books for mental focus
Sharpen & Expand Your Mind By Reading
Reading is the greatest invention in the history of civilization. It has propelled us to be the dominate species on this planet. The transfer of knowledge by reading is a power not to be underestimated. Understand that the greatest power that your mind can attain will be done so through learning from reading. All the great figures of humanity have read prolifically.

Dr. Robert Anthony does a fantastic job describing the power of belief. We all have shared beliefs as well as personal beliefs about our place in the world and what we can accomplish. Some are limiting and are ultimately false. The book does go into some spiritual parts that may be hard to agree with. The point of this read is to give an overview of the role of belief in our lives and a pragmatic approach to setting new beliefs and goals. Passages will be referenced throughout SHU.  

Beyond Positive Thinking

This was a revolutionary and controversial publication with first released in the seventies. Now much of what Dr. Dawkins was postulating is textbook. The real wisdom in the book is the viewpoint that every living being on this plant is a “gene machine” – formed over millions of years to safeguard the precious series of genes inside every cell. The philosophy created here is beautiful and uniting for all life on this planet. There is real science in this book as well for those interested as well as evolutionary biology. Interesting read from start to finish.

The Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins returns to enhance his vision of evolutionary biology. This book dives in further to the science and research that postulates the gene theory. This book is for those who do not have a strong background in Darwinian evolution. Tons interesting points in the book. The game theory section sheds light on why humans are more successful when the cooperate instead of competing against each other.

The Blind Watchmaker

Stephen R. Covey bring the self-help style literature into the forefront. This is a classic read for those who want to step up their game. The seven habits listed here are baseline for this program. Read the book then use it as a reference. Always come back this book to define methods and reason to form these habits. This is what all successful – not just financially but deep-down success in themselves – practice in their lives.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Could not agree more with Grant here. As usual, his books are all focused on business but there is real wisdom is the over theme of this book. It is not just okay to be obsessed – it is the prerequisite for doing something important and life changing. This book will charge you up and give you new energy to tackle those bucket list items that make life utterly worth exploring.

Be Obsessed Or Be Average

Joseph Campbell authored this book before the Hero’s Journey was understood. This book is kin to Maps of Meaning in revealing the experience of life on this planet. The language is a bit archaic, but the tone and intention are pure.

The Hero With A Thousand Faces

This read has been an important piece of Eastern philosophy and literature for years. This publication was written more like poetry than dry text. The segments are short but every time it is ready, a new application or consideration can be gleaned from the text. This is a bed side table read. Open it up every week or so and read a passage. The thoughts here are great for mediations.

The Book of Five Rings

This book by Marcus Aurelius is infamous for the reflections of the stoic philosopher. This philosophy is a practical, pragmatic approach to the world. This book was composed after his death and is a combination of his journal entries. These wrote come in forms of letter of thanks to those who have impacted him, or just reminders on how to act and be in the world. There are always words of wisdom to be found here. Read it then use it as a guide to buffer being. Use this book to form a durable mindset that will be true and devoid of ego.


Yuval takes us on a journey here from ancient peoples to present. His view on our current society is breathtaking. This is an easy read even though it is long. So many interesting concepts. One the sticks is the view of companies as modern-day incarnations brought to life by the spell of the law. Truly an amazing read.

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying bring us back to the reality of nature and warning of many presuppositions of our society. The book was written antidotally and backed by science and research. There are practical applications here. As the book expands, the topics start to hit close to home. The two give names to the underlying tones of our current society. This is an easy read, entertaining and edifying. Since this is a shared authoring, the mind’s voice can shift depending on who is imagined as the author which adds an extra layer of interest.

A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide To The 21st Century

Here Johann details his journey through loneliness and pharmaceutical dependency to his realization about the reason we are so dependent on substances that mimic the feeling we get from community. The sentiment echoed here is that we had dispensed with important celebrations and life markers in our society. This robs us of milestones marks that set the flow of our lives. He shares his realizations with us. We can all relate to his feelings and hopeful share his epiphanies.

Lost Connections

An introduction to Sam’s experiences, with the mind from varying views. He is a neuroscientist as well as an avid meditator. This book I full of intriguing anecdotes and as well as scientific viewpoints on the mind and its abilities. His app “Waking Up” is a recommended paring for all those interested in real world application of mindfulness and expanding the mind.

Waking Up

Grant Cardone is an interesting character. This book focuses on how to be a good salesperson. Although this direct application may not apply to all, there is great wisdom about self-talk, or the role played in intimate relationships. The premise behind this book is that we are all selling something. Something to ourselves, to each other. We are selling ourselves as parents, lovers, friends, and the like.

Sell or Be Sold

If a painting could be read, this would be its verbiage. Meditation can reveal a hidden world to the student but when we end our session, the feeling is instantly lost like a dream. No matter how hard we try, we cannot recall the beauty of our dreams. Here Rupert details the feelings of non-duality and meditation. It is such a wonderful work. The text is hard to understand and may require rereading to understand it. The book may not be long but does require patience. Best to read a chapter at a time and ruminate on the message.

The Transparency of Things

Epictetus & Seneca join Marcus in their thoughts on stoic philosophy. There is similarity between the authors. At its base, stoicism means coming to terms with the person you are. The animal you are. Quiet determination and reflection if the stoics way. Epictetus and Seneca are the antecedents to Marcus. Each building their unique view on their inherent philosophy.

Stoic Classical Collection

Quite a hefty read for sure. The book itself is long and the subject matter dense. The book is used by Jordan in his teaching series, so it is laid out like a textbook. The arc of this read is this: Mythology and our shared history point to an inescapable human experience call “The Hero’s Journey”. This is the way that all animals, especially humans, view their world experience. This manifestation occurs in every culture all over the world and is alive today in all the stories we tell. We experience life through the Hero’s eyes every day. It is a part of who we are. Understanding this is the first step to wielding its power. Read the book from cover to cover or pick sections that are most interesting to you. Jordan goes from every part of the world and time to bring us right back to our present through this shared experience.

Maps of Meaning

This is a must read for those interested in the true heritage of the United States. Howard calls on the journals and experience of the average person to fill this colorful history. Leaning about the past is a sure way to solidify your future. The truth about the US is not what it seems – most certainly not what is taught in modern schools. This book was controversial when it was released, and the reader can see why. If the real history of the US were taught in the world, we would have a vastly different outlook of our past and our responsibilities for the future of the country and the world. Great read but particularly challenging. Take it in stride. Read this book with another easier read to offset the heavy text.

A People's History of The United States

JP breaks down his rules for life. This read is easy to digest and has real application. Clean your room (straighten your life) before you try to change the world and the controversial lobster bit are just a couple simple approaches to harnessing the best you.

12 Rules for Life

Expand Focus Your Mind By Reading