“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”
– Jim Rohn
Back in 2014, when I started Decoding Happyness – I was deep into reading. Mostly fiction. I would read past 3 AM on a workday and almost all day over the weekends. I read the Harry Potter series in about 2 weeks while working full time and they remain my favorite to date. Tuesdays with Morrie was yet another book which left a deep imprint on me.
Reading helped me unwind and learn new ideas. It was a breath of fresh air in my everyday life.
Then life happened, I got caught up with new activities, moving countries, job search, unsettling, settling, studying for my CPA, changing cities – again, changing professions. Over the course of these years, this hobby of mine felt long lost.
Earlier this year I visited my 5-year-old nephew, Veer – twice in 3 months and his favorite activity with me would be to cuddle in the bed and listen to me read him his storybooks. I would read him books like The Spiderman and The Perfect Nest with a fully animated voice wit its variations between characters. It was such a perfect way to end the day. 🙂
2019 has been one of the best years of my life so far as I have had a lot of learning and development on personal and professional fronts. I’ve traveled immensely, become fearless to new experiences and to quite some extent grown in my outlook towards the world. A few days back, a friend and me were watching the Netflix documentary – Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. It was imperative of Bill’s affinity to reading, learning and books. Bill and his weekly refreshed tote bag of books was something that stood out.
I read some beautiful books this year which really inspired and touched me. They are spread across several genres and have been read over the span of this year. Below is my list of books read for 2019.
This book talks about the power of love vs fear and how by embracing spirituality practices like meditation, we can tap into creative solutions and seek the Universe’s divine guidance. My favorite quote from the books is an adaptation from A Course in Miracles.
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety.”
This classic book was truly a lifesaver for me in several ways. Right from the 2×2 prioritization matrix of Urgent vs Important, learning the approach of managing relations over time, the “Green and Clean” example, techniques for planning your week around core important activities have helped me in my personal life to a large extent.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule,
but to schedule your priorities.”
This book looks at the deeper aspects of passion and perseverance and provides for ways of growing Grit from the inside out and outside in. It is my personal favorite as it gave me a very different perspective on the importance of perseverance in life and a renewed sense of motivation to follow-through on hard things.
“Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. “I have a feeling tomorrow will be better” is different from “I resolve to make tomorrow better.”
This book is of a very different genre from all the ones I read, it is about relationships and marriage from a Biblical perspective. It gave me a new lens to look at love and respect and the need for unconditional love and respect in intimate relationships.
“Ultimately, you practice love or respect because beyond your spouse you see Jesus Christ and you envision a moment when you will be standing before Him at the final judgment, realizing that your marriage was really a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and your reverence for your Lord.”
“You can experience disappointment, but it is your choice to disrespect or be unloving.”
5) Deep Work by Cal Newport (partly in progress)
This is the book I am currently reading. I could very closely connect some of my unhealthy distracting patterns in this technology connected world. The ability to go deep helped me leverage the power of intensity during my CA and CPA exams and pass them with a national level rank and top grades respectively. I remember cutting myself off from my smartphone and all tech during my intense and deep study sessions to be distraction-free and really focus on my studies. I am trying to learn similar techniques to implement in my everyday life to increase my productivity and quality of work.
“Who you are, what you think, feel, and do, what you love—is the sum of what you focus on.”
“Human beings, it seems, are at their best when immersed deeply in something challenging. There”
“To remain valuable in our economy, therefore, you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things. This task requires deep work. If you don’t cultivate this ability, you’re likely to fall behind as technology advances.”
Other books to read in 2020 on my radar across various genres I am to read (eBooks/ hardcopy books already purchased):
- Deep Work (TBC)
The Rosie Project
- The Starch Solution
- Who said I was up for Adoption
- When breath becomes air
- I contain multitudes
- Anatomy of love
- Why Him Why Her (In progress)
- Start with Why
- How to Win Friends & Influence People
- Eat That Frog
- Man’s Search for Meaning
- Autobiography of a Yogi
- Life’s Amazing Secrets
- Delivering Happiness
- The Little Prince (Re-read)
- So Good They can’t Ignore You
- Digital Minimalism
- The Power of Habit
- Deep Nutrition
- The Compound Effect
- No Excuses
- Atomic Habits
- The Bhagwad Geeta
- Automate the Boring Stuff
- The Better Angels of Our Nature
- Willpower Doesn’t Work
- The Wisdom of the Enneagram
- The Enneagram – Symbol of All and Everything
- Python for Everybody
- The 4 Disciplines of Execution
- 48 Laws of Power
My MBA Organizational Behavior classes on Motivation have taught me that PUBLIC GOALS are way more effective than privately set goals. Hence, the above ambitious (BECAUSE, if you want to dream and have goals, DREAM BIG. Aiming low is a crime) wish list 🙂 The list will be dynamic and new books may be added to it/ existing books may be removed from the list depending on the events surrounding at that point in time. I will post a blog on the books as and when I finish reading a particular book under the tag “Good Reads Good Life” and “Himali Reads”.
Looking forward to the 2020 Reading Challenge! xx 😀
What about you? What is on your list?