Do you want to live the good life, get rich, travel the world, live in luxury and be generally awesome? Then you need to get smart, and here’s the best advice you’ll ever get on how to get smart without being a smart-ass.
Imagine being the sort of person who can talk to anyone (hint: includes hot chicks and influential business people) with ease, sounding knowledgeable and interesting and not being a dick.
And imagine knowing how to build businesses, invest and create income streams that allow you to travel the world, work only when you want to, and become outrageously wealthy in the process.
One thing, before we begin: I’m not going to tell you to go to college.
College will just fill your head with redundant facts and figures and charge you thousands of dollars for the privilege. Great if you want to sound like a walking Trivial Pursuit machine with a mountain of debt, but not a whole lot of use in the real world.
That ain’t smart.
Smart is learning how to become wealthy, learning how to foster relationships and nurture friendships, build careers or businesses and learning how to invest, not only your money, but your time
Getting smart is learning about the best investment you can ever make – the investment in your own personal development.
So how do you get started investing in your personal development?
Read Good Books
Note that I just said read books.
I didn’t say read blog posts. Not that there isn’t good information in blog posts. You’re reading a good one right now! But to really get smart you need to go deep. You need to study to a depth that’s rarely covered in blog posts.
You need books.
And note also that I didn’t say comic books, or westerns, or romance novels. I said read good books.
So what constitutes a good book?
A good book is one which teaches you how to be better today than you were yesterday, better tomorrow than you were today.
A good book informs and guides you and helps you navigate the path of constant and never ending improvement.
So what do you need to read?
You could go to the bookstore or the library and browse the personal development section. It’s often huge. There might be hundreds or even thousands of titles to choose from.
If you haven’t dived in yet then I don’t recommend that. That’s for later.
For now you need the basics, and I’m going to recommend some.
But when I say basics, I don’t mean that this is 101.
The information in these books has been enough for some people, many people to educate themselves into the top 3%, learning how to build businesses and create wealth beyond the wildest dreams of most people.
So don’t think I’m doing you a disservice, or doubting your intelligence, by suggesting that you start with the basics. It’s a foundation. You need it.
Part of being smart is knowing what you don’t know, and figuring out what you need to know. And where to find it.
And I’m about to tell you exactly where to find it.
You don’t need to read these in order, but read Think and Grow Rich first. This is the granddaddy of them all.
You’ll notice,when you read this book that it’s definitely old-school. It was published in 1937 and the language is of the time, but the information is gold.
As you dive deeper into the field of personal development you’ll find many books, course and workshops created around one chapter, or a single concept from this book. Don’t miss this one.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Often described as a ‘timeless classic’ and should be read by anyone and everyone who wants to improve their life and achieve anything meaningful. You want to get the original, unedited version..
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Another book from 1937 and, again, the reason it’s still in print after so many years is that there’s a timeless wisdom in Dale Carnegie’s words. Get some good social skills.
The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason
Smart people read this book, apply the principles and then re-read it once a year to make sure they’re still doing it right. Doing it right will make you rich. It’s a short book, but priceless.
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
The principle is pretty much all in the title here. There is a magic in thinking big. The book will also teach you how to get that magic working for you in your life.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Don’t be put off – the title doesn’t do it justice! “How to become awesome in every area of your life” would perhaps be more accurate and certainly more appealing. Read it anyway.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
This book is a journey that may take you to some surprising places. Does that sound a little mysterious, mystical, magical even? Maybe it is. Just read it and see.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
A potential impact as huge as the book is tiny. It’s now in the public domain, which means you can legitimately get it free on the internet – make sure you do.
The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn
Life is not a bowl of cherries. Nor is it permanently summer days on the beach. This book will teach you to deal with, and even appreciate, the inevitable, metaphoric winters.
Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
Here’s the promise: “take immediate control of mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny”. You’ll probably move beyond this at some stage, but right now you need some Tony Robbins.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
You need to know about education, employment, self-employment, business and investment and what they all mean for you and your money. Rich Dad Poor Dad will open your eyes.
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
Another small book with a big message – and not just for salesmen. There are important business and life lessons here, and Og Mandino is a genius writer.
Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson
Change happens, but it’s only scary when you’re not in control of it. Smart people learn to embrace change and not get stuck in their comfort zones. You will need to change – best get good at it!
So, did you read the books yet?
Slow reader, huh?
Well let me give you some tips.
A lot of people complain that they just don’t have time to read all those books.
Here’s how to make time for reading.
- Stop watching rubbish on TV. Better still, throw the damn TV out the window. And then, instead of sitting, staring at a blank wall (which, incidentally, might be more productive) – read books instead.
- Do you get a lunch break? Do you get 30 minutes or an hour? What do you do with that time? Here’s what you could do. Grab a sandwich and read a book.
- Do you commute? Do you travel by train, or plane, or boat? Read a book! If you drive a car, please don’t try to read a book! But you could listen to an audiobook.*
- Get your lazy ass out of bed an hour earlier. What are you going to do with that extra time? Well read a book of course.
- Do you read newspapers or spend more than 5 minutes a day scrolling Facebook? Stop it! You don’t need that stuff in your head. You need some good information, the type of information that comes from good books. So, you know what to instead.
*Note: Some people work well with audiobooks but for most it’s much better to actually read the physical book yourself. Better yet, and this is a PRO TIP, read the book and take notes at the same time. Highlight, underline and make notes in the margin if you must, or use a notebook to record your thoughts about what you’re reading. Make notes on how you might act on the information you just gleaned.
So, now that I’ve told you what to read, and given you plenty of time to do it, I’m going to assume that you have actually read all of those books.
So then what?
Now is the time to start reading your own books. But. Still don’t go to the bookstore and just pick random titles. Do this instead.
Look at the all the areas of your life and business to see what needs attention.
Do you need to be more effective, more productive? Do you need to work on your relationships? Do you need to become better with money and learn more about creating wealth? Does your health need attention? How are your communication skills?
What if you were asked to go to the front of the room, or stand up on stage and give a presentation? Any work to do there?
Pick one area that’s most demanding attention right now, and the go get 2 or 3 books on the subject, and study them.
But not just any books.
Seek out reviews and recommendations. Find the best books on the subject, because there are many, and some are better than others. You want the best.
When you’re done with learning about that subject, when you’ve progressed to the next level, whatever that might be, Then’s the time to pick another subject, another area to work on, and repeat the process.
Do all this for a couple of years and you’ll probably already be one of the smartest people in the room, but it doesn’t end there.
Learning and personal growth is, or should be – will be if you’re smart, a lifelong journey.
And at some point on that journey you’ll run out of lists, run out of recommendations. Then, and only then, I suggest, is the time to go to the bookstore, browse the personal development section and see what jumps out at you.
Once you’ve read a hundred personal development books you’ll get a feel, just by flicking through a few pages, about the quality, and whether it might teach you what you need to know. So browse the books, see what you’re drawn to, and go with it.
What if I pick the wrong book?
If you find a book that just doesn’t work for you, don’t be discouraged – not everything’s a good fit.
But also remember this:
You only need one good idea, one spark of inspiration, to make massive changes in your life.
Would it be worth investing $10 in book that might just give you the one great idea that helped you create a million dollar business?
A smart person knows the answer to this!
What you should do now
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