5 Books Every Man Should Read
Clark Rant | I HATE Reading
I hate reading just as much as the any other guy. I often lose my place or get distracted, which causes me to re-read multiple paragraphs. I often catch myself shooting off a text message in the middle of a book or have countless daydreams that seem more interesting than the book itself. Needless to say reading is hard. But here’s another truth: Reading never gets easier.
I hate reading, but I love knowledge.
You will always have the excuse of “I don’t have enough time”. There will always seem to be more important things going on in life, then the book in front of your face. Reading never gets easier. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can start making the choice to show up and putting in the work to better yourself.
Readers are leaders. Reading good books can spark creativity within you. Some of my best ideas came in the middle of reading a book (i.e. video topics, book ideas, product outlets, launching a podcast, coaching questions, ect).
It doesn’t really matter what you read, it matters that you are reading.
These are my cream of the crop top 5 books I want to recommend to every man out there.
1. As a Man Thinketh – James Allen
You can have whatever you want in life as long as you can think big enough. You are a product of your own thoughts. James Allen is a master at taking complex ideas such as “positive thinking” or “meditation” that tend to sound “wu-wu” and turning them into real relatable ideas. By the time you’re done reading this 40-pager you will walk away feeling empowered and inspired to take action. Everything in your life is created from your thoughts. As you think, so you become. You can find it online from several online sources. However the bonus book “From Poverty to Power” that is after AMT is well worth buying the book.
“As we think, so we are; as we continue to think, so we remain.” pg 31
“Action is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits; thus do we garner in the sweet and bitter harvest of our own plantings. We are what we think we are” pg. 6
“We do not attract that which we want but that which we are” pg. 13
“You cannot travel within and stand still without” pg. 22
“We cannot directly choose our circumstances, but we can choose our thoughts and so, indirectly yet surely, shape our circumstances” pg. 21
2. The Way of the Superior Man – David Deida
If you only read one book off this list, make it The Way of the Superior Man. This book is offensively true. There will be sections that piss you off and you will find yourself finding every excuse to disagree with Deida, yet at your core you know he is just calling it as is. This is an absolute must read for all men.
The Way of the Superior Man gave me such a fresh perspectives on the delicate balance between the masculine and feminine energies that surround us. It is a book that I constantly find myself re-reading and applying to my life. David Deida explores everything ranging from purpose in life to ejaculating up the spine (yes, I’m serious). Plus the book is written in a 51 mini-chapter bite size format.
“The more a man is playing his real edge, the more valuable he is as good company for other men, the more he can be trusted to be authentic and fully present. Where a man’s edge is located is less important than whether he is actually living his edge.” pg. 20
“The way a man penetrates the world should be the same way he penetrates his woman: not merely for personal gain or pleasure, but to magnify love, openness, and depth.” pg. 31 ( had to)
“The masculine means what it says. The feminine says what it feels”. pg. 58
“The whole point of an intimacy is to serve each other in growth and love, hopefully in better ways than we can serve ourselves. Otherwise, why engage in intimacy if your growth and love are served more by living alone?” pg.63
“In the end, the feminine search for love and the masculine search for freedom reach the same destination: the unbounded and infinite ground of being who you are, which is both absolute love and freedom.” pg. 129
3. Maturity – Osho
How do you be in the world but not of the world? Do men go through menopause too? What does it mean to grow up and not just grow old? In a generation where it is almost normal to spend thousands of dollars plumping your lips with synthetic chemicals in order to “stay young” what does it actually mean to be mature? Everyone grows in age, however few actually grow in maturity. This book is a lifesaver. Osho’s presents his eastern philosophical wisdom as if he is sitting right there exploring them with you.
“Life is happiness and unhappiness. Life is day and night, life is life and death. You have to be away of both.” pg. 11
“The darker the night the brighter the stars.” pg. 14
“Maturity has nothing to do with your life experiences. It has something to do with your inward journey, your experiences of the inner. The more a man goes deeper into himself the more mature he is.” pg. 17
“Man becomes mature the moment he starts loving rather than needing. He starts overflowing, sharing, he starts giving.” pg. 53
“A poet may be poor, but when he is singing his song he is the richest man in the world.” pg. 134
“Just look all around… the evening is not the end nor is the morning the beginning. The morning is moving toward the evening and the evening is moving toward the morning. Everything is simply moving into different forms.” “life and death are not separate, not separated by 70-years.” pg.140
” Mins is a way to understand the object, meditation is a way to understand the subject. Mind is a concern with the contents, and meditation is a concern with the container-the consciousness. Mind becomes obsessed with the clouds and meditation searches for the sky. Clouds come and go, the sky remains, abides.” pg. 146
4. The Happiness Hypothesis – Jonathan Haidt
Where does happiness come from? We have gotten really good at studying what’s bad in life. We know the entire psychology and science behind depression, mental illnesses, and other junk, yet when it comes to focusing on happiness we have virtually no idea how it works. In other words, psychologists have gotten really good at taking people from feeling like a 0, then migrating back up to feeling like a 7 or 8, but we have no clue how to consistently take people above a 10. This book takes my underdog of the year award. Many of you know that I buy tons of books. Most of the books are decent, make a few good points, but that’s normally it. Rarely is a book jam packed cover to cover with big takeaways and fresh insights.
Film critic Roger Ebert says, “no good movie is too long, and no bad movie is too short”. Haidt’s book may be around 300 pages, but it’s definitely not too long.
“I don’t believe there is an inspiring answer to the question, “What is the purpose of life?” Yet by drawing on ancient wisdom and modern science, we can find compelling answers to the question of purpose within life. The final version of the happiness hypothesis is that happiness comes from between. Happiness is not something you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right and then wait. Some of those conditions are within you, such as coherence among the parts and levels of your personality. Other conditions require relationships to things beyond you: Just as plants need sun, water, and good soil to thrive, people need love, work, and a connection to something larger. It is worth striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.” pg. 97
“Happiness comes from within, and happiness comes from without.” pg.105
5. The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss
Want to escape the 9 – 5? How do you become part of the “new rich”? Are you someone who says “some day” over and over again? I am willing to put money down that you have probably already read this book. This book has the tools to revolutionize the way you work. Tim Ferriss is a time management guru, as well as a lifestyle design hacker. In other words, Tim finds every way to cut corners or as Tim calls “selective ignorance” (and that’s a good thing!) You can simplify nearly every area of your life. Being busy doesn’t equal being productive. This book puts you in the mindset of valuing time as your most precious resource. I have utilized tons of ideas from this book that have helped me launch products, outsource, save time and travel the world with a cheap budget. Remember, if you waste your time you waste your life.
“Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.” pg. 7
“Why do it all in the first place? What is the pot of gold that justifies spending the best years of your life hoping for happiness in the last?” pg. 9
“People don’t want to be millionaires — they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy.” pg. 9
“Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself.” pg. 50
“Excitement is the more practical synonym for happiness, and it is precisely what you should strive to chase. It is the cure-all.” pg. 51
“Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.” pg. 68
“Most entrepreneurs fail because they jump into the deep end of the pool without learning to swim first.” pg. 120
“Remember- unless something is well-defined and important, no one should do it. Eliminate before you delegate.” pg. 122
What do you think? What are your favorite books? Did any not make the list? Answer in the comments below!
Remember: Reading smart people makes you smarter.
Stop settling and start living.
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