American novelist and author of the Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin once said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.”
Thus, the obvious question is: How many lives will you be living in 2020?
This article suggests 20 books that I believe everyone should be reading to get you started.
Here we go:
1. The Education of Millionaires: Everything You Won’t Learn in College About How to Be Successful by Michael Ellsberg
The world is becoming increasingly entrepreneurial. James Altucher said, “We’re in an idea-based economy and a skill-based economy, not a certificate-based economy.”
Thus, rather than going to college in 2020, people will be looking to develop practical success skills in the real world. This book will show them how.
“Though you may learn many wonderful things in college, your success and happiness in life will have little to do with what you study there or the letters after your name once you graduate.” -Michael Ellsberg
2. Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story by Benjamin P. Hardy
Contrary to popular belief, your personality is not something that’s fixed from birth to death. Instead, it should be something that’s highly fluid.
You get to decide who you’ll be and how you’ll behave, which will consequently change the emotions and memories you create. Thus, you can rewrite your story.
Set for a June 16, 2020 release, this book absolutely will change your life.
“When you decide who you’ll be and the life you’ll live, then you can have anything you truly want. You don’t have to be limited by what other people say you can have or achieve.” -Benjamin P. Hardy
3. Choice or Chance: Understanding Your Locus of Control and Why It Matters by Stephen Nowicki
Two realities exist:
- You can either believe that you’re personally responsible for the outcomes that happen in your life and thus believe that your life happens by choice (Internal locus of control) or;
- You can believe that it’s primary factors outside of your control that affect HOW and WHY your life plays out. Thus, believing that everything happens by chance (External locus of control)
People who are internals general do better in life because they understand that they have the power to change, while those who are externals merely perceive themselves as victims of their circumstances.
Like personality, however, your locus of control is not something that’s inherited but rather learned. Thus, you can change your mind at any moment.
“It’s not always better to be Internal than External. What also needs to be considered is how your personal Locus of Control fits with the situation in which you find yourself.” -Stephen Nowicki
2020 doesn’t have to follow the same script that you’re used to. It doesn’t have to speed by like all the others.
Instead, you very well can design moments that create memories and change your life. This book will show you how.
“We feel most comfortable when things are certain, but we feel most alive when they’re not.” -Chip Heath
5. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less By Greg McKeown
In 2020, there’ll be a lot of things you could do, but only so many things you should do.
Thus, you’ll need a way of staying on track. You’ll need a filtering system in order to discern the trivial many from the vital few. And thankfully, this book is just that.
“Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.” -Greg McKeown
6. The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan
While most people will have already read this, anyone who hasn’t will be picking it up in 2020 to turn their dreams from just that to a physical reality.
“Many times the hardest part about achieving a dream isn’t actually achieving it — it’s stepping through your fear of the unknown when you don’t have a plan. Having a teacher or boss tell you what to do makes life a lot easier. But nobody achieves a dream from the comfort of certainty.” -Alex Banayan
7. The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich by David Bach
Money isn’t everything. However, it does make everything a whole lot easier. So, why not learn how to make and keep more of it? This book will teach you just that.
“Everyone builds wealth. The only question is: For whom?” -David Bach
8. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday
Definitely another book worth picking up or giving a reread in 2020. Of course, the year isn’t go completely as planned. There will be undesirable circumstances and surprises. There will be obstacles in the path.
However, the question is: What are you going to do about it?
Will you simply give up and let it destroy you. Or, will you push through and learn the lesson that needs to be learned?
“The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” -Ryan Holiday
“Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles.” -Ryan Holiday
9. Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
Like me, you’ve probably seen this book at the bookstore hundreds of times and just brushed right by it. However, if you give it a read, you won’t be disappointed.
Ray Dalio is one of the 100 wealthiest people on planet earth, and this book explores the principles behind how he did it.
“The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.” -Ray Dalio
10. The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
Change is never rational. Instead, it’s emotional and physical. To change is quite literally trying to fight your history and physiology.
Thus, until you can understand the laws of human nature, then you will not have the tools or power to change your life.
If you want to better understand why people think and behave the way they do, then this book is for you.
“Refusing to come to terms with human nature simply means that you are dooming yourself to patterns beyond your control and to feelings of confusion and helplessness.” -Robert Greene
11. Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict
Biographies are often the best self-help. This book will show you how to become the best in the world at what you do from the perspective of someone who’s actually done it!
“Tiger’s emotional detachment after victories was part of his formula for greatness. Even when he played flawlessly, he acted as if he had simply done okay. The best was always yet to come.” -Jeff Benedict
12. Living with the Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me about Happiness, Gratitude, and Focus by Jessie Itzler
Part memoir, part self-help, this book follows Jesse Itzler as he spends 14 days living with the New Skete monks in upstate New York.
What I love about this is that it’s Jesse’s style to not overly think things through before he does it, so his experience is completely different to what he imagined, while it’s also filled with some great lessons along the way.
For example, this one:
“People are always waiting for something to happen before they change their lives. But they have it backward; when you change your life, big things are more likely to happen” -Jessie Itzler
13. Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant
Take a different approach to life and business in 2020. Rather than making at all about you, make it about others and watch what happens!
“If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed. We can’t pursue the benefits of networks; the benefits ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships.” -Adam Grant
14. The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing by Jeff Goins
Don’t expect your life to play out like an action film or a great novel with a new excitement at every turn. Instead, you must accept the role that waiting plays in our lives.
Of course, you can either sit back and simply watch life passes by. Or, you can choose to participate in it.
This book will help you decide.
“Many of us are speeding up and skipping over, missing the important as we scan for the urgent. The irony is that in our anxiety toward not missing out, we are losing the most meaningful moments of life.” -Jeff Goins
15. The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change your Life and Achieve Real Happiness by Ichiro Kishimi
According to Ichiro, all problems are interpersonal relationship problems. If you existed in the universe alone, then all your problems would be gone.
However, to live in the absence of all other human beings is not reasonably possible.
Thus, in order to live your best life, you must obtain the courage to be disliked. You must forget about being superior or inferior to others, and instead, focus on yourself.
Written as a dialogue between a philosopher and a young man, this book will free you from the shackles of your past experiences, doubts, and the expectations of others.
“A healthy feeling of inferiority is not something that comes from comparing oneself to others; it comes from one’s comparison with one’s ideal self.” -Ichiro Kishimi
16. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: Thirty True Things You Need to Know Now by Gordon Livingston
This book complies of a series of short, yet profound essays they will leave as a better person. It’s not written by just another self-help guru, but rather, a psychiatrist who’s been listening to people’s problems for decades.
If you want to become a better person in anyway, then read this book.
“The three components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.” -Gordon Livingston
17. When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man By Jerry Weintraub
Another biography, this book will teach you how to get anything you want from a guy who did it for his entire life.
“As soon as you feel comfortable that’s when It’s time to start over.” -Jerry Weintraub
18. The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
The safety zone has moved. Conformity no longer leads to comfort. But the good news is that creativity is scarce and more valuable than ever. So is choosing to do something unpredictable and brave: Making art!
In this brilliant book, Seth Godin explains how it’s possible and convinces us why it’s essential.
“Today, in the face of the greatest revolution of our time, we are all artists. Or at least we all have the opportunity to be artists. The only thing holding us back is us.” -Seth Godin
19. The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness by James Altucher
“No” is sometimes the hardest word to say. Often, however, it’s also the most necessary.
In 2020, there absolutely will be “obligations,” requests, and bad relationships that you will need to turn down in order to live your best year ever.
This book will give you the courage to do it both respectfully and gracefully.
“When you say yes to something you don’t want to do, here is the result: you hate what you are doing, you resent the person who asked you, and you hurt yourself.” -James Altucher
20. The Laws of Lifetime Growth: Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past by Dan Sullivan
For most people, 2020 will simply be a logical continuation of 2019. They won’t make their future bigger than their past. They won’t evolve and go to the next level.
Instead, they’ll continue to live the same stagnant, mediocre, and boring lives. Although, what about you?
Will you make your learning greater than your experience?
Will you make your questions bigger than your answers?
Will you make your purpose greater than your money?
This book will give you all the tools you need.
“Your future is your property. Because, by definition, it hasn’t happened yet, it exists only in your mind. This means that you can choose to make it whatever you want.” -Dan Sullivan