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10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Learn to concentrate and achieve your life’s goals

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Let’s ride the rocket ship to success!

Ryan Holiday, the modern stoic brings us an amazing collection of books. Each of them is loaded with solid life advice that will propel you to your destiny.

You’ll learn the power of focus and the right way to turn your habits from bad to good.

I’m pretty sure that if you read all the books in today’s list, you’ll turn over a new leaf in no time.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

You are tougher than you think.

Frankl is a psychotherapist who endured unspeakable horrors at Nazi concentration camps.

His first book is ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’.

‘Yes to Life’ is Frankl’s second book which is based on three lectures he gave in March and April of 1946. This was immediately after his release.

Frankl lost his father, mother, and pregnant wife as a result of Nazi atrocities. Yet, Frankl’s lectures are not of a person who is choosing to wallow in hopelessness.

Instead, he gives us hope. We can find meaning in life regardless of our circumstances. Even when we are suffering.

“Pleasure in itself cannot give our existence meaning; thus the lack of pleasure cannot take away meaning from life…”

The writer discusses the stories of his patients and fellow prisoners at concentration camps. He tells us that we can say ‘yes’ to life regardless of what we have been through.

He also talks about people’s amazement at those who survived the horrible ordeals.

“Many of you … will ask me how a human being can endure all the things I have been talking about. I assure you, the person who has experienced and survived all of that is even more amazed than you are!”

An amazing book that will fill you with gratitude and hope for your life.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Selflessness — the true way to live.

David Brooks tells us about two mountains. The first one is individual success.

The second one is of service to others. This book is all about climbing that second mountain. About being part of something bigger than yourself.

“People don’t become lovely by loving themselves; they become lovely by loving others…”

To climb the second mountain, we have to give our life meaning and purpose. Something that should be more than our job and worldly titles.

Ain’t that the truth?

“When you have nothing but your identity and job title to rest on, then you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others.”

We all know the feeling we have after we do a selfless or kind act. There is a warm glow inside of us.

That is precisely what this book is about. Being selfless, kind, and courageous.

This book is much needed for today’s time.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Harness the power from the windmill of discipline.

This book is from the author of ‘Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win’.

His experience as an ex-Navy SEAL and having worked in tense situations provides him with a unique skill set. He can help others who are facing stress.

We are not in the military. But we all go through times when we feel we’ve had enough.

Willink gives us a wake-up call.

“There is no easy way.”

As sad as it sounds, getting to the truth helps us gain perspective. The hardship I am facing is meant to be. Why? Because there is no easy way.

He also tells us not to rely on motivation only to achieve our goals. We have to be disciplined.

On stress, he gives a unique solution. Detach!

“Humans can withstand almost inconceivable stress — and you can too…Detach. Whatever problems or stress you are experiencing, detach from them. Stress is generally caused by what you can’t control.”

Think of one thing that is stressing you out right now. I am sure you can come up with something.

Can you control it? Most likely not.

If not, then you have to detach yourself.

This book is filled with lessons you can apply in your everyday life and reach for the stars.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Why should you be giving more?

Peter Singer puts forth an important case. The case for giving more.

He discusses the poverty and dismal conditions in developing countries and how the developed nations have a responsibility for it. For example: the demand in rich countries affects the supply chain in poor countries negatively.

I find Singer’s argument quite compelling.

He makes us see our privilege.

“If you are paying for something to drink when safe drinking water comes out of the tap, you have money to spend on things you don’t really need.”

If you have surplus money, you should be giving some to the international aid agencies. Those who are working to eliminate poverty.

Singer also discusses the widely held belief that charity organizations are corrupt. He tells us ways to identify effective charities.

“Putting yourself in the place of others…is what thinking ethically is all about.”

The author explores philosophical, moral, and psychological aspects of giving as well.

In a nutshell, if you are from the privileged lot, you should be donating more.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Baby steps can take you further than a leap you never make.

This is an amazing book that can help you reframe your life by adopting good habits.

Hold on! Don’t stop reading yet.

I know what you are thinking. The same old ‘good habit’ lesson.

Clear approaches it in a unique way. He tells us to fall in love with the process rather than the outcome. He tells us to focus on systems instead of goals.

Focusing on the system means working on improving bit by bit, every day. Clear calls this ‘long term thinking’.

He also gives us amazing tips to change our behaviors.

“Whenever you want to change your behavior, you can simply ask yourself: How can I make it obvious? How can I make it attractive? How can I make it easy? How can I make it satisfying?”

The above quote makes me think of the fruit I have placed in an accessible location in my dining room.

The reasoning behind this is exactly what the writer tells us in the book. I want me and my family to pick up and eat fruit instead of going towards processed snacks.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who wants to turn their life around.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Find the one trick to peak your work performance.

Cal Newport’s ideas are much needed for the tech-addicted world of today.

We can’t live an hour without picking up our smartphones. We have to check every chime and notification.

These distractions are affecting our concentration and focus negatively, the writer tells us. Our brains have forgotten to live without being distracted.

“Efforts to deepen your focus will struggle if you don’t simultaneously wean your mind from a dependence on distraction.”

Why do we need concentration?

Humans need it to perform their best.

Newport tells us that to work to our full potential, we need to concentrate deeply for long periods.

“Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging.”

I admire Cal Newport’s ideas a lot as they have helped me in my personal and work life.

This book is a must-read for those who want to achieve top performance.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Wisdom from Rome.

Musonius was a Roman Stoic teacher. He taught his students not to live for pleasure but for virtue.

This book is a collection of his lectures and sayings which were translated in 1947.

Being an old book, this has stood the test of time and has a lot to offer us, even today.

“You will earn the respect of all men if you begin by earning the respect of yourself.”

Stoic philosophy divides everything in this world into controllable and uncontrollable.

Most of the things that worry us, wealth, health, and pleasure are out of our control.

They can come and go in an instant. For example, an accident can leave someone paralyzed.

To live fully, we have to go beyond the fleeting pleasures and pains of this world.

This is exactly what Rufus teaches us.

“If one accomplishes some good though with toil, the toil passes, but the good remains; if one does something dishonorable with pleasure, the pleasure passes, but the dishonor remains.”

This book will provide you with an interesting outlook on life and this world.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Get started! The rest will happen.

Forleo is a successful American entrepreneur.

With this book, she takes us to her childhood, where her mum was always fixing things around the house.

Being hand-to-mouth, Forleo’s mother had no choice but to do things herself.

When Forleo asked her how she knew so much, her mother gave her an important piece of advice: “Everything Is Figureoutable”.

This advice is the premise of the book.

“No matter what you’re facing, you have what it takes to figure anything out and become the person you’re meant to be.”

What matters is that you start. Once you start, you can and you will figure it out.

Our self-doubt is just an easy cop-out, Forleo implies. Once we adopt the mindset of ‘Everything is figureoutable’, we will become unstoppable.

“Every pro starts off as an amateur. There’s not one top artist, athlete, writer, scientist, architect, entrepreneur, programmer, musician, or potter who enters the field at the top of her game.”

This book offers solid advice that will help you overcome self-doubt and lack of motivation.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Figure out the human mystery.

Robert Greene is the author of 6 international best sellers. This should tell you something. What he writes impacts people.

In this book, he gives us 18 laws to help us understand human behavior and actions.

“We see people not as they are, but as they appear to us. And these appearances are usually misleading.”

The Law of Short-Sightedness states that humans focus on the immediate and near.

We need to turn our perspective long-term. This way we will be able to prioritize. It will help us achieve our goals.

For example: The cupcake is yummy but your long-term perspective is having good health. This will help you overcome your craving for an immediate sugar rush.

Similarly, the Law of Conformity touches on the human need to fit in.

We think we exist as individuals but we have a strong desire to belong to a group. At times, this can lead to us adopting the misleading views of the group we are a part of.

We have to stay wary of becoming a victim of us vs them approach.

“To this day, we humans remain highly susceptible to the moods and emotions of those around us, compelling all kinds of behavior on our part — unconsciously imitating others, wanting what they have, getting swept up in viral feelings of anger or outrage.”

If you like reflecting on human behavior and psychology, this book is for you.

10 Eye-Opening Books Recommended by Ryan Holiday — Prepare to Be Blown Away (Like I Was)

Let’s time travel to the 2nd century AD.

Plutarch was a Greek historian and writer.

In this book, he has compiled the lives and biographies of many Greek and Roman men. He has organized most of them in pairs i.e. one Greek and one Roman. This is so he can compare their virtues and losses.

Hence, the book is also referred to as ‘Parallel Lives’.

The writer draws lessons from the lives of these people. This way, he guides his readers on what to do and what not to do.

“The poor go to war, to fight and die for the delights, riches, and superfluities of others.”

Plutarch’s book is also filled with his philosophical and ethical analysis which will make you marvel at the decades-old wisdom.

I loved his thoughts about books:

“Books delight to the very marrow of one’s bones. They speak to us, consult with us, and join with us in a living and intense intimacy.”

This book will take you on an interesting trip to the second century AD.


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