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My Favorite Self Improvement Books
for Inspiration, New Ideas, and Personal Direction


Building on Bedrock:  What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies
By Derek Lidow


Amazon's Description...
Here's an astounding fact: Over half the working population will try their hand at being an entrepreneur during their working career. We all dream to some extent about achieving some combination of the fortune, fame, and control over our lives we associate with successful entrepreneurs. Those are admirable aspirations in a society that counts on entrepreneurs to innovate, create new jobs, and to grow our economy. Our work-driven culture encourages us to take the entrepreneurial bait, but how can you know whether being an entrepreneur will end as a dream come true or a nightmare from which you cannot awake? Building on Bedrock will help answer that question. This book will focus on when you should take the leap and whether entrepreneurship is even the right thing for you?as a founder, co-founder, or investor. Based upon research, but told through the stories of American businessman and entrepreneur Sam Walton and others, Building on Bedrock discusses the who, what, when, where, how, how much, and why of successful entrepreneurs. Was it luck, talent, passion, charm, a rich uncle, or something else that was the key to this person's success? Which might be the key to your success? What you learn will surprise you.

The Joy of Not Working:  A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked
By Ernie Zelinski


Michael's Comments...
What sort of person needs to read a book about "Leisure" and the joys of not working? Well, me for one.

Who needs to be told how to enjoy one's leisure time. Yes, me again.

Anyone who is type A and results driven, any workaholic, and anyone whose job is slowly killing them.

Amazon's Description...
Ernie Zelinski could change your view of the world forever.

He has taught more than 300,000 people what The Joy of Not Working is about: learning to live every part of their lives - work and play, employment, and retirement alike - to the fullest.

In this completely revised and expanded edition, you too can join the thousands of converts and learn how to thrive at both work and play.

Illustrated with eye-opening exercises, thought-provoking diagrams, and lively cartoons and quotations, "The Joy of Not Working" will guide you to:

Be more productive at work by working less.
Discover and pursue your life's passions.
Gain the courage to leave your corporate job if it is draining life out of you.
Pursue interesting leisure activities that make a difference in your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Vanquish any guilt you may have about not working long and hard hours.
Be financially independent with less money.

Plus, new to this edition are thirty inspiring letters from readers detailing how the book helped them improve the variety, tone, and quality of their lives.

"The Joy of Not Working" is a provacative, entertaining, down-to-earth, and tremendously inspiring book that will you get more joy and satisfaction out of everything you do.

The Neuroscience of Change:  A Compassion-Based Program for Personal Transformation
By Kelly McGonigal


Michael's Comments...
Have you set goals for yourself or set behavior improvements for yourself, only to fall off the wagon when you get stressed? Kelly McGonigal uses the example of trying to give up ice cream or donuts. Part of your brain knows you want to avoid unhealthy food, and it knows how good it will be for you. But another part of your brain, when stressed, takes over. It forces you to ignoring all logic, goals, and plans and do what is bad for you. So you are driving home after a stressful day at work. Pretty soon you find yourself being pulled to that ice cream / donut shop. The entire time a voice in the back of your head, says don't do it. But you ignore that voice as if you have no control. You partake of the toxic treat, then feel terrible afterwards. Kelly McGonigal explains why your brain works this way, and what to do about it.
Amazon's Description...
If anything were possible, what would you like to see in your life? How would you like to grow? And what's stopping you? In The Neuroscience of Change, Dr. Kelly McGonigal weaves the newest findings of science with Eastern contemplative wisdom to give listeners a revolutionary process for personal transformation. Six sessions provide breakthrough ideas supported by clinical research, guided practices, and real-world exercises for making self-awareness and compassion the basis for meaningful change, choosing deep "wantpower" instead of brute willpower, dealing with setbacks and the inner critic, and more.

Do It! Let's Get Off Our Buts  
By Peter McWilliams


Michael's Comments...
My favorite book to help get focused and motivated and to figure out what you really want to do in life. The exercises in the book helped me create the vision that I used to start
Amazon's Description...
Offers a complete guide to setting and achieving goals, outlining simple but powerful steps and providing a wealth of motivation.

Tools of Titans  The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
By Timothy Ferriss


Amazon's Description...
From the author: “For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.

Transitions:  Making Sense of Life's Changes
By William Bridges


Michael's Comments...
This book was recommended to me when I had the most devastating setback in my career. It's safe to say this book helped me through the period of shock, betrayal, fear, uncertainty and low self esteem. The book has been around for over 25 years. It has withstood the test of time. My book is now totally marked up with notes, underlines etc. If you are undergoing any major transition, you owe it to yourself to try this book. Whether its divorce, death of a loved one, layoff, retirement, job change - this book will help you make the most of it.
Amazon's Description...
Whether it is chosen or thrust upon you, change brings both opportunities and turmoil. Since first published 25 years ago, Transitions has helped hundreds of thousands of readers cope with these issues by providing an elegantly simple yet profoundly insightful roadmap of the transition process. With the understanding born of both personal and professional experience, William Bridges takes readers step by step through the three stages of any transition: The Ending, The Neutral Zone, and, in time, The New Beginning. Bridges explains how each stage can be understood and embraced, leading to meaningful and productive movement into a hopeful future. With a new introduction highlighting how the advice in the book continues to apply and is perhaps even more relevant today, and a new chapter devoted to change in the workplace, Transitions will remain the essential guide for coping with the one constant in life: change.