I'm always fascinated by the question: Is today the day my life will change?
And if today is that day, how will it happen?
There are a few ways change could occur. One, I could win the lottery. I could luck out and win a huge pile of money, and then have a 70% chance of ending up bankrupt. That would indeed be a change--potentially a couple of changes.
Or I could meet someone who makes a difference. Maybe that someone is job-related or maybe it's random or maybe I'll attend a seminar that changes my life. Those changes are powerful but have a danger of wearing off.
Or I could read a good book. Books are different in that they tend to last. It's easy to forget the life-changing message you hear in person, and books help fight that. A book is there for you all the time with the words you need to hear. Many self-help gurus have said that deep changes can come from reading inspiring passages over and over and over again.
So if I were to recommend a book or two that might be life-altering, what would they be?
The Talent Code
Its message: There's no such thing as "talent."
Implication: You actually can do anything. We all have repeated the mantra, "You can do anything you want to do," to ourselves or a loved one and then later said, "You need to be more realistic. That person is a genius. Find something more attainable."
Coyle shows us scientifically that there's no such thing as a genius. A genius is simply someone who practices really hard. It's true that we're all genetically different, but anything can be achieved if we practice hard enough.
That's a big deal. How many things have we not tried because we considered ourselves not "talented" enough? What if we instead believed in Coyle and, as a result, totally believed in ourselves? How would our lives look then?
Quote from the book: “Although talent feels and looks predestined, in fact we have a good deal of control over what skills we develop, and we have more potential than we might ever presume to guess.”
So Good They Can't Ignore You
Its message: To live a successful, fulfilled life, you shouldn't follow your passion. You should aspire get really skilled at something and see where that takes you.
Implication: How many people get off-track, depressed, or sabotaged by the phrase: follow your passion?
What if "follow your passion" is bad advice? What if that's the one thing that will ensure we aren't successful or happy? We would be better served finding something to work hard at, something to be great at, and then be so good nobody can ignore us. "Following our passion" may work out for one out of a hundred, but being too good to be pushed aside is a guaranteed road to success.
Quote from the book: "Working right trumps find the right work--it's a simple idea, but it's also incredibly subversive, as it overturns decades of folk career advice all focused on the mystical value of passion. It wrenches us away from our daydreams of an overnight transformation into instant job bliss and provides instead a more sober way toward fulfillment."
You can find my new eBook, The Inevitability of Becoming Rich: An Interview with a Master, on Amazon here.