The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
Forget the old concepts of retirement and a deferred life plan. There is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. For living more and working less, this book is the blueprint. A really new kind of thinking about where you invest your time and what is the most effective way to do it.
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”
Man’s search for meaning by Viktor E Frankl
This book is at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual that tells the story of a psychologist (the author) imprisoned at Auschwitz during the Second World War.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
One of the best productivity books. It is a complete system for using your time most efficiently and especially there where it matters most for you. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of on recalling them.
“You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it “done.”
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama
A great and complete guide to happiness in life by The Dalai Lama. It focusses on worldly factors like wealth and satisfaction as well as spiritual parts. Through meditations, stories and the meeting of Buddhism and psychology, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day depression, anxiety, anger, jealousy, or just an ordinary bad mood.
He discusses relationships, health, family, work, and spirituality to show us how to ride through life’s obstacles on a deep abiding source of inner peace.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
This is about ‘a new psychology of love, traditional values, and spiritual growth’. Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, the book continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life. It helps us learn how to distinguish dependency from love; how to become a more sensitive parent; and ultimately how to become one’s own true self.
Recognising that, as in the famous opening line of his book, “Life is difficult” and that the journey to spiritual growth is a long one, Dr Peck never bullies his readers, but rather guides them gently through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding.
“Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a PROFOUND tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there.”
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. Advice offered includes:
The six ways to make people like you
The twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking
The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.
“Don’t be afraid of enemies who attack you. Be afraid of the friends who flatter you.”
The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This book aims to help you build positive habits that really improve your life. It provides a framework for success and for building character and integrity, with Stephen Covey being the exceptional personality who really walked his talk. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles of a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This is one of those life-changing books that can turn your world upside down. In his book, the author describes his transition from despair to self-realisation soon after his 29th birthday. Tolle took another ten years to understand this transformation, during which time he evolved a philosophy that has parallels in Buddhism, relaxation techniques, and meditation theory but is also eminently practical.
He shows readers how to recognise themselves as the creators of their own pain, and how to have a pain-free existence by living fully in the present. Accessing the deepest self, the true self, can be learned, he says, by freeing ourselves from the conflicting, unreasonable demands of the mind and living present, fully, and intensely, in the Now.
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
For people who are overwhelmed by tasks of all sizes, this book provides methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. By identifying, then tackling, their biggest, most unpleasant task first – the philosophy of “eating a frog” – readers learn to plan and organise each day, set priorities, get started right away, and complete jobs faster.
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1 000 percent return on energy!”
Who Moved my Cheese? By Spencer Johnson
This is a motivational book about change management written in the style of a parable or business fable. It describes change in one’s work and life. It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a ‘Maze’ and look for ‘Cheese’ to nourish them and make them happy.
‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health, or spiritual peace of mind. The ‘Maze’ is where you look for what you want – the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in.
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
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The 5 Gut-Check Questions Confronting Entrepreneurs Every Day
The day you forget why you began is the day you’re done.
Entrepreneurs make an astounding number of decisions daily. They are faced with choosing which opportunities to move on and must solve problems big and small.
By setting up a framework of questions to ask yourself daily, you’ll give yourself some markers to help guide you through these difficult situations. Knowing where you stand on these questions will empower you to make good choices that ultimately lead you to your desired outcome. It will give you a deeper understanding of your motivations and your feelings about your business, and can help you clarify future plans.
Here are five powerful questions all entrepreneurs should ask themselves daily to ensure they are consistently moving toward their goals and making the best decisions for themselves and their business. Ask yourself these questions with an honest and open mind, and see where they take you.
1. Why are you doing this?
What makes this one little question so powerful is that it forces you to examine your desires and impulses, and helps you chart how those motivations change over time. It forces you to look at things from a different perspective. Asking yourself this question every day reaffirms your ambitions and the mindset behind why you are doing what you’re doing. If you don’t know why, you’re in trouble!
Asking this question opens the door to a plethora of other questions that will give you food for thought. What is the reason for launching your business? Why are you passionate about doing this? Are you the right person to run this business? These answers may change over time. At first it may seem difficult to truly nail down the “why” behind your motivations. Maybe there are competing interests that are driving you. But when you really think about it and drill down into this question, there’s probably a simple answer. Just be sure you’re being truthful with yourself.
Why you do something also gives rise to the question: what do you hope to achieve? You need to know what your end game looks like, and what success means to you. Is it about attaining a certain level of wealth? Is it about being the top in your market? Is it about earning respect? Are you looking to rule the world (or at least a niche market), or are you simply hoping to earn a living doing something you love?
Start your day by asking yourself this question and see where your answer takes you. By spending a few minutes pondering this, you’ll gain clarity that will help you steer your career in the direction you want it to go.
2. What is your company’s purpose?
See if you can answer this question in a single sentence. A good place to start is with your mission statement: what are the formal aims, goals and values of your company or organisation? This should be clear and concise – it should get to the heart of what your business is about.
Your company’s purpose is the foundation that all else is built on. It should have enough flexibility to grow and allow for change, but be specific enough to be meaningful and relevant. Ultimately, this question should help you understand what the heck you’re really doing here.
This question should be at the forefront of your mind when making important decisions. Ask yourself whether this new venture or idea would reinforce or logically contribute to your company’s overall purpose. Are you staying true to your calling?
That’s not to say that your purpose can’t change over time. However, if it does, the change should be purposeful and executed with care. Thinking about this will help you identify your long-term business goals and may lead to bigger questions, such as: What do you want your company to mean to your customers, what is your company’s place in world and what is its ideal market?
3. Where is your business at right now?
The goal with this question is to take both an analytical and emotional assessment of your business. This is a chance for you to take a hard look at where your company sits. Is it on the right track? What seems amiss? What is going right and how can that be reproduced throughout your business?
It’s also important to acknowledge your emotions and to be mindful of how you are feeling about your business. What is your gut instinct saying? Are you feeling anxious or excited about the business? Whether you are having negative emotions or positive ones, it’s important to recognise what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way.
This will give you a chance to better understand your mental state and how that may be influencing your decision making. It’s also about understanding what kind of vibe you are putting out. Are you feeling clear-minded and balanced? Or are you feeling off-kilter and out of sorts?
Being in tune with your emotions and having a clear view of what’s going on with your business will ensure you’re on an even keel. It will help you avoid overreacting or under-reacting to situations.
4. What lessons are you learning?
Every entrepreneur faces an uphill battle to achieve success. Every day you should be learning and growing, and the best way to do this is through a great deal of reflection on the lessons that present themselves each day.
Ask yourself whether you’re learning from your mistakes. Failure is a part of every entrepreneur’s journey. The question is, will your mistakes allow you to learn and grow? If not, you’re liable to fall into the same pitfalls and missteps. Conversely, are you learning when to jump at an opportunity and when to let it go? This is the ultimate lesson every entrepreneur is trying to learn, and it’s never an easy one.
The next time you’re weighing whether or not to take a risk, try asking yourself: “When I’m 80, will I feel sorry if I hadn’t gone for it?” Jeff Bezos does this as a way to crystallise whether he will regret not taking action on something. In the big picture, it’s often what we fail to do that we see as our biggest mistakes in life.
5. What’s next?
If you ask yourself one question every day, this should be it. As an entrepreneur, you always need to be anticipating what’s next. You need to anticipate what’s coming down the road and formulate a plan to take it on. This is the question that forces you to look up from that pile of work on your desk and think about the big picture and next steps for your business.
What strategies will you need as you keep pushing your business into the future? What trends or shifting interests are coming up that may affect your business? How will new technology impact the way you manage the company?
Disruption will happen in every market because change is inevitable. Businesses that survive see that wave coming and start making adjustments early on. So, in a way, change is predictable because it will always come. Innovation and ingenuity will always be the key to success – and those who seize opportunity will ride the crest of the next wave.
So when you ask yourself “What’s next?” make sure you have your blinders off and are looking at things with a curious and open mind. Make sure you’re staying open to new ideas and embracing creative solutions. Keeping looking for the “wow” factor.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
5 Inspiring Quotes From Madiba To Stir You Into Action On Mandela Day
In honour of Mandela Day, here are 5 of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring quotes.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
25 Bad Words That Make Other People Feel Inferior
If the harshest thing you have to say about someone is partly true, say the other part.
Did you know that in every language, there are more negative words than positive ones? It seems we need lots of words to describe our negative feelings, but we’re content with a handful of positive ones.
For instance, researchers have found that most cultures have words for seven basic emotions: Joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt.
That’s one positive emotion, and six negative
It’s no wonder so many of us have a hard time keeping our negative comments in check. Over the past six months I’ve been working on the verbal language that I’ve been using that I don’t even realize hurts others and in some cases makes them feel inferior. I even noticed that I’ve used a couple on my personal and business website. This is a “no-no” that I needed to fix.
This post will list 25 negative words you should avoid…so that you stop hurting, belittling and intimidating those around you!
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