Top 5 books to read for a Better You

Discover transformative books: "Finding Ultra," "Fat, Forty, and Fired," "The Daily Stoic," "52 Small Changes," and "How to do Nothing."

Top 5 books to read for a Better You
Photo by freddie marriage / Unsplash

Here are five reading recommendations for books that will help inspire your personal transformation journey. They include physical, spiritual, mental, habitual, and philosophical transformation. Read all of these, and I bet you'll become a better father, husband, and a better human.

Finding Ultra, Revised and Updated Edition: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Rich Roll

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll is a book that captures the power and potential of human beings. It tells the story of Rich Roll, an ultra-endurance athlete who transformed his life from an overweight alcoholic to one of peak physical fitness.

Through hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, he pushed himself to achieve feats that many thought impossible. Not only does this book inspire readers with Rich’s story, but it also provides valuable lessons on how to set and achieve your own goals.

On the night before he was to turn forty, Rich Roll experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary life was taking him—and he woke up.

Plunging into a new routine that prioritized a plant-based lifestyle and daily training, Rich morphed—in a matter of mere months—from out of shape, mid-life couch potato to endurance machine. Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. And following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the EPIC5—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.

In the years since Finding Ultra was published, Rich has become one of the world’s most recognized advocates of plant-based living. In this newly revised and updated edition, he shares the practices, tools, and techniques he uses for optimal performance, longevity, and wellness, including diet and nutrition protocols. Rich reflects on the steps he took to shift his mindset and leverage deep reservoirs of untapped potential to achieve success beyond his wildest imagination, urging each of us to embark on our own journey of self-discovery.Book description from Amazon.

Fat, Forty, and Fired: One Man's Frank, Funny, and Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life by Nigel Marsh

Fat, Forty, and Fired by Nigel Marsh is a captivating read about finding success and meaning in life. Through this book, readers can learn valuable lessons about how to manage stress, develop meaningful relationships, and make career changes that lead to greater fulfillment and prosperity.

"Homer Simpson meets Anthony Robbins. Marsh's honesty and humanity make Fat, Forty, and Fired essential reading for anyone whose life has ever hit a roadblock. Hilarious and inspiring." --Bob Rosner, best-selling author and internationally syndicated Working Wounded columnist

"An extremely funny and touching account of how someone can use humor and optimism to put adversity into perspective. Marsh's warm and distinctive view of life lights up every page and makes this a thoroughly enjoyable read." --Paul Wilson, author of The Little Book of Calm

"I can pinpoint the precise moment when I realized my transformation from 'executive dad' to 'guy who doesn't work' was complete." --Nigel Marsh

Take Dave Barry, Jack Welch, Homer Simpson, and Ray Romano, mix in a family, a little weight gain, failure, introspection, and redemption, and you have Nigel Marsh's international best-selling autobiography.

As a stressed husband and father of four small children under the age of eight, Nigel Marsh was enslaved to his mortgage, recuperating from an embarrassing surgery, and suddenly fired from his corporate career. Deciding to venture "off the treadmill" in search of a more meaningful and balanced existence, Marsh tackled the art of hands-on parenting while simultaneously training for an ocean swimming race and coming to terms with his alcoholism. Touching on topics ranging from marital sex (or lack thereof), dieting, and parenthood to work, love, football, religion, self-help books, and sharks, Marsh makes his U.S. debut after enjoying best-seller status in Australia and the U.K. with this provocative and funny book.Book description on Amazon

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday offers a modern take on ancient Stoic wisdom to help readers develop strength, resilience, and tranquility in their lives.

This book provides 366 daily meditations that will inspire readers to break free from their limiting beliefs and unlock the power of Stoicism in their everyday lives.

With thought-provoking insights from historical figures such as Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, The Daily Stoic is essential reading for anyone looking for motivation, guidance, and clarity in turbulent times. It is an invaluable resource for cultivating greater happiness, peace of mind, and an unshakeable sense of purpose. Discover the life-changing philosophy of Stoicism with The Daily Stoic today!

The Daily Stoic offers a daily devotional of Stoic insights and exercises, featuring all-new translations from Emperor Marcus Aurelius, playwright Seneca, and slave-turned-philosopher Epictetus as well as lesser-known luminaries like Zeno, Cleanthes, and Musonius Rufus. Every day of the year, you'll find one of their pithy, powerful quotations as well as historical anecdotes, provocative commentary, and a helpful glossary of Greek terms. By following these teachings over the course of a year (and, indeed, for years to come), you'll find the serenity, self-knowledge, and resilience you need to live well.Book description on Amazon

52 Small Changes: One Year to a healthier, happier you by Brett Blumenthal

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Healthier, Happier You is an inspiring book about how small changes can lead to major improvements in your life. It provides readers with actionable steps and tips for making lasting lifestyle changes that will help them become healthier and happier. The book focuses on achieving overall wellness through easy-to-implement strategies like changing your diet, getting more exercise, managing stress, setting achievable goals and finding balance in life. It also encourages readers to take the time to reflect on their successes, celebrate their accomplishments and identify areas where they need further improvement. With its simple action plans and manageable tasks, 52 Small Changes helps you make healthy changes that stick! Through its encouraging tone of voice and practical advice, this book has the potential to change your life for the better. So get ready to start making those small changes today! You'll be glad you did.

Whether as New Year’s resolutions, birthday wishes, or daily promises, most everyone vows at some point to make a major life change. But change is easier said than done, especially when it comes to better managing our wellness amidst the chaos of everyday living. Fortunately, wellness coach and award-winning writer Brett Blumenthal has devised a way to inspire and motivate her readers to live healthier and make positive changes in their lives. Although Blumenthal’s method is not a quick fix, it is a surprisingly simple one: make one small change per week, for fifty-two weeks, and at the end of a year, you’ll be happier and healthier. After all, it is the small changes that are the most realistic, instead of trying to overhaul your lifestyle all at once. 52 Small Changes addresses all areas of wellbeing, including nutrition, exercise, stress management, mental wellness, and even the health of one’s home environment. By guiding readers through these changes at an easy, manageable pace, Blumenthal provides an engaging roadmap to lasting results and “a happier, healthier you.”Book description on Amazon

How to do nothing: Resisting the attention economy by Jenny Odell

How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell is an inspiring book about reclaiming our time, attention, and autonomy. It provides readers with a blueprint for how to resist the draining forces of digital society, helping us to refocus on what matters most—ourselves and the world around us.

The book explores how we can take back control of our lives from the tech giants that dominate our attention in order to create meaningful connections with ourselves and others. It encourages us to slow down and appreciate life’s clockwork while also finding joy in distraction rather than letting it consume us. Through thoughtful reflection, Odell reminds readers that there is more to life than instant gratification or being constantly connected; instead, we can use our time to engage in meaningful activities that truly bring us joy and satisfaction.

Odell shares her personal experiences of struggling with the attention economy, giving readers insight into how it has impacted her own life and the lives of others. She offers practical advice for dealing with digital overstimulation, from unplugging from social media to spending more time outdoors in nature. And through examples and anecdotes, she demonstrates how each one of us has the power to reclaim our lives—and make a positive difference in the world by doing so.

How to do Nothing is an insightful read that will help readers gain clarity on what really matters and how they can take back control of their lives instead of letting technology dictate them.

A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention - and our personal information - that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world.

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity...doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance. So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious - and overdrawn - resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. 

Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this audiobook is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

-Book description on Amazon

ideas4growth for a Better You

These recommendations are two inspiring stories, one philosophical practice that will guide you through a year of daily stoic reading, plus a practical book with 52 tiny changes you can make throughout the year, and a manual for avoiding distraction. Combine them in a bundle to become the best version of yourself within the next year!

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