Below is a list of books in no particular order (besides alphabetically) I would recommend to get you thinking about improving your life:
Mastery by Robert Greene – This book does a good of breaking down the process one goes through in order to become a master. It includes stories about some of the greatest masters of our time including Beethoven, Ben Franklin and Charles Darwin and their long journey towards success. Spoilers: Mastery doesn’t take genetics or special talent. It’s a combination of hard work and lots and lots of time devoted toward your ambition.
The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson – A great “Meditation for Dummies” book for those interested in the subject. This isn’t a spiritual book but rather a scientific approach to the mental and physical benefits of taking 10-20 minutes out of one’s day to engage in what Benson calls “The Relaxation Response.” He goes into detail of his research and basic meditation techniques for one to use. It’s also a great book to understand exactly what high blood pressure is and why it is such a problem.
The Road Less Traveled by M Scott Peck – “Life is Difficult.” This the first sentence of Peck’s book, which was published in the 70’s. Despite the fact the book is more than 30 years old, many of the concepts still ring true today. The book mainly focuses on how the journey to true happiness is not an easy one and will require a lot of effort. He talks about many different subjects including discipline, delaying gratification, dependency, self-sacrifice, love, and being open to challenges. As a fair warning, he does get a little spiritual towards the end but doesn’t go as far as to shove his beliefs down your throat.
Under the Bar/Raise the Bar by Dave Tate – Two books that helped kick-start this whole journey for me were Dave Tate’s Under the Bar and its sequel, Raise the Bar. Tate is a professional power lifter and owner/founder of Elite Fitness Systems, a website that educates and supplies power lifters with the resources they need. Although the books may be geared towards power lifters everyone can benefit by reading them. Each chapter focuses on a specific value from integrity to conformity to risk management. The books are packed with inspirational quotes from historical figures and advice from a man who used to get dog droppings shoved in his face by school bullies to being able to build his own business from the ground up.