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10 Books That Changed My Life

Reading Length: 9 minutes

These are the types of books which I would definitely go back to read over and over again in my lifetime like a nerd. These books also helped me experience my own personal growth and life transformation. So let’s get right into the 10 books that changed my life!

1. The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris

“The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.”

– Russ Harris

We all get self doubt and fear. Some people simply handle and respond to that fear better than others. This book teaches you how to find acceptance when you get fear and take action regardless of that fear. It has extremely helpful exercises that can be practiced anywhere on a daily basis.

I’m painfully shy so you can imagine the intense fear I had to start this blog and YouTube channel. Honestly, even now, I still feel that fear creep up every time I upload a new blog post or video. I’m terrified that people will judge, criticize, think my content sucks or throw tomatoes at me through the screen. But this book inspired me to step out of my comfort zone by doing things that I fear in order to gain confidence. I’ve come to accept that the fear will always be there but it is up to me to decide what actions to take in response to that fear.

2. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

“How you wake up each day and your morning routine (or lack thereof) dramatically affects your levels of success in every single area of your life. Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days”

– Hal Elrod

This book emphasizes the benefits of waking up earlier to create your perfect morning routine using the SAVERS method. SAVERS represents silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing.

This book personally transformed me from becoming a night owl to an early bird. I used to feel groggy, unproductive and chaotic in my routine. I slept around 3 or 4am and woke up around 12pm everyday. I thought there was no way I was ever going to become an early riser. That was for sane people, not me. But this book convinced me to finally create the perfect early morning routine for myself. Since then, I’ve felt more energized, happy and productive with my days.

3. Deep Work by Cal Newport

“To produce at your peak level you need to work for extended periods with full concentration on a single task free from distraction. Put another way, the type of work that optimizes your performance is deep work.”

– Cal Newport

The act of focusing and engaging in deep work is an increasingly rare and valuable skill especially in our current economy. Luckily, this skill can be trained and learned.

This book personally introduced me to the concept of intense focused work for hours without any distractions known as “deep work.” Before reading this book, just like most students, I often gave into digital distractions because studying and school work killed my soul. I was so proud of my “multi-tasking skills”, boasting it to my friends. But this only worsened my performance, productivity and sanity. So this book convinced me to focus by removing most of the apps on my phone, shutting off notifications, reserving time blocks for emails and setting 1-2 hours of non-interrupted deep work. Since then, I find myself making consistent progress towards my work and my focus keeps getting sharper everyday!

4. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard

“High performers are clear on their intentions for themselves, their social world, their skills, and their service to others. I call these areas self, social, skills, and service, or the Future Four.”

– Brendon Burchard

Just as the title indicates, this book reviews and goes in depth about all the valuable habits that successful people or high performers engage in.

This book was a huge life changer for me as it encouraged me to develop more high performance habits that boosted my productivity, energy and sense of purpose. The greatest impact this book had on me was identifying my true motivation behind all my goals which are my family and my own values. Yes, it took a book for me to realize those things. It also introduced me to the concept of having a life-balance wheel in order to maintain a work-life balance. I made a post on that if you guys want to check it here.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“Three-fourths of the people you will meet are hungering for sympathy. Give it to them and they will love you.”

– Dale Carnegie

This book is a classic which nearly everyone has read. It deserves its popularity because of how timeless the teachings are.

Being extremely shy, I despised socializing with others and often kept to myself. But ever since I read this book, I’ve made great improvements in my communication and listening skills and developed some great friendships. One of the biggest mindset changes for me was realizing that people want to feel appreciated and valued first. Crazy as it sounds, I began to see people around me with signs saying “Please talk to me!!!” So I try to take the initiative now to show that in a genuine way without looking like a creep. Sure, I’ve been rejected or ignored a few times but I have no regrets about it because of the great people I’ve met and great friendships I’ve made.

6. Dot-Com Secrets by Russell Brunson

“What is your hook, story, offer?” – Russell Brunson

This book is absolutely essential for those who want to start an online business whether it be through blogging, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or other platforms.

I used to procrastinate with starting my YouTube channel and blog and made the excuse that I had no knowledge on where or how to start. But this book covers exactly the steps and secrets to building that online presence. I knew I had to do something with the golden knowledge I learned from this book or else I would have eternal regret. So I personally followed the exact techniques suggested in this book to start my YouTube channel and blog.

7. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

“The love of money is the root of all evil….The lack of money is the root of all evil.”

– Robert T. Kiyosaki

The ultimate finance book that teaches the difference between poor and rich people’s mindset. It’s probably almost every entrepreneur’s first life-changing book. This is the kind of book that I believe everyone in the world should read. I may hold a bias since it was the first ever self-help and finance book that I ever read. My mentor also introduced this book to me so that’s why it holds a special place in me. After reading this book, I instantly knew there was more to life than the traditional 9-5 and getting a degree from college. I wanted to become an entrepreneur and build assets to achieve financial freedom. I was ready to become the next Bill Gates. No, kidding. I can’t rock his hair. Regardless, this book definitely altered my perspective about everything in my life as I took on a new purpose and identity.

8. Story-Worthy by Matthew Dicks

“Telling stories about your life lets people know they’re not alone; and it lets some of the people closest to you — like family and loved ones — see your life apart from the context of family and without the kind of revisionist hindsight we can sometimes fall into concerning the ones we love most.”

-Matthew Dicks

We all tells stories. Whether it’s to our family, friends, co-workers, classmates etc… This book teaches the importance and secret techniques of great story-telling. No more boring, draggy stories and cricket responses.

Before reading this book, I always felt that I had nothing interesting to tell because I thought my life was boring. But what changed my mindset was the concept of a 5 second moment. The author tells us to identify any small 5 second moment that changed our feelings or thoughts. I began to realize that I had plenty of these 5 second moments. Whether it was a laughing fit with my family, a small supportive remark from my best friend, the moment I opened my college rejection email, or that time I got drunk on a lawn.

He also introduced the concept of “Homework for Life” which means to record just 1-2 sentences of your day on an excel sheet that could potentially become a story regardless of how small the moment was. In fact, I attribute most of my stories told on this blog to “Homework for Life.”

9. Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

“Our capacity for visual memory is extraordinary; we only need to learn how to take advantage of it.”

– Gabriel Wyner

In school, most of us have probably have taken some language classes but somehow, we didn’t really get anywhere with those classes. That was the case for me. I took Spanish and Korean classes in school but didn’t see much improvements. I just sounded unnatural and robotic like a failed Siri.

After reading this book, I figured out that the school’s approach may not always be the best. The most effective technique mentioned in this book is through spaced repetition by adding images, sound and repetition on daily flashcards. With the guidance of this book, I’m currently able to converse with native Spanish speakers but while still sounding like a toddler. I’m getting there. Almost at middle school level! Regardless, I’m making improvements every week which is what matters.

10. The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything. Be happy first.”

– Neil Pasricha

This book offers 9 scientifically-backed secrets to happiness with some practical tips and step-by-step guidelines. The result is: The Happiness Equation: Want Nothing + Do Anything = Have Everything.

This book made me realize that happiness itself is a choice which you can take action on any time. Yes, there are many instances when terrible things happen to you in life which make it hard to be happy. But you can intentionally change your mindset and do activities you enjoy in order to promote more positive feelings in you.


Well, those are all the books that have made a big impact on my life. Honestly, there’s still many other books but you guys would be here forever if I had to list all of them. My reading list is way too fat now. But I don’t plan on cutting it down. If any of you guys end up reading some or all of these books I mentioned here, definitely let me know your thoughts on it and how it has helped you too. Or, share any life-changing books you’ve read too! I’m always on the hunt for more books.

Thanks for reading! Let’s keep learning and growing! 🙂

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Published by Jean Soo

My name is Jean Soo. I’m a physical therapy student and blogger. I’ve spent quarantine studying and reading over hundreds of self improvement content. I’ve personally faced my own life transformation through some of these books and articles which I will share with you. You can expect to receive valuable content about building better habits, enhancing productivity and promoting more happiness in life. Stay tuned!

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