THREE BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE
Finding a new book to read that’s actually worth your time and effort can be a difficult process.
To make things a little easier for you, I want to share three books that have changed my perspective on life permanently. I won’t guarantee that they’ll have the same result on everyone, but I do believe that a ton of people can, and will, benefit from taking the time to absorb the knowledge contained in these books.
The following books are not listed in any particular order:
Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
For me, this book was a game changer.
Years ago, I had a gig in a small town about a couple hours away from the city. Whenever we had long-distance gigs, all the band members would get together in our bass player’s van, and talk about philosophy to keep our minds busy. On this particular day, I’ll never forget what our guitar player said to me….
“Jared, we like you. But you worry way too much and it’s annoying.”
You couldn’t tell by looking at my face, but I was hurt by the comment. For the remainder of the trip, I kept thinking to myself: “do I worry too much?”, “Is he right?”
I eventually came to conclusion that he was right. I was cynical, I was pessimistic, and I was worried. But, I didn’t want to be like this.
Later in the week, I typed into google search: “I worry too much”, and I came across an online book forum that recommended reading “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”. The title alone made me roll my eyes (I’ll talk about this more in another blog-post), but I wanted to at least give it a shot.
I ended up loving the book. What I enjoyed the most was that Tolle took the topic of the “present”, which is often analyzed from a very wishy-washy, woo-wooey, and pseudoscience point of view, but instead presented his arguments with strong scientific cases and justifications. In my opinion, it’s very hard to argue against Tolle’s point of view.
Reading that book was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and I’m not exaggerating. I won’t spoil the book, but if you’re the kind of person that finds yourself either: a) Worrying about the future or b) Regretting the past, than this books for you.
Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning
I stumbled upon this book thanks to the recommendation of one of my favorite YouTube celebrities: Eliot Hulse (look him up!)
Frankl was a Jewish physician in pre WW2 Germany. As the war began, Frankl was eventually captured by the Nazis, and placed in a concentration camp for the remainder of the war.
The Nazi’s took almost everything from Frankl… all his research, all his friends, and his entire family were destroyed in the course of just a few years. However, despite all his hardships, Frankl not only survived the atrocities of the holocaust, but thrived in them. Sounds crazy right?
Again, no major spoilers, but my favorite argument that Frankl proposes is his view on success:
“Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
Thomas M. Sterner’s The Practicing Mind
Are you in the process of learning a new instrument, a new language, or learning anything at all? If you answered yes, chances are you’ve been experiencing feelings of frustration and disappointment. It’s important to note that these feelings are completely normal.
In fact, according to Sterner, these feelings are intrinsically linked to productivity!
Too often, people want instant results…. “I want to lose 20 pounds in 20 days”, “I want to be able to play this song by the end of the month”.
It’s good to have goals, but it’s stupid to be impatient when you’re aiming for them. Sterner argues that if we ever want to accomplish anything in life, you need to learn to enjoy the journey, not just the result. This book instilled me with a new sense of confidence whenever I’m in the process of learning or perusing something, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand and appreciate the learning process in greater depth.
That’s it….three books that changed my life. I really do hope that they can do the same for you. Be present, have meaning, and be patient: three qualities that any human can benefit from. If you agree with my choices, disagree with my choices, or want to share any books of that have changed your own life, please leave us a comment below!