5 Books That Changed My Life

5 Books That Changed My Life

by Alex Hyett | 5 min read

I read around 30 books a year, and occasionally I come across a book that either teaches me something completely new or changes my way of thinking.

Out of all the books that I have read, these are the 5 books that effected me the most and I think should be on everyone’s reading list.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich - Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

I read the first edition of this book when I started my job as a software engineer when I was 22. It is the book I recommend the most to anyone who is looking to take control of their finances.

You will need to gloss over the clickbait title of this book, but to be fair it isn’t clickbait if it is true.

While Ramit’s advice isn’t necessarily going to make you a millionaire. This book covers all the basics about finance that we should have been taught in schools.

It covers how to budget properly, how to save and invest or “pay yourself first” as they like to say in the personal finance world. It also covers how to negotiate your bills down, which isn’t something I have seen in other books.

If you do want to be rich someday, then you need to build good financial habits first.

You have probably heard the stories of lottery winners who squandered all their money and a couple of years later are back where they started. Anyone who finds themselves suddenly rich and isn’t financially literate usually finds themselves broke within a few years.

This is probably the one book that has shaped my financial future the most by getting me to start investing in my 20s.

The Pathless Path - Paul Millerd

The Pathless Path

I read this book last year after I quit my job to do something different. It is always one I come back to when I find myself doubting my decision.

In the book, Paul talks about how most of us are conditioned to follow the “default path”.

  1. Work hard at school
  2. Get good grades
  3. Get a good job
  4. Retire comfortably at 65 (or is it 68 or 70 now)

It is the path our parents want for us, as in the past it has been a pretty safe bet. As a lot of software developers found out last year, there is no such things as a secure job any more.

Many of us are following this default path on autopilot, getting through each week, so we can live our lives at the weekend, only to dread having to get up again on Monday.

Working 40 hours a week for 40 to 50 years and only do what you enjoy at the weekends is a pretty depressing way to live.

Most people don’t stop to think what they really want to do in life, and before they know it, it is too late to choose.

If you are considering taking a different path in life, then this book is definitely essential reading.

Paul also has a Podcast called The Pathless Path as well, which is worth adding to your listen list.

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Album

Tuesdays with Morrie

When Mitch Albom finds out that his favourite collage professor is dying of ALS, he decides to pay him a visit.

You could say that Mitch had been following the default path up to this point, he graduated from a good school, got a good job and made a lot of money, but he wasn’t happy. He hardly spent anytime with his wife as he was always working.

In the book, Mitch and Morrie meet up every Tuesday where Morrie imparts his wisdom on topics such as love, death and the meaning of life.

It is a really thought-provoking book that made me think deeper about what I really wanted out of life, and definitely worth reading and internalising.

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant - Eric Jorgenson

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

I read this book a couple of years ago, that’s if you can really call it a book. It is really a collection of all the wise words that Naval Ravikant has said in interviews and Twitter threads.

For those who don’t know who Naval Ravikant is, he is a very successful Entrepreneur and Investor. He founded AngelList as well-being an early stage investor in companies such as Uber, Twitter and Stack Overflow.

He knows what he is talking about when it comes to generating wealth. In this book, he covers everything from building wealth to being healthy and happy.

There are so many great points in this book and is the most highlighted book I have on Readwise. His points about building wealth by building leverage are particularly insightful.

I won’t spoil it for you, just go read this book.

Your Money or Your Life - Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

Your Money or Your Life

You might have noticed a theme with these books I have chosen. They are all around taking an unconventional path in life.

Anyone who is looked into financial independence will be aware of the book “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.

I see this book as the next step after reading “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. Once you start saving and investing, you might wonder what is this all for.

For some, the goal is financial independence. Having enough money from their assets that they never need to work again.

This book it encourages you to take a deep look into your financial lives and work out what is worth spending your money on.

I used to be all in on trying to achieve financial independence. However, to get there, you need to have roughly 25 times your annual expenses saved up.

If you spend $30,000 a year, then you need $750,000 invested for it to never run out.

Unless you are on multiple 6 figures and save over half your income for over 10 years, it isn’t going to be achievable.

However, the philosophies in the book did allow me to save up enough to be confident about taking a different path in life, and therefore I still think it is a valuable read.

One of the things I love about reading books is each book has the chance to change your life. However, unless you are taking notes, you are unlikely to remember everything you read. You might be interested in reading how I take notes as a software engineer.


ALSO ON ALEXHYETT.COM

Overcoming Fear By Doing What is Obvious

Overcoming Fear By Doing What is Obvious

  • 14 January 2023
“I don’t want to sound stupid.” “Everyone knows this already, why am I bothering?” It is human nature to want to create things. As a child…
Why Buying More Stuff is Never Going to Make You Happy

Why Buying More Stuff is Never Going to Make You Happy

  • 07 January 2023
You wake up and everything is eerily quiet. For some reason, the radio station isn’t playing any music and the TV is just showing static…