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Below is a list of the five most impactful books I read in 2015. Each of the books will be linked up with an affiliate link to Amazon. This means, if you’re interested in reading any of them and you click through my link I will get a small commission from that sale. (thanks in advance if you decide to read one! you’re awesome)
Every morning I wake up and read for a half hour before I start the day. I sit down at the table with a cup of coffee and my Kindle and dig in. Some mornings I reread passages from books I’ve already read, and other mornings it’s something new. Either way, reading every morning helps me think beyond the scope of this one, singular day.
Reading a good book about life or a biography makes me feel small and gives me a better perspective on life. I wanted to share the books that have had the biggest impact on me in 2015. Enjoy.
The Five Most Impactful Books I Read in 2015
- The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
The life of Teddy Roosevelt reads like a good story book, except it’s all true. Before stepping in the White House, Teddy started a cattle ranch out in the Dakotas, lead a regiment of men to war (and won), and single-handedly fought against machine-like politics at the turn of the century. He battled against tons of illnesses as a kid, some that easily could have killed him, but conquered them and became this strong, bulky guy who hung out with cowboys in the west. I get the best of all worlds in a book like this. I get the amazing story, the life lessons, and the insight of seeing through the lens of someone like Teddy. In this book you also get to see how a family can enrich the life of their children through travel and having the freedom to do so. Just seeing how often he reads and the way he lives his life is invigorating. I want to be like Teddy in the way that he aggressively tackles the day and things he believes in. I feel as though it takes this kind of vigor to live a meaningful life. I acknowledge that I waste so much time on things that don’t really matter (i.e social media) and only produce a fraction of the work I would like to. Reading this books helps me fight complacency.
- On the Shortness of Life (Penguin Great Ideas)
This is one of three books I’ve picked up in the past year on stoicism. I got interested in stoic philosophy after reading The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holliday. Last year I read a book called Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and since I’ve reread it about five times. On The Shortness of Life is a book on exactly what it sounds like, the shortness of life. Here is one of my favorite quotes. “It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.” It’s a great reminder to not throw away life’s most precious commodity– time.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Even if this book wasn’t on the top of my list, I would feel obliged to list it on here because of how long it took me to finish it (year and a half). I love this book because it makes me think about what it means to be a man of action, not dependent on others or looking for hand outs, but to know that I am able to create anything I wish. It challenged me to realize I can create something out of nothing and make a work of art, without the permission of anyone else. Atlas Shrugged also challenged me to not escape reality, but to see things as they are. It challenged my faith and a lot of other things, but it’s definitely a book I would recommend. It’s a fictional book about industrialists who have built hugely successful companies but are being torn apart and regulated by the government.
- Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey
This was a book recommended to me by my friend Garrett. It was a book that I believe is already having great ripples in my life. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life is all about being present in the moment and how to do that. Being present in the moment is a big problem for me. I mean a HUGE problem. I’ve spent so much of my life not being able to sit still, running so fast because I feel like I’m going to miss out on life and I can’t be bored. Somehow I’ve mixed up productiveness and running really fast, thinking they were both the same thing. Reading this book has helped me change that thinking.
- Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
I’m a HUGE Seth Godin fan. His books always inspire me to do the work that matters. In Linchpin he talks about the lizard brain and how it tries to keep us from doing our best work. Linchpin is a great reminder to just ship work and do my thing, regardless of how it looks or feels. Just do the work that needs to be done. Don’t worry about what people think about people think or say. I think one of the best things about Seth Godin is that he lives out what he preaches. Every day for the past ten years the guy sends out a daily blog. Crazy dedication.
Right now trying to decide what books I’ll pick up next. Do you have any good recommendations? Leave a comment below :).