Never has learning from others been so accessible. If you don't take advantage of it, you are missing out. The following list takes approx 5:30 hours and costs less than $30. It could even be less than $20 buying used books or free if you have a good library nearby.
3 (short) Books: 5 hours - $27 on Amazon Kindle
2 Essays: 15 minutes - Free
1 Podcast: 20 minutes - Free
Listed here in my subjective order of importance:
If these books don't provide the necessary motivation to work, to become a true professional then nothing will...
Read both, but start with The War of Art.
Quote from The War of Art that is posted on my closet door:"A professional’s work has style; it is distinctively his own. But he doesn’t let his signature grandstand for him. His style serves the material. He does not impose it as a means of drawing attention to himself.
This doesn’t mean that the professional doesn’t throw down a 360 tomahawk jam from time to time just to let the boys know he’s still in business.”
Here is My Amazon review of Turning Pro.
2. How to Do What You Love - an essay by Paul Graham.
My scribbled notes:
*Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you'd like to like.
*You are only going to be good at things that you really like.
*Do what you love and F the rest.
Quote on parents:All parents tend to be more conservative for their kids than they would for themselves, simply because, as parents, they share risks more than rewards. If your eight year old son decides to climb a tall tree, or your teenage daughter decides to date the local bad boy, you won't get a share in the excitement, but if your son falls, or your daughter gets pregnant, you'll have to deal with the consequences.
(audio) - 20 minute speech from Dan Andrews. Do you have what it takes to claw your way to entreprenurial success?
4. Thinking in Systems by Donnella H. Meadows
You may have had an introduction to systems thinking if you studied engineering. I didn't and this book opened my eyes to the importance of it and how it applies to the world. Have you ever been part of a company, a school, or any organization where a new rule or policy is supposed to change everything ... and nothing happens?
Too much weight is placed on how a new President, a 2% increase in funding, or how a welfare reform will make a big difference. We overestimate the importance of individual character traits and underestimate the influence played by that individual's role. e.g: Person X may not necessarily be inherently corrupt, but he is a politician, and that is how most of us would act in that same role.
In reality, changing to the system, not just one role or cog in the wheel, is what really alters things. This book gives an introduction to the systems thinking mindset.
My Kindle Highlights from the book
5. Efficient Charity- An essay by Yvain
Do you really want to make a difference or do you want to be
perceived as making a difference? This short essay uses logic to break it down.
If you ever want to discuss anything on the list, feel free to msg me.
Bonus: I didn't want to change the catchy title, but have a 3rd important essay for you: Read The Psychology of Misjudgment by Charlie Munger. A collection of cognitive biases that lead to poor decisions.