The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

This book is a cult classic among entrepreneurs and side hustlers trying to escape the 9-5 grind. There are so many people who want to quit their jobs, improve their relationships, or take on some new adventure that’s been sitting on their bucket list. Often times we wait years (or sometimes, never) to do these things because we simply feel like we haven’t been given permission. Tim really spells out an actionable game plan and makes it hard to make any more excuses. It was the first book that really articulated that there are alternatives to slaving away to get a monthly paycheck in exchange for your freedom. It leaves you feeling with a sense of inspiration and “Oh shit, now I need to do something.” 

The End of Jobs by Taylor Pearson

Taylor takes an interesting approach to map out the history of work all the way from the Victorian era to our current modern predicament. He posits that as more and more jobs are automated by machines, entrepreneurship will be the new career path for most people in the future. How do we keep a “beginner’s mind” and make sure we are staying on top of the trends? What steps can we take to learn new skill sets so that we don’t become obsolete? He answers these questions and much more. It’s a short and quick read you can knock out in an afternoon.

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly co-founded Wired Magazine and writes a lot about the future of tech and digital media. This is his newest book and really blew my mind. He starts by taking a look at the current state of our technology – mobile, AI, biotech, transportation drones, social media, and so forth. He explains how these industries are evolving and what we might be able to do in the short term — like being able to google everything to a full-blown Artificial Intelligence explosion. It all boils down to 12 forces that will ultimately shape the future of how we live and work. Recommended reading for anyone who feels like I do about the future —  concerned and excited.

The Rich Employee by James Altucher

This is a great book for people who don’t necessarily want to go the entrepreneurial route but are still looking for more freedom and flexibility in their lives. James teaches how to combine the practices of entrepreneurship in your day job, which he calls the “entre-employee.” He writes in a very stream-of-consciousness style and talks about how to get promoted, dealing with office politics and even creating your own side hustle. He illustrates all of this with excellent points from his own life and includes a good list of resources at the end. This is a recommended read for anyone looking to get more out of their current jobs.

The One Thing by Gary Keller

Do you ever feel like you’re scrambling around and your life is just a check list of to-do’s and emails? The One Thing really flipped my idea of “productivity” on it’s head, dispelling the myth of multitasking and in the process giving me a new sense of direction. We all have a  “monkey mind” that wants us to do everything (but we end up doing nothing), gets distracted easily, and procrastinates. The solution is in the title of the book — but it’s backed up by 4 years of research, science and a (deceptively) simple technique which I now use everyday. A must read for anyone looking for more focus, short term as well as long term career planning.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

Scott Adams is the famous creator of the witty Dilbert comics and has authored several books. This one is about his personal story and how he made his way up through several dead-end corporate jobs, ultimately coming out successful in the end. There are tons of funny characters along the way and he packs his stories full of life lessons and pokes fun at himself. His writing style is sharp, sarcastic and I found myself laughing every chapter. Recommended for anyone feeling stuck in their jobs – this one will cheer you up.

The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology by Gregg Krech

This books takes a modern perspective on the “Morita Method”  which is a psychological technique that was developed by Japanese doctor/researcher/philosopher Shoma Morita almost 100 years ago. He takes influence from Zen Buddhist practices. The basic principle is that humans are influenced by two factors — desire for comfort, but also a desire for self-actualization. These oppose each other so we enter a dilemma. As we try and achieve our goals, it makes us feel less accomplished because we are always striving for something. This in turn makes us unhappy, leading to a vicious cycle of anxiety and inaction. Gregg shows how to overcome this vicious cycle and gives a very practical guide that’s applicable in today’s hyper-busy world.

 

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