease. And that, in fact, makes us weaker. Instead of working hard to win things, we expect success in exchange for nothing. Apparently, everyone has talent and potential, but that’s just the beginning; What you generate from it is what makes all the difference.

Some valuable traits are humility, diligence, and self-knowledge; they help you to improve. Thinking big is a good thing, but to achieve what you want, you need to learn to live with little. Be focused on your education and attitude, ignore any status and validations, keep your ego under control.

Have a Larger Purpose

Youthful idealism is invaded by aspects of reality that redirect people to do things to “be” someone. The ego is to blame for our change of thought. We begin to pretend to be who we are not to achieve what we want. It is very easy to be corrupted by your occupation.

The ego tends to erase what matters and systematically replace it with irrelevant things. The choices we have are based on our purposes and what we believe to be our reason for living. What you choose to do with your time and work, reflect who you will become.

Let your purpose not be selfish, but instead something greater than yourself. That is a much more authentic path. Over time, things get easier because the choices will seem more obvious and the rest may seem distracting and tempting. But all decisions will need to follow strict guidelines, moral and values.

Be An Eternal Student

As a student, you are aware that you are not better than your teacher. And it puts a roof over your ego, keeping you from losing control. This allows you to respect your master and deserve what you have achieved. There are no shortcuts to an education; it takes persistence and hard work. Through mutual collaboration, the student and the teacher can improve.

Although greatness requires trust, it also needs humility. You can not find answers to your questions if you are too arrogant to ask. Looking for your flaws, you may be stronger. The ego will try to avoid negative or critical feedbacks, which hinders you from reaching your potential. The ego is disconnected from reality, giving us false feedback by making us believe that we do not need to improve.

Leave Passion Behind

There are many events, conferences, and workshops that inspire passion. What people do not realize is that passion can be what hinders you. Passion leads us to make mistakes. Passion comes from truth and good intentions, but its results can be harmful.

Passionate people are always busy with some activity but rarely do they get anything. This is the paradox that passion causes. Passion seems to disrupt our cognitive processes and can be a waste of time. To achieve our goals, we need to have healthy doses of realism and a strong sense of purpose. Purpose gives us passion, with limits and reality, allowing unbiased perspectives.

Realism enables you to ask the necessary questions, whose answers will help you achieve your goals. Passion is usually naive and does not take you very far. Leave passion for amateurs, for those who will never reach their potentials. To do great things, you need to leave passion behind!

Be An Apprentice

People usually feel nervous and devalued, forced to do things they do not want, by working in exchange for payments or favors (as apprentices). While it is not fun to serve others, the apprenticeship system was responsible for some of the most significant visionaries that ever existed. A great example is Leonardo da Vinci who was an apprentice. Those who became big needed to start somewhere. You can not be big without first being small.

Many young people do not want to suffer the shame of serving others. However, you can think of it differently: you are no slave to anyone; instead, you are offering support for someone to teach you and for you to merit climbing. That means opening the way for the people above, to create a path for you as well.

This system reduces young people’s ego to critical points, allowing them to absorb the directions they receive. You will not be able to conquer many things if you let your sense of superiority control your way of working. Always looking for a way to help others, you will start to be indispensable and learn a lot on the way. Everything you do for others can be seen as an investment in your personal development. It is easy to be angry at circumstances – the ego always chooses the easiest routes.

Control Yourself

Regardless of what you have or how important you think it is, when you want to do something great, you will be mistreated by people who do not care. Your ego can inflate and wish to respond, but that is not the proper reaction.

An ego is an impulse that can have very adverse effects. Your ego feeds your indulgence and wants you to respond to criticism. Those who want to achieve great things must first learn to overcome difficulties. Use your time wisely, pay your debts and develop into something better than you ever imagined.

Live in reality and do not be overwhelmed by imagination.

Some teens believe the whole world is watching them. Psychologists call this phenomenon “imaginary public,” and adolescents are most affected. However, this can continue into adulthood, and we give into our fantasy our feelings of doubt, fear or normality. We are all likely to let our imaginations rule our lives, and the more creative you are, the more tempted you are to make that happen.

We need to take control of our perceptions and not let our imagination in power. It takes courage to live in reality, but ultimately, it’s worth it. When things are uncomfortable you know, they are real, and you can adjust your needs to get where you want.

Be Careful With Your Pride

In Christianity, pride is a sin. Presumption and arrogance can lead a person to believe that it is better than reality. You do not have to be religious to understand that pride can blind you and keep you from seeing the truth.

You need to keep your mind sharp to achieve great things, but pride leaves your mind lazy and prevents you from getting anywhere. It affects your most essential skills such as your ability to learn, adapt and flexibility. It creates a barrier between you and reality, changing your perception.

Pride and ego go well together, and the results can be disastrous. Pride is an emotional fraud; working hard and struggling, you will not need to cheat – there should be no room for pride in your work. Pride leads you to a self-satisfaction that becomes a disability.

This feeling can make you delusional, generating arrogance. Success should not ruin you, disrupt your judgment or let you forget who you are. Pride disturbs your senses and fills you with negative thoughts.

Always Work Hard

Many great inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs have come to the same conclusion: an idea is nothing without hard work. To achieve anything, you need to work first, and that’s the hard part. To get where you want, you do not need to be brilliant, but you need ongoing effort and work. The idea may seem annoying, but it is a motivation. That means success is available to everyone. What we dream is within reach, because we only need to work to achieve. This concept frustrates the ego since the ego likes to believe that it is already successful. Our ego wants ideas and aspirations to be sufficient. He prefers credit, praise, or status in place of true success. But in reality, that leads to nothing – we need to put our energy into something to be successful.

Be Humble And Learn To Adapt

Knowledge does not mean that we know everything, but that we accept the fact that we know little. Understanding requires continuous and flexible learning. Humility supports learning because it negates arrogance, which prevents us from pursuing. Being humble will open your mind to new possibilities.

Always try to watch and listen, and in return, you are always improving. Do not just be a student, in the beginning, adopt that mentality for life. And so you will be able to learn from everyone and everything. Even if you learn something you already know, do not let your ego keep you from practicing one more time.We like to convince ourselves that we are so smart, that challenges are unnecessary. But in fact, we are afraid of failures.

Allow your mind and environment to change, look for uncomfortable moments, and be a student who enjoys that feeling. Instead of being an amateur on the defensive, realize that by trying, your possibilities will be endless. Learn to change and adapt.

People and businesses usually stagnate and fail if they do not continually learn to improve and work with life’s changes. Do not live a life of ignorance, learn how to learn and be a lifelong student.

Stop Telling Stories

It is part of human nature to want to create stories about what we can do or will do. Unfortunately, they are usually lies, which can become arrogance. Turning our lives into stories, we forget to live our lives. The formation of an idea is a very messy situation; there are no bright moments in the development of anything.

Creating a narrative of a confused situation makes it seem effortless and as if there is a clear path to follow, even when there is none. Life does not support its plans; it is messy and unpredictable. There will be good and bad times. You can not look back and say that it happened exactly as you wanted it to happen.

The only way to do great things in the world is to start with small things and work to get at your big goals. There is nothing wrong with great ambitions, but do not let your ego take control. Step by step and day by day, you can work on great ideas.

Maybe you’ll change the world someday. Do not try to do more than you can do; this is the way to failure. You need to work, be persistent, dedicate yourself, and sometimes have a bit of luck.

Do Not Worry About Approval

Everybody says ‘yes,’ sometimes when they do not want to say. Sometimes we also spend time doing things we did not want to do, just to impress others. That is the path followed by the ego, a wasted life worrying about what others see in us, rather than worrying about our happiness. The ego corrupts all people; they change their viewpoints and completely forget what they wanted before.

When people achieve success very early, they become confused about the original direction, and the ego tends to take control, partly thanks to the influence of other people. As you become successful, you will meet other successful people too, who will often make you feel insignificant, as these people are controlled by their egos. And this is a terrible cycle.

Competition is good at a certain point and can even help people achieve great things. However, as an individual, it is essential to know who you are competing with and why you are competing. Do this for yourself, not for others. You will not reach your real potential if you are seeking approval from others.

The ego cares very much about the opinions of others and only lives to achieve this approval. Spend some time working on what is important to you. If you achieve success only in the eyes of others, you will not be happy, and it will not be worth it.

Share Your Success, Don’t Be Selfish

Success usually gives you some power, and power is one of the biggest disappointments. Power has three dangerous characteristics: authority, control, and paranoia. It can cause anyone to lose their perspective and lose the notion of reality. The ego is the enemy of all; it will not only hurt you but also the people around you. Be smart and remember your limits and failures.

Authority, in this case, makes you see others as expendable, and you as the most important person. It makes you believe that you have the right to everything, even if you do not deserve it. Control makes you want to do everything your way, even the little things. And the paranoia makes you believe that you’re alone.

These bad feelings will make you a prisoner of your fears and disappointments, causing chaos. And this is a terrible cycle, and once inside it, it’s hard to leave. Do not let your ego encourage your selfishness, remember that we are all connected. Share your success and accomplishments with others and make a better world out of it.

Be Organized And Care For Others

When you are working alone, clutter can be overcome by hard work or luck. But after a while, organization and correct management are keys to success. Big companies with their cultures of order and discipline may seem stifling, but that’s the only way to work. You may have good ideas, but if you are unable to organize, you will continue to have only ideas.

In big business, employees need direction and responsible management for their superiors. If there is no accountability at the top, then the rest will fall into chaos.

Most creative people go against this idea. Many believe they can do different things without order and control. However, there is a reason to find order and control in every successful business: why it works! When all the people involved work for the same goal, it can be achieved.

Order must be prioritized over your own desires. Disorganization usually arises from the ego, when you believe that your way of doing things is right, regardless of the signs that are in front of you.

But how can you take care of other people if you are disorganized and irresponsible? It’s important to remember that you cannot stay static, your responsibilities will grow with you. You need to be adaptable and keep upgrading.

Many decisions will be required if you want to lead others. Choose a system that matches your way of working. Everyone needs to be managed; you can not do everyone’s work and still have time to focus on the whole.

Your Effort Must Be Sufficient

You can not control the judgment of the world over your work. You can control the work you do and how you present it, but the world can still turn against you. Your ego needs to be under control so you can deal with that response. You need to understand that doing your job well done should be enough, not for others, but for you.

If you have no control over the reward of your work and effort, does that mean you will not do anything? The ego will want you to stop trying if you know there is no guarantee of reward or recognition. However, many great people in history have not received attention for their work but are still remembered, after centuries.

Do not let the results be your motivation, be encouraged by your efforts. No doubt you will fail, but do not let that define you. Rest assured that you have done your best to be who you want to be. Do not allow the outside world measure your effort. The fact that you have tried and given your best should be enough to propel you to continue.

Avoid The Ego; It Is Your Enemy

There will be hard times in life. Moments when you are alone against a world of adversity. But, you know what? You can overcome this. All great people excelled. And you’re great; you have the potential to succeed and fail. You will do all these things and start over. You can survive everything that stands in your way and is a better version of yourself.

There is no avoiding failure. We all experience failure at some point. What matters is how you deal with the situation. Can you maintain your integrity? Or do you choose to give up and be defeated? Remember that you can learn much more from failure than from success. Mistakes are a form of education. You will learn, grow, and figure out how to avoid the same error.

Remember to avoid ego. It will make things much more difficult. It will make your aspirations and success much more difficult and will make the failure permanent.

Try to understand yourself better. Learn what drives you to work hard, what motivates you. Discover your purpose and the ego will stay behind. All great men and women have something in common: they suffered, and in their suffering, they found the tools and strength to make them great.

Final Notes

Through this book, we can see how the ego can be harmful. Your ego will always confront you. And if you want to be successful, self-knowledge is a critical point.

Also, keep working hard; do not forget always to be a student and seek to learn as much as you can from all people, someone still has something new to teach. Be organized and do not let other people’s opinions get you on the road to success!

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Trust Me, I’m Lying Summary – Ryan Holiday

Trust Me I'm Lying SummaryMicroSummary: In “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” Ryan Holiday helps you understand how to hack mass media in your favor. The book is divided into two sessions, telling how Ryan exploits digital media, especially blogs, to generate press coverage; in the second part, he shows more details of how these activities have helped him achieve great results.

Confessions of a Media Manipulator

I know, you already thought how your life would be different if you appeared in the main news shows.

If you have a company, then you can imagine the requests coming soon after that appearing on cable news channels. Yes, this book explains how to achieve feats like this.

The bad news is that you will have to cross some not-so-conventional territories.

“Trust Me I’m Lying Summary”

Starting Rumors In Digital Media

According to Ryan, it’s not as difficult as it sounds to start a gossip on a small blog and then blow it up to an online news portal or TV. In a society dominated by the internet, most of us consume more content online, and blogs are the newspaper of the 21st century.

Today, more than traditional papers, blogs are always looking for fresh news. These days, it means they observe what spreads through social networks and what is being posted on smaller blogs to extract their guidelines.

If a news item generates enough buzz through these media, there is a good chance that mid-size blogs will pick it and the story will be passed on to an even larger audience.

If the buzz continues from there, the story can be directed to the world’s top news agencies such as CNN or Reuters, as they also keep their eyes on blogs that feature promising stories.

The death of Osama bin Laden, for example, was first reported by a Twitter user, before major news agencies, blogs or even President Obama’s speech.

Blogs get content from other blogs and social networks, and this means that even the most trivial stories can scale to the most respected news sites and even television.

Tucker Max, A Case Study

An example of this behavior occurred when Ryan was promoting a movie for Tucker Max.

Ryan left early in the morning and vandalized an outdoor billboard (for which Tucker had paid) to look like someone was bothered by the movie’s release.

Ryan took photos of his vandalism and sent them to a blogger in the area using a fake email. This blogger posted the news and quickly appeared on a major TV channel in the US.

This type of premeditated action works with almost any subject. This kind of hack is used to sell books, get donations for charity and even launch big music hits.

In Tucker’s case, he first went on a local blog, then the Huffington Post (one of the largest US portals) and ended up on CBS.

For a Blogger, Revenue = Advertising x Traffic

Blogs are business, and their primary goal is to make money through ads sale.

Each blog sells advertising space in different ways, but the most common among them is the price per impression – a rate that the advertiser pays to the blog owner each time someone opens a blog page that contains your ad.

That is, blogs make money every time you visit them. But while advertising maintains the blog, most bloggers dream of selling to a large media company.

AOL bought TechCrunch and the Huffington Post, some of the biggest blogs in the United States, for example. For large groups, each blog attracts a new audience, and that means more advertising space to market to new audiences.

Typically, these companies target high traffic blogs with hundreds of thousands of visitors a day and the more traffic a blog gets, the more they sell.

The Huffington Post news aggregator sold to AOL for more than $ 300 million and TechCrunch, a technology blog, sold for $ 50 million.

Bloggers Are Poor. Take Advantage

How many bloggers make real money? Not too many. Bloggers, especially beginners, aren’t wealthy.

The easiest way to make a career as a blogger is to create a well-known name, a reputation and live up to it.

When a blogger creates a brand, producing viral content and discovering fresh news, they can start getting countless messages from companies and startups, desperate for coverage. Ryan cites several examples of first-time bloggers who have become great journalists or influential editors.

He suggests that if you want to be covered in the press and on blogs, you have to approach them before they become famous and explode.

If you want coverage, you have to help them become famous. Ryan cites the example of a vlogger with whom he started a relationship when he still had only a few thousand views.

Ryan was only supplying designer clothes to the vlogger, which he published. Today this blogger has millions of views and a TV show and still remembers Ryan.

If you invest early, you can buy your influence without spending much.

Learn To “Leak” With Class…

Yes, in the blogosphere, leaking information is a communication strategy that works if you want to get noticed.

Ryan cites a story in which, during a legal process, he needed to put some information in the press, and for that he created a fake confidential memo, printed it, and sent it to a series of blogs as if he were a disgruntled employee, leaking information which he received from his boss.

The same bloggers who previously were not interested in the subject, published with headlines like “EXCLUSIVE” and “LEAKED.” They told Ryan’s side of the news, but he had to get their attention unusually.

The gains were even greater, because, after the publication, the same bloggers still wanted interviews with him to tell his “side” of the story.

Everyone was waiting for an official statement. Holiday also claims that Press Releases can, if created under the right angle, be cited word for word in blog posts.

Another common tactic is to make changes to the Wikipedia entry content to exaggerate a truth or plant a fact.

Then, since blogs write about the subject by researching Wikipedia, the planted become real in the digital world.

They Publish First, Check Later

Blogs engage in iterative journalism: the act of publishing first, then checking the facts and updating later if necessary.

In the first phase of iterative journalism, the blogger publishes an article based on repercussions of social networks that are not necessarily true – without doing any verification of any fact whatsoever.

This mechanism, while allowing blogs to generate content quickly, also allows lies to be told as “news” and this can have disastrous consequences.

Trust Me I'm Lying pdfIf You Read A Blog Post, You Don’t REad The Final Version

You’ve probably read an article on a blog with words like “updated” or “errata” in the headline. They most likely updated the post because the first blogger responsible for publishing the story did something wrong or posted before finalizing checks, in a hurry to be the first to publish.

But even with fixes made, you still caused a problem for the people who read the previous version of the article.

They can, for example, tell the wrong news to friends or make a decision based on inaccurate information.

The tendency of blogs to alter their content iteratively means that they can be merchants of misinformation.

It’s All About The Headlines…

Just as any business needs customers, blogs need web traffic: from people who browse and consume their content. Their goal is to attract as many visitors as possible, and for that to happen, they rely on a variety of methods to grab attention.

When thinking about suggesting a topic or making a deliberate leak, think first about what the headline, article title or tweet the blogger will share.

Often they do not need to state what the article says, just call in curious clicks to read the content. If the magazine cover is what sells, on Google and social networks, the title is its cover.

Give Traffic To The Bloggers Who Promote You

If you want to make sure your business is covered on blogs, you need to prove them that you can deliver traffic. Yes, that you can take many readers over to their blog.

If your news came out in the press, one of the best ways to become a recurring subject in a blog is to make it clear to the blogger that people want to read about you.

So to ensure your continued success, you need to be creative and promote content about yourself. It’s important to share the news on your company’s Facebook page, your Twitter, your blog, and others.

If you do not have too many hits on your channels, you can leave controversial comments in the post and create honest debates around the subject.

It’s also worth sending fake emails to the reporter, both positive and negative, so the blogger feels that this article has been noticed.

Finally, if none of this works, you can promote the article with paid traffic on networks like Outbrain or Taboola.

These networks promote content on sponsored links on large portals and with small investments, it is possible to reach large audiences, and the blogger often does not realize that the traffic of your article has been “bought.”

Blogs Want To Awaken Your Emotional Side

Have you read any stories online that made you angry? This reaction was probably not a coincidence. Blogs often try to arouse our emotions to engage us.

For example, they know that when we read a story that refers to injustice like a child kidnap. , we get angry.

This anger then encourages us to interact with the story, either by sharing it with other people or by posting our thoughts in their comments section.

This buzz around the story generates more ad revenue for the blog. Anger is one of the primary emotions blogs are interested.

Other potent emotions include fear (for example, notices of terrorist attacks), excitement (for example, the launch date of the new iPhone) and laughs (for instance, a video of cats having fun).

In Digital World, Blogs Are The Source

One piece of news can affect anything from stock market prices to presidential elections.

So it’s no surprise that blogs exert tremendous power in shaping society. Blogs are not powerful just because of their readership but because of the type of readers they have.

Blogs are mostly read by professionals in the digital content market – people who own blogs or work for top news agencies like Reuters and CNN.

This audience means that although blogs may not have a mass following them directly, anything they publish can be linked by a path that reaches large portals and TV stations.

Blogs Are Career Destruction Weapons

Society likes to watch people being punished publicly. To express anger about current affairs, readers post angry comments, blog posts, or spread it through social media. Yes, blogs stir up emotions and often call for public executions of those tried.

For example, Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website, became a victim of witch hunters and was crucified on the internet.

After Assange became a well-known public figure in 2010, Gawker’s blog posted funny and silly articles like, “What happened to Julian Assange’s hair?”

Two weeks later, Assange was charged with sexual assault, and Gawker began to publish headlines such as “Is the Wikileaks Activists realizing that their founder is a Megalomaniac?”

Despite not existing the slightest foundation that Assange was a sex offender, his supporters turned against him, and blogs like Gawker have used this momentum by publishing more and more articles on the subject and generating more traffic and profits.

Our love of public witch hunt means that blogs are too willing to demonize someone we find unpleasant.

Just Make Up News (Everyone Is Doing It…)

Yes, that’s right. Today the blogosphere is being increasingly manipulated and they end up writing about just about anything if you sway bloggers with mastery.

One of the most common tactics is to use “first-hand content” or “I’ll give you exclusive access to 30 minutes before sending to other blogs.”

For Ryan, the agenda need not be important, relevant or true to be published. If you know how to create a false urgency, bloggers will post anything.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Trust Me I’m Lying” Quotes

In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we neither seek nor want honesty or reality. Reality is complicated. Reality is boring. We are incapable or unwilling to handle its confusion. Click To Tweet The reason the knives are so sharp online is because the pie is so small. Click To Tweet No marketer is ever going to push something with the stink of reasonableness, complexity, or mixed emotions. Click To Tweet Publicity does not come easily, profits do not come easily, and knowledge does not come easily. Click To Tweet What thrives online is not the writing that reflects anything close to the reality in which you and I live. Nor does it allow for the kind of change that will create the world we wish to live in. Click To Tweet

Final Notes:

The world is increasingly informing itself online, and journalism is becoming increasingly fast and desperate for clicks and pageviews.

Large portals search for leaks in smaller portals, which search blogs and social networks. But blogs are business and need revenue to survive.

If you understand how the blogosphere game works, you’ll be able to “plant” fantastic stories in the press. And if you are a blog reader, beware, you may be manipulated!

12min tip: How about checking out our microbook “Influence”, by Robert Cialdini?

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8 books for a happier (and healthier) life

8 books for happy & healthy life

Ever told yourself that tomorrow you’ll make a change, do something that will make you happier? But then tomorrow comes and you don’t think you’ve got the time, so again you promise yourself you’ll do it “tomorrow”. Maybe you’re scared of making a change, or you don’t know how to go about it.

Luckily for us plenty of people went through the same struggles and wrote about them, sharing their stories. And now we’ve put together our favorite books on the subject of making your life happier and healthier.

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The Obstacle is The Way PDF Summary

The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

The way we perceive difficulties and failures can predict how things are going to work for us at least for the next few years. It’s up to us to design our own future by developing a healthy mindset and embracing obstacles as interim steps on our way to success.

Because Ryan Holiday‘s book gives us a great incentive to re-think things.

“The Obstacle is The Way PDF Summary”

“The Obstacle is the Way” is an all-around, unique and instructive material to read. It gets into details on how to deal with business obstacles and gradually turn them into something beneficial for you.

That is not just an entrepreneurial philosophy; the same rules are enforced on a personal level.

Ryan Holiday pinpoints the importance of prominent historical persons and ancient philosophy to convey a message of persistence.

Apparently, your racial, political or religious background will not influence your life if you are determined to use author’s knowledge and experience on overcoming different business-threats.

GetNugget’s book summary presents three crucial steps for dealing with such an issue. They are all linked to your mindset and how you approach specific problems.

Is it possible to turn each problem into an opportunity? – Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that you should spend your energy and creativity inefficiently. Use your time and try to break them down and turn them into something valuable – like a life lesson.

Gradually, this book summary will help you understand how to utilize the environmental and societal influences to cope with defeat and failure”.

Look what I discovered. Check the impressions I’ve shared in the books summary and the nuggets (visual quotes from books) I’ve selected from this book.

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Growth Hacker Marketing Summary – Ryan Holiday

A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising

Twitter, YouTube, and Google have used his campaigns as case studies. AdAge, the New York Times and Fast Company have written about his work.

And now, in this book – Growth Hacker Marketing – media strategist Ryan Holiday, puts altogether – experience, observations, analysis – and brings to online readers this book as a deliverable.

Below you can find the best nuggets (visual quotes from books) from Ryan Holiday

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