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How reading and writing changed my path forever and provided immediate impact and value to my life.

  How can everyone be put into one bucket and told to read the same thing when everyone has different interests? Different backgrounds? Different personalities? Anyone that thinks logically understands that to get someone’s best work, we must allow them to be creative and have some sort of power over their own destiny. We should be giving kids an option and teaching them to love to learn, read, and write. Instead, we have them read content that half of them will never even open to the first page. Afterall, sparknotes gives all the info needed for an “A” because grades are what matter later on in life anyway, right? Hmm. When I was told to read something that I did not find interesting…guess what? I did NOT read it! I associated reading and writing as chores, rather than utilizing it as a tool for self-discovery and self-improvement. I could rant about this topic, but this is just one of the issues standard education creates. This is about how I went from not reading a single book in years…to almost one book per week and I believe anyone can and should try to do the same. Below are are some tips I use that can help you THRIVE when it comes to reading,  as well as some of the books that have made the biggest impact in the past year for me.   3 - TIPS TO THRIVE  
  • DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF!
  Take advice from others when it comes to suggestions, but ultimately listen to yourself. . We know what our skills are, what we are weak in, what we are passionate about, what keeps our attention, what makes our soul FEEL something. In the beginning, this is what you should read about. We must retrain our brain to enjoy the habit of reading. The easiest/quickest way to do this is to read books that actually apply to our day to day life, the things we enjoy, the stories we find interesting, and the skills we wish to learn.  
  • COMBINE READING WITH OTHER HABITS!
  I leave a book where I eat my meals, a book at the desk where I work, a book near the couch, and a book on my nightstand. All the books are of different genres as well. Instead of forcing myself to read 20,30,40+ pages at a time of a book, I read 5-10 pages of multiple books when I sit down in one of these spots. I have always had a short attention span, and I can literally be confused with a kid hopped up on Mountain Dew lol. In the past I have been constantly criticized for this being a negative, but I have finally stopped giving a **** about negative Nancy’s opinions and now execute my attention difficulties as a strength. It keeps things fresh, it keeps them fun, and now I typically finish 2-4 books per month while learning different skills, emotions, and mindsets from multiple genres and perspectives. P.S. put a book right near your remote … you will begin to question whether the TV or the book is more important. I do not have cable so I do not watch TV. But for those that do, imagine if you spent an hour reading every night rather than watching TV. That is now 365 more hours of learning and ittle wins add up to major victories.  
  • INCLUDE OTHERS TO IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS AND CONNECTIONS!
  I like to believe life in a nutshell is all about connection. Civilizations were built by working together hand in hand. Sports and recreational games were created and played TOGETHER. Jobs were created to bring people of all cultures together to work for the same MISSION. Books are just another way of connecting. They connect us to the author. They connect us to other people who have read them. They connect us to other people that we meet because we have similar interests. They allow us to connect on deeper levels with ourselves, our friends/family, and people out there we don’t know yet. Without a doubt reading has helped strengthen the relationship between Erin and I. It challenges us to think outside the box, to understand eachother’s points of view, to realize that typically there is no right or wrong way, and most importantly to be more accepting of ourselves, each other, and of the people around us. I highly recommend including others in your creative journey!       Favorite Book: Start with Why: by Simon Sinek I believe everyone was born into this world with a purpose. Whether you have known it for years, are slowly starting to find it, or even have no clue yet...you do HAVE PURPOSE! Utilize this book to find your WHY and the mission you wish to achieve in this beautiful thing we call life. https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447  

Marketing:

Growth Hacker Marketing: by Ryan Holiday Very easy to read and follow to help anyone get up to speed on the current social media and marketing tactics. https://www.amazon.com/Growth-Hacker-Marketing-Primer-Advertising/dp/1591847389/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546237&sr=1-1&keywords=growth+hacker+marketing 22 Immutable Laws to Marketing: by Al Ries and Jack Trout Read this to understand the structure and rules behind what makes companies and products of all shapes and sizes successful. https://www.amazon.com/22-Immutable-Laws-Marketing-Violate/dp/0887306667/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546291&sr=1-1&keywords=22+Immutable+Laws+to+Marketing  

Startups:

Hello Startup: by Yevgeniy Brikman For anyone looking to learn anything and everything to do with Startups, including some simple code, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It also has some really good infographics and articles to go along with it. https://www.amazon.com/Hello-Startup-Programmers-Building-Technologies/dp/1491909900/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546351&sr=1-1&keywords=hello+startup The Lean Startup: by Eric Ries To many people, this is considered THE BOOK for anyone looking to jump into startups. It is broken up into three parts that help you define your vision, steer you towards your goals, and accelerate past hurdles to fulfill your mission. https://www.amazon.com/Lean-Startup-Entrepreneurs-Continuous-Innovation/dp/0307887898/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546393&sr=1-4&keywords=the+lean+startup The Creator’s Code: by Amy Wilkinson After interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs this book helps define 6-essential disciplines that can help the everyday person bring their ideas to life. https://www.amazon.com/Creators-Code-Essential-Extraordinary-Entrepreneurs/dp/1451666071/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546415&sr=1-1&keywords=the+creators+code   Business: Rework: by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson By far one of my favorite reads. They challenge the normal way of thinking and “rework” your mind to focus on what is truly necessary, and what are excuses and wastes of time. https://www.amazon.com/Rework-Jason-Fried/dp/0307463745/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546442&sr=1-1&keywords=rework Traction: by Gino Wickman A lot of books talk about theory, but this one goes so much further and provides executable steps and plans to help your business succeed on all fronts. https://www.amazon.com/Traction-Get-Grip-Your-Business/dp/1936661837/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546465&sr=1-1&keywords=traction

Mindset:

Crossroads of Should and Must (Find and follow your Passion) by: Elle Luna Throughout my entire life I have struggled with the question of what should I do vs. what must I do to live the life that I want. This book helps immensely to break through personal layers and help you start to understand what you must do to live the life of your dreams. https://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-Should-Must-Follow-Passion/dp/0761184880/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546495&sr=1-1&keywords=crossroads+of+should+and+must The Untethered Soul: by Michael A. Singer Ever struggled with that little voice in your head that is constantly going back and forth with scenarios and worries?!? I have. This book helps you confront that voice and learn to just “be” while helping improve your patience with both the good and bad of life. https://www.amazon.com/Untethered-Soul-Journey-Beyond-Yourself/dp/1572245379/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546527&sr=1-1&keywords=the+untethered+soul The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: by Mark Manson Another one of my favorites. This book helps you confront the meaningless things we all stress about. It helps bring perspective to the fact death is imminent all the time and we must live our best lives because of this. https://www.amazon.com/Subtle-Art-Not-Giving-Counterintuitive/dp/0062457713/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546546&sr=1-1&keywords=the+subtle+art+of+not+giving+a+f---+mark+manson  

What I am reading now:

Tribe of Mentors: by Tim Ferriss https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Mentors-Short-Advice-World/dp/1328994961/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546571&sr=1-1&keywords=tribe+of+mentors Grit: by Angela Duckworth https://www.amazon.com/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-Angela-Duckworth/dp/1501111108/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546596&sr=1-1&keywords=grit The Social Animal: by David Brooks https://www.amazon.com/Social-Animal-Sources-Character-Achievement/dp/0812979370/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546615&sr=1-1&keywords=the+social+animal Leaders Eat Last: by Simon Sinek https://www.amazon.com/Leaders-Eat-Last-Together-Others/dp/1591848016/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1516546635&sr=1-4&keywords=leaders+eat+last