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What books do “they” read?

Photo of stacks of books with one open book

Here’s a simple, powerful, acting-on-the-obvious learning tip: ask the people you respect and who have accomplished the types of things you want to accomplish which two or three books have helped them the most.

I’ve done this repeatedly over the years, and have never failed to gain a great deal of valuable new knowledge as a result. Most recently, a colleague recommended 10-Minute Toughness by Jason Selk to me. While focused primarily on sports, it’s a tremendous resource if you are trying to improve your “mental game” in pretty much any walk of life. I highly recommend it, and I might never have found it if I had not actively asked this colleague which two or three books had most impacted him.

Asking people you respect and want to emulate what they recommend you read. It’s simple. It’s powerful. Whoever “they” are for you, ask them today.


P.S. – You can consider this one of the practices that enhances 10 Ways to Be a Better Learning: No. 2 – Cultivate Your Network.

Leave a Comment:

Jeff Cobb says

Celisa – Excellent point. Recommend unto others as you would have them recommend unto you!

David – Thanks for commenting, and welcome to Mission to Learn! Great to find out about your blog – and I also look forward to listening to the Polyglot Project Podcast.


David the Philomath says

I’m glad to have found your site. It has a very similar theme to my own.

Long live the life long learner! 🙂

In responce to the article – I could’t agree with you more. I’ll add that asking a person to recomend a book is often a better option than lets say, browsing Amazon. Recomendations from a person you trust and admire are almost always going to be great reads – in my experience at least.

It’s sad that many people don’t read today. I like to think of books as a way to get into the greatest minds that ever lived.

Celisa Steele says

And it works the other way too–if you’re approached for advice or help, remember to recommend those books that helped you. I’ve been asked to review some poem by a budding poet, and I’d been thinking I might give him some recommended reading. This post sealed the deal–I’ll definitely be giving him a few titles.

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