3 Books That Changed My Life

Growing up, I rarely saw Dad without a book in his hands. Every night, I’d watch him settle his large frame into the sofa, pick up a Wilbur Smith novel and immerse himself into it for hours on end. As a young child, whenever Dad left a book lying around (which was often), I’d pick it up.

I would run my hands over the cover, flip through the yellow pages and imagine what fantastic stories were contained within. My imagination would run wild, trying to make sense of the story based on the cover alone (that magnificent lion on the cover – could it talk? What about that lightning bolt – what did that signify?).

It’s no wonder then, that I’ve become a voracious reader. Like my dad, you’ll rarely see me without a book in my hand (or, perhaps, a Kindle).

I’ll read when I’m on the bus or taxi. I’ll read when I’m waiting stuck in a queue. And at night, I’ll fall asleep listening to an audiobook.

I read between 15 to 54 books per year. I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve read, but I’d say it’s in the high hundreds (possibly even a thousand?). Yet, when I look back at all those books, I’ve forgotten most of what was in them. Many of them were enjoyable but did not make a significant impact on my life…

Except for these three. If you’re looking for your next read, here are my top 3 recommendations:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. This is a hard book to put into words. It’s a heartbreaking story that details the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp; but at the same time, it’s an uplifting, beautiful tribute to human resilience, optimism and courage. Nothing I can say about this book will do it justice, so it’s best if you pick up a copy. It’s one of the most profound books you will ever read in your life.
  2. Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam. I admit – the title sounds kind of scammy. But it’s far from it. I only wish I’d read this book sooner. Stumbling into this book at a random bookstore in Singapore, and making a spontaneous decision to pick it up because the bookstore was about to close and I had nothing else to read, was one of the best decisions. Not reading this book earlier has literally cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost income. Implementing the advice Andrew shares has put me and my family on the path to financial freedom.
  3. Mindset by Carol Dweck – I read this book when I was still a University student. Funny thing is, I’m sitting at the exact same Starbucks location in Hong Kong writing this email as I was when I first read this book. Mindset was the first book that exposed me to the science of how we can radically transform our lives just by changing our beliefs.

Since then, I’ve devoted my life to learning more about how the stories we tell ourselves (“mindsets”) influence every aspect of our lives.

Research Study Invitation

In fact, I’ve just put together a mindset training protocol in the form of a video. It’s the kind of training corporations hire me for. It’s part of a research study I’m conducting, and if you haven’t already taken part, you can do so by clicking this link.

If you decide to take part, you’ll be asked to answer a bunch of questions, and then watch a 10-minute training video. The survey is kind of long, but I promise you that it’s going to be worth your time (based on the great feedback I’ve received so far).

Here’s the link to take part in the study.

Want more productive employees? Then don’t neglect this

Want more productive employees? Then don’t neglect their physical wellbeing.

Through my work at HPX, I get to speak and consult with a lot of companies on the topic of wellbeing and vitality at work.

Every organization I work with wants it’s employees to be more productive, to make better decisions, to be self-starters and ambassadors of quality.

When an organization hires HPX to work with its employees to increase energy, engagement, and resilience, one of the first things we typically do is conduct as an assessment of the current habits of the employees.

One of the habits that we focus on is on the physical wellbeing of the individual. This includes:

  • How much sleep are they getting?
  • Do they exercise regularly?
  • Do they lead an active or sedentary lifestyle?
  • What foods do they rely on to fuel themselves?

The sort of results we see are shocking! 

Typically, these are the ranges we see:

  • 40 – 70% of employees report being physically inactive
  • 50 – 65% report getting only 6 hours or less of sleep
  • Up to 70% say they lack energy at work

How do you think that impacts your organization if 70% of your organization says that they are constantly tired and lacking energy at work?

Akash Karia

If you want more productive employees, take care of their physical wellbeing. Create a culture in which employees understand that they don’t need to sacrifice sleep for work; that being physically active is critical to sustainable performance.

If you’re a manager, model that behavior for your team. Bring in experts to work with your team on their physical, mental, and emotional habits so that they can perform at their peak.

Akash Karia
Founder, HPX Institute