Since the beginning of time, there have always been exceptional people. But let’s face it, not everyone can be a Mark Zuckerberg, a Bill Gates or a Plato. Exceptions are created, not born. So are you ready for a little motivation to get busy creating your extraordinary life?
Creating extraordinary circumstances and bathing in success (both professionally and/or personally) takes vigilant effort, not to mention very deliberate action. Luckily, some very remarkable people have already written books that can help us navigate our way to where we want to be:
1. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
Have you ever said to yourself “My life is what it is because of fate… luck… circumstance?” This book helps you rethink the misconception, and instead explains that your life is purely what you make of it, and the only way to be successful in life is if you’re successful in your mind.
Preview excerpt: “A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.”
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This book is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published (first published in 1936). There are so many things this book can do for you; we’re not sure where to begin. For starters, it will get you out of any mental rut, win clients, increase your earning power and make you a better speaker. Want more? OK! It teaches you not to criticize or complain, and to give honest appreciation.
Preview excerpt: “Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”
3. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
This book is one of the most influential books on military strategy ever written—with tactics that can be applied to business, law, martial arts and sports. You know, in case you ever find yourself fighting the beautiful fight or, say, in your mother’s group fitness class! Talk about win-win!
Preview excerpt: “Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.”
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4. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson
The One Minute Manager is a positive role model for newbie managers who have not yet had one of their own. This is a short, easy read in parable-form.
Preview excerpt: “Take a minute: look at your goals, look at your performance, see if your behavior matches your goals.”
A book written with stamina and humor, its premise is that everyday actions of humanity are neither consistently honest nor criminal. Just weasel-esque.
Preview excerpt: “There’s a gigantic gray area between good moral behavior and outright felonious activities. I call that the Weasel Zone* and it’s where most of life happens. (Note: *Sometimes known as Weaselville, Weaseltown, the Way of the Weasel, Weaselopolis, Weaselburg, and Redmond.)”
6. The Effective Executive – the Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker
This book literally defines management. And it tells it like it is: the role of leadership in every organization is to set clear priorities, get the right things done and avoid what is unproductive. No grandstanding. No being concerned about public visibility. A must-read!
Preview excerpt: “Men of high effectiveness are conspicuous by their absence in executive jobs. High intelligence is common enough among executives. Imagination is far from rare. The level of knowledge tends to be high. But there seems to be little correlation between a man’s effectiveness and his intelligence, his imagination, or his knowledge.”
With more than one million business books in print, these are just a few to consider.
Read. Rinse. Repeat.