José Rodrigues dos Santos is a famous Portuguese TV anchor and book author. In one of his interviews, he mentioned that when you read a book, you are not spending time reading it. You are investing time instead. This interview was many years ago, but what he said, got stuck in my mind.

In January, Miguel and I decided to read a book a month. As we both believe that reading is one of the best ways to invest in ourselves.

This goal that we set for ourselves, lead to the idea of writing this article. Writing the article wasn’t hard. What was hard was to choose which books would we recommend to you, my dear reader. We decided to write about books that you may have never heard about and that were interesting at the same time. Which made it even harder.

We hope that the 4 books we will talk about have something new for you. New ideas. New Perspectives. And please, do not keep those to you. Share them. Discuss them with your friends.

The 5 Second Rule – Mel Robbins

There are two things that made this book special. The first is that the author, Mel Robbins, shares hundreds of messages. In these messages, people state how this rule changed their lives. When applying this method, as you are counting backward, you are breaking a pattern. As she says, when you “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” you activate the prefrontal cortex part of your brain. Which makes it easier to install a new habit.

The 5 Second Rule helps you “(…) create a behavior, find the courage you need every day and to have mind control.” – Mel Robbins

The second thing about the book, is about productive procrastination? Yes, you read it right. I had the same reaction. The author defends the difference between the 2 types of procrastination: productive and destructive. Destructive procrastination is when you have tasks that you have to do and you end up not doing them. Tasks with specific deadlines, like finishing a report that other people depend on it. Avoiding them. “Procrastinating is a subconscious desire to feel good right now. You don’t procrastinate because you hate work. You do it because you feel stressed out.” – Mel Robbins.

On the other hand, productive procrastination is when you have on a project and you don’t work on it for a while. That allows your mind to wonder. When you get back to it, you may be more creative bringing new ideas and new angles to it. She mentions that this book took 7 months longer than she expected. But the book is so much better because of that.

The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life – Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma happens to be one of my idols. I have read nearly every book he has. His writing style is different. Instead of just sharing the knowledge and tools as they are, he creates characters that always have a journey. In that journey, they will learn the knowledge and tools Robin Sharma wants to share with the readers.

That’s what makes it special. And the 5 am Club was no different. He takes you on a journey that the “Artist” and the “Entrepreneur” undergo in the story. As these two characters learn new things, new habits, Robin has this ability, to make you feel a part of the journey. As I was finishing the book, I did everything possible to postpone ending. I didn’t want the journey to finish. But that’s the thing. When you finish reading this book, that’s when your journey begins!

“Own your morning, Elevate your life”. Robin shares with us, how empowering it is to start the day in early hours. Waking up early is just part of owning your morning. It’s all about waking up and having a routine. And that’s what the whole book is based on. He even shares a formula on what to do in the first hour of your day since the moment you wake up. The name is the 20-20-20 Formula. Curious to know what it is about? Read the book. You will love it. Robin is also honest, when he says “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous in the end.” and remember, when installing a new habit and you “(…) feel you can’t continue, progress a little longer.”

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It – Chris Voss

Every now and then we all have to deal with complicated situations, a difficult conversation. Negotiation of salary with your boss, a dispute for who makes dinner at home or even who “wins” in a group conversation.

This book set its goal on helping you, the reader, on communicating your needs better.

Written by Chris Voss, a  former international hostage negotiator for the FBI. Through real examples, Chris teaches us simple techniques to better negotiate our causes.

Right at the beginning of the speech he speaks of an exercise of the Harvard Business School. Where using negotiation techniques of the Business world the students’ train “against” each other. Most of the times ending with a “Split the Difference Approach”. This is inconceivable for a person in Chris Voss’s shoes. He teaches us small techniques that lead us to not split the difference.

Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell – Eric Schmidt

I am currently reading this book. One of my favorite types of book is biographies. I love to read about the history of amazing people. This book is the biography of Bill Campbell, written by his mentees.

This man had an amazing life story. He started as a football player and then coach. After some years of complete failure, he changed to the tech world. And ended up being a mentor to Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and many others. Everyone called him “Coach”. Who wouldn’t want to learn something from this person?

The authors take us through the principles that Bill Campbell applied throughout his journey. He created a good surrounding in which everyone felt comfortable and could prosper.

These are the 4 (audio)books we recommend.

Please, please, please! If you decide to read a book based on our recommendations, we would love to hear your opinion about it as you read it or when you finish it. And of course, if you have read other books and believe they are worth sharing, you know what to do as well.

Kind regards, 

Lerio & Miguel

P.S: Stay tuned for next Monday’s Quote!

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