Ready for A Better YOU? You want to learn the secret of success? Read on…


For those who know me or who have read my previous articles you probably know by now that I am a big believer in continuous self-improvement and working on oneself. In fact, the more you know the more you realize how much more there is to learn. I always try to help those who genuinely strive to move to the next best version of themselves. I am not some guru and don’t expect me to be, nor have I been enlightened by some magic power. In fact, I am myself still striving to fulfill my potential and to be the best I can be. But I am confident that I have a secret formula to success and I am willing to share it with you. Why? Well because one thing I learned is that giving is the best way to receive.

So, here’s my little secret for free: Reaching whatever you want to achieve (that happiness state? that ultimate you that you strive for? these riches that you seek? Etc.) is not that difficult once you know this secret recipe: Read on!

No! No! Not only these few paragraphs that follow… READ ON!! Whenever you can! All your life… Keep reading… Seek knowledge from others! There is a wealth of knowledge that you can tap into and in reality most people love to share what they know. Nowadays much more than any time in the past the most powerful resource, information (or better yet, knowledge) is everywhere, and accessing it costs you… well, almost nothing! Imagine what you had to do in the past to acquire a million books. Today, you basically have them in a few clicks on your laptop or phone.

However, you want to learn another secret? The sad truth is that while everyone should be rich, powerful, smart, happy, inspired… just because of the above first secret, the reality is that not many are willing to put the effort to get that knowledge. Let’s face it, we are all victims of that. While the principle is easy, applying it is another story in a World with ever increasing distractions.

I for example have been postponing this article for the past 5 months! and I am the one who wrote about taking action in my first article “Breaking the infinite loop of time”. Granted that I had a lot of work to do and a new baby born, and ummm well you can tell ! can’t you? I am already making excuses … moving on…

The point of this article is to share with you the 15 most influential books that I read in 2017 and to share with you my key learning, hopefully helping you in the process achieve whatever you are out there seeking to achieve. If you are reading still, then chances are you will achieve your objective as you are seeking the knowledge my friend and the universe will reward you.

Today, I read this article that a good friend sent me: “25 ways to dramatically change your whole life” by Benjamin Hardy and it was a wakeup call for me to write this article no matter what I had to do today. Here’s a link to the article: Essentially, this article did what I was hoping to do for some time, but as one of the ways listed in the article is to share and use the multiplier effect, I have decided to write my article and give Benjamin credit. He mentioned in one of his points: “Successful People Initiate, They Don’t Wait (They Are Agents, Not Objects)”. I 100% agree…

So here is what I wanted to share 5 months ago… Below is a list of my top choices of books that I read in 2017. Some are old but gold, others are very recent and provocative. Frankly, I didn’t have any strategy to select the books, I just let my curiosity and instinct guide me and asked a few friends for some recommendations when I didn’t feel inspired. I am not saying that you should read these exact books as a magic recipe for success but think about it more like this: this is my approach to reaching my dreams and my definition of success, you can follow a similar approach but have your own “ingredients” (books) and “spices” to make your own version of the recipe.

My top picks for 2017 are:

1. “Rich Dad Poor dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki

2. “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

3. “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio

4. “Predictably Irrational: The hidden forces that shape our decisions” by Dan Ariely

5. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

6. “The Myths of creativity” by David Burkus

7. “The 5 second Rule” by Mel Robbins

8. “The subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson

9. “You Are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero

10. “Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” by Tony Robbins

11. “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do” by Charles Duhigg

12. “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz

13. “Awaken the Giant Within” by Tony Robbins

14. “Be Obsessed or Be Average” by Grant Cardone

15. “Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue” by Neale Donald Walsch

I could tell you what I learned from each book but I prefer not to do that for two main reasons: A- If I tell you what I learned from each, I might influence your learning and bias your takeaway. B- The other reason is that in my opinion some of these books build on each other and have common ideas and therefore, attributing one idea or credit to one book might not be fair to all.

So, as a summary here are my key takeaways:

1- Doing what everyone else is doing cannot be right. It’s simple really. If it was that right then everyone should be extremely successful. The reality is that the few that break from the pack are the ones that make it big.

2- We are instinctively wired for success and for great things. It is the World and the people around us who kill that instinct in us or tame it (and for all the good intentions I might add).

3- Being respectful to people and acknowledging their individuality is one of the most impactful skills. Developing your emotional intelligence is much more lucrative and a better predictor to success than developing your IQ (especially in this New World).

4- There is a super power out there that we can tap into. Call it whatever you prefer God, Universe, Cosmos, Energy etc… It a source of abundance that we can tap into by really focusing our thoughts and believing in our power to attract what we are mostly focused on. If you focus on positive thoughts and abundance, then you shall have it. If you focus on negativity and live by fear of loss then you shall lose.

5- Have principles in life and stick to them. You will always face opposing views and people that don’t share your perspectives, your values and your ambitions… You should have strong and solid principles that guide you through the journey of life. Otherwise, you will be a boat without a compass in a raging storm, never knowing who you really are and where you are really heading. Essentially you might be living someone else’s life without knowing.

6- We might like to think that we are mostly rational beings and in control of our decisions, but most of our decisions are irrational and can even be predicted. Knowing that, will help us avoid this trap and approach the world with more confidence in our decisions.

7- Meditation even if for 5 minutes a day works! It makes a big difference. I am not talking about advanced meditation here. I have not delved into the depths of it but even a simple 5 minutes exercise of 5 deep breaths, 4 minutes of calm, thinking of 3 things I am grateful for and focusing on two objectives for the day and how I plan to achieve them helped. In fact this method is from Mel’s book but the theme of meditation was a recurring one in most of the books above.

8- Taking action is the best you can do. You know I am a big fan of “just do it”. Not an ad for the Nike slogan but to really just go ahead and do something is so powerful. Remove hesitation. The outcome is always worse when you don’t take action versus when you do.

9- We are creatures of habit. The bad news is that we have so many habits that we are not even aware of and that might be derailing us from our true path. The good news is that we can use that same point to make sure that we program ourselves with habits that lead us to the success that we seek.

10- Dream big and focus on your dreams. If people are not telling you “you are dreaming man!” then you are not seeking big enough objectives.

11- This reminds me: Surround yourself with the right people. The closest family members and friends might have the best intentions but will hold you down because of their own limitations and their own paradigms. You need the right people around you and the right environment to succeed. You are the only one who can tell who those are. Do not be afraid to push away those who are not supportive. But remember to do it in an honest and friendly emotionally intelligent way.

12- To succeed you can’t give up after a couple failures. You learn so much from pain. Don’t worry about what people think and move on! Once you succeed and you change the World, no one will remember your failures. Go be your own hero!

Thank you for reading all the way through to here for I know that today, so many things compete for our attention.

I hope you find these 12 takeaways helpful on your journey to success.

I would love to hear from you and to hear about your journey to success. Read on!!!


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  1. Thank you for the list of books, there are couples of ones i am planning to read (hope i won’t procrastinate)…
    But you know, some people are just born with an instinct to see things and act towards improvement and success… Some things you can’t read about, or even worse: even if a person reads and tries to apply what he reads, he will fail! Like a course i took about body language lately, and a discussion i had with a friend psycho-morphologist: i was always thinking that some people just have it at birth. They did not take a course nor a degree, but the moment they see a person they can tell you if he will buy or not, he is good or bad, etc… Same goes for other topics, but hey, it is always nice to broaden our perception!


    • Hi Fouad,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. First on the procrastination front, that’s not always a bad thing. There is a TED Talk on that. I will fin dit for you. Here:

      On your remaining points. These are very interesting perspectives and I tend to agree with you, if that person tries to apply exactly what is in the book, then they might fail. The reality is that we are all different and we learn differently. So. I agree that they might fail but if they apply the learnings using their own learning styles and methodologies, then they might succeed. The other variable is simply time. They might need to try it for longer, but eventually they will succeed. My singing teacher used to tell me that not everyone is born with a great voice, but everyone can sing correctly and beautifully. It will just take 5 years for someone and the other 5 months. Now the question becomes: are we putting our efforts in the right place in that case? This is the premise of Gallup’s Strengthfinder. If you have not done this. Do it. It will help you learn about your natural talents and the idea is that we are better off focusing on our talents versus correcting and improving things that we are inherently not good at (you still need to get them to a place where they are no longer barriers but no need to excel in them). So many topics to explore! 🙂

      I agree with your psycho-morphologist friend and you. Again to the point above. Certain things come naturally to certain people. Others Have to learn them. I was always good at reading people and being empathetic for example, and that helps me a lot in many situations in business and life. However, that also means that I am not able to hide emotions or opinions sometimes, and that is not always a good thing 🙂

      Read some of the books and let me know what you think. I really like these discussions.



  2. Wow! Just today my colleague at Alfa was talking about Gallup! What a coincidence! I think i should check this Gallup thing up!
    About me procrastinating, it was an internal joke said out loud (yeah, creepy) actually i suffer from reverse procrastination… Some kind of premature achievement 🙂 … I do things the soonest i can, just to make sure i am ready for whatever i have, plus i am a planning freak, and “failophobic” … So here, now you know why i used to finish my exams in half time! Anyhow, i started rich dad poor dad and i am half way already, so far so good. Will keep u posted! Good to know that some people enjoy such topics and appreciate the intricate aspects of human mind!thanks for sparking this interest in me after long years of rat racing 🙂


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