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books to read to become successful

I have a small admission to make.  Before I started college, I had read only one of these from beginning to end.

If you guessed book, you’d be right.

Back in the days, reading and me, were not friends.

There was a time in my life when books unrelated to school, never got read.  You could say I took non-required reading to heart.

If it weren’t for a persuasive uncle, my first ‘real book’ (which was ‘Think Big’ by Ben Carson), wouldn’t have been read till I was half way through college.

I know what your thinking.  And yes, I am embarrassed.

I should have been reading books long before this.

Fortunately, college had picked up where my uncle had left off.  And a professor of mine convinced me of the many wonders that lay ahead if only I would pick up a book or two.

Serendipitously, about a week had passed when I came across a book a friend had left behind while visiting.  And with the urgings of my professor still fresh in my mind, I picked up that book, and read the entire thing.

Trust me when I say, that this was a miraculous moment!

If you want to be successful, start doing this….

Reading for me was not an easy thing to do.

Why was it hard you ask?  Well, because reading for me, up until that time was considered boring and uncool.

Yes, in case you were wondering, I was a jock in high school.

But besides this fact being part of the equation, I didn’t know the benefits that reading had in store for me.

In fact, most people don’t know the benefits that reading has in store for them. (The median amount of books read each year is about four.)

Luckily, I managed to push through that initial laborious feeling that comes with doing something foreign.  On top of that, I was also able to momentarily suspend any thoughts of un-coolness, and just went for it.

And went for it I did.  The book that I stumbled upon and ended up devouring, was called ‘Sophie’s World’.  And quite honestly, I don’t think I could have stumbled upon a better book to read at that point in my life.

The book was chockful of new ideas, philosophies, and different perspectives for looking at the world.

My Mind Was Blown

After finishing this book, I thought to myself, ‘Is every book like this?’

So, I would proceed to find out.  As such, I am embarked on a reading journey that to this day, has led me to acquiring quite an extensive library.

Throughout this journey, I’ve been able to read books across the spectrum of life.  Books on business, sales, philosophy, classic literature, self-help, and even technical books.  I’ve certainly covered the gamut of subjects.

Throughout my readings, I’ve manage to answer that initial question ‘Is every book like this?’.  And for the most part, the answer is yes.  Every book I have read, has opened my mind to new perspectives.

Not every book has been wonderful, but, every single one has helped me wonder.

Every book I have read has offered up a new way of looking at something or doing something.  Each has offered a tip, a strategy, or an experience that left me feeling better off for digesting it.

Books have been a saving grace for me.  Which is why I keep every single one I read.  Every book I have read, has literally become a part of me.

The written word has helped usher me out of the darkness and into the light.  Books have helped me shave off years of naivety and ignorance on a subject.  And in many ways, they have shortened the path to finding success.

Much of the motivation, and eagerness for the future that I exhibit, stems from the promise made in a few great books.

Books have allowed me to see things, that many others can not.  They have given me life secrets that most will never know.  They have paved the way for opportunities, that only readers can spot.

Yes, books are something special.

If You Really Want to Be Successful, Get One of These

So, if you get anything from reading this post today, it is this.  If you want to be successful, if you want to be ‘in the know’, start reading some books.  Better yet, heed this advice from one of my mentors:   “Successful people have libraries, the rest have big screen T.V.s”

The man who said this, is none other than Jim Rohn, one of the most influential business personalities of the 21st century.

I have a hunch as to why he said this, and here it is:

Basically, people who have libraries have more knowledge, ideas, and resources available to them, than those who do not.

Why?  Because books are virtually secrets to success. If ever there were a shortcut to success, it would be through the written word.  Books are the distilled knowledge and experiences of people who have already been there and done that.

What authors have pulled together and published in the form of a book, is years of trial and error, aha-moments, and solutions from people who have gone before us.  Books are the solutions to many of our problems.

Mastery comes from Repetition

Similarly, people who have libraries understand that mastery comes from repetition. To get the most out of books, they have to be read the way writers write books.  Which is; methodically, patiently, purposefully.  All of which typically takes an extended period of time.

When you own the books you read, when you make them a part of your library, you can invest the time and effort to pick them apart, notate them, and analyze them at will, over and over.

Each book becomes a schooling, a classroom.  A customized lesson that you can draw from again and again.

As Tony Robbins has been known to quip, “Repetition is the Mother of Skill.”

So, my friends, if you’re serious about success, please, pretty please, pick up a book and start reading. But if you really want to be successful, build a library!

Lastly, here are a handful of books to read to become successful. They are not the end all be all, but they are a terrific starting place:


PS – If you enjoyed this post on what you should do if you want to be successful (start reading), then you’ll find value in this article on the reading habits of successful people.

CEO and Founder of The STRIVE; a global motivational media brand, publishing success insights, empowering self-improvement strategies, and encouraging stories on motivation, money, and mindset.