My Goal to Read 75 Books – February 2017 Check-in

Erik Thoughts of a Mastermind 16 Comments

“I don’t believe anyone can be “improved” by buying and reading a book. They can only be “improve”, if that is the word, by their own actions.” – Felix Dennis

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Issac Newton

“To have more, you simply have to become more. Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better you have to get better!” – Jim Rohn

Sitting in my bedroom on December 30th, 2016, I pondered what goals I should make for 2017 which would help me become the person I want to be in the future. I love reading books, so naturally, a goal to read a bunch of books would be a reasonable goal. I want to push myself to become better. If I become better in the early stages of life, this will only help me in the later stages of my life (the power of compounding for you personal finance people!).

The Reading Goal

Sitting there, I said to myself, “I know I can read one book a week. This is reasonable and I will be able to do this without too much sweat. Why not try to read multiple books in a week?” 75 books is a nice, round number greater than 52, but not too outrageous. With uncertain times ahead at work (sometimes I will have super busy weeks.), I didn’t want to set a goal I know I’d struggle achieving. 75 seemed to be just right.

By reading 75 books in 2017, I want to acquire a broad base of knowledge, build connections between different ideas in my head, and apply what I’ve learned in the books to grow and improve in my relationships with friends and family. Starting the year, I had about 30 books on my Amazon Wish List. Time will tell how many of these I get to and what I learn from each of the books I read. To paraphrase Felix Dennis’ words from above, it is not enough to only read a book; to improve, one must apply what they have read in the book to improve themselves.


February 2017 Reading Summary

This post is the second of twelve update posts on my goal to read 75 books. In this post, I will list the books I’ve read during the months with links to the book reviews I wrote. In addition, to these book reviews, I will summarize the actions steps I have looked to implement in my life as a result of reading each of the following books. Like I said above, it is not enough to just read if you want to improve.

In February, I read 6 books. So far in 2017, I have read 14 books. This is a great start to 2017 and puts me on pace for 84 books read by the end of 2017, which would have me surpassing my goal. I’m very happy about the effort I put in to this goal and have certainly felt a difference in the way I think and communicate with others. I am able to express my thoughts clearly, comprehend and understand other’s points quicker and be able to ask penetrating and thoughtful questions in response to their points.

I can’t wait to see where my results will be after 12 months!

The Kids Got it Right

Buy this Book!

The Kids Got It Right, by Jim Dent
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: Be easy going and accepting of all people, no matter where they come from, what they do, or how they act. I have applied this at basketball on Saturday mornings: the guys I play with are from different cities, counties, backgrounds, and are different ages. By being open and a friend to all, I can create a fun environment.
Conversation Casanova, by Dave Perotta
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: I’ve changed my mindset to assume everyone likes me. Mindset is extremely important. I now ask myself, “What do I like about this person”, when I’m chatting with someone. I try to lead in my interactions with others (not boss or command, but lead).
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: Humans are vulnerable to their stereotypes and prejudices. We are also capable of making smart, quick decisions with practice, rules, and repetition.
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, by Gary Keller
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: I’ve started building my network of professionals. After my leaky pipe incident, I connected with a handyman and have his number for the next repair. In addition, I’m looking for opportunities in the market; keeping a pulse on the marketplace allows you to understand the value of the properties in the area. It can also help you determine which properties would be a good deal or not.
The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: I approach every day as if it matters; I don’t want to waste any more days. I want to be consistent with my work, my investments, my friends, and this blog. No one can go from 0 to 100; it is always possible to go from 0 to 1, 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and finally 99 to 100. Consistency is key!
Stealing the Corner Office, by Brendan Reid
Book Review
Action Steps and Takeaways: I’m going to connect with my senior managers and learn their priorities. I’m going to continue to help my peers and look to get involved in bigger projects. Lastly, I’m going to keep learning about different topics of business, finance, accounting, and life, to gain a broader perspective on life.

Conclusion

There you have it! 8 books in January and 6 books in February. As I stated above, this puts my on pace for 84 books in 2017. I will reach my goal when I stay consistent and keep up my reading. Currently, I have a stack of 20 books on my table and am constantly looking for new books to read. I want to gain a better perspective on the world so I can help others and improve my relationships.

How are you doing on your 2017 goals? Are there any books you think would be interesting for me to read?

Erik

Comments 16

  1. Great books Erik! I love this format where you give your takeaways and action step – such an awesome addition to a typical book review and so helpful. Just put a hold on The Slight Edge from my local library 🙂 Thanks for sharing your progress and good luck in March!

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      Author

      Thanks for stopping by Chelsea!! Like Felix Dennis says, you don’t improve by reading unless you put what you read into action. I’ve experienced great results so far and hope to keep it up!!

  2. I love that you’re doing this! It’s not exactly the same thing but I just started a “read 1000 books before Kindergarten” program with my kids and they are on # 80 now. 🙂 We do love the library. Also, I’ve been wanting to read Blink so I’ll have to check it out now!

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      Author

      Wow! 1000 books and done with 80?? That’s awesome. Focusing on literacy early in life with benefit those kids tremendously.

      Blink was a good read. I’d also recommend Outliers by the same author if you like Blink!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love this! My goal is to read 100 books this year-but half of them will be picture books so it’s not as great a goal as it sounds!

    Blink has been on my to-read list forever!

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      Author

      100 books is awesome. Even at 50 non picture books, you will still grow a lot.

      Thanks for the comment, best wishes

  4. Your killing it dude. The most impressive thing about your goal is that you have been doing all these book reviews to memorialize what you learned.

    I remember a professor from my junior year in college that left a lasting impression on me. He had told the class that he had read well over 1,000 books since graduating college. That seemed impossible to me at the time, but know I think it is more than doable every 20 years at my average pace of 50/year.

    At your current pace you will do it in just under 12.

    Keep up the thirst brother!!!

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      Author

      Hey GYFG, I really appreciate your comment and you stopping by the blog.

      I really enjoy doing this and as you probably have experienced as well, a person grows so much by reading and reflecting on what they read. It’s truly life changing.

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      Author

      I’m glad you liked Originals – that was one of my favorite ones so far. March should bring an interesting mix of books… January was awesome! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one.

  5. Reading is my biggest hobby – trips to the library result in a bag full of books for me and the family. My goal is to read four per month (or one per week), although I usually end up reading more. I find reading to be not only an enjoyable hobby, but also an excellent way to get exposed to new concepts and ideas. Great work so far on your goal!

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      Author

      Hey Liz, thanks for stopping by. 4 books a month or more is quite impressive given your work, blog, and family!

      Reading is a great hobby – it helps your thinking as well. I feel better mentally as I’ve been reading more and more.

  6. Amazing stuff Erik!

    I’m rooting for you. Also because I get the feeling that a great book recommendation list is building here :-)?
    I set a goal to do 12 this year. One every month. At my current pace, I’m hoping to get 20 done.
    I have a lot of report reading and drafting to do for work, so I ‘ll be more than happy if I reach 20.

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      Author

      Thanks for stopping by Make Wealth Simple. Yes, a book recommendation list is in the making! I want to get a bunch of books read before I can make good suggestions. Looking forward to seeing your book reviews on your site.

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      Author

      Thanks Michael for the comment. I’m really excited to continue my journey of reading! Through 17 now, want to get a bunch of reading done this week since I’m doing a staycation!! 🙂

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