Motivation is a tricky thing. Sometimes it’s easy to find, other times more elusive – it’s much easier, for example, to feel motivated when you are absolutely crushing the task at hand, being the biggest beast of spreadsheet productivity (or whatever it is you do) at the office.
On the subway? Maybe not so much. There’s just something about being crushed rather than doing the crushing that can really sap the motivation of anyone.
That said, there are a couple of really wonderful books to help you feel motivated on the subway. So next time some sweaty hipster has their vintage flannel all up in your grill, just crack open one of these books and remember to stay positive!
This one’s almost a century old, but its power has not waned even a little bit. Napoleon Hill, our intrepid researcher, spent almost 20 years analyzing over 500 successful men to find out just exactly how they became so successful. He collated this research into the book before you, and it’s the big daddy of all self-help books. In a way, much of what has been said in many self-help books is just a new take on the groundbreaking research that Hill did all those years ago.
this one’s actually really interesting. Maxwell Maltz was a pretty successful plastic surgeon who had a conundrum: some of his patients, even after excellent plastic surgery work, still felt really ugly – even after seeing the evidence of their transformation in a mirror. He dug a bit deeper, and he figured out that it wasn’t enough to fix them physically – they also needed to reshape their mental image of themselves. The result of his research is an insightful book that can teach anyone how to reshape their mental image.
Geoff Colvin pretty much proves here that your success isn’t determined by genetics or talent but sheer hard work. Much like the Malcolm Gladwell book outliers, Colvin uses recent research and worldwide examples to prove that years of practice and not genetics or in a talent is what makes people successful. Definitely a motivation supercharger!
this one is kind of on a tangential trajectory with the previous one – basically, George Leonard emphasizes that constant practice is basically the secret to being successful in just about anything. The key thrust of his book is that you never become a master – part of mastering a subject is knowing that you can never master it, and to never stop improving, learning, and hitting limits that you can break. Pushing yourself is the whole point of being a master, and this book emphasizes that you need to push yourself and never get inpatient or quit.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (25th Anniversary Edition)
this one gets hawked just about everywhere, but for good reason: the book is actually really helpful in getting you self-motivated. The book can occasionally be overly preachy, but in the end it’s not just to help you create and refine better habits in your daily life: it actually shows you that doing so will, in the end, turn you into a better person. Definitely highly recommended!