In Africa, and in the world generally, the male figure is seen as a symbol of strength and wisdom. Even in the family setting, the man is seen as the rock, and most times the bread winner of the family. This puts so much responsibility on the shoulders of young boys who right from the time of birth, are introduced to this mindset and mentality. As a man therefore, it is imperative to develop one’s self as much as possible.It goes without saying that well-read men often have superior intellect in comparison to men who flirt with the funny pages.
These are a list of books to read before 30. If you are already past the age however, it is not too late.
4. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon.
Part of ambition is modeling yourself after those you’d like to be like. Austin’s philosophy of ruthlessly stealing and remixing the greats might sound appalling at first but it is actually the essence of art. You learn by stealing, you become creative by stealing, you push yourself to be better by working with these materials. Austin is a fantastic artist, but most importantly he communicates the essence of writing and creating art better than anyone else I can think of. It is a manifesto for any young, creative person looking to make his mark. Pair up with Show Your Work which is also excellent.
5. Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton.
Ah yes, the drive that we all have to be better, bigger, have more, be more. Ambition is a good thing, but it’s also a source of great anxiety and frustration. In this book, philosopher Alain de Botton studies the downsides of the desire to “be somebody” in this world. How do you manage ambition? How do you manage envy? How do you avoid the traps that so many other people fall into? This book is a good introduction into the philosophy and psychology of just that.
6. What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan.
There are lots of books on aspiring to something. Very little are from actual people who aspired, achieved, and lost it. With each and every successful move that he made, Jim Paul, who made it to Governor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, was convinced that he was special, different, and exempt from the rules. Once the markets turned against his trades, he lost it all — his fortune, job, and reputation. That’s what makes this book a critical part in understanding how letting arrogance and pride get to your head is the beginning of your unraveling. Learn from stories like this instead of by your own trial and error. Think about that next time you believe you have it all figured out.
to be continued…