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These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Learn business, psychology, and the art of writing and persuasion

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

College courses miss out on many important skills.

Universities are money-making organizations. They can give you a degree, but to excel in the practical world, you need practical knowledge.

Worry not!

We have the perfect booklist that will cover what you need to know in order to advance your personal and professional life.

Let’s get started.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

The secret door to the decision-making center in the brain.

Let’s start by understanding how our brain makes decisions.

Every minute of life, we are deciding something. What to eat? When to sleep? What to watch on Netflix?

If we master decision-making, no one will be able to stop us from winning.

“The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.”

Kahneman shows us the common pitfalls. The repetition of issues in the media makes us think they are what the world needs to focus on.

The true picture only comes into view when we stop to think and find out relevant statistics.

This is why we should always doubt the first thought that enters our mind.

“People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory — and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.”

The writer doesn’t only show us the pitfalls but also the talents of our brains. He enlightens us on what drives our brains and the factors that affect them.

This book will make you think twice before making any decision.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Let’s lift the curtain from everyday deceptions.

A lot of things are hidden in this world. Hidden in plain sight, really.

The authors of this book are here to help us see whatever we are missing.

Steven and Stephen show us how incentives influence our decision-making.

“Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent — all depending on who wields it and how.”

They also tell us about the role the asymmetry of knowledge plays. All businesses and organizations exploit the fact that they have access to information that the general public doesn’t.

Through facts and data, we start to see a very different perspective to all our daily observations.

“If you both own a gun and a swimming pool in your backyard, the swimming pool is about 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.”

About parenting, the authors claim that the single most reliable predictor of children’s academic success is the parent’s socioeconomic status.

Honestly, I can understand this. My anecdotal experience with parents of impoverished backgrounds is that most of their children drop out of school.

The reasons are many. Part of the reason is that the children have to earn. The other part is the lack of peer pressure to do well that exists in well-to-do neighborhoods.

This book is fascinating and will give you food for thought.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Master the art of staying cool and doing stuff on time.

Allen hits the nail on the head when he tells us that our mind is only for generating ideas. It cannot hold them.

This is where the power of putting pen to paper comes into play.

“Your ability to generate power is directly proportional to your ability to relax.”

The ‘Getting Things Done’ method has five steps:

  • Collecting anything that commands our attention

  • Processing

  • Organizing the results

  • Reviewing the options

  • Taking action

To me, the above almost sounds like a To-Do list. Write everything down and decide what to do first.

I agree that this takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

“Everything you’ve told yourself you ought to do, your mind thinks you should do right now.”

The author gives us a very useful and practical tip. If the task will take less than 2 minutes to do then you have to do it right now.

The longer you put off that two-minute task, the longer it will interfere with your focus on important projects.

This book is a practical guide for the right kind of productivity. Because remember, stress is bad for your health.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Learn the art of convincing people.

Cialdini shares 6 principles of persuasion, based on years of research.

Learning about them is like a deja vu. We see this kind of persuasion in action all around us, whether it is a social media ad or the campaigns we encounter on our visit to the mall.

“A well-known principle of human behavior says that when we ask someone to do us a favor we will be more successful if we provide a reason.”

Whatever proposition the author makes, he backs it up with data and research.

The most important part of persuasion is not persuasion itself, but what happens before that. Cialdini calls it ‘pre-suasion’.

“The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion — the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.”

If you play your cards right, before saying what you want to say, there is a higher chance that your audience will be affected.

After you read the book, you’ll see right through the deception used in marketing and sales.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

No need to enroll in an MBA, read this book instead.

Josh Kaufman is a business trainer and a bestselling author.

His books help people gain the right skills.

In this book, he explores all the business concepts. This book is like a condensed form of a business degree.

“Business schools don’t create successful people. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success.”

The author tells us that according to research there is no correlation between getting an MBA and having long-term career success.

How can we get the right business knowledge then?

Through experience, reading, and research.

The author informs us that every successful business does 5 important things.

  1. Value: Offers a valuable product

  2. Need: A product that is needed by people

  3. Price: The price is what the people are willing to pay

  4. Expectations: The product satisfies the customer’s expectations

  5. Revenue: The product gives the business enough revenue to sustain itself

“Improve by 1% a day, and in just 70 days, you’re twice as good.”

The author goes on to teach us a lot of business terms, their meaning, and applications.

Dare I remind you, this book will teach you business without a hefty price tag.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Where did we come from?

Harari starts at the very beginning when Homo Sapiens was not the only human species to walk the earth.

He tells us about the other ones:

  • Homo neanderthalensis

  • Homo erectus

  • Homo soloensis

  • Homo floresiensis

There are various theories on what became of them. Either they died or merged with Homo Sapiens. The author discusses these theories and their probability.

As Homo Sapiens evolved, we got bigger brains and shorter guts. At rest, our brain consumes 25% of the body’s energy. Guess how much energy the other apes’ brains require?

Only 8%.

The author discusses the cognitive evolution that allowed Homo Sapiens to think and imagine. They also formed an advanced social structure. Before this, they probably had a social hierarchy akin to the chimpanzees.

The evolution of the brain, thinking, and imagination allowed humans to create myths.

These myths allow the coordination of a large number of strangers.

No other animal group has this capability.

“There are no gods, no nations, no money and no human rights, except in our collective imagination.”

Harari divides the human history into 4 major parts:

  1. Cognitive Revolution

  2. Agricultural Revolution

  3. Unification of Mankind (Globalization)

  4. Scientific Revolution

“Evolution has made Homo sapiens, like other social mammals, a xenophobic creature. Sapiens instinctively divide humanity into two parts, ‘we’ and ‘they’.”

Along with history, the writer shares many reflections and thoughts that are sure to tickle the fantasy of your inner intellectual.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

A writing masterclass.

This book is a memoir and shares the author’s life story as well as his reflections and advice that are sure to help other aspiring writers and authors.

The book is divided into 5 parts:

  1. C.V.

  2. What Writing Is

  3. Toolbox

  4. On Writing

  5. On Living

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

The author describes his childhood and his earliest attempt at writing by copying from comic books. He takes us along as he retraces his steps to success when he wrote the horror novel ‘Carrie’.

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

King also discusses his alcohol and drug abuse and how his wife helped him get out of it.

He then tells the reader all about writing. From grammar and structure to plot and the backstory, he teaches us all.

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

King also shared his own writing strategy. He writes every morning with the door closed.

This is an inspiring memoir for those who would like to make writing their bread and butter.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Your roadmap to financial success.

This book is based on the interviews of many famous business titans. Hill has condensed all their strategies into one book for us.

How do achievements start?

The author tells us that they all start with desire. The stronger the desire, the greater your chance of achieving what you want.

“Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”

The book states various strategies for achieving our goals.

These include:

  • Desire to achieve

  • Faith that we will achieve it

  • Auto-suggestion (state your action plan out loud every day)

  • Gaining specialized knowledge

  • Using the power of imagination

“If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”

The author tells us to not quit in the face of defeat. Quitting is easy. Many do it. But once you face it and keep thrusting forward, you win.

“A quitter never wins-and-a winner never quits.”

This is a great book that compiles many important life lessons.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Secrets to a happy life from a lifelong entrepreneur.

Naval Ravikant is a successful and wealthy Indian-American businessman.

This book compiles his ideas and wisdom for others to benefit from.

“The three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness. We pursue them in that order, but their importance is reverse.”

The book teaches us how to create wealth and have a happy and meaningful life.

To create wealth we have to build our knowledge in a specific field instead of having a general know-how. The specific knowledge is high in technicality and creativity. It’s not easy to outsource or automate.

“Earn with your mind, not your time.”

I like the fact that instead of focusing on money only, the book also focuses on living a happy life. In addition, it discusses dealing with challenges, failures, and jealousy.

I mean, what good is wealth if one is not happy?

“If I say I’m happy, that means I was sad at some point.”

The opposing identities of happiness and sadness, failure and success, attractiveness and unattractiveness are explained wonderfully. Every positive thought has a negative inside it.

That is why greatness comes from suffering.

This book will put everything into perspective and help you prioritize what matters.

These Books Are Worth More Than a College Degree

Win at life by knowing what to say.

We all have a powerful decision-making tool in our heads.

What is that?

It is the subconscious brain. Our subconscious brain makes decisions without overanalyzing them.

Whether we are in a personal or a business setting, we can learn to persuade others by using words that engage their subconsciousness.

“Magic Words are sets of words that talk straight to the subconscious brain.”

The writer has been in business since he was fourteen. A lifelong experience of dealing with people has taught him the craft of persuasion. He is teaching that to others through his books, talks, and podcasts.

In this book, he gives us the exact phrases that will help us in persuading our opponent. He also tells us about the appropriate situations where they will work.

Whether it is a customer or a potential business partner, these words are sure to come in handy.

“When introducing a new idea, start with, “How open-minded are you?” ”

The writer tells us to ask ‘How open-minded are you?’ before introducing a new idea.

We all want to be open-minded. So when you start with this question, people automatically become receptive to the idea being presented next.

This book must be a required read for those who want to master the art of convincing.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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