“Reading is not a luxury. It’s not something you splurge on. It’s a necessity.” -Ryan Holiday

I’ve read a lot of books this year.

Within this article, I have collated a list if the 4 which have had the most profound effects on my life. These books have taken me from a lost university student to a man with direction and purpose.

It’s no doubt these books have permanently changed the way I act and engage myself in the world, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t do the same for you.

Here we go.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

By Seth Godin

What’s it About:

This is the book that 8 months ago pushed me to finally publish my writing online after 6 months of doing nothing with it. Seth Godin gets across the message that’s it’s time to challenge the status quo and leave behind authority and compliance to embrace a life creating art. This book will push you beyond your comfort zone, force you into action, and have you creating a ruckus.

Notable quotes:

“Art is not a gene or a specific talent. Art is an attitude, culturally driven and available to anyone who chooses to adopt it. Art isn’t something sold in a gallery or performed on a stage. Art is the unique work of a human being, work that touches another.”

“I don’t think the shortage of artists has much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate. I think it has to do with believing that it’s possible and acceptable for you to do it. We’ve had these doors open wide for only a decade or so, and most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.”

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

By Gary Keller

What’s it About:

This is a book that has and continues to influence my thinking and writing greatly. The ONE Thing is about just that — ONE thing. Gary Keller portrays the idea that the road to achieving extraordinary results isn’t about how much you do, but how narrow you can make your focus in the pursuit of your ONE thing. This book is full of fundamental productivity and success principals that will completely change the way you work, and the way you live.

Notable quotes:

“A life worth living might be measured in many ways, but the one way that stands above all others is living a life of no regrets.” -Gary Keller

“Success is actually a short race — a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.” -Gary Keller

“Your body is an amazing machine, but it doesn’t come with a warranty, you can’t trade it in, and repairs can be costly. It’s important to manage your energy so you can do what you must do, achieve what you want to achieve, and live the life you want to live.” -Gary Keller

The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers

By Alex Banayan

What’s it About:

This book is an inspirational story showing the successes and failures Alex took in his 7-year journey to the track down the world’s most successful people and create this book. It’s both touching and practical, and a must-read for anyone who wishes to achieve their dream or just wants to do something more in this world.

Notable quotes:

“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.”

“There’s the First Door: the main entrance, where 99 percent of people wait in line, hoping to get in. The Second Door: the VIP entrance, where the billionaires and celebrities slip through. But what no one tells you is that there is always, always . . . the Third Door. It’s the entrance where you have to jump out of line, run down the alley, bang on the door a hundred times, crack open the window, sneak through the kitchen — there’s always a way.”

When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man

By Jerry Weintraub

What’s it About:

This is undoubtedly the best autobiography I’ve ever read. Jerry does not provide a complete story of his life, but rather a highlight reel of only the most important parts. Every chapter provides invaluable life lesson from a highly successful and persuasive man that has changed the way I engage with people and what I believe is accomplishable through conversation.

Notable quotes:

“Now, at seventy-two, I realize every minute doing one thing is a minute not doing something else, every choice is another choice not made, another path grown over and lost.”

“I don’t care if you get flattened a thousand times. As long as you get up that thousand and first time, you win.”

“As soon as you feel comfortable that’s when It’s time to start over.”


Here are two more books I greatly enjoyed reading this year but which haven’t had such profound effects on the way I live as the others did.

Living with the Monks: What Turning Off My Phone Taught Me about Happiness, Gratitude, and Focus By Jessie Itzler

“Money isn’t the life changer. Quicksilver cash might upgrade the things in your life, but it does little to alter the course of it. Change costs no money at all.”

“If you don’t take time for yourself — you’ll resent the people who are taking those things away from you.”

Bluefishing: The Art of Making Things Happen By Steve Sims

“If there’s no passion, there’s no point.”

“When you fixate on a goal and know passionately that you can reach it, then spending a single second thinking that it won’t work is just a massive waste of time.”