Just over 1 year ago I was a severely depressed, recently separated, father of one, who had smoked marijuana regularly for over 20 years. I had no hope and dreaded the future for myself and my then 9-year-old son.
Today I don’t even recognise the man I was then, or in the years previous. I am full of optimism, hope, and self-belief. And there’s not a drug in sight.
More than anything I can’t wait to see what the future will bring.
I credit two things for making that change possible. Exercise and Personal Development books. I’m not saying it was easy. But I am saying it’s possible. I’m not special, or different. I’m just like the rest of us. If I can do it. Anyone can.
Of all the books I’ve listened to. And I’ve listened to a lot. There are 3 that stand out as the ones that had the most impact on me. (By the way I recommended Audible as it allows you to listen wherever you are. Whilst driving, exercising, doing your chores).
- Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success by Carol S.Dweck, Ph.D.
There’s a reason I have this book as my number one. It’s the book that really set me off on this path of being better. This book more than any other made me believe that change was possible. Not only that, it showed me that it was as straightforward as changing how I think. As I was quite lazy then it seemed the least effort to implement. It was.
It’s about going from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. From a mindset that tells you you can’t change (this was actually said to me by my ‘wife’ shortly after she left) to a mindset where you recognise that not only can you change but that anything is possible.
For example. For a good few months after my ‘wife’ left I found having to do all the chores in the house was starting to drive me crazy. As any single parent will tell you it’s relentless. There’s the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry. And it all feels like it’s never-ending.
By simply changing my thoughts from ‘having’ to do things, to ‘getting’ to do those things, made a remarkable difference. I am now happy I get to make my son’s food. I get to wash our clothes. I get to keep the house we live in tidy.
Getting to do those things makes me recognise the blessing of being in such a position. Not many separated fathers are that lucky. It’s amazing how changing simple words can affect your outlook.
2. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
If you were like me you might not have heard of the compound effect but once you know what it is you can see it at play in your life. It’s basically a start small to make it big idea.
How small actions done consistently over a period of time can have big effects. Like a guitar player who practices every day with no real noticeable improvement but who then, after a certain time, feels something fall into place and is able to play a tune. Or a smoker who doesn’t notice any daily change but after a few years has more wrinkles and yellower teeth. The compound effect doesn’t discriminate between good or bad habits. It takes effect either way.
This book presents you with the best way to make it work for you. There’s lots of helpful guidance and examples. It provides a clear path and illustrates the steps you need to take to better yourself.
I was once asked to recommend a book to someone who wanted to get into personal development. This was the book I choose. It’s the best for a good all-round approach to getting your life together.
3. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone
This book is not like the others. It hasn’t provided me with any real practical advise. Well, none that I haven’t already encountered elsewhere. Like writing down your goals each night. And really it is geared more towards sales. On the face of it. It’s not really my cup of tea. And I love tea.
The one thing it does give me though. The one thing I don’t really get from any other book. Motivation. And lots of it. The message is simple. Be obsessed with everything you are doing. Push and keep pushing. Be relentless in whatever your pursuit is. Be determined and persistent. And when you think you’ve done enough. Do more.
This is the book I listen to if I need a lift. Need a little kick to get going. I don’t even necessarily agree with everything he says and some chapters I skip. But it still inspires me to get moving. I view this book as my own personal preacher.
Notable mentions: A key thing in improving yourself are the habits you have. The things you do without thinking. They are paramount in being able to better yourself. The two following books are the ones I found most helpful in this regard:
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do And How To Change by Charles Duhigg
To anyone out there who is trying to improve themselves. Change their lives for the better. I won’t wish you luck. You don’t need it!
All you need to do is believe that whatever you are trying to change is possible (It is!) and that no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what your background is, that you have the power to make these changes. You have more power within you than you imagine. It’s there waiting to be found.
Now go get the life you want for yourself! You can do it!
P.s. If anyone wants to know more about my story or thinks I might be able to help you just ask? I’ll be more than happy to talk with you.
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