The titles are in the Romanian language.
Meet me 5 years ago, the one who laughed and mocked at those who were reading books. Meet me now, the fanatic reader. What happened in between is what I’ll tell you if you stick with me in the next couple of minutes.
Two years ago, back in 2011, I was searching for ways to remove boredom in the relatively long-jogs that I was doing. I stumbled upon one of Brian Tracy’s audio books, The Power of Self-Confidence.
As I ran with Brian’s voice plugged into my ears, I was practically astonished by his words because that was the first time I’ve been able to look within and make connections between my inner world and my external environment.
I started to apply the techniques of self-development that Brian was advocating and I started to see how things change inside me and around me. I was beginning to find sense. I wanted to learn as much as possible about personal development so that I can help others have better lives.
Successfully applying the concepts was the cue that got me into the routine of reading which resulted in the rewards that I was blessed with. I would later find out about the concepts of cue, routine, and reward in Charles Duhigg’s best-seller The Power of Habit.
Audio books seemed to be very interesting and I started listening to them not only when I was jogging, but when I was driving, cooking, and also when doing stuff that doesn’t require too much active thinking.
Progressively, I started reading books (see what else I read here, here, and here). Now I remember that the first book that got into my hands was Donald Trump’s Never Give Up, which was backing up the concepts that I learned from Brian Tracy.
As you are reading, the structure of your brain changes (google “neuroplasticity”), your thinking is sculpted differently and your imagination practically explodes. Here’s an interesting video on the subject
I can say that the most important reason for which I kept reading and made a routine out of this activity is that I was able to find meaning and successfully apply (after a lot of trial and error) many of the concepts within the books. Most of them were practical books. I didn’t read literature and novels.
Flashforward two years into the future, the Now, I can look back at the pile of 80+ books, ebooks, and audiobooks and can conclude that this experience made me at least 1,000% more productive, balanced, and in love with life.
These books have opened the path to my virtual mentors from whom I found out about other wonderful people who subsequently served as their mentors. The chain goes on and on.
My Virtual Mentors
I was introduced to neuroscience by Dr. Joe Dispenza with his book called Evolve Your Brain. Then it followed Dr. Daniel G. Amen with his book Change your Brain: Change your Life. These two books set the scientific basis to support the success of personal development books such as Tony Robins’ Awaken the Giant Within or Unlimited Power. This means that all that bluff about “The Secret” and “The Law of Attraction” has real-world implications. Just learn more about how your brain works and you’ll see.
Karl Albrecht, one of the richest people in the world, taught me that IQ is irrelevant and that there are multiple intelligences which all together contribute to success in life. His teachings lead me to pursue further knowledge in emotional intelligence (Thank you Daniel Goleman) and financial IQ.
All the personal development books have taught me that it’s mostly up to me to decide who I want to be in life. No-one else is going to fight my battle and I need to take full responsibility for who I am and what I do.
I learned from Joshua Foer how to memorize complete decks of 52 poker cards in less than 10 minutes. Others can do it in a manner of seconds, the only limit being the speed with which they can view the cards. See below the 21 seconds world record for speed cards. It is mind blowing and you can do it too.
Napoleon Hill taught me, and other millions of people in the last hundred years, the psychology of financial achievement, while Dale Carnegie opened my path to long-lasting friendships. He also taught me how to get closer to people. I’ve listened to his How to Win Friends and Influence People for more than 15 times in the past year.
Special thanks to Tim Ferriss from who I learned how to make a living out of the internet and how to not be a location-dependent person (whose job is 9 to 5 and it’s in a fixed location). Tim also taught me how to manipulate my body for optimal weight loss, less fatigue, and proper nutrition. I like the binging days when I can literally eat everything I want up until throwing-up.
Eckhart Tolle was and still is my teacher on happiness. I learned from him how to remove everything from my mind and just be. He also teaches me that the only thing that matters is the present moment. Past does not matter and the future is yet to come. These are difficult to grasp concepts, but they help create the inner balance which most of us crave for.
The Magic List or the Magic within the List
I’m currently learning from Richard Branson business secrets that you won’t be taught in business schools.
These are few of the amazing mentors that I had in the past two years. I also want to say that I’m constantly re-reading (see smart reading) all the books so that I can enforce the concepts learned. My purpose is not to read as many books as possible, but to become the best version possible of myself. This way I can help others do the same.
Here’s a list with some of the titles that changed everything:
1. Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People
2. Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich
3. Donald Trump – Never Give Up
4. Karl Albrecht – Practical Intelligence
5. Daniel Goleman – Emotional Intelligence
6. Robert Kiyosaki – Retire Young – Retire Rich
7. Zig Ziglar – See you at the top (current)
8. Richard Branson – Like a Virgin – Secrets they wont teach you at Business School (current)
9. Tim Ferriss – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
10. Dr. Steve Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek – The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance (very recent release)
11. Tim Ferriss – The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman (current)
12. Malcolm Gladwell – Outliers: The Story of Success
13. Dr. Joe Dispenza – Evolve your Brain: The Science of Changing your Mind
14. Dr. Daniel Amen – Change your Brain, Change your Life – The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
15. Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in Business and Life
16. Joshua Foer – Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
17. Tony Robins – Awaken the Giant Within
18. Kelly McGonigal – The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control works, Why it matters, and What you can do to get more of it
19. Jim Collins – Good to Great – Why some companies make the leap and others don’t
20. Joe Navarro and Marvin Karlins – What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People