This is an article on The Reading Habits of Successful People.
And 5 Top Books They Read.
Want to know one big and important habit that almost all ultra-successful people have in common? …They read a lot.
In fact, when Warren Buffett was once asked about the key to success, he pointed to a stack of nearby books and said, “Read 500 pages like every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
Buffett takes this habit to the extreme — he read between 600 and 1000 pages per day when he was beginning his investing career and still devotes about 80% of each day to reading.
And he’s not alone. Here are just a few top business leaders and entrepreneurs who make reading a major part of their daily lifestyle:
Bill Gates reads about 50 books per year, which breaks down to 1 per week
Mark Cuban reads more than 3 hours every day
Elon Musk is an avid reader and when asked how he learned to build rockets, he said: “I read books.”
Mark Zuckerberg resolved to read a book every 2 weeks throughout 2015
Oprah Winfrey selects one of her favorite books every month for her Book Club members to read and discuss
And these aren’t just isolated examples. A study of 1200 wealthy people found that they all have reading as a pastime in common.
But successful people don’t just read anything. They are highly selective about what they read, opting to be educated over being entertained. They believe that books are a gateway to learning and knowledge.
In fact, there is a notable difference between the reading habits of the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy. According to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, rich people (annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million-plus) read for self-improvement, education, and success. Whereas poor people (annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less) read primarily to be entertained.
Successful people tend to choose educational books and publications over novels, tabloids, and magazines. And in particular they obsess over biographies and autobiographies of other successful people for guidance and inspiration.
There are many examples of successful people dropping out of school or foregoing a formal education, but it is clear that they never stop learning. And reading is a key part of their success.
If reading as a pathway to success isn’t enough to get you motivated, consider these health benefits of reading: Reading has been shown to help prevent stress, depression, and dementia while enhancing confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction.
As a bonus for reading this far here is a list of the 5 Top Money Success Books for High Achievers, By Inc.
Out of hundreds, the editors of SUCCESS have narrowed their list to 5 must-read books for financial success and high achievers. The task wasn’t easy, although their criteria were simple. These are books they read, made a difference in their lives. They chose books that take a comprehensive approach to money, life and personal development because they know that one-dimensional success really isn’t a success at all.
Reading books regularly, one per week, and applying their techniques and success strategies are the best ways to discover and stay focused on your life’s journey.
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
First published in 1937, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was an overnight success with staying power. Today, this book is regarded as one of the all-time best for its lessons on dealing with people.
The chapter titles seem, at first, a little manipulative: “Six ways to make people like you,” “12 ways to win people to your way of thinking.” But the reality of Carnegie’s teachings is that none will work if the intent is manipulation. The word “genuine” appears repeatedly throughout the book. Only with authenticity and honesty will Carnegie’s methods work consistently.
How to Win Friends and Influence People is packed with anecdotes from historical leaders and lessons learned or taught by some of history’s greatest businessmen. And the methods of calling a person by his or her name, or looking at the situation from the other’s point of view is timeless and works both in business and in personal life.
Carnegie’s book is a classic. Though he credits many people for inspiring his ideas, his methods are the foundation for many of today’s personal-development and business-management books.
2. The Richest Man in Babylon
Too often, life doesn’t turn out as expected. And money, or the lack of money, plays a large role in people’s ability to handle life’s ups and downs. Perhaps that’s why, in the 1920s, banks and insurance companies decided to distribute short parables written to educate people on important financial principles. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason began in 1926 as a series of pamphlets, the most famous ones later compiled into one of the best-loved money guides of all time.
The book begins with two men realizing that, while they lived a meager existence, one of their childhood friends had become known as the wealthiest man in Babylon. Despite growing up in similar circumstances, their friend seemed to have created a life of gold while they barely scratched out a living.
The situation is all too familiar even today. And like the men who’d come to the realization that they’d failed to think beyond the day at hand, readers have the opportunity to sit at the feet of the richest man in Babylon and learn how to build wealth. They learn how to plan for the future, make wise investments and how to view money as a tool rather than a measure of success.
With time-tested principles and an engaging format, The Richest Man in Babylon is an excellent introduction to finance, and a classic.
3. Think and Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill, inspired by business legend Andrew Carnegie, spent 20 years of his life studying the lives of some of history’s most successful people. The culmination of his research was the in-depth series, The Laws of Success. In 1937, Hill published another book, Think and Grow Rich, founded on the same philosophies of success. This book condensed the wealth of knowledge he’s accumulated into 13 principles for successful living.
Shorter and perhaps easier to get through than its predecessor, Think and Grow Rich is as applicable today as it was when it was first released. The title’s principles are founded on Hill’s belief in the power of the mind, and his famous quotes, such as, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve,” have changed the way millions of people view their lives. When read in its entirety and its principles put into action, Think and Grow Rich not only helps people change their views on life, but also the way they behave and, ultimately, their reality.
More than 30 million copies of Think and Grow Rich have been bought by business students, entrepreneurs and goal-setters around the world. When it was re-released in 2004, it rocketed once again to the top, holding a place on Business Week’s Best Seller list for paperback business books for more than 20 months.
Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that should be read by everyone interested in improving their lives and reaching their goals. I have read it every year for the past 30 years. We also use it at my Mastermind group.
4. The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying
Suze Orman (Crown, 1997) As a financial expert, Suze offers advice on the nuts and bolts of managing money. But whether you’re watching her on television or reading her advice in O, The Oprah Magazine, or in one of her best-selling books, such as 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, her message is clear: Wealth is an attitude and money isn’t the key to acquiring true financial freedom.
In this acclaimed book, Orman challenges readers to face their financial fears and acknowledge the importance of planning for the future. With a three-pronged approach, Orman tackles the mental, physical and spiritual issues that keep people from reaching financial freedom. Also available in audio format, 9 Steps to Financial Freedom encourages personal growth while offering the education necessary to begin the process of building a rich life.
Again, it’s the total approach to financial success that sets this and the other financial books on this list apart. Acquiring wealth isn’t as simple as piling up the green stuff. Your beliefs about money, yourself and the world around you have as much to do with wealth as do the riches you acquire.
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
While Stephen Covey wasn’t the first to write a book on becoming a better, more effective person. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People marked the beginning of a revitalized interest in personal development. In a 15th anniversary edition released in 2004 and more than 15 million copies sold, this book has helped millions change their perspective and their lives.
Unlike many authors of books in this genre, Covey doesn’t promise a simple, quick fix for creating a better life. In fact, mastering the seven habits he outlines could take a lifetime. But as with many personal-development efforts, it’s what you learn as you work toward becoming a truly effective person that matters.
The habits are divided into three sections: Private Victory, Public Victory, and Renewal. Private Victory focuses on the individual’s view of himself. The first three habits are: becoming proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first. These habits will challenge you to take responsibility for your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. The Public Victory section focuses on creating meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships. And because being effective requires energy and focus, the seventh habit, “Sharpening the Saw,” encourages you to engage in activities that promote mental and physical renewal.
These 5 books are classics, but older. Much has been discovered the past 5 years on using our mind to create success. And much has been learned from Quantum Physics on the concept of what reality is and that there can be multiple realities to choose from each and every moment.
I want to add one more new book to this list of 5 books to read to achieve success.
As I’ve matured, had ups and downs in life and business I have become focused on doing what makes me happy and fulfilled, rather than doing what the world says I and everyone else should be doing to be successful.
I recommend you read Before Happiness, by Shawn Anchor. I really enjoyed this book. I plan to introduce it to my Mastermind group I lead, in Atlanta, GA. as a must read for this year
I read about 2 to 3 books a month. Most are books one self-improvement books, innovation, quantum theory, psychology and future technologies. But The Happiness Advantage is one of the few where the hard scientific evidence of his Harvard and business studies in the real world really resonated with me. This is a self- help book – meets quantum science – meets positive psychology.
The point that impacted me most is the fact that while the human brain receives eleven million pieces of information per second from our environment, we can only process forty pieces of information per second. This critical point means we chose quickly and see a tiny percentage of reality streaming to us every second. Thus your reality is a conscious choice: you chose what to focus upon. Therefore, what “facts” “you chose”, of all that is coming to you, will create your success or failure.
Before Happiness breaks down achieving happiness, into 5 steps: It then goes into clear detail, using real-life stories from his Harvard and business consulting studies, to show you how to think anew about what is reality, and your choices in life.
The 5 Steps.
Choosing the Most Valuable Reality
Mapping Your Success Route
Finding Success Accelerants
Eliminating Negative Noise
Transferring Your Positive Reality to Others.
Shawn makes these concepts clear and doable, by his concrete examples. “The Happiness Advantage,” is an important read and lays out a clear framework for finding your ONE THING, and with that the sustainable success in work and in life you desire.
I highly recommend FINDING HAPPINESS and the other 5 classics to anyone wanting to live a fulfilling life. And remember happiness and sustainable success is achieved by reading and growing daily.