Everyone should be reading or listening to audiobooks on a daily basis in my opinion. The smartest and most successful people in the world make reading a priority every day, spending a MINIMUM of 1 hour a day reading. (This has been called the 5 hour rule.) Many of them read for 2 or more hours a day; Warren Buffett reads newspapers and reports for 5 to 6 hours a day. Bill Gates reads at least 50 books a year. Mark Zuckerberg reads a book every 2 weeks. Elyon Musk allegedly read 2 books a day according to his brother.
Reading is the shortest route to a better education and is something that can be worked into anyone’s life. I have shared many times about the love I have found with audiobooks. I read thirteen books last year and meant to read more; it was one of the most productive years of my life.
So, in the spirit of personal growth, here are 5 books all men should read!
Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage - Congressmen Dan Crenshaw
About the Book:
“Fortitude is a no-nonsense advice book for finding the strength to deal with everything from menial daily frustrations to truly difficult challenges. More than that, it is a roadmap for a more resilient American culture. With meditations on perseverance, failure, and finding much-needed heroes, the book is the antidote for a prevailing "safety culture" of trigger warnings and safe spaces. Interspersed with lessons from history and psychology is Crenshaw's own story of how an average American kid from the Houston suburbs went from war zones to the halls of Congress—and managed to navigate his path with a sense of humor and an even greater sense that, no matter what anyone else around us says or does, we are in control of our own destiny.”
Fortitude was an amazing breath of fresh air in today’s “safe space” culture, calling us home to the resilience that made this country amazing. Think of it as the “greatest generation” as they are known, reminding us that grit and determination go side by side with work ethic and respect. I personally think this should be required reading in school.
Fortitude is a battle cry reminding us to stand firm on our beliefs and values and maybe more importantly to suck it up a little bit. No one can “make” you feel anything you don’t want to, see our podcast on handling criticism for more on that. You cannot oppress others by your thoughts and opinions and with a little fortitude we can all take back control of ourselves.
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - Jocko Willink – Leif Babin
About the Book:
“Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required listening for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.”
This book is a game changer, I kid you not. I have always believed in personal responsibility and so I was very interested in the idea of the book. This book changed something in me forever and I don’t say that lightly. Strap in for this one, because you will come face to face with some hard truths that you may not be ready to face. It takes a measure of bravery to look at yourself with complete honesty so that you can see the flaws and fix them. Not for the faint of heart or those who wish to abide in “safe spaces.”
If you are ready to take ownership of your life and truly become who you are meant to be then you need to read this book. Once you go down the rabbit hole you can’t easily come back; it will awaken something in you that will refuse to leave you where you are. It will make you demand more of yourself; once you see the truth the freedom that comes is amazing. Jocko likes to say, “Discipline equals Freedom” and this is the path you will be on.
The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts – Gary Chapman
About the Book:
“In the #1 New York Times international bestseller The 5 Love Languages, you’ll discover the secret that has transformed millions of relationships worldwide. Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner—starting today.”
Bear with me here; I know a lot of guys are rolling their eyes right now but this book is a double whammy. This book is incredibly useful in a relationship, but it is also incredibly useful in ALL relationships. No kidding, you want to be a better husband? This book will help. Would you like to be a better father? This book will help. Would you like to be a better boss or employee? THIS BOOK WILL HELP THERE TOO!
Once you understand the concepts in this book you can apply them to ANY relationship. You will understand how to interact with everyone in your life better. You may not be in love with your co-worker (or maybe you are) but once you understand how that person expresses love and caring you will understand how to communicate better with them. I did a quick overview of this book but if you want to be the best leader/person/man you can be (see our video) then anything that can improve your communication skills this much is incredible and should be pursued immediately!
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
About the Book:
“The #1 Personal Finance book of all time, Robert Kiyosaki shares the story of his two dads: his real father, whom he calls his poor dad, ' and the father of his best friend, the man who became his mentor and his rich dad.' One man was well educated and an employee all his life, the other's education was street smarts" over traditional classroom education and he took the path of entrepreneurship a road that led him to become one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. Robert's poor dad struggled financially all his life, and these two dads? These very different points of view of money, investing, and employment shaped Robert's thinking about money.”
This book was the first book I ever read on finances and I have read many more of his books since then and become a subscriber on his YouTube channel and social media. Robert will change everything you think you know about money and how it works. The book is so easy to read and follow along, one of his goals was to keep it simple, relatable and understandable. Don’t get twisted, this is not a get rich quick load of crap. Robert is a teacher and expects you to think and engage to get the most out of it. No spoon fed nonsense, you have to be actively thinking or you will miss the whole picture.
Roberts approach to wealth flies in the face of the typical way we are told to get wealthy (and since he is loaded he might have an idea of how it works). It will not be the typical “save your money in a bank account” that we were all told would eventually make us wealthy enough to be able to retire at 60. This book was the beginning of a financial journey that I am still traveling. He understands that enjoying something makes learning more functional and effective so his book has many enjoyable stories. I would recommend his board game but that requires a bigger commitment
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure – Grant Cardone
About the Book:
“While most people operate with only three degrees of action-no action, retreat, or normal action-if you're after big goals, you don't want to settle for the ordinary. To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also known as the 10X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams.
The 10X Rule unveils the principle of "Massive Action," allowing you to blast through business clichés and risk-aversion while taking concrete steps to reach your dreams. It also demonstrates why people get stuck in the first three actions and how to move into making the 10X Rule a discipline. Find out exactly where to start, what to do, and how to follow up each action you take with more action to achieve Massive Action results.”
This is one of my most recent reads, in fact after I finish the 2 books I am currently reading I am planning to read it a second time. I highly recommend the audible version of this and the other books. There are things you will want to highlight and revisit and possibly take notes on so the actual book is also good to own. Grant Cardone recorded the audiobook himself and is just a pleasure to listen to, because you get this exactly how the author thought it in his head. High energy and engaging I smiled along through it all.
This book will challenge your thinking on the way you pursue your goals. He is primarily focused in the book on the business aspect of the 10X rule, but also shows you how you can apply it to anything in your life. Stop living small and dream big, Mr. Cardone will help you see what that looks like. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it has filled me with a bigger vision for the possibilities of the future.
The 10X Rule will help you take all your dreams and your everyday to another level if you will let it. Don’t let your ambitions be crushed by the world, put them on blast and go 10X!
I really do love Audible, audio books have made my life so much easier. Give it a try if you are tight on time and love to read. Click the image above to get 2 free audio books with your audible Premium Plus trial.
Tell me if I missed any, I know there are a ton of great books out there. My reading list of books to get through is massive. If I didn’t mention one that you think is a top ten, sound off in the comments and share with us.
I have read a lot of books over the years but these 5 have had a major impact on my life and I believe they will in yours as well. I hope you enjoy them!
Thanks for spending time with me!
The Fallible Man
Be better tomorrow because of what you do today!