Mental Training:

A Must-Read Book List


Most of my life has revolved around physical attainability, as I am a bodybuilder and I am constantly immersed in fitness. That is just one of my passions, and there are a lot of other directions that I like to develop on in life. I am almost 30 years old, and I now run my own business, I am an athlete, an artist, and I consider myself a happy and positive person with stellar human beings surrounding me.  However, this didn’t happen overnight, and some of it I’ll bet wouldn’t have happened naturally or easily. I am forever in search of good mental training….concepts, books, movies, life experience and other material that stimulates me, challenges me, and teaches me ways to live a happy and successful life. This is just the starting point of what I can bring about in in the physical world. Everything that I am and have today started with a thought that was built upon, layer by layer. There are a few books that have pushed me through my expansion, and I think they are Must Read’s for anyone interested in self growth and psychology. I don’t claim to have great ideas, but the ones I might have, I fully blame on the culmination of reading books like these and combining their points to support my own. Here are 13 books of intellectually stimulating self help and psychology books, listed in no particular order, with my opinions and links to get them into your hands quickly.


1. The War of Art | Steven Pressfield

Reading Energy/Effort: Moderate

Feels & Effects: Fuel to the Fire

Who Should Read This:  Creatives, business oriented, athletes….and basically everyone with a dream
This book is my Bible.  I have read it and listened to it on audiobook at least 6 times, and every time, it applies to something different in my life.  If you are a creative, an artist, or just have trouble acting on your ideas in life, this is a great read to make you face and overcome your internal battles that are preventing you from “doing”, or “resistance” as Pressfield refers to it. If you don’t’ read any other book on this list, read this one.

Get It Here


2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck | Mark Manson
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy/Moderate

Feels & Effects: Empowering & humorous

Who Should Read This:  Anyone who is carrying a heavy load, and has trouble letting go

First of all I would read this book over and over just because the author is intelligently hilarious in his analogies and style of writing.  I laughed out loud several times, but the book is actually very well written and easily translates the psychology of the simple idea that living a happier life, is using your F*cks appropriately to the things that matter in your quality of life, and not wasting them on Dumb F*ckery. I personally have struggled with this all my life, and now I find it much easier to categorize and weigh my F*cks given.  It brought much awareness to this issue in my life, and now I feel relieved and better equipped. I think everyone would read it for that benefit, but also, for the humor.

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3. Damn Good Advice (For People with Talent!) | George Louis
Reading Energy/Effort: Very easy

Feels & Effects: Simple yet stimulating

Who Should Read This:  Creatives, business oriented, or anyone with an Idea

This book is already great because the points are kept simple and firm. There are one or two ideas per page, so it is not overwhelming.  It has great lessons and thought-provoking ideas and quotes that are great for those in business, creative arts, and looking to reach the next level of their success, especially of you are busy or already overloaded with other thoughts and projects.

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4. Relentless | Tim S. Grover
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy/Moderate

Feels & Effects: Empowering and Motivating

Who Should Read This:  Anyone on a long endeavor to success

This is a great book for athletes committing their efforts to their goals, but also anyone who is continually striving for their achievements. Rather than accepting getting knocked down or thrown off course with discouragement, the author advises 13 things that fuel a person to refuse to give up or give in. Perfect for those who want to consider themselves “unstoppable.”

Get It Here


5. The Secrets of Success: The Science of Getting Rich | Wallace D. Wattles
Reading Energy/Effort: Moderate

Feels & Effects: Refined mindset to affect action

Who Should Read This:  Those who want to bring richness, value, and enjoyment to their lives in all ways.
You may have the sole reason to read this book if you are interested in increasing your bank account, but this book absolutely to all things, material and non-material, that make our lives rich. This is another book that I read to help with all areas of my life with my business, my hobbies of bodybuilding and art, and even in developing relationships around me. It focuses on the idea of infinite wealth…. That there is more than enough and you will never run out, simply by thinking and acting in a certain way. Yes, it is a great money attracting tool, but it is the way of thinking that you will truly be rewarded with.

Get It Here


6. Grit | Angela Duckworth
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy/Moderate

Feels & Effects:  Empowering and Motivating

Who Should Read This:  Anyone getting too caught up and pressured by the end result

The focus of this psychology book is to shine the light on processes and journeys, and the work put into achievement, rather than the event or end result. It helps separate the ideas of talent vs. work, effort, and skill. This will hit home for those struggling with the turmoil of running a marathon vs. a sprint in the direction of their success, and how to prepare for longevity in that area of life.

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7. Mind Gym

Reading Energy/Effort: Very Easy

Feels & Effects: Motivating and Inspiring

Who Should Read This:  Athletes and those who need a pep talk
This is a beautifully simple sports psychology book with stories of elite athletes, quotes, and lessons. It simplifies the tools and ways of thinking that top level athletes apply to become great, and how to do so for yourself.

Get It Here


8. The Art of War | Sun Tzu

Reading Energy/Effort: Moderate to Difficult

Feels & Effects: Arms with ability to face challenges

Who Should Read This:  Those who want to learn your strengths and weaknesses, and strategies to succeed

While this book was written based on warfare, this can be applied to one’s own battles within themselves, internally and externally. The lessons learned will equip with strategy and tactics to overcome life challenges.

Get It Here


9. The Secret | Rhonda Byrne
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy

Feels & Effects: Rainbows & Sunshine, almost so happy it’s cheesy

Who Should Read This:  Negative Nancy’s & Ned’s, if who’s life sucks, or who suck.
This book’s focus is the Law of Attraction, and how to apply it to your life to bring a state of positivity into your mental and physical world.  IT will turn your life around from being a victim to being in control. The book is very easy to read and it translates the idea well into every day application, and be relatable to various areas of your life.

Get It Here


10. The Road Less Traveled | M. Scott Peck
Reading Energy/Effort: Moderate to Difficult

Feels & Effects: Realistic, Sobering, but brings awareness to one’s self and preparedness for life

Who Should Read This:  Those who want to internally dissect and be challenged to grow in their existence

This is for the person ready for self-discovery and dissection, or analyzing their relationships with themselves and others in the world. It brings awareness to self-conflict and how to address it in a way to move forward in life experience. Contrary to the “happy sunshine & positivity” books I have listed above, it is a sobering, realistic book of life’s hardships, suffering, and crisis. I can’t say it is an easy read because it forces you to face yourself, but it is extremely valuable.

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11. The 4 Hour Work Week | Tim Ferriss
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy to moderate

Feels & Effects: Simplifying & Freeing

Who Should Read This:  Those who want to work less and bring in more income

In a nutshell, this book helps sort through the bullshit of time wasting versus productivity. It teaches how to work in a way of assessing lifestyle to find out what you really want, omit distractions, automate income, and create a flexible and unorthodox worklife.

Get It Here


12. Do The Work | Steven Pressfield
Reading Energy/Effort: Easy to Moderate

Feels & Effects: Slap-in-the-face self awareness

Who Should Read This:  People who think they can’t achieve what they want and need to reassess the problems or failures

This is a great book to read after or pair with the War of Art, with the focus on getting out of your own way to have the things you want in life.  It will make you question what YOU are or aren’t doing to reach your success by self sabotage. Very internally challenging.

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13. It’s Not How Good You Are (It’s How Good You Want to Be) | Paul Arden

Reading Energy/Effort: Very Easy

Feels & Effects: You can do it!

Who Should Read This: Creatives, business oriented, and those with talent and skill

This book is perfect for people who are talented or have great ideas, and want to bring those into fruition. It’s excellent for business people or creatives, and addresses issues sensitive to time, opportunity, communication, and mistakes. This is also a humorous and light read.

Get It Here