Every few months, I like to put together a list of books that I’ve read recently and that I think will help you in your pursuit of your copywriting and general life goals. With that said, here’s today’s list!
Recently, I took a solo weekend retreat to clear my head and come up with some new ideas and new possibilities. Often, I’ll bring along questions to ponder throughout the weekend. This time, instead, I brought along an entire book.
Design the Life You Love was written by an industrial engineer and suggest using design thinking to deconstruct and then reconstruct your life. (Not to be confused with the other design thinking book, Design Your Life, which was also pretty good.) Through a series of exercises, Ayse Birsel coaches you to view aspects of your life and your values from a few different frames of reference with the end goal of configuring a new life plan and philosophy.
Considering I’ve read so many books like this, I was pleased to find several exercises that I hadn’t seen before. Also, as a writer, I like that several of the exercises involved drawing. (It’s good to force yourself to exercise a part of the brain that you rarely use.) For those of you who are ebook-lovers, I’d still recommend getting this one in print; it’s both helpful and inspiring to do the exercises right in the book.
Tim Ferriss is one of the original life-design gurus and probably most famous for his book, “The Four-Hour Workweek.” Since then, he’s also published several other books about optimal living. While I’m just a touch too lazy to try to actually optimize my life, I still appreciate some insightful information every once in a while.
Tribe of Mentors is compiled of short Q&As with experts and over-achievers in fields as far-ranging as skateboarding, venture capital, cooking, and outdoor survival. Each interviewee muses on things like the books they most often recommend and what habit or behavior has most improved their lives. Because each interviewee’s section is short, it’s easy to pick this book up when you have a free moment.
I found myself bookmarking multiple pages with insightful ideas, advice, or books to read. For you print book-lovers, this is one I’d actually probably recommend as an ebook; the print one (hardcover) is a massive 624 pages.
Before buying this one, I read a review on Amazon that complained that the author didn’t actually tell you how to make “smartcuts” but just illustrated examples. After reading it, I can tell you that that’s kind of the point.
“Smartcuts” — as opposed to shortcuts, of course — are unusual, often lateral career moves that allow someone to advance further and faster than they would in a more conventional career path. Think: someone who slowly but surely climbs the corporate ladder to become CEO, versus someone who starts their own company, sells it, and then gets hired at another company to be the CEO. That’s a very banal example (and not one that’s in the book), but it should give you some idea.
The career trajectories of people like Michelle Phan, the SpaceX company, and even the Cuban Revolution make for interesting reads, and should inspire you to try to find a few smartcuts of your own.
The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey
I’ll admit it: I’m a junkie for productivity books and have probably spent a lot more time reading them than I should have. (The irony is not lost on me.) What makes this one different is that the author spent a year of his life testing out various productivity techniques to report back on what worked and what didn’t.
You’ll likely see a few techniques you’ve already seen before, but his method for presenting them and the exercises he offered for implanting them made it all very interesting and well worth spending some time reading.
Your turn! Have you read any good books you’d like to recommend to the Filthy Rich Writer community? Let us know in the comments below!