In this article, I will share my list of the best 4 books for men which will equip you with the mindset of a winner and help you get what you want out of life.
A man is a success if he has all the big-4:
- Beautiful women
All of the big-4 are interdependent but achieving a particular one of them doesn’t guarantee you to achieve the others.
These books have the potency to equip you with the mindset shifts to achieve all of them.
A good book condenses wisdom that could take you a lifetime of trial and error to figure out. It has the power to change your mind and thus change your life.
All 4 books had a profound effect on how I view life and endowed me with the mindset to achieve what I want, which in turn helped me immensely to turn my life around.
Here is my list of 4 books every man should read, in no particular order:
The 50th Law
by Robert Greene
The 50th Law is a sequel to Robert Greene’s bestselling book 48 Laws of Power.
The name of the book comes from the famous rapper 50 Cent.
Robert Greene met 50 Cent who was already a fan of 48 Laws of Power and they hung out for about a year. Robert Greene noticed that 50 Cent is a walking, living example of the historical figures he had written about in his books.
In this book, Greene shows how the laws of power apply to modern times using 50 Cent’s story of rising from the ghetto to fame and power.
The main theme of the book is fearlessness. Each chapter in the book discusses a different law of power, provides real-life examples of the laws in action, and gives you step by step instructions to acquire and utilize the mentioned powers in your own life.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom you’ll find in the book:
- While you have little control over circumstances, you can fully control your mindset with which you respond to events around you.
- Follow your own path no matter what others think of you.
- Your days are numbered and so it is best to make every moment count, to have a sense of urgency about life.
- The greatest danger we face is the mind going soft.
- The reality is harsh. Instead of wishing things were different, embrace it and make reality work in your favor.
- Your rational mind is your greatest weapon that no other living thing has.
- Look at people’s deeds, not words.
- Be strong enough to see the world as it is, including your own personal inadequacies.
- The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant.
- The real risk in life is depending on others
- Own yourself first. If you work for others, they own you. If you work for yourself, you own you.
- Everyone in the world is governed by self-interest. If you seek support, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
- You are more alone than you imagine.
- Stop seeking validation and approval.
- Never be a minion, always be an owner.
- Time is your most precious resource.
- Get in the habit of taking what you need for yourself instead of expecting others to give it to you.
- The only way to gain self-reliance or any power is through great effort and practice.
- Every negative situation contains the possibility of something positive.
- Ask for more, aim high, and believe that you are destined for something great.
- You must experiment and feel the sensation of not concerning yourself with what others think or expect of you.
- The higher your self-belief, the more your power to transform reality.
- You must always be prepared to place a bet on yourself, on your future, by heading in a direction that others seem to fear.
- The key in life is to always be willing to walk away.
- If you can overcome the fear of death, then there is nothing left to fear.
The book essentially provides you with a blueprint for escaping the 9-5 prison and living a masculine life completely on your own terms.
The story of 50 Cent is nothing short of inspiring. This book fired me up so much that I bought a bunch of 50 Cent songs and played them in my car for months.
The wisdom in the book gave me a more fearless attitude towards life that I was finally able to muster up the courage to quit my job and build my own businesses.
The 50th Law is filled to the brim with great quotes. Here are some examples:
“Reality is my drug. The more I have of it, the more power I get and the higher I feel.”—50 Cent
“I was born alone and I will die alone. I’ve got to do what’s right for me and not live my life the way anybody else wants it” —50 Cent
“Every negative is a positive. The bad things that happen to me, I somehow make them good. That means you can’t do anything to hurt me” —50 Cent
“Most people can’t handle boredom. That means they can’t stay on one thing until they get good at it. And they wonder why they’re unhappy.” —50 Cent
“Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.” —50 Cent
“Understand: people will constantly attack you in life. One of their main weapons will be to instill in you doubts about yourself—your worth, your abilities, your potential. They will often disguise this as their objective opinion, but invariably it has a political purpose—they want to keep you down.”
“When I nearly died it made me think—this can happen again any second. I better hurry and do what I want. I started to live like I never lived before. When the fear of death is gone, then nothing can bother you and nobody can stop you.” —50 Cent
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
by Scott Adams
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big is a book by Scott Adams which chronicles his many failures on the way to his massive success with the comic strip Dilbert.
Scott used to be a 9 to 5 cubicle worker who was determined to break out of his misery. He has a vast history of failed attempts until he reached global fame, riches, and freedom with Dilbert. He used the same lessons he learned from his failures to become a New York Times bestselling author.
The main theme of the book is failing your way to success. The average man is terrified of failure and embarrassment. As a result, the average man stays average and lives a miserable life.
Scott has a different mindset. He loves failure. Because he learned early in life that each failure comes with valuable lessons that help him identify patterns of success and form systems to exploit these patterns.
The book also contains a thrilling story woven into the chapters which makes it a page-turner.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom you’ll find in the book:
- Success is entirely accessible, even if you happen to be a huge screwup 95 percent of the time.
- Goals are for losers and systems are for winners.
- Your mind isn’t magic. It’s a moist computer you can program.
- Fitness is the lever that moves the world.
- Passion is bullshit.
- Simplicity transforms ordinary into amazing.
- If you want success, figure out the price, then pay it.
- Take care of yourself first. The world needs you at your best.
- Avoid depressing news, music, books, and movies that are downers.
- Seekers find more stuff than the people who sit and wait.
- Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success
- Compliments and praise boost performance in adults.
- You will be a lot more effective if you have a greater understanding of psychology. On a scale of one to ten, the importance of understanding psychology is a solid ten.
- Try putting yourself in situations that will surely embarrass you if things go wrong.
- Being a good persuader is like having a magic power.
- A commanding voice is highly correlated with success.
- When you see a successful person who lacks a college education, you’re usually looking at someone with an unusual lack of fear. (Note: Notice the connection with 50 Cent’s fearlessness)
- If your gut feeling (intuition) disagrees with the experts, take that seriously.
- If you live near optimistic winners, those qualities are sure to rub off to some extent.
- Happiness is the natural state for most people whenever they feel healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good.
Another notable subject Scott discusses in detail throughout the book is affirmations. He knows that affirmations is a controversial subject and he admits that he doesn’t exactly know how affirmations helped his success but he talks about the times he used affirmations effectively to reach the desired outcome.
I read this book in 2014, at a time before Scott Adams became a political pundit who correctly predicted the results of the US presidential election without being an expert on politics. What made him successfully predict the results of an election was nothing more than a solid understanding of human psychology and persuasion.
In the book, he provides useful tips for understanding human psychology. Here’s a list of cognitive biases he recommends to study.
Correctly predicting the results of a presidential race proved that Scott Adams walks his talk. Studying and understanding human psychology will not only help you reach success but also spare you a lot of frustration with the irrationality of human beings.
The book is filled with quote-worthy statements. Here are a few examples:
“3 most important determinants of success are: 1) Lack of fear of embarrassment 2) Education 3) Exercise”
“If you can’t handle the risk of embarrassment, rejection, and failure, you need to learn how.”
“If you ask a billionaire the secret of his success, he might say it is passion, because that sounds like a sexy answer that is suitably humble. But after a few drinks I think he’d say his success was a combination of desire, luck, hard work, determination, brains, and appetite for risk.”
“Every time you wonder how to do something, a few hundred million people have probably wondered the same thing. And that usually means the information has already been packaged and simplified, and in some cases sold. But it’s usually free for the asking.”
“Your first job is to take care of your health. The second is to take care of your economics. You might wince at the fact that I put economics ahead of your family, your friends, and the rest of the world, but there’s a reason. If you don’t get your personal financial engine working right, you place a burden on everyone from your family to the country.”
“Positivity is far more than a mental preference. It changes your brain, literally, and it changes the people around you. It’s the nearest thing we have to magic. Optimists notice more opportunities, have more energy because of their imagined future successes and take more risks. Optimists make themselves an easy target for luck to find them.”
“Some skills are more important than others, and you should acquire as many of those key skills as possible, including public speaking, business writing, a working understanding of the psychology of persuasion, an understanding of basic technology concepts, social skills, proper voice technique, good grammar, and basic accounting. Develop a habit of simplifying. Learn how to make small talk with strangers, and learn how to avoid being an asshole. If you get that stuff right—and almost anyone can—you will be hard to stop.”
“Always remember that failure is your friend. It is the raw material of success. Invite it in. Learn from it. And don’t let it leave until you pick its pocket. That’s a system.”
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime
by MJ DeMarco
The Millionaire Fastlane is a book about getting rich quick. “Get rich quick” is an abused term and it immediately screams “scam” but this book does a good job of distinguishing between “get rich quick” and “get rich easy”.
MJ teaches you that, in the fast lane to wealth, it’s possible to get rich within 5-7 years and hard work isn’t skipped. Getting rich means making at least $10 million.
This book shatters the conventional wisdom about wealth and money. MJ provides mathematical equations to prove why it’s impossible to get rich quick with the conventional methods of wealth accumulation. Math is not debatable. If you follow a money-making strategy where the numbers don’t add up, you will not get rich quick.
Self-made multimillionaires who made their money without a natural talent all got rich by applying the principles in this book, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Money is a vital component of freedom and thus masculinity. Money isn’t important for buying stuff but it’s important for buying you free time and do whatever you want to do.
The Millionaire Fastlane will endow you with the correct mindset for getting rich without servitude. If you are rich but you work 80 hours a week, you are not wealthy. This book will show you the business models that have the potency to make you rich in 5-7 years and retire early.
Here are some examples of the countless nuggets of wisdom you’ll find in the book:
- Successful Fastlaners “Get Rich Quick.”
- Having $1 million doesn’t entitle you to a lifestyle of the rich and famous. You need at least $10 million for that.
- Slowlane millionaires make millions in 30 years or more. Fastlane millionaires make millions in 10 years or less.
- Wealth is a process, not an event.
- Money is everywhere, and it’s extremely abundant.
- Money, properly used, can buy freedom, which can lead to happiness.
- Fastlaners are producers, entrepreneurs, innovators, visionaries, and creators.
- People who declare, “Money doesn’t buy happiness” have already concluded they will never have money.
- Life does not begin on Friday night and end Monday morning.
- The consequence of instant gratification is the destruction of freedom, health, and choice.
- The Real Law of Wealth: Affect millions and make millions.
- You can’t worry about deviating from social norms, because the norm is to be two paychecks from broke.
- Time is deathly scarce, while money is richly abundant.
- To cease learning at graduation is wealth suicide.
- If you avoid failure you will also avoid success.
- One hit is all it takes, and you could be set for life.
- To live unlike everyone else, you have to do what everyone else won’t.
- Content systems, computer systems, software systems, distribution systems, and human resource systems are all seedlings to money trees.
- The Internet is the best Fastlane available, because it immediately obeys the Five Commandments to the Fastlane, assuming a need-based premise.
- Money isn’t attracted to selfish people. It is attracted to businesses that solve problems.
- Offer the world value, and money becomes magnetized to you!
- You’ve got a great idea, but someone is already doing it? So what. Do it better.
- Ideas are worthless; execution is priceless.
- Business plans are useless.
- When you solve needs on a massive scale, money flows into your life. Money reflects value.
After reading this book, you will never start a business that doesn’t have the potential to make you rich while enjoying ample free time in your hands to enjoy your wealth. With what I learned from The Millionaire Fastlane, I never started a business that doesn’t meet the 5 commandments of the fastlane. This book is the reason that I can make money from the work I have done years ago.
If you want to learn how the passive income game works, you must get this book.
Here are some notable quotes from the book:
“Creating wealth (passive income) fast only happens through building a business. But here’s the kick. Most businesses aren’t fastlane businesses. They are jobs disguised as business. This book gives you the pre-requirements of businesses that will make rich in 5-7 years and retire. “
“Wealth, like health, isn’t easy and is cut from the same fabric. Their processes are identical. They require discipline, sacrifice, persistence, commitment, and yes, delayed gratification. If you can’t immunize yourself from the temptations of instant gratification, you’ll be hard pressed to find success in either health or wealth. Both demand a lifestyle shift from short-term thinking (instant gratification) to long-term thinking (delayed gratification). This is the only defense to Lifestyle Servitude.”
“To take advantage of The Millionaire Fastlane understand that luck is a product of process, action, work, and being “out there.” And when you are “out there” you stand a chance at being in the right place at the right time. When you consistently act and bombard the world with your efforts, interacting with the waves of others, stuff happens.”
“Jobs suck because they ravenously consume TIME. At a job, TIME TRADE is central to how you make money. A job is the basis for that horrific 5-for-2 exchange. But let me translate that word, TIME, differently: LIFE. In a job, you sell your life for money. If you work, you get paid. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Who officiated this bloodsucking marriage? As for earning your $10 million, that solution lies in exponential leveraged growth stemming from a Fastlane business— net income plus asset value— NOT in expenses, NOT in the stock market, and NOT in a job.”
“What is the road as it relates to wealth journey? If you’re a Slowlaner, your road is your job: doctor, lawyer, engineer, salesman, hairdresser, pilot. If you’re a Fastlaner, your road is a business: Internet entrepreneur, real estate investor, author, or inventor.”
“The best roads and the purest Fastlanes satisfy the Five Fastlane Commandments: Need, Entry, Control, Scale, and Time. When you leverage all five commandments and control your company, one million a month is not impossible.”
“Opportunity is rarely about some blockbuster breakthrough like the light bulb or the car, but as simple as an unmet need, or a need not met adequately. Opportunity is a solution to an inconvenience. Opportunity is simplification. Opportunity is a feeling. Opportunity is comfort. Opportunity is better service. Opportunity is fixing pain. Opportunity is putting weak companies out of business.”
Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder
by Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder is an autobiography that covers the bodybuilding career of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He started as a kid from a small town in Austria and became a world-famous bodybuilding champion living in America. His story is inspiring.
What made Arnold different than other bodybuilders was his relentless study of the mindset that leads to success. He didn’t just go through the motions. He broke down the mindset principles that bring success and found a way to apply his belief system to other areas where he wanted to succeed.
Success in any field follows similar patterns. A positive mental attitude, self-belief, and a good work ethic will inevitably lead to success. Arnold figured it out while he was building his body. He saw bodybuilding as a vehicle to carry him to his further goals in life. He always planned further ahead. Before he even got any recognition with bodybuilding, he wanted to use it as a stepping stone for moving to America and becoming a movie star. Everything happened just as he envisioned.
While reading the book, you can feel it in your bones that Arnold loves loves loves bodybuilding. The euphoria Arnold feels through bodybuilding is palpable and it’s contagious. You just want to put the book down and go lift weights.
Bodybuilding is an unpopular sport and it was even more unpopular when Arnold started (the 60s). But he loved it so much that he was deaf to all the criticisms coming from his parents, teachers, and schoolmates. He just ignored everybody else and kept going. He didn’t stop until he became the undisputed bodybuilding champion- the best bodybuilder in the world.
As you read the book, you can see the numerous benefits of building a muscular body. When his muscularity started to become noticeable, people’s actions towards him started to change. His classmates and neighbors were doing him favors. He got popular among girls and he had no strings attached sex with many of them. All these happened when people around him were criticizing him for choosing an unpopular sport. No matter what they say about building muscle, people are subconsciously impressed by muscular men and this reflects in their actions.
Here are some nuggets of wisdom you’ll find in the book:
- Normal people can be happy with a regular life. I was different. I felt there was more to life than just plodding through an average existence.
- My self-confidence grew as I saw how much control I was gaining over my body
- Being honest about my weak points helped me grow.
- Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way—I hope it never will.
- I wanted to win more than anything. And whatever it took to do it, I did.
- “You are a winner, Arnold.” I wrote this down and put it where I would see it. I repeated it a dozen times a day.”
- Mentally it’s possible to break records. Once you understand that, you can do it.
- Being surrounded by winners helps you develop into a winner.
- The most important things I developed through bodybuilding were my personality, confidence and character.
- When you have a well-developed body and you’re confident, you see people bending your way, wanting to be on your side, wanting to do things for you.
- One thing is that people listen much more to bigger guys; the bigger you are and the more impressive you look physically, the more people listen and the better you can sell yourself or anything else.
- Not the least reward of a fit body is continuous good health.
- There is nothing as good as bodybuilding to get your body tuned up and totally in shape.
- The mind is incredible. Once you’ve gained mastery over it, channeling its powers positively for your purposes, you can do anything.
- Bodyweight exercises are the perfect way to begin bodybuilding.
- If you start worrying about how your clothes look while you’re in training, then you’re already training for the wrong reason.
- Visualize the body you want and then train relentlessly until you get it.
- The process of bodybuilding does not stop with the body. Seeing tremendous growth and change in yourself can open new worlds for you.
The benefits of strength training are endless. Being strong is good. Nature selects strength. Women prefer strong men. Some may argue that mental strength is more important to a man than physical strength and I agree. But, physical strength isn’t possible without mental strength. A mentally weak man will fold as soon as the going gets tough. Building a strong body requires discipline. It’s impossible to be noticeably muscular without mental strength. The best thing is, your mental strength grows hand in hand with physical strength. Then you can apply that mental strength to any area that you want to succeed.
I’m glad I read this book at the time I began building muscle. It fired me up so much that I went through the grueling first months of resistance training without giving up. When I started building muscle, I was training with bodyweight exercises. I had a doubt in my mind whether I was doing the muscle building thing right. Maybe I should have directly started by lifting weights? Am I wasting my time with bodyweight training?
Reading this book cleared all my doubts. Arnold himself recommends starting with bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight training is an excellent way to build a terrific muscular foundation. I kept on bodyweight training until I got my six-pack abs (I teach you how you can do it too in my book Ripped with Bodyweight). I had the perfect foundation for lifting weights. Just a few months after I started to lift weights, I was lifting the heaviest weight among the regulars in my gym.
Not only you will learn the great benefits of strength training and get motivated to become strong from reading this book, but you will also benefit from a winner’s mindset that you can use for your own achievements in life.
Here are some notable quotes from the book:
“Before long, people began looking at me as a special person. Partly this was the result of my own changing attitude about myself. I was growing, getting bigger, gaining confidence. I was given consideration I had never received before; it was as though I were the son of a millionaire. I’d walk into a room at school and my classmates would offer me food or ask if they could help me with my homework. Even my teachers treated me differently. Especially after I started winning trophies in the weight-lifting contests I entered.”
“In two or three years I had actually been able to change my body entirely. That told me something. If I had been able to change my body that much, I could also, through the same discipline and determination, change anything else I wanted. I could change my habits, my whole outlook on life. If you can change your diet and exercise program to give yourself a different body, you can apply the same principles to anything else. The secret is contained in a three-part formula I learned in the gym: self-confidence, a positive mental attitude, and honest hard work.”
“Every day I hear someone say, “I’m too fat. I need to lose twenty-five pounds, but I can’t. I never seem to improve.” I’d hate myself if I had that kind of attitude, if I were that weak. I can lose ten to forty pounds rapidly, easily, painlessly, by simply setting my mind to it.”
“I always had a positive attitude about going to the top. Never was there even the slightest doubt in my mind that I would make it. And this helped me keep training and trying. I was determined and constant. I never wanted to pause or stop training. I trained twelve months of the year, really hard, with no letup. Most of the bodybuilders didn’t do that. I sacrificed a lot of things most bodybuilders didn’t want to give up. I just didn’t care, I wanted to win more than anything. And whatever it took to do it, I did.”
“The mind is incredible. Once you’ve gained mastery over it, channeling its powers positively for your purposes, you can do anything. I mean anything. The secret is to make your mind work for you—not against you. This means constantly being positive, constantly setting up challenges you can meet—either today, next week, or next month. “I can’t. . .” should be permanently stricken from your vocabulary, especially the vocabulary of your thoughts. You must see yourself always growing and improving.”
All 4 books talk about different successful people operating in different fields. But, when you read them, you will notice a lot of overlapping concepts between them.
Self-reliance, entrepreneurship, taking intelligent risks, persuasion, money, fitness, freedom, action, fearlessness, visualization, affirmations, enthusiasm, strength (physical and mental), a willingness to walk away, discipline, a disdain for authority, realism, hard work, thinking big, a disdain for an average existence, confidence, breaking out of 9 to 5 misery, simplicity, trusting your instincts over expert advice, surrounding yourself with winners, optimism, valuation of time over money and abundance mindset are the commonalities I spotted between the successful people who are the subjects of these books.
I highly recommend all the books on the list to all men who want more out of life.
Be sure to read:
- How to Be a Superior Man, the ultimate self-improvement program for men who want to gain self-mastery
- 24 Ways to Get Rid of the Victim Mentality and Adopt a Victor Mentality
- How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection
- 21 Ways to Stop Being an Effeminate Modern Man and Be More Masculine
- Why Is Life So Hard? (And What You Can Do About It)