There comes a point in everyone’s life, no matter your pursuit, you pause and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. This question usually comes when everything you expected on your way to success is not turning out the way you anticipated. You begin to doubt. This is the point if you don’t take care, you’ll lay down your tools and leave the field of your dreams. After all, there is a point a man has to give up.
I don’t know if you-you reading this, has gotten to that point. If you have, don’t give up just yet. You don’t have to give up until you’ve read these books or any of these books. No matter your endeavor and your pursuit of life, books should be your friend. Someone has been where you are going. They got there amidst the struggle and heartbreaks that you are going through now. They didn’t reach their destination in a day. It took them so long but the most important thing is, they made it.
They decided not to keep quiet after the struggle. They decided someone traveling their way has to know what they went through to get there—their struggle and their victories, their heartbreaks and their joys, the point they nearly gave up and what they did to be overcomers are all captured and put in a book just so you know. You don’t have to pay millions to benefit from these people. You don’t have to spend many years of your life going through the maze. All there is to know is captured in a 220-page book which can be read in just a week.
If you are doubting your dreams because you’ve hit a rock on your way to success, let me introduce you to these books. They tell you everything you need to do to get the wheels of your dreams running again.
This book was recommended to me by a friend. At first, I didn’t want to read it. I didn’t want to read it because it was written by Kevin Hart. I mean what sense can a guy like Kevin Hart make? He’s a stupid comedian for Christ’s sake but boy I was wrong! I picked the book and didn’t want to put it down.
I saw Kevin Hart on Tv not too many years ago and he’s been all over the place. If you asked me before reading this book, I would have told you Kevin is an overnight success and that would have been wrong too. “I Can’t Make This Up” talks about Kevin’s journey from the slums to the peak of his life today and gives you various lessons he learned (which you can also learn) from every situation he faced in his journey to success. He talked about his failed marriage, his work ethics (the only thing that has brought him this far), and the people who helped him get this far.
In the end, he said “One day you won’t be here, but your legacy will. Even if the earth is gone, you contributed to that. If you’d done something different, maybe the planet would have survived another minute, another year, another millennium. Everything you do matters. So treat it like it matters.” If nothing at all, you’ll learn that everything matters, even your struggle today.
Greg McKeown said, “Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done.” That’s exactly what this book is about. Many youth entrepreneurs today believe that one has to get more than things done to be considered as a serious entrepreneur. So they go about trying to do everything and anything that will make their dreams worthwhile. It’s hard trying to be everything and it’s easy to fail when you want to be the jack of all trade.
Essentialism says you can’t have it all so you have to decide on one thing—your goal and put all your energy into the opportunities that can lead you to the achievement of that go. Along the way, you’ll have to say no to other opportunities not because they are bad but because they don’t serve your goals. You’ll have to say no to people even your family sometimes just so you can focus on building a ladder of opportunities to your goals.
I finished reading this book in one sitting, It’s a small book that talks about creativity and how you can create beautiful works from the already existing ones. There is nothing new under the sun. Everything is a mashup—a remix, the book says. As an entrepreneur or an artist, you don’t have to worry your head about coming out with something the world has never seen before. If you do that, you are likely going to fail because you either can’t do that or you’ll waste your available time thinking instead of doing.
Austin Kleon writes, “A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies. Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve.” As an upcoming entrepreneur or creative, you should be comfortable working around the existing ideas. Find works you love and try recreating it in your own way. In the end, the touch you give to the work makes the work your own.
Ryan Holiday writes “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” Our call as entrepreneurs and creatives is to solve problems. Our rewards are mostly found in coming out with solutions to some peculiar problems. Those problems are our obstacles.
In “The Obstacle is The Way” Ryan looked at the lives of successful icons in history like Steve Jobs, John D. Rockefeller, Abraham Lincoln etc. and how they dealt with their obstacles. Finding how these men of history dealt with their obstacles opens up a new way to look at our own obstacles. It’s the way we look at things that matter. Ryan enforced this principle with Marcus Aurelius’ quote ““Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”
Obstacles are obstacles only when we think they are. In actual fact, we can make it part of the way—our way to success.
Don’t stay the same. By all means, reinvent yourself. I’ve followed the works of James Altucher for some time now. He’s always trying something different. He was a computer programmer during the dot com boom. When he realized that computer programing is becoming basic skills for everyone, he left and entered into other things. He worked for a tv, he became hedge fund manager, he wrote novels, he’s a blogger, he does podcast, just anything not to stay the same.
He said “Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” Whatever your life pursuit is, don’t stay the same and expect happy returns. When times change, change yourself to suit the times. As creatives, sometimes our doubts are valid. We don’t have to push against the wind. If it’s not working, it’s time to re-assess. Maybe—just maybe what we needed isn’t a push but reinvention of the self.
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