By Justin Biel, trends editor at Grow Wire
- People with big ideas -- think Warren Buffet and Oprah -- consider reading a crucial component of their success.
- If you have a big idea, reading is a surefire way to increase your chances of making your idea a reality.
- The five books below are an ideal reading list for anyone with a big idea.
You may find it shocking, but the world’s greatest technologist still prefers learning the old-fashioned way: by flipping through his favorite books. And Bill Gates doesn't just read a little. The Microsoft founder mentally ingests more than 50 books per year.
Gates isn’t the only overachiever to publicly acknowledge the vital link between reading and personal success: Warren Buffet claims to read 5-6 hours a day because he knows that just like interest, knowledge accumulates over time. Oprah credits reading with inspiring her to see past her childhood circumstances and dream of a bigger life. Oprah shares her love of reading through her ultra-successful book club. Mark Cuban has explained that reading is at least partially responsible for his success because it gives him a "knowledge advantage" over competitors. For Cuban, this means logging around three hours of reading per day. It’s said that Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space-X, read two books a day as a child.
Even if you aren’t trying to become one of the world's wealthiest folks, setting time aside to read is an essential component of personal growth. Consider starting with the five books below, hand-selected by Grow Wire to aid people in launching their big ideas. These reads contain a combo of practical, get-it-done advice, lessons from other big thinkers and new ideas to expand your point of view.
1. “Deep Work,” by Cal Newport
To execute your big idea, you’ll need focus. The philosophies in “Deep Work” will help. Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown who writes extensively on the topic of productivity. In “Deep Work,” Newport explores how to create a distraction-free environment and explains why this practice is crucial to achieving maximum output. The book will “show how anyone can achieve this elusive state” of deep work, according to its description. This means setting up rigorous “do not disturb” hours, a zero-tolerance policy for multi-tasking, and avoiding social media.
2. “Leonardo DaVinci,” by Walter Isaacson
Through a comprehensive study of DaVinci's life, Isaacson looks at the root of DaVinci's genius, offering a rare glimpse into his inquisitive and inventive mind. It’s “a monumental tribute to a titanic figure,” per its book description. If you’re looking to build a big idea, it only makes sense to study the life of one of the world’s greatest inventors.
3. “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature,” by Janine M. Benyus
Biomimicry contends that nature holds the secrets to survival, so by studying nature we can find solutions to problems around us. The book's author, Benyus, is a TED Speaker and leading expert in the biomimicry field. Her book “details how science is studying nature’s best ideas to solve our toughest 21st-century problems.” Biomimicry examples include learning from mosquitoes how to create a better needle or studying termites to learn how to design sustainable buildings. If you’re stuck on a big idea, maybe nature has the solution.
4. “Power Of Broke,” by Daymond John
Written by Shark Tank star and FUBU founder Daymond John, “Power of Broke” highlights business growth secrets from John’s personal experience and features dozens of other entrepreneurs who have, per the book’s description, “hustled their way to success.” This is the perfect read for dreamers who are full of big ideas, yet short on resources.
5. “Factfulness,” by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, and Anna Rosling Ronnlund
Pioneered by Professor of International Health and TED speaker Hans Rosling, “Factfulness” examines why most of the world cling to belief systems that are, put simply, just not true. Rosling highlights the “instincts that distort our perspective” and provides a new, more uplifting view of the world. “Factfulness” will offer a needed dose of encouragement for anyone with a big idea, explaining how opportunities for positive outcomes far outweigh inaccurate, negative pre-conceptions.
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