“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. Miss a meal, but don’t miss a book.”
Welcome to my fifth annual holiday gift guide!
Each year, I share the items that have made the biggest impact on 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 most people buy some crappy thing that ends up in the trash shortly after, and there’s a massive deficit of people accessing things that are truly going to change their life forever.
If you have developed the habit of reading – and implementing what you learn from that reading – you’ve got one of the greatest competitive advantages you could ever hope for. When I read, I do a combination of physical books, audiobooks, and ebooks, because each has their own time and place.
I read the physical books before I go to bed or before I start work in the morning; I listen to audiobooks when I’m driving or on the go; and I read ebooks when I need a fast ingestion of the book because I’m on a time crunch or I’ve read it before.
So, when it comes to your reading, find what works for you and stick with it. But don’t feel like you need to memorize every word. The goal is to think about what you want to get from reading the book and how you’re going to put that into action. Get through the book as fast as you can so that result is achieved, because you can always revisit things that stood out or that you want a recap on later. Finish your book and keep that momentum by diving into another book you’re excited about.
If you’re looking at a gift for someone other than yourself, a hardcover book is generally 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.
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.
Before we dive into the good stuff, let’s reflect on today’s quote, which comes from personal development icon – and one of my great mentors – Jim Rohn:
“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary. Miss a meal, but don’t miss a book.”
Let’s get into our ultimate holiday gift guide for 2022!
Best book overall:
Break Point by Ollie Ollerton
This is an incredible book that takes us straight into not only the special forces mindset, but the person behind the special forces operator. And that person was a boy growing up in the UK who was almost killed by a chimp at a traveling circus. That was just one moment in a wild teenage phase, a lot of which Ollie describes in great detail, before he became a Royal Marine Commando at the age of 18.
What I love about Ollie is how big his heart is. He’s so upfront with his vulnerabilities and tells the stories in a way that you feel like you’re there.
And when he talks about ‘break - point’, he’s referring to those moments of self-doubt that force you to step up and be the best you can be. Ollie reveals the biggest breakpoints he’s faced throughout his life, that took him from a boy who almost died after the savage attack, to becoming one of the most elite soldiers – and now business people – on the planet.
This book is for anyone who wants some motivation to step up what you’re doing, who’s in a dark place right now, or simply wants an exhilarating ride through a book that’s equal parts adventurous novel and personal development.
It gets a perfect 10/10 rating from me. I couldn’t put it down. It’s also got more than 4,000 5-star ratings on Amazon and is the best book I’ve read in 2022.
Best book on relationships:
Beyond Mars and Venus by Dr John Gray
John Gray is an absolute master at his craft. I had the opportunity to spend a full day with him before we did the interview for the Win the Day podcast, and I was in awe of everything he shared. If you want to know how to take your romantic relationship to the next level, he is the man to guide you and this is the book to show you.
I’ve learnt so much in such a short period of time about how to improve the relationship I have with my wife Jenn. John helped me realize how often men butt in with solutions rather than asking more questions and listening, which is what women want. He also shares a lot of tips on the flipside so women can strengthen the connection they have with their partner.
The podcast episode I did with John is the most listened to episode of the Win the Day podcast ever, so check that out too.
Beyond Mars and Venus is a modern vision of his seminal book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to improve your marriage, gain more awareness on how your actions are hindering your happiness, and for a fundamental overview of effective communication.
Best book on business:
$100M Offers by Alex Hormozi
This is really a book on sales – it shows you how to start charging a lot more for your product or service while also being able to deliver more of what your client or customer needs to get the result they want. Alex also talks about the importance of targeting the right people with your offer, who you can think of as the starving crowd.
The whole premise of this book is that you need to move away from a commoditized offer to what Alex calls a grand slam offer. When you have a commoditized offer, people can compare what you’re selling with a whole bunch of other providers – and when that happens it’s simply a race to the bottom on price. And you definitely don’t want to be in that game.
On the other hand, when you have a grand slam offer, you have something that cannot be compared to any other product or service. That includes things like stronger promotion, an unmatched value proposition, a premium price, and an unbeatable price guarantee. If something is so valuable, people won’t be able to benchmark it against others and will feel confident making the decision to give you their business. It’s a win:win for everybody.
$100M Offers is the best book on sales I’ve ever read. Get it for someone who has their own business or is looking to start their own business, or someone who is in professional services.
Best book on personal finance:
10 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Noel Whittaker
A lot of you, especially in Australia, know that Noel’s my dad. I interviewed him on the Win the Day podcast in Episode 87. His entire life has been about helping young people with financial literacy so they can achieve financial freedom.
Now that he has 13 grandchildren – of which I only contribute two (my brother with seven kids and my sister with four kids have done most of the heavy lifting) – he’s been thinking about how he can communicate the necessary steps and habits so his grandchildren can take charge of their financial future as quickly as possible. But once he got started on the project, he realized it would be a great resource for others to be able to give their kids and grandkids.
The book just came out last month and has sold tens of thousands of copies – without even being in the bookstores yet! But you can grab it online through his website and have it delivered to you before Christmas if you get in fast.
For some background, Noel is the author of 23 bestselling books, including Making Money Made Simple that sold more than two million copies.
So if there’s a teenager or young adult who you want to motivate, get them this book. It’s an easy read and they can start making their own money so they don’t need to spend yours!
Best book on sleep:
Energize by Dr. Michael Breus and Stacey Griffith
Dr. Michael Breus is known as The Sleep Doctor and is the only person who has come on to the Win the Day podcast twice! He’s the personal sleep doctor to some of the most well known CEOs and entertainers on the planet. The two podcast episodes we did together are both in the top five most popular I’ve ever released.
Michael’s latest book Energize provides a practical and detailed guide to having more energy each day. Co-authored with Stacey Griffith, who is one of the founding instructors of Soul Cycle, they talk about the importance of understanding your sleep chronotype so you know the best time of day to do literally everything. Then they delve into what the right exercise for you should be so you can move better, feel better, and sleep better – and how sleep and exercise go hand in hand.
Michael is a great guy and has become a close friend. He put a lot of effort into this book and it shows. Get this for someone who feels flat or wants to upgrade their performance, or for someone who wants to optimize their sleep so they can get more out of each day.
Best book on professional relationships:
You know how much I love talking about relationships, and there are actually two books I want to include in this category:
What’s in it for Them? by Joe Polish
Joe Polish is one of the most connected people on the planet and runs Genius Network, which is one of the top masterminds for entrepreneurs.
His goal with What’s In it For Them? was to expand on the teachings of Dale Carnegie who wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People. Not only does Joe share a lot of stories from his own life, he also includes practical steps to help you upgrade your network.
The premise of the book is that you need to ask the question of, “How are they suffering, and how can I help?” When you know who you want to connect with, and you start asking yourself that question, your network will expand like wildfire.
Go for Stupid by Steve Sims
We’ve actually got Steve coming on the podcast soon. He’s mates with Elon Musk, Elton John, Richard Branson, and a bunch of other A-listers. Steve’s entire career has been forged in providing unique and unforgettable experiences for people and he shares the what and the how in this book.
The whole idea is that you should actually lean in to stupid decisions because you might be the only one who’s been brave enough to pull it off. That all comes back to the mentality that “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” as Wayne Gretzky famously said, which is one of my favorite all time quotes.
Steve also shares a lot of the special ways he gets connected and stays connected with influential people, and some of the out of the box ideas that he’s used to strengthen the relationships he has with clients.
Best book on mindset:
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
I discovered this book a little while ago when I was looking through the directory for the Pathfinder Mastermind that I attend in Texas every year. The directory includes a lot of personal info, but also the favorite book from the 50 people who attend the mastermind, who are always really interesting and successful people from around the world.
One of the most popular books listed in that directory was The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, so I knew I had to check it out.
Straightway, I could see why it has resonated with so many people. The idea is that the only problem in life that you will ever face is your inner voice. Once you get good at observing that inner voice and how it operates, you can make it a person who is responsible for those thoughts.
I almost always have a lot of thoughts racing through my head, which can be tough – especially when you’re trying to go to sleep – but I was able to create a person who was responsible for those thoughts. So, when I get ready to go to sleep, I tell this person thanks for today, let’s catch up tomorrow, and I visualize that person walking away. Almost immediately, my mind becomes still and I enter a deep sleep.
If you know of someone who has a tough time with negative self-talk, or quieting their mind, or who has even been through significant trauma, this book will be lifechanging for them.
Unsolicited heartfelt apology
When he came on the podcast for Episode 109, Dr. Mark Goulston mentioned that there is great power in an unsolicited heartfelt apology.
If you’ve been hanging on to something that you think about often – maybe it’s a conversation you need to have or an action you took that you regret – one of the fastest ways to rectify that is see the person face to face and lead with the unsolicited heartfelt apology.
That vulnerability encourages the other person to drop their guard, and you almost instantly might be able to connect better than you ever have before. This could be a conversation with a friend, a parent, a child, a business partner, a work colleague. Whoever it is, free yourself of the burden and strengthen the connection between the two of you by leading with the unsolicited heartfelt apology.
No podcast episode has impacted me more deeply than that one with Dr. Mark Goulston, so I strongly encourage you to check it out – especially if you, or someone close to you, has been dealing with some mental health challenges.
Best gift (or accompaniment) for everyone:
The final recommendation on this list, which is the best gift (or gift accompaniment) for everyone, is a letter or card – handwritten if your legibility allows – to acknowledge the recipient for all the loving and selfless actions they have taken to brighten your world and illuminate your spirit.
Expressing our gratitude to one another in the long form written medium has become a lost art, but that just means your opportunity to make an impression will be even more powerful.
You've heard me say many times before that the best way to get is to give first. This holiday season, give someone a piece of your heart, and watch the way your life changes as a result.
I hope you enjoyed our fifth holiday gift guide! Remember, giving someone the ability to help themselves can be the best gift.
Share a comment on the YouTube version of this episode with your favorite out of all these options or if any of these already hold a place in your heart.
Until next time, get out there and Win the Day — perhaps by helping someone else win their day.
Onward and upward always,
Resources / links mentioned:
📚 Break Point by Ollie Ollerton
💕 Beyond Mars and Venus by Dr John Gray
💸 $100M Offers by Alex Hormozi
📈 10 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Noel Whittaker
🏋️♂️ Energize by Dr Michael Breus and Stacey Griffith
🤔 What’s in it for Them? by Joe Polish
😜 Go for Stupid by Steve Sims
🕊️ The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
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