5 Books That Shifted My Paradigm

Over the last 18 or so months I have transformed into a totally different person. I lost about 50 pounds of fat and gained about 20 pounds of muscle. Money has become a means to an end rather than the end. I feel closer to my friends and family than I have been in years. I learned that life is not a competition, but a cooperative race where the winner is the one who helps and connects with the most people. I learned that less is more, unless it is less; that communicating concisely is the best way to be understood.

I had a lot of help framing my mind in these new ways. These are my highly recommended perception changers:

The 4-Hour Workweek  – What I Learned: Life doesn’t have to be work, work, work.

Tim Ferriss is wise beyond his thirty-some years. He tried the 40 to 80 hour work week and saw through its facade. He was making hundreds of thousands in his own supplement business and was burning himself out. He fired his most troublesome clients and made the same amount of money working 4 hours a week. In his book, and on his blog, he shows you how you can also live this lifestyle. His blog is also where I learned of the slow-carb diet that I used to go from slightly obese to normal for my height. He has even tweaked that diet a bit and included it in his new book The 4 Hour Body, which contains all kinds of “body hacks” that may or may not be good for your health.

Good Calories, Bad CaloriesWhat I Learned: Fat is not the cause of heart disease, obesity, or diabetes, sugar is.

This tome is full of science and should be read by every nutritionist and doctor, period. Although Gary Taubes isn’t a nutritionist or doctor himself, he is an excellent scientist and researcher who has looked at the facts and the science of nutrition more closely than any US government policy maker. If you take the time to absorb this book you will be convinced that health his more connected to diet than anything else and what the government is feeding us is causing most of diseases. Here are two articles that summarizes his main point: The Soft Science of Dietary Fat (pdf) and What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie.

SiddharthaWhat I Learned: What you are destined to be usually isn’t in front of you, it’s inside of you.

One of Herman Hesse’s finest works, Siddhartha describes the life of a prodigy Brahmin, who leaves his easy life to find fulfillment. This book is a must read for everyone. I think that every student should have to read this before they go to college.

On Writing WellWhat I Learned: When communicating the best way to get your point across is to get to it.

William Zinnser’s companion to Strunk & White is my favorite manual on nonfiction writing, or just concise communication. If The Elements of Style is the rule book, On Writing Well is the instructional guide.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleWhat I Learned: Life is not about independence, it’s about interdependence.

I haven’t worked all the way through the habits, yet. Just reading through it changes how I think about my relationships. How I want others to see me isn’t going to be shown in what I say, but in what I do. This book is where I got the title of this post, it is all about shifting paradigms and perceptions, so if you are a regular of this blog this is probably an excellent read for you.

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About Tom

I co-founded Health Now, Wealth Forever when I realized I was unhappy with where I was in life. I was overweight, unhealthy, and stuck in a business that I couldn't save. I had little hope. With our mission of helping others with the same problems, I am now in a much better place in all facets of my life. Most of my posts are about improving your diet - I think health most important. But, I also write about sustainable living, self-improvement, and occasionally improving finances. After all, one of my personal mottos is balance in everything.

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