4 Books that could take you to the next level – OurWarwick

4 Books that could take you to the next level

According to Google, there are 129,864,880 books in the world (reported in August 2010) and that number is growing at a rapid rate. With so many books, it is important to choose carefully which one you go for next.

I can’t emphasise enough the power of reading. I used to enjoy getting through audiobooks during my final year at sixth form and then the first year at university but lost touch with this after the first lockdown. Then I met a mentor through a part-time remote summer internship, and they helped me again uncover the transformative power of reading.

I’ll list some of the books here and will delve deeper into them in future posts. I have found these books to be the type of texts that you should re-read because reading a powerful book twice is much better than reading 5 mediocre books. If 80% of the results I’ve benefitted from reading come from 20% of the books I’ve read, then these books fit that 20% category:

  • Pyramid Principle
    • This book can speed up your career by at least 5-8 years by showing you how to structure your communication more effectively, both written and verbal.
  • The Practicing Mind
    • If you’re like me, then we fall into the trap of obsessing and worrying about the future or achieving the result of what we’re trying to pursue. The Practicing Mind is an essential remedy for helping you move from a results-oriented to a process-oriented frame of thinking; when you enjoy the process, you usually get the result thrown in.
  • Atomic Habits
    • James Clear’s best-selling book on habits is, in my opinion, a cheat code to optimising your life. I have mentioned this book in a previous post, but reinforcement is well-worth-it for this one.
  • The 4hr Work Week
    • It is great to have so many ambitious people at Warwick to become inspired by, but I have fallen into the trap of trying to run someone else’s race career-wise. Tim Ferriss’s book is a must-read if you have never considered the concept of ‘lifestyle design’ over pursuing a career path for the sake of it. The path he recommends is not for everyone, but it is certainly for more people than those that take it.

Tips on reading that have helped me:

  • Use Audiobooks as you’ll get through books much quicker. I’m not being commissioned to say this, but you get a free trial on Audible and there are usually 50% off links online so that you only need to pay £3.99 monthly for 1 credit per month.
  • Integrate reading into your night routine; although I prefer to keep the ‘how to live more effectively’ type books for the day, and deeper, e.g. more spiritual books for the night. When integrating this, don’t overwhelm yourself – I simply set a target of 1 page per night until I can cross the ‘reading’ component off my habit tracker (read Atomic Habits for more on this).
  • Create Amazon wish lists to save items you want to read later (I promise I’m not being paid by Amazon to promote their services). Books take time to read and aren’t always that cheap, so it is important to make the right decision and to do your due diligence.

I’ll end on a quote by historian Barbara Tuchman who encapsulates the power of books:

“Books are the carriers of civilisation. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”

Source: The Book, Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 34, No. 2 (Nov. 1980)

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