There are a lot of self-improvement audiobooks out there. For those looking to take the plunge and start listening, it may seem overwhelming. A lot of people will go for the names they’ve heard — Jim Rohn, Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy. They’re all great motivational speakers and not a bad place to start. Their style of teaching self-improvement, though, is becoming a little dated.
Many of the core concepts of self-improvement haven’t changed in decades. The way they are taught to the masses, however, definitely has. I’m not sure how many people in their 20s and 30s today will be able to relate to the suit-wearing, white-haired man standing on stage, looking like a televangelist and preaching mystical “secrets of attraction.” People today need new motivational speakers that they can relate to. Luckily for us, there is a whole new generation taking the old core concepts of self-improvement and updating them for the new millennium.
I’m a serial entrepreneur and someone who despises the idea of spending 40+ hours a week working for somebody else. So it’s no surprise that “The Four-Hour Work Week” enticed me with its title alone. It was one of the first self-improvement audiobooks I purchased, and I’m glad I did.
Tim Ferriss himself didn’t narrate the audiobook, but Ray Porter does a fantastic job capturing Tim’s passion for the subject. His narration emits the right emotion and definitely makes you feel as though you’re a part of Tim’s journey. Every time I finished a listening session I couldn’t help but spend the next few hours thinking about all of the areas of my own life that I could streamline, eliminate or outsource. This book inspired such motivation that I couldn’t stop talking about itto my co-workers, friends and family.
I recommend starting self-improvement with this audiobook. Open up your mind to the idea that your life doesn’t have to be a series of 40-hour work weeks — all of which lead up to a retirement, where most people are just scraping by.
The best way that I can describe Gary Vaynerchuk is as a cross between Tony Robbins and Samuel L. Jackson. Sound weird? Maybe. But he definitely dishes out the motivation with a healthy amount of “tough love.”
Unlike Samuel L. Jackson, Gary does keep the language G-rated. My favorite part, though, is how often he “goes off script.” He will often ad-lib a relevant story to emphasize a key point. Sometimes he will tell you to stop what you’re doing and let his next comment “sink in.” It definitely gives the whole audiobook a very conversational feel. If you have been bored with other self-improvement audiobooks, this is a great one to try.
“Crush It” is mostly a book about entrepreneurship in this new age of social media. Gary talks a lot about finding your passion, making the time to pursue it and thinking outside the box while you do so. The book’s true strength is the underlying story of Gary’s own life. He talks about how he came from a poor immigrant family who could barely afford birthday presents. He then transitions from his father starting his own business from scratch to Gary then taking that small business and morphing it into an internet phenomenon.
I’m a geek at heart, and, as such, “Level Up Your Life” was easy to connect with. This audiobook makes extensive use of movie, video game and other pop culture references to illustrate its concepts. It doesn’t top my list in terms of the most powerful self-improvement audiobooks I’ve listened to. Its accessibility for that particular audience, however, can’t be matched.
My favorite aspect of this audiobook is the way it interprets your life. It references challenges in your life as being “boss battles,” new experiences as “gaining levels” and the work you need to do to get there as “improving stats” – all things I can relate to from video games. Once I did this, I could then attach the same mindset I have towards video games to my day-to-day life. My “don’t quit” attitude I have toward my favorite role-playing games translates into a “don’t quit” attitude towards life.
Due to the lighter tone and lower emphasis on traditional motivational writing, this is a close second after “Crush It” when it comes to recommending audiobooks for first-time self-help listeners. For people really into geek culture, it might even be the first.
The second self-improvement audiobook that I listened to, “The Miracle Morning,” was a complete paradigm shift for me. Before Hal Elrod exposed me to the benefits of starting my day off right, I was hitting snooze a half-dozen times, waking up late to a chaotic house, and rushing through a stressful morning routine. All of this just so I could rush off to the job I hated. My days (not surprisingly) were filled with stress, chaos and exhaustion. I would get home and settle my kids down to bed. By this point, I had absolutely no energy to work on my own businesses or passive income pursuits. So a late night of decompressing in front of the television ensued, leading to a rough morning the next day… and on and on.
Since listening to this audiobook, I have completely changed my routine. Now I get up at 4:15 am without hitting snooze and write out my goals – both for the day and more long term. I exercise, shower, visualize myself accomplishing my goals, and put in 30-45 minutes working on my passion projects or hobbies – all before the kids even get up! I then arrive early enough to work to walk the mile from the lot to the building rather than take the shuttle, during which I listen to and recite affirmations.
All of this leads to a much happier, relaxed and productive day. The best part is that although I have to go to bed a little earlier in the evening, I am still able to relax and spend some time with Angela after the kids go to bed – without stressing about being productive.
Taking the Plunge with Self-Improvement Audiobooks
I used to be a skeptic myself when it came to self-improvement audiobooks of any kind. Having seen the improvements they have made in my own life, I’m now a huge advocate. Everybody has some room for improvement in how they live their lives, and, if nothing else, listening to these audiobooks will often just change your mood. What I told myself when I started this journey was, “what’s the worst that can happen?” Well, the worst that can happen is that they make you just a little more positive each day.