5 Books That Influenced My Success Mindset

Every once in a while, you hit on a book that totally changes your worldview.

Image used under CC0 Public Domain license

Once that happens, you can never go back. You look at things through another lens; what was once irrefutable fact is now an assumption to be questioned.

Other times, you find a volume that has you nodding along in agreement. These tomes contain truths that you never knew you held until you saw them in black and white.

These types of titles find permanent places in my personal library. Whenever I feel myself losing faith, getting off track, or generally questioning my deviance from the tried-and-true path, I pull out one of these five books to get back in the game.

1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, Timothy Ferriss

I first came across this book in 2012, during a time when I was searching for reassurance that I wasn't delusional for wanting something more than a staid suburban life. Through this book, I was introduced to the notion that there are many options out there, not just a desk job and a single-family home in a nice neighborhood.

2. How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously, Jerrold Mundis

How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously turned out to be the answer to questions I didn't know I had. It turns out, Mundis explains, that when we carry debt, we tend to harbor a low-grade anxiety over our finances that affects our decisions about everything. Every choice is bumped up against whether or not we can afford it, which can spiral into fears of not having enough, of going bankrupt, of dying alone and penniless on a street corner somewhere with feral cats eating our brains.

When we make plans to eradicate our debt, we free up space in our heads that was previously dedicated to lack. Shifting our focus from what we want and don't have to what we like about what we do have changes our perspective and makes us better equipped to make decisions that will improve our lives.

3. Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

No list on money or success is complete without a reference to Mr. Hill. Considered one of the founding fathers of the self-motivation movement, Hill spent over twenty years interviewing the most successful people of his time. The result was this guide to transforming your desire for success and achievement into reality.

What struck me about this book is that despite the fact that it's over 75 years old, the tenets ring true today. Amid adversity, he professes, are opportunities to change the rules and recreate the world as you see fit.

The innovative idea here is that no matter what is happening in the world--when Hill published Think and Grow Rich, the world was still recovering from the Great Depression--there's an opportunity to change, grow, and succeed. If you can train yourself to spot these opportunities and adapt yourself to take advantage of them, then you will not fail.

4. Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles, Barbara Stanny

When I first picked up Sacred Success, I was expecting a treatise on the intersection of profit and purpose.

What I didn't expect was a guidebook detailing the journey from average to amazing. Dubbed the Heroine's Journey, the path Stanny describes leads the reader through the four stages of real, personal, and passionate success.

The unique takeaway from Sacred Success is the need for rest. Stanny calls this stage Receptive Surrender, in which you bow out of your daily duties, allow yourself to recuperate from all the leaning in, and listen to what your soul truly desires. This is essential to true triumph; without the knowledge of what you really want, you spin your wheels and never get anywhere.

5. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield

If you are ever searching for a simple map to wild success, this is it. The Success Principles, written by a man who can be considered one of the most successful of our time, lays out the exact path to go from victim of your circumstances to the creator of your world.

This is a book I reference often, for two reasons: one, I occasionally need to remind myself that I can, indeed, do something. Two, I like to see what lies ahead if I continue to create momentum in my life.

Canfield's steps are simple, but not easy. The greatest resistance comes from within, and we often stop ourselves before we truly achieve greatness.

When I find myself getting blown off course by the winds of life, I routinely turn to these books for inspiration, guidance, and practical how-tos. They've influenced everything I've done in the past four years, including starting my own businesses, publishing books, and dancing with my hula school.

Which books or authors have had a significant impact on your success mindset?

A version of this post originally appeared on lynndaue.com.