“High performance is 90% mental. And most of that mental edge comes from being able to control your thoughts.”
Dr Michael Gervais
Welcome to my fourth annual holiday gift guide! Each year, I share the items that have made the biggest impact in my life throughout the year, and I know they’ll do the same for you or for someone else if you’re giving it as a gift.
If you’re new to the holiday gift guide, it always revolves around books.
Because there’s a massive surplus of cheap crappy gifts that are forgotten shortly after they’ve been received, and a massive deficit of people accessing things that are truly going to change their life forever.
Aside from allowing us to delve into the minds of the most inspiring and innovative people who ever lived, books are a great gift because they sit there staring back at us: providing gentle prompts, imaginative thought, and unprecedented motivation when we need it most.
In fact, many of the people I interviewed for Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy noted that, in times of distress, just staring at the cover of Napoleon Hill’s original classic made them feel better about themselves.
In last year’s gift guide I mentioned how often I’m opting for audiobooks, but this year I reached somewhat of an audio plateau and found myself going back to physical books. Audiobooks are great if you’re racing against the clock because you can increase the speed to 1.5x or more. And, for me, I often need to consume a large volume of information quickly; for example, it might be ahead of someone appearing on the podcast.
So, in addition to the speed, you can also listen to audiobooks while you’re driving, exercising, and doing any number of other things.
However, there’s something pure about a physical book -- I think it’s the complete absence of a digital component, meaning I’m far less likely to get distracted. That presence in the moment is enormously valuable, especially when we consider how often we’re pulled between multiple tasks throughout the day.
When my wife and I had our first ever weekend away from our daughter, I loved relaxing by the pool with a book, and it would have been far less relaxing if I was tempted by the dozens of apps and notifications on my phone.
The catch is that to take notes, which reinforces the learning -- and I take a heap of notes when I read any non-fiction book -- a device is a very handy way to do that.
For tips on improving your reading specifically, check out this interview with Read to Lead author, Jeff Brown. We cover speed reading, finding the best book for you, and the best way to read for maximum absorption.
For people who struggle with traditional books, I highly recommend audiobooks. The most important thing is that you keep up your learning.
If you’re looking at a gift for someone other than yourself, a hardcover book is probably better.
Even though I love audiobooks, anytime I find a book that really speaks to me, I am sure to grab a copy of the hardcover version too so I can use it as a quick reference point whenever I need it. And the #1 book I’ve read this year is actually an audiobook, as you’ll see below.
Filling your mind with the knowledge you need is the best way to transcend your circumstances so you can achieve whatever you want in life, regardless of what’s happened in your past. Every book I have read has changed my life in one way or another, so that hunger for learning should hopefully be a priority for you too.
Without further ado, here are the books that I think would make the best gifts this holiday season, for you, a friend or a loved one. I’ve even expanded it into a few other categories too.
Let’s get into our ultimate holiday gift guide!
🎞️ For the video interview, click here.
Resources / links mentioned:
📈 The #1 Habit to Boost Your Intelligence with Jeff Brown.
🔥 ‘Compete to Create’ by Dr Michael Gervais and Pete Carroll.
🚀 ‘The Art of Impossible’ by Steven Kotler.
🧭 ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ by Dr Carol Dweck.
👨👨👧👧 ‘We're Not So Different After All’ by Lissette Lent.
💚 ‘Luca’ (movie) on Disney+.
✍️ The Day One Journal (mobile app).
🎬 Subscribe to exclusive Win the Day videos on our YouTube channel.
🗝️ Apply now for The Day Won Mastermind (strictly limited to 12 people).