My Top 10 Best Reads of 2015

Jan 1, 2016, Life

As 2015 came to a close and 2016 has now begun, I’ve been reflecting on all the wins, breakthroughs, and milestones over the past year. In doing so, I’ve realized 2015 was my best reading year yet. And I’m not saying that just because I read more books than ever before…

…I’m also proud that I broke out from the routine of strictly reading business & success related books. My biggest “win” in 2015 was broadening my learning experiences into areas like philosophy, spirituality, science, health & wellness, and trading the markets, among other subjects.

2015 was also my best year in business yet, as I found what seems to be the best combination of pursuits to fit my knowledge, personality, and passions. I think it’s no coincidence that the two occurred in the same year.

In the interest groups of network marketing, affiliate/Internet marketing, and entrepreneurship, it’s all too common to see most people solely focusing on learning everything they can about their particular endeavors, business, and success, etc. But, I’ve discovered some of my biggest breakthroughs in business have come from learning experiences in other areas of life.

If you’ve been focused on business books, excluding everything else (like I had in the past), here is a list of my Top 10 Reads in 2015 you can use to start exploring and perhaps find your next big idea!

1. What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars, by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan

What I Learned Losing A Million DollarsI’ve first heard Tim Ferriss recommend this one as a ‘must-read book for any investor’. Moynihan tells the story of Jim Paul, a man who built up millions through a series of fortunate outcomes and proceeded to lose it all by believing he was smarter than the market.

One of the biggest takeaways from this book was understanding the difference between Incorrect/Correct and Wrong/Right, and the impact that can have in your life. It’s human nature to want to be right, to be with the crowd. But a person who learns to focus on making correct decisions instead of being right, will become far more successful in the long-term.

2. Trading in the Zone, by Mark Douglas

Trading In The Zone

When I first began diving into the trading world, I thought the key to my success rested in learning how to read charts, and having the best trading strategies. I eventually realized, however, that probably 5-10% of trading success actually depends on those things, and 90% or more depends totally on having the right mindset & beliefs.

In this book, Douglas walks through the entire process of changing your current beliefs about things like money, emotions (namely fear & greed), discipline, and risk, and then guides you through forming a trading discipline based on the new, proper beliefs that lead to trading success.

3. Why You Could Be Destined To Fail In Trading and How You Can Avoid It!: The Path of a Champion, by Soriano Reynaldo

Why You Could Be Destined To Fail In Trading

Much like “Trading in the Zone”, this book focuses on the importance of proper mindset to succeed at trading. It’s not often you find a book like this that teaches a perfect blend of both trading and personal development & mindset.

With a workbook-like style, Soriano guides you through a process of putting your desires, beliefs, thoughts, and strengths & weaknesses onto paper, creating a subsequent trading plan to follow through with.

If trading is a skill you want to master, I highly recommend starting with this one…Get your mindset right, and then all the trading technical skills can come later.

4. The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, by Steven Kotler

The Rise Of Superman

While this one gets mixed reviews from the public, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the many individual stories of extreme athletes within the book.

The basic theme of the book is that “flow” puts the brain in a state where pattern recognition and learning happen at a much faster rate, giving rise to superhuman achievements over relatively short periods of time. So, consistent flow is a shortcut to mastery, especially compared to the popularly quoted “10,000 hours of practice” route espoused by Malcolm Gladwell.

5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg

The Power Of Habit

This one is actually kind of an “old one but a goodie”, as I initially went through this book a few years ago, but revisited it in 2015 because it was just so good! Duhigg, an investigative reporter for the New York Times, tackles the topic of the “power of habit” and what we can do to change our habits in business and life.

I found the science of how habits are formed in the brain to be the most interesting part. It’s not a book teaching you in depth how to change habits you don’t wish to keep, rather how habits are formed and maintained, and how they effect individuals, companies, and societies.

6. The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin

The Art Of Learning

The author of this book, Josh Waitzkin, became a national & world champion in two completely separate domains: first chess as a youth, and then Tai Chi Chuan. He explains how he was able to do that, through mastering the art of learning.

Part biography, part chess memoir, and part martial arts philosophy, the book offers Waitzkin’s approach to mastering any skill through becoming a student and applying certain disciplines and habits.

7. Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Dr. Wayne Dyer

Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life

I first heard of and began learning from Dr. Dyer over a decade ago when I got involved in the network marketing industry and immersed myself in personal development. But 2015 was the first time I went through this book of his, where he guides us through the book of ancient Chinese wisdom, the Tao Te Ching.

I’d summarize the book as helping you find peace in life, slowing down, enjoying the present, and creating those moments of Zen necessary for a happy life.

8. The Autobiography of a Yogi, by Yogananda

Autobiography of a Yogi

If nothing else, this book is an account of an utterly fascinating life of a Yogi from India who made his way to the USA and western world in the early 1900’s. The stories he tells of his life experiences and wisdom are inspiring, educational, and entertaining.

I heard it said that at a memorial for Steve Jobs, it was his wish to have this book given to everyone in attendance, because it was the guide to spirituality and meditation that he had first read as a teenager, then re-read in India and had read once per year ever since.

9. The Gut Balance Revolution: Boost Your Metabolism, Restore Your Inner Ecology, and Lose the Weight for Good!, by Dr. Gerard Mullin

The Gut Balance Revolution

Although I’m physically active, and am pretty strict about what I eat & drink, long ago cutting excess sugars and carbohydrates from my diet, I’ve always struggled with my weight. It’s one of those things I eventually threw up my hands and attributed to bad genes.

And, I read few health/diet books because so many of them seem to fall into the “fad diet” category, and I have no tolerance for those. I simply want to be active, eat well, and live fully…not falling prey to some gimmicky diet that I’ll fall off the bandwagon from after a period of time and regain everything I lost.

We’ve known for quite some time that weight loss has nothing to do with the old mantra of “calories in: calories out”. In this book, Mullin goes into great detail on studies and research that has shown the key role our gut microbiome plays in our weight and health. It’s really fascinating stuff, and requires only small modifications to what I’ve already been eating on a ketogenic diet.

10. The Big Short, by Michael Lewis

The Big Short

Michael Lewis is an incredible writer who perfectly illustrated the ridiculousness of Wall Street. Malcolm Gladwell, an amazing writer himself, has called Lewis “the finest storyteller of our generation”. Not just entertaining, but also very informative, you’ll learn about how the financial world works through shady, under-the-table, and behind closed doors deals.


 

Did you read anything in 2015 that had a big influence on you? Let me know in the comments, I’m always looking for recommendations!

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