Del's Top 10 Books of 2017
Walter Mosley famously said, "A man's bookcase will tell you everything you'll ever need to know about him." For me, giving you this list of my top 10 books is like giving you a peak behind the curtain in what I like, what I am building, and what my passions are.
I read much more than 10 books this year. On average, I read 1 book a week. So without further adieu, here are the books that cracked my top 10 list.
Del's Top 10 Books for 2017
1. High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard
These six habits will make you extraordinary.
After extensive original research and a decade as the world's highest-paid performance coach, Brendon Burchard finally reveals the most effective habits for reaching long-term success. Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits and you win. Neglect them and life is a never-ending struggle.
We all want to be high performing in every area of our lives. But how? Which habits can help you achieve long-term success and vibrant well-being no matter your age, career, strengths, or personality? To become a high performer, you must seek clarity, generate energy, raise necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and demonstrate courage. This book is about the art and science of how to practice these proven habits.
If you do adopt any new habits to succeed faster, choose the habits in this book. Anyone can practice these habits, and when they do, extraordinary things happen in their lives, relationships, and careers.
Whether you want to get more done, lead others better, develop skill faster, or dramatically increase your sense of joy and confidence, the habits in this book will help you achieve it. Each of the six habits is illustrated by cutting-edge science, thought-provoking exercises, and real-world daily practices you can implement right now.
High Performance Habits is a science-backed, heart-centered plan to living a better quality of life. Best of all, you can measure your progress.
2. Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet by Jesse Itzler
Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. He brazenly pretended to be an established hip-hop artist to secure a meeting with a studio head - and it led to a record deal. He convinced a bunch successful business executives to invest in an unprecedented business plan - and it turned into Marquis Jet. He sincerely offered to run a 100-mile race in Spanx to get the attention of the beautiful founder of the company - and ended up marrying her.
His life is about being bold and risky. And it's brought him plenty of rewards.
So when Jesse felt himself drifting on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month - an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be "the toughest man on the planet"!
Living with a SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air...and Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-oing as you can get. SEAL is...not. He even shows up at Jesse's apartment with an inflatable raft just in case the Itzler family ever has to escape Manhattan by crossing the Hudson River.
Jesse and SEAL's escapades soon produce a great friendship, and by the time SEAL leaves, Jesse is in the best shape of his life, but he gains much more than muscle. At turns hilarious and inspiring, Living with a SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.
(I loved his book so much, I had to meet him)
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3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized? Are you often busy but not productive? Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people's agendas? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn't about getting more done in less time. It's about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy - instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us. Essentialism is not one more thing - it's a whole new way of doing everything. It's about doing less, but better, in every area of our lives. Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.
4. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.
When Mr. Kleon was asked to address college students in upstate New York, he shaped his speech around the ten things he wished someone had told him when he was starting out. The talk went viral, and its author dug deeper into his own ideas to create Steal Like an Artist, the book. The result is inspiring, hip, original, practical, and entertaining. And filled with new truths about creativity: Nothing is original, so embrace influence, collect ideas, and remix and re-imagine to discover your own path. Follow your interests wherever they take you. Stay smart, stay out of debt, and risk being boring—the creative you will need to make room to be wild and daring in your imagination.
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson and Roger Wayne
In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited - "not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault". Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
6. Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon
In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey―getting known.
Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery―let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.
In chapters such as You Don’t Have to Be a Genius; Share Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user’s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity― what he calls the “ecology of talent.” From broader life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it) to the etiquette of sharing―and the dangers of oversharing―to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it’s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.
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7. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda
Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand—and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.
In his wry and wise voice, Alda reflects on moments of miscommunication in his own life, when an absence of understanding resulted in problems both big and small. He guides us through his discoveries, showing how communication can be improved through learning to relate to the other person: listening with our eyes, looking for clues in another’s face, using the power of a compelling story, avoiding jargon, and reading another person so well that you become “in sync” with them, and know what they are thinking and feeling—especially when you’re talking about the hard stuff.
Drawing on improvisation training, theater, and storytelling techniques from a life of acting, and with insights from recent scientific studies, Alda describes ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities, and improve the way we relate and talk with others. Exploring empathy-boosting games and exercises, If I Understood You is a funny, thought-provoking guide that can be used by all of us, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.
8. Launch: An Internet Millionaire's Secret Formula to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love, and Live the Life of Your Dreams by Jeff Walker and Patrick Lawlor
The start of everything is critically important - and every truly successful product or business starts with a successful launch. Unfortunately most entrepreneurs put all their focus into "getting the doors open" without giving much thought to creating a great launch. However, since 1996, Jeff Walker has been obsessed with creating hugely successful launches in our increasingly digital world. During those years Jeff created an unbroken string of amazing successes for himself and his clients. Operating tiny businesses in an almost underground society, they've collectively done over $400 million in sales.
Launch is the "how to" manual for using Jeff's formula to follow a path of success - to create a product or business launch that gives you nearly instant momentum, sales, and positioning.
9. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.
Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.
The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on "validated learning", rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product-development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute.
Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it's too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.
10. The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Grant Cardone
Extreme success, by definition, lies beyond the realm of normal action. If you want to achieve extreme success, you can't operate like everybody else and settle for mediocrity. You need to remove luck and chance from your business equation, and lock in massive success. The 10X Ruleshows you how! Success is your duty, obligation and responsibility, and this audio book gives you step-by-step guidance on how to achieve phenomenal success for yourself!
With The 10X Rule , you'll learn to establish the amount of effort needed to guarantee success and ensure that you can continue operating at this level throughout your life. Most people desire success and have great ideas but they come up short on the amount of action required to get their lives to the exceptional levels they deserve. Four degrees of action exist, and in order to achieve your dreams, you must learn to operate at the fourth degree of action: Massive Action. The 10X Rule will dissolve fear, increase your belief in yourself, eliminate procrastination, and provide you with an overwhelming sense of purpose. The 10X Rule compels you to separate yourself from everyone else in the market-and you do that by doing what others refuse to do. Stop thinking in terms of basic needs, and start aiming for abundance-in all areas of your life. The 10X Rule guides you toward the frame of mind that all successful people share. Aim ten times higher than you are right now-and if you come up short, you'll still find yourself further along than if you had maintained your life's current status quo. The 10X Rule teaches you how to:
- Reach goals that you previously thought were impossible
- Correctly set goals and guarantee their achievement
- Create unprecedented levels of happiness and satisfaction in every area of your life
- Use fear as fuel to move you into action
- Get everything you want and never have to settle
- Dominate your competition and become a role model for success
Del Denney has consulted for the top personal development and training organizations in the United States and has addressed thousands of people in talks and seminars throughout the United States and Canada. As a Keynote Speaker and Seminar Leader, he addresses more than 10,000 people each year.
He has studied, researched, written and spoken for over 15 years in the fields of marketing, business, branding and success psychology.
He speaks to audiences on the subjects of Personal and Professional Development. His exciting talks and seminars on Leadership, Selling, Lifestyle by Design, Entrepreneurship, Real Estate Investing, and the Psychology of Success bring about immediate changes and long-term results.
He is the CEO of Full Potential Academy a training company that focuses on personal and professional development, social media growth, and brand development.
He is the owner of a real estate business that buys, sells, and rents homes. His residential redevelopment company focuses on improving neighborhoods and redeveloping residential areas.
Del has also had successful careers in sales and marketing, investments, real estate development, and management consulting.
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