Reading is a fantastic way to escape from reality, but it can also arm you with information you need to improve your own. For most people, the key to improving their future is strategically planning and making informed adjustments as needed.
Additionally, positively changing your future involves being true to yourself. To be truly happy, you can’t suppress your desires and passions in order to blend in with the crowd. You must have the confidence to make decisions based on your core values and follow through with action.
Whether you’re planning for retirement, getting a better job, or becoming the best version of yourself, you can find insight into those topics by reading the books below.
1. Drew Richey and Shawn Perry – Finding Your Financial Advisor
Based out of Bowling Green, Kentucky, the wealth management team of Drew Richey and Shawn Perry is known for helping clients take ownership of their financial circumstances. Their book Finding Your Financial Advisor lays out the minimum standards you need to set when hiring a financial advisor. Choosing someone to help manage your money is a matter of trust, but it can also be an emotional decision.
Your financial advisor is privy to your private information, which affects the well being of your family, your legacy, and your future. If you’ve never even thought about having your own financial advisor, Richey and Perry also help people understand the basics of the financial industry. They account for your core values and incorporate those into wealth management. Life is full of changes and challenges, and getting your money squared away is one of the first steps to positively changing your future.
2. Carolyn Buck Luce – EPIC!: The Women’s Power Play Book
Take a minute to consider this common riddle: “A father and son have a terrible car accident and are both badly hurt. They are both taken to separate hospitals. When the boy is taken in for an operation, the surgeon says, ‘I can’t do the surgery because this is my son.’ How is this possible?”
The answer is that the surgeon is the boy’s mother. 80-90% of people can’t fathom that the surgeon is a woman, and this hidden gender bias affects women in the workplace every day. After working in a man’s world, Carolyn Buck Luce wrote her book, EPIC!, to help women understand how they can build a better future for themselves.
While often told they should be silent or invisible, women are powerful. Society’s expectations for women are often subdued, but to positively change your future, you must realize your own strength. Just because women approach situations differently, it doesn’t mean they are inferior. Often, a woman’s approach — especially in leadership — can be particularly beneficial.
3. Jason Portnoy – Silicon Valley Porn Star
While it’s often called a man’s world, the expectations set for men in order to achieve success often perpetuate toxic masculinity. Success is measured by power, wealth, women, and expensive belongings rather than genuine happiness and fulfillment. In Silicon Valley Porn Star author Jason Portnoy writes his story of success and loss. While he followed the steps society expects men to take in order to be successful, he didn’t find happiness that way.
From extramarital affairs and superficial excess, Portnoy faced challenges and temptations that ultimately altered his future. His story highlights that the crisis of masculinity can lead to addiction and unhinged behavior. While he had a personal transformation and chose to renew his relationships and alter his values, his story could provide inspiration to positively impact your life.
4. Mike Glauser – One People One Planet
Do you hold a grudge? Do you judge other people? Do you volunteer your time to help the needy? Interacting with those around you can be a challenge, especially if you’re an introvert or misanthrope. Mike Glauser’s book One People One Planet, pulls together the expertise of Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad, and other religious and philosophical leaders to provide tips to help people live their best lives, now and in the future.
Happiness is often illusive, especially as the human mind is wired to judge and make comparisons, which often lead to jealousy or dissatisfaction. Glauser presents six universal truths in his writing. He encourages individuals to improve happiness by overcoming their ego, refraining from being judgmental, and by forgiving others. At the same time, he recommends engaging in good deeds, sharing good fortune, and helping those in need. Changing your views and actions could change your future — or at least how you look at it.
5. Sam LaCrosse – Value Economics: The Study of Identity
Dedicated to “Those Who Tell the Truth,” Sam LaCrosse’s book, Value Economics, is uncompromisingly forthright that there is no one-size-fits all solution to living the perfect life. Your future depends on your actions, but your actions are affected by your own values. LaCrosse makes the case that the self-help industry is a fraud. The path to a meaningful life and happy future is through discovering and honoring your core values.
He calls out problems associated with current society and social media. Often, people lose their individuality while trying to stick to socially-acceptable norms. LaCrosse writes, “We’re so afraid of taking a stance, that we take no stances.” He claims people must live life true to themselves.
6. Ted Bradshaw – Stop Chasing Squirrels
You may know someone who has a new business idea every week, or that person may be you. When you’re a highly creative person, focused on innovation, it can be challenging to focus your energy and pursue your true passions. Stop Chasing Squirrels by Ted Bradshaw develops a plan to focus your creativity and uncover your true, hidden passion. Ideally, this would allow every idea you pursue to fill your life with meaning and direction.
Being a creative, entrepreneurial visionary can come with challenges. It can be difficult to remain passionate without succumbing to burnout. Bradshaw’s six steps can provide some structure and possibly reduce stress for a more manageable future.
7. Emilio Diez Barroso – The Mystery of You
Everyone is something to someone else. To your parents you’re their child. To your friends you may be the person they go to for advice. To your employer, you might be the person that makes the best coffee or crunches the numbers. While individuals often enjoy their relationships with others, the character created might not always feel genuine. With The Mystery of You, Emilio Diez Barroso has crafted a book for anyone working in entrepreneurship, venture capital, or who is just spending time in the daily grind to address what it’s like to be missing that special something at the heart of it all.
Everyone needs a purpose. That’s why Barroso helps readers uncover peace and the meaning in life in a new way, from a spiritual and psychological perspective. You are more than just your job title, and remembering your other roles and identities is important when deciding what you want your future to look like. Similar to other authors noted here, Barroso encourages individuals to live authentically to their beliefs and values.
8. Brittany Anderson and Bryan Sweet – Dream Architecture
Think for a moment about what the absolute best version of your retirement could be. Are you spending a week in Hawaii building sand castles and soaking up the sun? Eating gyros in Greece while walking to the Parthenon? Fishing with your grandchildren at the pond in your backyard?
Retirement is a dream for countless Americans, yet saving for it can be intimidating. Many younger generations question if they should even dream of retirement at all. In Dream Architect, authors Brittany Anderson and Bryan Sweet ask you to think about what your dream retirement looks like, and then they show you how to unlock everything you deserve from retirement. This is not just a financial planning book. Think of it as a roadmap for shifting your mindset in the right direction to better prepare for your retirement journey.