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5 Must-Listen Audiobooks on Building Habits to Succeed in 2020 and for the Long Haul

By Sean M. Lyden - Staff Writer
Posted Mar 18th 2020 3:28PM

Where do you want to take your business this year? In what areas do you want to improve in your personal and professional life?

Whether you’re a driver, owner-operator, or fleet owner, you have specific things in mind you’d love to achieve in 2020. The question is: Will you follow through?

After all, most of us abandon our New Year’s resolutions by February.

So, how can you defy the odds and maintain the discipline you need to keep working toward your goals throughout the next year?

Listen to these five audiobooks. They'll equip you with the right mindset and practical tips to help you take your business—and your life—to the next level in 2020, no matter what the market conditions might be.

How to Fail at Almost Anything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
Scott Adams
https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Fail-at-Almost-Everything-and-Still-Win-Big-Audiobook/0593214951

Overview: We’re wired by society and our upbringing to fear failure. And certain types of failure are worthy of being feared—especially in expediting when a mistake behind the wheel while driving your truck can cause serious injuries.

But other types of failures in your career can actually become stepping stones for success if you view those temporary setbacks with the right perspective. That's the premise of this book by Scott Adams, who you may know from his Dilbert comic strip.

Adams challenges you to dream big, learn from failure, and then develop systems (or habits) that put you on the trajectory toward what you want to achieve.

Top Takeaways
#1. A positive attitude will not only change you but also how other people respond to you.

“Positivity is far more than a mental preference. It changes your brain, literally, and it changes the people around you. It’s the nearest thing we have to magic.”

#2. Focus on systems, not goals.
“Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system.”

What’s the difference between a system and a goal?

A system is a stack of habits you're building to become someone capable of achieving a goal.

As Adams’ puts it, “...making a million dollars is a goal, but being a serial entrepreneur is a system.”

#3. Good systems eliminate the need for willpower.
“The only way to succeed in the long run is by using a system that bypasses your need for willpower.”

So, if you want to keep your New Year’s resolutions in 2020, resolve to develop good systems.

Atomic Habits
James Clear
https://www.audible.com/pd/How-to-Fail-at-Almost-Everything-and-Still-Win-Big-Audiobook/0593214951

Overview: This book offers a proven framework for improving - every day. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. As Clear puts it, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”

Top Takeaways
#1. You become what you do.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

#2. Progress toward your goals is the result of continuously improving your habits.
“The purpose of setting goals is to win the game. The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game. True long-term thinking is goal-less thinking. It’s not about any single accomplishment. It is about the cycle of endless refinement and continuous improvement. Ultimately, it is your commitment to the process that will determine your progress.”

#3. Motivation to achieve big goals is fueled by progress in your process.
“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.”

The Compound Effect: Multiply Your Success One Simple Step at a Time
Darren Hardy
https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Compound-Effect-Audiobook/1982648066

Overview: You know the conventional wisdom about investing your money: Time is your friend. Start now, and, over time, the interest will compound to double, triple, or quadruple your money.

In this book, Darren Hardy says that the "Compound Effect" also applies to the actions and decisions you make every day—whether they're good or bad. You'll discover that your progression (or regression) will compound and accelerate over time, moving you closer toward (or away from) your goals.

Top Takeaways
#1. Win the day, every day.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

#2. Your will is only as strong your Why.
“Forget about willpower. It's time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You've got to want something, and know why you want it, or you'll end up giving up too easily.”

#3. Make your own luck.
“The (Complete) Formula for Getting Lucky: Preparation (personal growth) + Attitude (belief/mindset) + Opportunity (a good thing coming your way) + Action (doing something about it) = Luck”

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
David Goggins
https://www.audible.com/pd/Cant-Hurt-Me-Audiobook/B07KKMNZCH

Overview: This audiobook is like pure adrenaline being pumped into your ears—and your mind.

Author David Goggins came from a rough childhood. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, he transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man into a US Armed Forces icon and one of the world's top endurance athletes. Goggins is the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. And he has gone on to set records in numerous endurance events, being named by Outside magazine as The Fittest (Real) Man in America.

In this book, he shares his life story of how he had turned pain into power to achieve his highest potential with practical tips for how we can transform our own lives.

Top Takeaways
#1. Stop pursuing quick fixes; instead, push through the pain to master your mind.
“Our culture has become hooked on the quick-fix, the life hack, efficiency. Everyone is on the hunt for that simple action algorithm that nets maximum profit with the least amount of effort. There’s no denying this attitude may get you some of the trappings of success, if you’re lucky, but it will not lead to a calloused mind or self-mastery. If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.”

#2. You haven’t even scratched the surface of achieving your full potential.
“...no matter who you are, who your parents are or were, where you live, what you do for a living, or how much money you have, you’re probably living at about 40 percent of your true capability.”

#3. Break free from the “entitled mind.”
“Your entitled mind is dead weight. Cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Take aim on what you are willing to earn!”

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Steven Pressfield
https://www.audible.com/pd/The-War-of-Art-Audiobook/B07PQ9GLDV

Overview: What’s keeping you from living the life you want?

According to author Steven Pressfield, that enemy is within. It's called "resistance," and you must wage an ongoing war against it if you're going to have a shot at achieving your big goals.

In this book, Pressfield arms you with the mental weapons you need to keep “resistance” at bay so you can pursue your dreams.

Top Takeaways
#1. Listen to fear; don’t silence it.
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

#2. Do you.
“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”

#3. Embrace criticism.
“The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”