The following are books which I usually read when starting out a year to keep me focused and in check. The books suggested are from different authors and backgrounds. The books focus on different areas of life and provide perspective into life and work. The five books are:
- One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. This is one of the best books to read at the commencement of the year. This book is special for those who want to improve and enhance productivity in the next one year. One of the greatest productivity concepts derived from this book is time blocking. Gary Keller discusses how productivity does not take much time. Instead productivity is about focus and intensity. One only needs to have an intense time (time blocks) dedicated to one thing which one intends to accomplish within the day before moving onto other things.
2. 5 Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware. Reading this book at the start of the year injects perspective into the year and helps one make reasonable yearly resolutions that encompass all dimensions of life. This books reminds you that life is not all about work or about self. Life encompasses many elements which must be balanced for one to live a great life. This book gives one perspective of those living at the final days of life and what they regret most about their lives. It informs one about the need to live a balanced life where one gives priority to family, friends, health, self and everything that matters.
3. Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. The book highlights progresses in technology, education, healthcare, water, food and what advancement in each of these sectors mean for the future. The book is a great recommendation at the start of the year because it provides a huge dose of optimism at the start of the year especially at a time when the media is bombarding us with heavy doses of negativity and gloom. This book helps one to realise that the world is filled with abundance of opportunities and that resources are abundant and available for everyone. It just depends on the side of the glass which you want to see.
4. Smarter, Faster Better by Charles Duhigg the author of Habits. This book is about productivity in the workplace. It shows how one can increase and harness productivity by learning how to keep oneself motivated. The book shows how one can enhance productivity through teamwork, goalsetting, focus, good decision making, good absorption and utilisation of data. Reading this book at the start of the year equips one with motivation and knowledge on how to apply different strategies in order to remain smarter, faster and better in highly competitive world that values and rewards results and productivity.
5. The Bible and more specifically the book of Joshua. As one commences the year, one should be full of optimism and most importantly courage. The book of Joshua endows one with courage and ability to confront the giants and challenges that one is likely to encounter throughout the year. Just like Biblical Joshua overcame obstacles and possessed the promised land, the book equips one with immense faith to conquer giants. The book equips one with radical faith and self-belief in conquering obstacles that life brings along such as ill health, loss of loved one, job loss or reduced income.
6. Principles by Raymond Dalio. This book is a huge volume book and I have listed it last because if you are slow reader you can take three months or entire year before finishing reading it. The book is good start for the year because it has been written by an accomplished entrepreneur and founder of Bridgewater Associates. The main reason for recommending this book is because it is all about good decision making. It can enhance the quality of decision made throughout the year. Reading this book at the start of the year infects one with above average capacity to make good decisions. One learns about radical open-mindedness and radical transparency as key elements of making goods decisions.
As the old quote by Mark Twain said “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” May you have a book reading year.