I Got 50 Books That Changed My Life, but It Won’t be Minimalist so Here’s the Essential 10

While you pick your jaw on the floor for the sheer length of this post title, let me reiterate that reading is a must. If you’ve been living for 30 years and haven’t developed reading habits; seriously, what have you done for your life?

If you can’t read a book in it’s entirety start with listening to audiobooks.

If you can’t find time to listen to audiobook; go running, and listen to it while running.

If you don’t like running? Read this book.

This felt like a shitty ride of roller coaster. OK, I give up begging you to read. If you have already read or want to start reading, congratulations!

While everyone’s different; these are the ESSENTIAL MUST-READS for those Forever Youngs, Curious Boys (& Girls) like me who are productive and driven. You might add good looking, handsome and quirky on the previous list of adjectives to describe you.

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Guide to Investing by Robert T Kiyosaki

This book came when I was in deep trouble financially. It stared at me back in 2011, neatly placed on my friend’s shelf. It re-opened the floodgates for my thirst to reading non-fictions. It generally recycled the previous wildly successful chronicles of rich dad (his friend’s father) and poor dad (his own father). I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it has it’s bad reviews. There’s doubt that rich dad was even exist! Heck, Kiyosaki’s company gone bankrupt in 2012. While these might be the reasons you should run away from this book, on the contrary; you should embrace it!

Despite all the bad press surrounding this book, this is The Book that will challenge your financial beliefs. It is so radical and unfortunately if you felt your life is good before reading it, you might get second thoughts on whether you are living the right life. You might be expecting a how-to book that shows how he invest. Unfortunately, it did little on that part, and that might be why most of the harsh reviews coming from. The paradigm busting quadrants and how greatly it affects all of us are the important concept to be understood. The result is anxiety! If you’re up for it, I dare you to read this book.

Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for the fact that you will lose your ignorance bliss afterwards.

2. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

It got me to run. It got Rich Roll, Matt Frazier (of No Meat Athlete) and I’m sure millions of other people to not only pick up but become devoted runners. Should I say more?

Hint; look for the awesome tales of Caballo Blanco.

3. The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg

This book are the most recent book on this list (published in 2012 and spent 60 weeks in The New York Times bestseller’s list). It got rave reviews and you can actually get the overall concept here. The author is turning late for the interview and you got a really compressed gems at your disposal.

This book is important for every successful people out there. You already know that we are creature of habits. Incorporating good habits (albeit slowly over a period of times) then, are super paramount.

And how would you do it?

Charles Duhigg argues that by performing habit replacement and analyzing the existing ques and rewards are the way. It got some neurotic stuffs in it; how the brain works and how seemingly simple habits modification can go a long way to changing most of your life’s outlook in his Keystone Habit concept. I credit my successful attempt at stop smoking, running, and host of other habits due to this book.

4. Your Money Your Life by Robin Vicki & Joe Dominguez

I gave this book to a friend and despite my glowing appreciation of the book, she didn’t like it! But it still is an important masterpiece in my book. While Rich Dad Poor Dad’s Guides to Investing is at the extreme end of risk taking, Robin & Joe have put on a great book on the conservative side of the spectrum. In a closer look however, there a many advice which are actually intersect in middle.

Finance is a very important stuff! Unless we get that figured out, it’s very unlikely we can dictate the way we are living. This book’s premise is based on the foundation of recording every spending in your life. That’s the hallmark of good financial habits. From there, it’s really about analyzing/reflecting and finding the alignment of your spending with the thing that you value most. Those are the things that you might already know, but unless you do it, it will never brings any good.

Easy to comprehend, hard to implement. Bring your A-game and try to do it!

5. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey

Now don’t run away please. I bet you have heard or own this book but chances are you haven’t read it. It’s the real deal. It’s no Brian Tracy or John C Maxwell self-help craps for sure.

And if you only read one self help book in your lifetime, make it this book. I tried to digest and figuring my own values due to this book. I highly suspect that the reason it’s so powerful to me, is because I got an interrupted read of this book while on weather stand-by, 50km off the shore Bintulu in a workboat.

People vomit. I’m in my own little world.

You will need to have your Dream Book close by and do some hard thinking while reading this chapter. Yes, they are hard stuffs.

The other concept worth mentioning is the time management. If you ever felt overwhelmed of doing all the things you feel you need to be doing, well Covey shows you how to make it less stressful. Of course, to eliminate the stress altogether require iterations of small experiments on our part, slowly over time. But the concept are superb. The most successful people I know (not to mention cunning, driven and takes no prisoner approach to life) are mainly huge fan of this book. And every people I’ve met so far would have different take-away extracted from this book.

6. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma

I’ve read this book twice and has the audio version of this book in my Iphone. It combines the zen outlook of living and ferocious productivity pursuit for the thing that matters. In case you’re wondering, it’s fiction, hence it’s not his Ferrari that he sold. And he’s not the monk. The monk is an ex lawyer by the name of Julian Mantle. He had a health crises mid-life and wander through India and Nepal and coming back enlighten. Airy fairy stuffs, I know. But, his words of advice are priceless and nothing short of magnificent.

7. Edensor by Andrea Hirata

Written by our neighbouring Indonesian writer, this book describes single mindedness of pursuit to dreams in magical beautiful language. I suspect Malay books would never be as descriptive, but I don’t have many experience in Malay literature anyway except the Fixis. Anyway, what intrigued me to this book are the tone of naivete and undying dreams. Look below from our friends’ selection of Andrea’s powerful narratives:

“Bermimpilah, karena Tuhan akan memeluk mimpi-mimpi itu.”

” Aku ingin berkelana, menemukan arahku dengan membaca bintang gemintang. Aku ingin mengarungi padang dan gurun-gurun, ingin melepuh terbakar matahari, limbung dihantam angin, dan menciut dicengkeram dingin. Aku ingin kehidupan yang menggetarkan, penuh dengan penaklukan. Aku ingin hidup! Ingin merasakan sari pati hidup!”

8. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E Frankl

Loved this book as it made any challenges you had however big you think it is, become tiny in comparison. Victor are Jew psychiatrist who had to live through concentration campt of WW2. He concludes that his comrades who are dying are not due to reaching physical limits but merely due to mentally refusing to live. They’ve lost the reason to soldier on. In even that extreme condition, Victor found his meaning to continue living (despite already losing his children and wife earlier). It certainly humbles you and made reaching gratitude far more important than ever. Anyway, one of my heroes; Chip Conley credits this book for lifting him up during one of his difficult times.

9. Contengan Jalanan by Hlovate

I never knew this book existed. Most of the Malay books I read are Fixi (from my sister’s vault, tq Sarah!). Those are quick fun read as if watching movies. Contengan Jalanan however is something else. It came to me by itself (never asked for it, but a friend thoughtful enough send this to me at the office). One other colleague came and began praising the book. I asked what it’s all about? She didn’t said much – you need to devour it yourself. Hence, I’m not going to say anything that change the purity of your reading experience. But, it’s a must. It got travel, music and ..

10. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaksson

You’re talking about a man who quite possibly had the most impact on our planet. We shifted our living experience due to him. It’s not so surprising then to find out that he lived in a hippie trance era where Transcendental Meditations, jai guru deva om, well, you got the ideas of those 60s punks.

Among other interesting thing; he went to India in his youth (meditating and looking for Baba Ram Dass). He was also one of the early proponents of minimalism and it showed in all of his products and the way he lived his life.

Walter Isaksson proximity to Jobs and the fact that the man himself asked Isaksson for the biography makes this book legit. You get the in depth dive into Jobs eccentric personality but despite the commendable attempt to paint the bad sides of Jobs, it felt it’s done just for the sake of balancing the monumental high praise and awe that he got for Jobs. For instance, there’s no mention why Steve Jobs has not given any of his wealth to charity. There’s rumors of his ruthless cuts on Apple CSR’s budget as well. It’s not addressed in the book but you get to know Steve Jobs and what makes him ticks the right boxes for being one of The Man who refuse to wilt to the Status Quo. 

Pick one of above books and let it change your life as well!

5 Comment

  1. I remember reading Rich Dad Poor Dad when I was younger, I’ll for sure have to check out some of the others, thanks for the post!

  2. […] always be the victims), and then pay it back during the following month. Or just let go of the books that I’d been craving. Stress is also an indication that you’re either living way beyond your […]

  3. […] being a coach potato until 39. Yerp! Battling from alcohol addiction (thoroughly chronicled in Finding Ultra – hugely recommended book), he had transformed himself into renowned health evangelist, preaching […]

  4. hlovate is a must have!!u got to read all his/her books

    1. haha are we still not knowing his/her gender, even?

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