Crush It was Gary Vaynerchuk’s first book. Since its release, Gary has become a superstar on social media, impacting many successful artists and creators as an inspiration. He has been one of the best at leveraging every social media platform out there to spread his message, amassing hundreds of thousands of fans, and building a 8 to 9-figure digital agency on the back of that.
I found out about Gary when he first transitioned from his family wine business, which he 10xed in sales, to being a social media expert and digital agency CEO.
A year ago, I started an experiment. After hearing all the hype from successful people about how meditation, I took it up for the first time in my life. And I documented my journey with data.
I used the app, Insight Timer, the best free meditation app out there. It logs all the free guided meditations I listen to on there and breaks down the stats. According to the app, I have meditated a total of 56 hours and 27 minutes for a daily average of 10 minutes.
Ben’s philosophies in life are still influencing many people today. His concepts of pursuing health, wealth, and happiness even impacted Tim Ferriss to structure his best-selling book Tools of Titans around these concepts.
Here’s a busy man’s book summary of Ben’s autobiography, a book I’ve been wanting to read for year that I finally got to:
Wealth and success are tied hand-in-hand with creativity.
Successful people and businesses have to come up with innovative ideas to change people’s lives and offer value. So how can you become more creative? Research claims to procrastinate. And how do you beat procrastination? You’ll find out…
Do you ever feel overwhelmed or confused which book to read?
With thousands of books, it’s frustrating to determine which books will actually make you smarter. You don’t want to waste your time. Yet you feel ambitious because you want to improve yourself. The sad truth is that most “Top 10 Books to Get Smarter” articles are written by content factories with authors who don’t actually read. They don’t like reading and they pull random books out of their butt to get traffic for their site.
From someone who has read hundreds of books, I want to provide you a solid list of actual books you can read to get smarter.
Despite being young, I’ve come across a decent amount of people my age who have been diagnosed with cancer.
It makes me wonder what I would do if I were to die in a month from now. It’s a powerful exercise that I suggest you do from time to time to make sure you’re not wasting your life. Cancer can happen to you and you don’t want to have a lot of regret from spending your life ineffectively.
I suggest having a month left to live because a day is too short and a year is too long. If you do the exercise centered around dying tomorrow, it’d be more for identifying regrets than identifying what you can do something about.
I want to start off the exercise to show you what I’d do if I were to die soon…
I used to think my Chinese American parents were perfect growing up.
They had come to the United States as immigrants with only a couple hundred dollars and worked their way up to a middle-class income. Plus, Asian students as a whole had great reputation for being doing well in school and getting into prestigious universities. In my eyes, they were successful. So how could they be wrong with any of their advice?
But after contrasting how Asian immigrants parented with the hundreds of the world’s most successful people, I realized that they are doing fundamental things wrong.
Warren Buffett said he probably wasted at least 10 years reading slowly during a talk he had with Bill Gates. Bill said is he could have one superpower, it’d be to read faster. That’s the importance of learning to read faster.
I have tested out a lot of B.S. “tactics” that do not work and looked over the scientific research.
There’s some misinformation out there about speed reading. It’s not a flashy weird technique like spiral movement and it’s not simply skimming the book and cherry-picking the chapters or paragraphs that are most useful (that’s just reading smarter and usually applies to just non-fiction books).
People can be mistaught about the concept and come out thinking that it’s about reading 1 million words per minute or it’s some form of cherry-picking. I am not sure if these people are actually really reading or retaining any of the information they get.
I’ve gone through a ton of speed reading courses, videos, lectures, and books. There’s actually some really good principles that actually work.
Real speed reading is legit because what it does is it eliminates inefficiencies that you naturally pick up: subvocalization in your mind or voice and inefficiencies in eye movement.
As far as the extreme stuff about claims of increasing your speed by 10,000% and reading at 100,000 words a minute, that stuff raises my eyebrows. However, I wanted to share with you some timeless principles that will definitely double or triple your reading speed.
“There are no perfect relationships. There are no perfect partners. Relationships by their very nature are chaotic, eventful, and challenging.” ― Robert A. Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy
One of the books that has had the most profound impact on my life is Dr. Robert Glover’s No More Mr. Nice Guy.
The book uncovers:
the truth about the stereotypical Nice Guy
why modern society has created so many of them
why they fail to get the relationships and career success they crave
how to take back your life in an honest, non-manipulative way without becoming a jerk
It also goes into detailed stories of many of his Nice Guy clients and specific steps on how to break free from this behavior.
Dr. Glover understands Nice Guys deeply, having coached thousands of them as a licensed psychotherapist. He adeptly addresses specific common questions like, “Why is it a bad thing to be nice?” and “How do I talk to a girl without making it seem like I’m hitting on her?”
When you want to get better, you hang around the people who are already like how you want to be. At least that’s what people say…
Since I started my CrossFit journey a year ago, I figured that if I am going to do this, I might as well do it right. Why not learn from the best of the best? I studied all the interviews and videos of the best athletes I could find online. I dissected Rich Froning’s book and interviews to distill his CrossFit success secrets in its own article.
The next step was reaching out to any regional or CrossFit Games competitors and seeing if any were kind enough take the time to answer my questions. Here is what they said:
Steve Harvey is one of the few who truly started from the bottom.
There are plenty of successful people who started in the middle of life with a good education and rose to the top. Steve flunked out of school, worked at a factory job, go fired, was homeless, and made up his mind to be a success when he was middle-aged.
I can list the names of people I know who started like that on my fingers: Richard Branson, John Paul DeJoria, Chris Gardner, Jim Carrey, Sylvester Stallone, Brian Tracy, and Tony Robbins.
When I first heard Steve’s story on YouTube, it struck me so deeply that I had to learn more. Why? Because some part me had lost hope but I saw that if Steve could change his life so late in the game, maybe I could too.
As always, I do a search to see if he wrote a book on success, not expecting to find anything.
Just like with Michael Strahan, I was surprised to find that he did. It is called Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success. Isn’t that interesting? You’d be amazed how many of your role models have written books explaining their secrets.
It’s a tragedy few people know about these books or bother to read them.
Steve’s book gives me a unique perspective. It’s not advice from someone who at the top. It’s coming from someone who came from the bottom.
By the end of this, any excuse you have, whether it’s “I don’t have the connections”, “I don’t have the skills”, “I don’t have the knowledge”, or “I don’t have the education” should be flushed out of you like turds in a toilet bowl. No excuses.
Many people die letting their false beliefs and excuses hold them back from their dreams. Don’t let this be you. Here are the top 18 lessons I learned from his book:
She’s not anymore, but at one point, she reached that level.
It’s interesting how unaware we are that really well-known female celebrities are billionaires even though they’re in the minority and should be celebrated.
I didn’t know Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and J.K. Rowling were until I did some research.
I read Martha’s book on success. This book is literally on how you can achieve success. It’s staggering how many successful people have written $10 books on these topics, yet no one is aware of them, let alone read them.
This book was a great read. There was a lot of lessons I really think that many women can relate to and I think it’s one of the best books to read for a women looking to become wealthy, happy, and successful.
Here are the top rules of success I picked up from the book:
Brené Brown is a University of Houston research professor who has spent decades studying shame and vulnerability.
For most of human civilization, men have hid behind the mask of masculinity, concealing any signs of shame and vulnerability because they believed that a man should never show weakness.
But it turns out that Brené found that vulnerability is a vital part of mental health, communication, and working relationships through her scientific study. Men are waking up and realizing this — even entrepreneurs like Lewis Howes have wrote books on it.
If you’re not familiar with the vulnerability, shame, and guilt movement, start out by checking our Brené’s TED talk, which has gotten millions of views:
“Vulnerability is not weakness. I define vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty … Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” -Brené Brown
Are you dealing with shame? How do you identify if you have it and how do you handle it? Listen to my podcast episode to find out:
Subscribe to the podcast:
“Shame is a focus on self. Guilt is a focus on behavior.” -Brené Brown
Here are some key lessons I learned from her book, Daring Greatly:
There is no data that shows there is any benefit to shame.
Shame resiliency is the ability to realize what you did is still worth it regardless of the risks of shame and embarrassment.
Shame resiliency is important and useful and can be improved.
Validating your self-worth based on the external is a recipe for disaster and shame. You must be okay with what you do and who you are regardless of what others think.
Vulnerability is not weakness. It is courage.
Denying vulnerability that exists is weakness because you have a weakness you’re not admitting.
Vulnerability is not revealing your deepest secrets to strangers. Get to know someone and see if you can trust them first.
Trust must be slowly built over time.
Every action that someone you know takes to show their reliability (or lack thereof) is another score on your trust scorecard to determine if you can trust them.
Men get their shame not only from other men, but also from the women they know. Women also get massive shame from other women. Both genders try to live up to a perfect ideal of who they have to be that’s impossible.
Research shows that there is nothing good to perfectionism. It leads to depression, life paralysis, and many other issues. It’s caused through approval-seeking.
The data shows that shame is correlated with depression and suicide, while guilt is inversely correlated. Therefore, you want to train yourself, your children, and others to use guilt rather than shame. Get them to shame stuff like, “I made a stupid decision” rather than “I am a stupid person.”
My Own Shame
Discovering these books and reflecting on my own experiences with shame have been a wake-up call. Since I was young, I would have flash-backs to experiences I had that would seep shame and embarrassment. Usually, this occurred when my mind was free, like in the shower or driving.
After listening to The Mating Grounds podcast, I realized this is fairly common. Rather than push away the thoughts like I used to, I was encouraged to come to terms with them.
This has helped me meet these memories and feelings head-on. I came to realize that some of that shame is illogical.
For example, I would think, “I can’t believe I barged into that conversation and mentioned how I went to visit the same city recently. I must have come off like I was bragging and full of myself.”
But when I assess the situation, I was placing way too much shame and assumption on myself for simply trying to be part of a conversation. I will take these lessons and try to be more compassionate with myself.
Loving-kindness meditation has been helpful.
This whole topic has helped me become more self-aware of how I treat myself. I have realized that I need more self-love and need to stop beating myself up at times for fear of offending people.
A few years ago, I discovered the world of online dating advice. At the time, I felt like I had discovered a super power. Until that point, I thought that your success with women was fixed and there was nothing you could do about it. Finding out there were techniques I could use immediately to improve was like discovering the holy grail.
Unfortunately, these tactics and “blueprints” were horrible. They were inaccurate and produced few results. Dating coaches and pick up artists claimed to have found the “science of attraction” but it was a pseudoscience at best. They really just shot at the dark and taught what worked. It was far from a rigorous scientific process.
Now, that has changed. In the last two decades, tons of new experiments have been done by actual scientists on attraction. There is a lot more data you can trust and the results can be counter-intuitive. This is the men’s dating guide I wish I received years ago. And it’s all here for you for free.
The lessons I learned and will share come from a book called Mate: Become the Man Women Want. The book is based on extensive research on into evolutionary biology and mating. A man who is really good with women (Tucker Max) partnered up with a Ph.D. to go through thousands of shocking studies.
Humans are lucky creatures because there are so many areas (behavioral, social, fitness, mental health, fashion, etc.) we can improve. Other animals are screwed with what they were born with (like how long their antlers are).