Books can allow you to communicate with the brightest minds;
They can get you lost in time;
They can help you find your strength;
They can make you feel larger than life.
Here is a list of books that have impacted me and shaped my life in the past year.
My absolute all-time favorite book. I’ve read it twice in the past year and will be returning to it again and again all throughout my life. It has helped me to find my own values, principles, and characters. I always felt like there was something missing when I read highly recommended self-help books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People but couldn’t figure out what it was… until I read The 7 Habits. It is about how other books only focus on the techniques and quick fixes towards success when in fact, the sustainable way is to find the correct principles, build your characters first, and take an approach from inside out. I also love the writing style. Reading this book is like being mentored by the author Stephen Covey, but also like talking to a wise friend.
Tim Ferris’ life story itself is amazing enough to read. On top of that, all the detailed advice and action steps are just super practical and easy to follow. His whole philosophy of achieving more by doing less opened up my mind. It is true that working hard is no longer enough in this fast-changing world. It is about how to work smart. Something very important that I got out of the book is to always enjoy yourself!
If you are diagnosed with cancer and only have a year to live, what will you do? Will you choose to live with self-pity or try to leave a legacy? This is what happened to Randy Pausch, a respected professor, a loving father, and a courageous fighter in life. He wrote about how he prepared his last lecture while fighting the illness, how he pursued his childhood dreams throughout his life and how he wanted others to be inspired to chase their dreams and live life to the fullest. I was in tears so many times while reading. It was just heartbreakingly beautiful. His wisdom, his humor, his love for his family and students, and his positive outlook on life are just incredible. This book makes me cherish life so much more.
Here is his actual last lecture – very humbling, touching, and inspiring: https://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo
As one of the most influential female leaders today, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook understands the unique challenges and pressure that female workers face in the business world, both external and more importantly, internal. I was impressed by her brutal honesty and her admirable inner-strength but I was more inspired by her down-to-earth attitude towards life and achievements. It is often the most accomplished people who are the most humble. Tim Fargo was right when he said, “The path to wisdom is paved with humility.”
The world works in a funny way. When everyone is trying to be a Go-Getter, it is those who genuinely give back without asking for anything in return actually get the most from life. That is the message I get from this quick read. It resonates with my philosophy. There are takers and givers in this world and it will only be a better world if we create a system that allows more givers to thrive.
The Pulitzer-prize winning American journalist and non-fiction author Charles Duhigg explains in this book the science behind the process of habit formation. I like how this is not just a book about practical knowledge that we can implement to better our life, but also a collection of true stories that are just mesmerizing and entertaining. Charles is such an amazing storyteller who has turned science into magic in this book.
To be continued…