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Soft Skills

Get into habit and motion, with these three books

If you have a dream you want to make a reality or a goal you want to achieve, I have three books to recommend that are the perfect kickstart to get you into motion and to keep you on track.

If you have a dream you want to make a reality or a goal you want to achieve, I have three books to recommend that are the perfect kickstart to get you into motion and to keep you on track.

I listened to and read many business and productivity books, but my favorite books to get you starting are “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy, and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson. I only listened to these audiobooks (quite a while back) on Audible, so I won’t be able to cite them, but here are the ideas that kept me thinking.

Become the Lord of the Routine

My take on James Clear’s “Atomic Habits” book: we have to build small habits that become our second nature. We have to repeat a routine until it becomes automatic. Usually, it has to be small and simple enough so that it can become a reflex or a hab; we do not have to think about it much. For example, if your goal is to keep writing on your blog frequently, you must create a routine that allows you to write frequently. As a benefit, you will create more and more content, you will think and collect more about new ideas, and you will have to write small enough and simple enough articles that can be written in a short time so that you can publish more frequently. As your routine becomes a habit, you can improve your articles’ quantity, quality, and complexity. To be honest, perfectionism has to go out the window (at least until you build the habit), and progress must be your new friend.

The incredible value of small and frequent change

If there is only one book from the three of these, please listen to or read “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy. He also touches on atomic habits, but he emphasizes the impact of atomic habits on your life. He brings up examples of his own life as well as others he coached. He has really impressive stories in his book. This book got me thinking. It gave a retrospect to my past and my friends’ past. I started to think about how we achieve things. What are the habits that help or stop us from achieving our goals? This book’s biggest advice is to appreciate every little thing you can create. Even if it seems significantly small, keep doing it, add more and more, create more and more, and you’ll find that these small things do not just add up, but they compound, like the Fibonacci sequence and the Fibonacci spiral. You can read more about it on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number

An extreme example: a collection of enough bricks and wood (and some other things 🙂 ) to build a house with a blueprint and people in the same space and time will be worth more than having only one or a few of them at the same time and space. They can never become a house unless you have enough of everything in the right space and time when it will create real value. But when it does, it will be spectacular.

Similarly, if you want something but do not know how to achieve it, the best way to do it is to start creating it, little by little. As you keep going, you will have more information, more knowledge, more ideas, more friends and connections who can help, more routine to save time and build quality and more momentum to keep people and ideas around, to build whatever you want from the beginning. Finally, if you have the question and the will, you will find someone with the knowledge and resources to help you.

Great time comes with great responsibility

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson talks about the one thing that holds most of us back from starting, and if you even begin, the major cause for giving up is because of other people’s opinions. We are social people. We tend to adjust ourselves just to fit in. We fake ourselves and tend to prefer other people’s opinions over our wishes and dreams. It has to do something with survival from the old days when only a few people were in a community. But nowadays, when we live separately from each other, automated most of our lives and dependency on livelihood is based on how much money we are making; and on the energy companies which do not know much about us and care nothing more than pay the bills. Then, there are family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and random internet users behind a screen. But in different circumstances, they can either help to achieve our goals or the opposite, only use us to achieve their own goals, not by asking, but by using us. This book lets you realize and prioritize your boundaries with other people’s opinions and expectations. We have to learn to use the word “No,” and we have to learn to do whatever makes us happy, even if there are plenty of envious of us, who like to make blame and joke out of our preciously held dreams. This book helps us recognize and control our fears of our communities’ opinions and expectations.

May The Knowledge be with you

These three books changed how I think today and plan my future. Of course, many more books formed my thinking, but having the knowledge from these books gives me the energy and courage to pursue my dreams. I hope it will do the same for you.

It is good to have the knowledge from these books, but it is best to experience the benefits of this knowledge.

By Botond Bertalan

I am the founder of www.botond.dev
I started my programming studies in 2010 and started to work professionally in 2012 before graduation.
I love programming and architecting code that solves real business problems and gives value for the end-user.

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