At the beginning of each year, since the summer of my sophomore year of college, I have tried to set goals for how many books I read a year. People who know me, know that I absolutely love reading books, not E-books or audiobooks, but physical books. I create time in my schedule every day to read because I feel it is important that I slow myself down, and focus all of my attention on one task that will strengthen my understanding of a given topic. It's learning and attention training at the same time. I encourage everyone to find time throughout their busy schedules to read. The practice can be therapeutic, and there is no limit to what new ideas a person can learn and incorporate in their daily lives. The easy excuse would be the lack of time, with school, work, or family but in response, I would tell them that the people they are so busy working for are finding the time to read because it is that important. According to an article on Inc.com, brain fitness coach Jim Kwik stated that the average CEO reads about 60 per year.
This year, I have set a goal to read (or re-read) at least 20 books that deal with business or self-development so I will be able to continue to grow Urban X as a brand and platform, and continue to grow as a better, well-rounded person.
Here is a short list of the books I've read in 2018 with a short synopsis and background of why I picked it up in the first place:
In his newest release, ABC's Shark Tank star and FUBU co-founder Daymond John show readers the common trait in all overachievers, their willingness to "rise and grind." What was interesting about this book, and the stories he shared, were that although everyone had the same rise and grind attitude to get things done, they all had completely different motivations and habits that made them truly unique.
This book was recommended to me by my older brother after I asked him what his morning routine was. I was having a difficult time creating a set of winning habits that would help me be more productive throughout my day. Hal Elrod shared his secret of how to take control of your mornings and in turn your life.
I'm sure by now we've all seen at least one video of Gary Vee on Youtube giving a motivational yet grounded speech on how anyone can be successful if they apply themselves. I became a fan after I watched a video he posted about a week before I graduated college about what to do after graduating from college. It was like he was speaking directly to me. I had never read anything from Gary before, however, after launching Urban X, Urban X tv, and the Urban X Podcast, I knew learning about all the ins and outs to social media and other social platforms would be imperative to be successful.
This book was recommended to me by a few of my boys. We meet weekly to discuss our personal and professional endeavors and to generally keep each other accountable. This book was spoken very highly of by rapper Nipsey Hussle and is a guide for men (young and old) who seek a better understanding of their lives and how the decisions they make on a daily basis can affect them going forward. I personally think all men no matter the sexual preference, should read and re-visit this book every few years as their perspective continuously changes.
I wrote an entire review on this book by Ryan Holiday. He is definitely one of my favorite authors and a writer who I pay close attention to whenever he releases a new book. This one was unlike his previous seven books which are about marketing or stoic philosophy, but it kept my attention as I was enthralled with the compelling true story this book followed.
I came across this book on Amazon. It is written by a college professor who teaches a class on positive psychology. This book tackles eight areas that all people must pay attention to when trying to become overall happier. I plan on giving this book to my younger sister as she, like many other young people, have been engulfed in a social media world where their self-esteem and happiness depends on the number of likes they get. It's is an important book especially now that mental health is a large topic of discussion.
Currently, I am not on pace to reach my goal of 20 books for the year. Although that goal is important to me, I do not want to lose sight of why I read in the first place to simply be able to say I read 20 books. Learning and understanding must always be at the forefront.