Years ago, I ran a men’s health and lifestyle interest blog. Back then, I produced a list of must-read books for 2013.

Since then, I’ve read a TON of books. Self-help books. Business books. Personal power books. Even a couple of novels. But I often think back to those books that really gave me lasting insights.

This year, I have a stack that I want to return to; books which, even after 10 years, continue to inform my outlook and my personal approach to life and business.

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How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

If you’ve never read this book, get it now. This is THE classic personal interaction manual.

Written in the 1930s as a guide for salesmanship, it has become the bible for those interested in the art of getting along. It boils down to a few fairly simple principles, but the impact of putting these principles to work on a daily basis is utterly life-changing.

Don’t believe it? Start with one of the simplest: use a person’s name. When you’re talking to a waiter or a cashier and you see their name tag, simply say, “Hi <name>. How’s your day going?”

Do it with genuine interest and a smile, and watch how their attitude toward you changes.

The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss

Tim Ferriss’ now classic tome on escaping the daily grind continues to be the vanguard of the online/new rich lifestyle. I won’t say it’s a guaranteed out from the rat race, but if you think you’re working hard to set something up for your future, his attitude may be something of a game-changer for you.

Time, Ferriss argues, is the actual currency with which you negotiate your work life. If you can generate more value for the time offered, you can also generate more time off. Why wait until retirement to enjoy yourself? You’re living your best years now, so live those years the best you can.

Even if you don’t follow the game plan to the letter, you’ll come away with a new attitude, and a handful of great ideas for generating extra income without sacrificing a lot of your family time.

The 4-Hour Body – Timothy Ferriss

4-Hour manuals are a franchise for Ferriss, and it’s not without good reason. They’re good books.

If you can’t settle on a good workout plan to fit your time and goals, this book will do it for you. It’s about eliminating wasted movement and wasted effort in meal preparation.

Minimum Effective Dose.

When you know what you want to accomplish in your fitness goals, do only things that will lead to those goals; and of course, he’s laid it all out in buffet form here. You don’t even have to read the whole book.

Ferriss has a roadmap included that gives you only the chapters you need for specific objectives, whether those be fat loss, muscle gain, general wellbeing, or becoming a sexual dynamo.

The Rules – Richard Templar

Richard Templar has become a household name in personal development with his witty, sensible, and practical Rules series. The six we’re most interested in are:

We love this set, because it includes parenting and management. People often overlook management guides as improvement manuals, but the fact is good management techniques in the office or business also translate to good interpersonal transaction techniques in the rest of your life. Again, it’s an easy-to-read collection that just simplifies so many areas of life and relationships, we just couldn’t let another year go by without making sure they’re on your shelf.

And now…graduate school for personal development. If you’re ready to move up to the big leagues, get these books. The key here is that they’re written almost like history or philosophy books, so you must have the mental skill necessary to translate the lessons into modern life. If you can, you will be unstoppable.

The 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene

Power is difficult to understand, and how people have moved through seats of tenuous power is a fascinating subject. Here, Greene distills some of the most effective uses and misuses of power strategy into a comprehensive list. Become obsessive with learning these laws, and you might well make yourself paranoid. Be effective in recognizing them at play, and you’ll become a master strategist who can respond accordingly. If you get only one book on this list, make it this one.

Mastery – Robert Greene

The latest in Robert Greene’s collection, Mastery is a masterpiece in its own right. In it, Greene describes the stages of learning that lead to mastery in any field, and by combining them with historical examples provides a manual for success that’s simply unparalleled in print. It’s a wonderfully-written book, full of elegant prose and instructive allegory. But beyond that, it’s a step-by-step guide to mastering any endeavour you set out for yourself in life. And that, gentlemen, is the whole secret to confidence and success: mastery.

Bonus Re-Read: The Code of the Extraordinary Mind – Vishen Lakhiani

Vishen Lakhiani is founder of Mindvalley, and as such has had contact with dozens of the leading thought leaders in personal development, spirituality, computational thinking, and beyond. Mindvalley’s focus is on revolutionizing human potential, and this book infuses an approachable guide to rewriting the rules to suit your drive and potential. While it sounds like heavy reading, it’s actually quite a simple and applicable methodology for turning off what he calls “brules” (i.e., “bullshit rules”) that hold people back, escaping the culturescape, and taking hold of life on your own terms.

An absolute must read if you’ve ever taken stock of your life and thought, “I have absolutely no idea why I have to do it this way.”



What’s on your shelf?

aWhat’s on your reading list for 2023? Do you have any perennial favourites you go back to from time to time for inspiration? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Pinterest!

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