"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein
"We need to have a paradigm shift. What we've been doing hasn't been working." - Steve Shields
What is the big deal about your mindset?
Mindset is your established way of thinking. For some this leads to a life of wealth and opportunity but for many, mindset confines them to fear, struggle and unfulfillment.
For years, I was confined to my own way of thinking due to the environment I grew up in. I was lead to believe that that entities like the government, public school system, medical industry and the police were solely responsible for my unhappiness and misfortune.
Now it may be true those entities weren’t out to always help me, but thanks to a trip to the emergency room a few years ago I awakened to the fact that my health and happiness were ultimately up to me. If was gonna reach my greatest potential I had to take control of my own destiny.
The 2 Types of Mindsets
Psychologist and mindset expert Carol S. Dweck explains that there are two types of mindsets that individuals have: fixed and growth. Fixed mindset individuals fear failure, and believe that talent, intelligence and abilities are fixed traits that cannot be changed or developed.
Individuals with a growth mindset believe success comes from hard work and learning. They also understand that talents and abilities can be developed over time, and view failure as an integral part of the learning process.
Our mindsets are usually formed from early subconscious programming in our environment and are often linked to economic status, gender, and culture. Basically, if you grew up in poverty you most likely had parents, friends and teachers who programmed your subconscious to have a poverty mindset.
Many people are not aware of their limiting beliefs and are often stagnated in life due to their fixed mindsets. Recognizing our mindset is critical especially for those in a fixed state. In order to to achieve massive success, those in a fixed mindset must make a shift to a growth mindset. For many this requires a life altering experience or trauma to kick start to process, but it is also possible through reading, meditation and subconscious reprogramming.
I compiled a list of my top 5 books that are monumential in helping people make the paradigm shift necessary to transform their lives.
This is not really a ranking, but rather a list to get you started on the path to self realization and personal development. I do however believe that Stephen Covey’s book is a great starting point because it sets a major foundation to build upon with the “begin with the end in mind” and “personal mission statement” exercises that are included in the text.
My advice is to start there, take your time to absorb the book by highlighting, taking notes and performing all of the mental exercises that are presented in the chapters. And now to the list!
This masterpiece written by Stephen Covey is a staple in the Personal Development genre and also a great starting point for those looking to uncover their purpose. Personally, I believe this is the first book that should be read on the list because of the instructions for writing a personal mission statement and the exercise of visualizing one’s own funeral. When you begin witht the end in mind you truly awaken to how critical your time is and it's sort of a wake up call to get you going. I highly recommend taking that exercise serious and really digging deep into your heart and mind to unlock your true purpose.
There are other massive gems throughout the novel such as the power of “win/win” in relationships. Essentially, never go into any relationship without first thinking about what the other person will be gaining out of it. Most people only think “what’s in it for me” but that way of thinking leads to all sorts of unpleasantness and lack of passion from either party.
The principles taught in the book are great for your personal life, but may be applied to business as well.
As a creative individual, this book truly speaks to the artist within. According to the author Steven Pressfield, “Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease and erectile dysfunction.” It is what keeps most artist at the amatuer level, never reaching their true potential as professionals. He explains how resistance comes in many forms such as drugs, alcohol, masturbation, TV, et. It is essentially anything that distracts us from working on our craft. It is a daily battle that must be overcome by doing our work and invoking the muse.
For me this is a book that should not be read in one sitting, but read in passages and applied daily. I often find myself picking it up whenever I feel self doubt kicking in and need some inspiration. It is a comforting reminder that I am not the only one who has these battles in my creative endeavors, but the only way to break through is to just do the work.
Robert Greene compiled the stories of some of the greatest Masters throughout history such as DaVinci, Darwin, Mozart, Ford and Einstein. Two things are recurring themes in this book: the power of mentors and the 10,000 rules.
Most of the stories explained how the greats were not always masters. They all had humble beginnings and learned their craft from mentors. They not only learned the craft, but they also learned how to become masters in their respective fields.
They all became greats by putting in the time. Greenes displays how 10K hours seems to be the magic number when it comes to becoming a master. Essentially, that is the amount of hours it takes of dedicated and singular focus to master your craft.
Sorry, there are no shortcuts to this you must put in the time. But there is a very effective way to become proficient in any skill and that is through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships were common amongst the historical greats studied in the book. Unfortunately, it something that is not commonplace today in the world of instant gratification and materialism. Many people do not see the value of working under a master for “free” or without financial compensation. The greatest value is the experience that comes from working hands on in your given field, not in some nominal wage that is earned by doing something that is not truly fulfilling.
Bottom line: Do what you love right now, even if you have to do it for you.
Authors Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan take you on a mindshifting journey that begins with one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.” - Russian Proverb
If you can understand that right there then I really don’t need to explain anything else and you probably don’t need to read the book either haha. But do you truly understand how critical it is to only chase one rabbit at a time. I know I have been the type to start off with one goal and then a month later I’m all in with something else. It’s easy to lose sight of our singular focus when there are so many distractions in the world, especially when we are watching the news feeds of social media every day. Ok I’m going off on tangent, but it is true.
The only way to accomplish massive goals is by staying the course on our “one thing” until we achieve it. Better yet just remember this acronym:
FOCUS (FOLLOW, ONE, COURSE, UNTIL, SUCCESSFUL). BOOM! That is the secret, or at least the point of the book.
Still don’t believe it, how about another one of my favorite quotes from the master:
“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus”. - Bruce Lee
That’s it. Lock in on you target and don’t stop until you reach your goal.
“Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass” - Napolean Hill.
Another author who believes in a having a definite goal or singular purpose. Are you starting to see the connection with all of these books? Yes, you answered, that’s cool but what now? Are you going to apply the knowledge. That is what it’s really is all about.
Let’s get into the book, my all time favorite book Think and Grow Rich! This may be the very best book in the world of personal development.
It is said that this book is responsible for creating more millionaires than any other book in history! Hill conducted interviews from the wealthiest people of his time in this 20 plus year study to break down the principles of wealth. Now that is dedication. One man dedicating 2 decades of his life to uncover the science of becoming rich.
The book constantly talks about a secret that is hidden in the pages, but it is never explicitly stated. But what is this mysterious secret? Well, thats is for you to uncover yourself. Besides, if I told you, you probably wouldn’t believe it any ways.
Personally, I have used this secret to accomplish some massive goals since the first time I read it 3 years ago. Recently, I have picked the book back up and have begun rereading it but even more intensely now. I also listen to the audio book on repeat.
The point is not just to read this book or any on the list just to have another notch on your belt. The key is to absorb the knowledge and apply it. For this you must read, highlight, take notes, listen to the audiobooks, have discussions and more importantly share what you learned with others just as I am doing with this blog.
I truly hope you have taken away some major insights from this and more importantly you take action immediately. There is really no secret when it comes to success (whatever that means to you). You must first know what you want, then you must believe that it's yours before you even have it. And lastly stay focused and be obsessive about it until you get what is already yours.
I believe in you!
Marcelino The Infinite Ninja