Luckily for you, I’m not going to tell you to read “The Catcher in the Rye,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” You’ve probably had these titles
(and many others) waved in your face by your English teacher more than you’d like.
The books you read for class may be important for your grades but they aren’t always exciting and may be lacking what you think is real-world applicability.
When I was in high school, I didn’t do too much reading outside of what was required. When I got to college, however, and started reading books on my own, I began to realize just how fun and game-changing this habit could be.
I couldn’t believe I had read so few books in high school, especially when there were so many that could instantly improve the quality of my life. If I could send a message to my younger self, I would give him these three books to read with the promise that taking them to heart would dramatically increase his chances of success and enjoyment of life.
1. “How to Win Friends & Influence People” – Dale Carnegie
This was written a long time ago (1936) but today’s CEOs and politicians credit their career success with lessons they learned in this book. When I first heard the title my reaction was, “Isn’t that a manipulative title?” Yes, it may sound a little strange, and maybe you’d feel awkward carrying this one around, but as soon as I started actively applying lessons I learned in this book, I really did start to see changes in my life.
I did make more friends and I did start influencing people more than before!
2. “The Richest Man In Babylon” – George Clason
This book (also an oldie and published in 1926) talks all about how to save and invest money. While the lessons are all applicable today, they are told from the perspective of a Babylonian trader, hence the name of the book.
After reading this book I got serious about saving money. I started recording where I spent my dollars and how much I was putting into investments like the stock market. It was after saving thousands of dollars that I realized the power of this little book.
3. “The 4-Hour Workweek” – Tim Ferris
When I read this book in college it made my head spin, in the best way possible.
The general premise of the book is that today, lots of people are able to build successful businesses, travel the world forever, and escape the 9-5 that so many of us don’t want to be a part of.
As a young guy this book struck a chord with me. For a long time I’d been thinking about how a typical “career” didn’t really appeal to me. I wanted to travel everywhere. I wanted to run a business!
If you’ve ever thought that the “normal” career path isn’t for you, I would read this book. It’s a Bible for millions of people, and it will answer a lot of your questions if you are asking the same ones I was in high school.
It’s one of the reasons I’m now traveling the world, starting my own businesses, and sharing my experience at nicojannasch.com.
When I was in high school and grade school, my teachers had beaten the idea that “reading is homework” (and NOT for fun) into my head so deep that I avoided it whenever possible.
When I started looking for books on my own, however, I began to love reading. The more I read, the more my life changed dramatically! So give reading a second chance. Books can teach you almost anything and most are free (and may be available on audio) from your public or school library!