My Favourite Books in 2014

favourite books

As you probably know already, I love reading motivational, inspirational and even self-improvement books.

In this post, I thought I should share with you a couple of my favourite books that I read in 2014 that, in my opinion, almost changed my life and my perspective. Some even inspired me to write about my own experiences.

The list could be quite long. So I decided to pick the four most important books that really appealed to me.

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The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

This is truly a path breaking book that gave me an immense sense of self-confidence and belief in myself.

What this book stresses on is that there is no such thing as an overnight success. In real life, NO “get rich quick” schemes ever work. Success is always a result of small smart choices made every day over a period of time.

You may think of the compound effect in the following way:

Smart, small choices + consistency + time= Massive Results

Just keep taking simple, small steps every day and in time you will achieve the intended results.

The Compound Effect is always at work. You can either make it work for you or it will work against you.

He gives the example of three friends. One friend tries to improve himself every day. He spends some time with his wife, walks for half an hour, cuts 125 calories less in his diet and reads motivational stuff, every day.

The second friend does nothing and is a little bitter about life. He whines and complaints all the while.

The third friend rarely exercises, spends enormous amount of hours watching TV, takes his wife for granted and has a cookie and beer to enjoy life, every day.

The results after 2 and a half years: The third friend is now obese, has terrible health problems and has lost both job and wife.

The second friend remains the same, but is now more bitter than before.

The first friend remains trim, has a happy relationship with his wife and gets a job promotion.

You can see the compound effect in action.

It is the small things we do in life that make the biggest of differences. You don’t become obese overnight nor do you lose your wealth instantly. It is all a compound effect of bad decisions taken almost every day over a considerable period of time.

On the converse, you don’t become rich or healthy overnight. That is also a result of smart, small choices made almost every day over a considerable period of time.

So your biggest challenge is to remain consistent.

It is also very important to implement good habits and to get rid of the really bad ones.

The Principles of Success: How to Get from Where You are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

This book talks about 67 timeless principles of success that the world’s most famous men and women have employed in their lives to transform their lives beyond their wildest dreams. My most important take-aways from this book are:

Take 100% responsibility for your life: Don’t blame your luck or adverse astrological positions. Do whatever is in your hand.

Think about small successes in life: We are all conditioned to remember about our failures but if I were to ask you whether you had any success this week, you will struggle to remember any.

We all remember the bad things in our life but don’t remember the last time we were paid a compliment.

This book forces you to think of your small successes rather than failures. The Author asks you to maintain a diary (your victory log) where you jot down all forms of successes, be it a compliment, good grades, a new customer or you sticking to your routine. This really helps in improving your self-esteem.

Surround yourself with successful positive people: In order to be successful, you must surround yourself with positive people and do away with negative (toxic) people who slowly suck away all your happiness, just like a vampire sucks blood.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Being somewhat of an introvert myself, which I thought was a handicap that needed to be “worked on”, this book actually helped me to become aware of my inner strengths.

For a long time I had thought that there was something really wrong with me. Why did I not want to party after a busy work schedule? Why did I value deeper relationships than one night stands? Why did idle gossip, beyond a limit, leave me cold?

This book explained that introversion is not a disease. Introverts actually brim over with such God given gifts as: attentive listening, less risk taking, perseverance, conscientiousness, faithfulness, empathy, and creativity (there are many more).

Above all, this book inspired me to write about my own experiences which resulted into the writing of the Quiet Phoenix series.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

This book is full of short, easily digestible motivational bed time stories. Every story is a “stand-alone”.

This is where I read about Abraham Lincoln’s failures.

Another story I really loved was the ‘Golden Buddha’. The message was that all of us have gold within us, our only task should be to discover it.

This book inspired me to write Celebrating Quiet People: Uplifting Stories for Introverts and Highly Sensitive Persons.

I would love to hear about your book recommendations. Are there any particular types of books that fascinate you? Anything you read recently that you would like to share?

Prasenjeet Kumar

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