5 books that change your life (Undeniably precious)
Written by: Remko van Buuren
Published: 20 November 2022


By reading a book, you bypass the trial and error and obtain the knowledge directly of an expert in that field.

5 books that really influenced my life

Books that change your life, Yes today we are going to talk about these precious books which can really change our life.

What if you could only read 5 books in your life? Which book has the power to really get you into action? Change your mindset. I will share with you the 5 books that did exactly that for me.

Some are incredibly mainstream, others a bit less. Do not judge a book by how well it was marketed, but on what people you know (like me) have gotten from it. Maybe, just maybe, this book will be the spark you needed to make your life jumpstart into your next level.  

I am not going to review each book, that is not the point here. The point is to give you a quick reason why these books might be worth your time. That is all. Let’s go!

The 7 habits of highly effective people

The 7 habits of highly effective people

This was the book that got me into personal development. Until that time, I was living my life more or less based on the cause-and-effect principle. Things happened because of some external factor. I went to economics school, so I had to work in finance. I was born in this region of the Netherlands, so this is where I need to live and find a job. That sort of thing.

I was having quite a long commute to work back then, so I had time to listen to the book like 4 times in a row. Around 6 years ago I bought the book and read it again and talking about it now, I will probably pick it and read it again soon. It is just one of those books. 

It is full of great content for you at any stage of your life. Regardless if your aim is professional success, long-term relationships at home, or becoming more productive all together. Covey states “To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perspectives”.

What worked very well for me were the tons of practical examples and metaphors he incorporated to support his points. From what he calls the emotional bank account but also his example of mowing the lawn choir with his son and thinking win-win in any relationship.

What, at that time, was an eye-opener for me was his 5th principle: “Seek first to understand, before making yourself understood”. Loved that one as I was pretty self-centered back then if I am honest. Until today I also remember his golden goose story as well as his ladder metaphor. 

All in all, it really is a treasure of practical life tips that might shift your mindset from where you are today into a better you. Curious? Jump into action here The 7 habits of highly effective people

The 5 love languages

The 5 love languages

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love- That’s the challenge. How do we keep our relationship alive during and after all the life events that occur? Conflicts will happen, you might hurt or get hurt, you take things for granted, or everyday life just becomes plain boring. 

Regardless of the stage of your relationship, this book is a must-read for anyone that sees the importance to have a loving relationship. As dads, sorry let me talk about myself only. As a dad, I have put myself first more than once. While this served my ego and perhaps also served our bank account. It did not serve my marriage. 

Learning about which love language my wife experiences the most love from me and vice versa really made a difference in our perception of love. We are two individuals sharing a life but we are still two individuals. With different needs, different views on life, and different ways of how we experience love. 

If I give my wife a present after coming back from a golf trip with my buddies in Portugal I do that out of my way to express love (gift giving). While all she wanted was to hear that I missed her and that I am happy to be home again (words of affirmation). 

Really it’s one of the books that change your life I tell you, fellow dads, put your ego aside, read this book and act on it and see how your relationship might change for the better. Even if it is already great! 

Secret tip: Gary Chapman also worked together with a child psychologist to establish this same logic onto finding out your child’s love languages. You think you know what your child likes to experience love, but is that really how he/she feels loved?

The 4 hour workweek

The 4 hour workweek

After reading the 7 habits you will see the power of working on yourself. But as will all good things “real growth, moves slowly”. There is no quick-fix plan for a better version of you. While this is true, Timothy Ferriss’s book might be just what you need to open your mind even more. 

I really got inspired to move into real action and think outside the conventional ways of making money. Why do I need to give 40 hours a week to somebody else’s dream, if anything is possible?

He bursted my bubble that I do not need to be a millionaire, to experience the life and freedom a millionaire life symbolizes. This reframing really brought this goal much closer.  I learned to separate income from time, as this is conventionally intertwined for generations. 

We, with our knowledge options and technological advantages, are the first generation that can separate the two. Tim explains to you how. And he brings you a structure and a step-by-step plan, as well as real tips and links on where to get started to get a VA, gain mobility of work with your boss, etc. 

If you are open to enter the rabbit hole of Tim Ferris, you will be surprised by what world lies ahead of you. For me personally, it was the push to start my own company and earn a bit more money for fewer hours. Giving me the time to explore more of what I love, writing to you, and hopefully helping other dads become a better version of themselves. 

If I managed to do just that, drop me an email, please. I would love to hear your story.

This is where you can get The 4-hour workweek

The Urban Monk

The Urban Monk

This is one of those gems that perhaps did not have the fancy marketing behind it. But it is so packed with great stuff it founds its way to me, and now to you, by itself. This is not a book of a Tibetan monk telling us how we should meditate all day and give away all our belongings in order to be happy. Most of us, include me, will ever do that. 

Dr. Pedram Shojai is a busy man, running several health companies and is a creator of movies and a Taoist priest. Early in this book he explains for whom this book is meant. If you can relate to the below, you really should give this book a try:

  • Do you live in a city and feel caught up in our modern life, feeling you have no time for anything?
  • Are you dealing with exhaustion?  
  • Lack of connection to others?
  • Struggling with sleep or weight?
  • Feel lost, without purpose, and overly stressed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider diving into this book. Because, why not? While reading it myself I told my wife several times this book is becoming my personal bible. It talks about everyday life and real struggles we have nowadays, mentally and physically. Like unexplainable headaches or body pains, mental shortages of energy and the pressure of time. 

This book is different than other tips and life hacks books because Pedram’s unique set of experiences and the way he brings the messages to us really resonate. It felt like a friend talking to me, someone that knew me and gave me hands-on advice really improve my health. 

Here is the link to his book. The Urban Monk

Can you do me a favor and email me which chapter of his book got you into action? 

 The Miracle Morning

The Miracle Morning

Where the Urban make might lack marketing, I think this book might have gotten a bit too much of it. The essence of this book is purely magical though. The way it is marketed is a bit too American for my European taste. But it really is one of the books that change your life

Hal Elrod himself is nothing but an extraordinary man walking this earth. A real inspiration to me on what a man can endure and can flourish during and after negative periods in ones life. 

I have advised this book to so many of my real-life friends I stopped counting. Part of this is because Hal really walks his talk. If you see his documentary and follow him on his socials, you can see he is executing his life-S.A.V.E.R.S. principle every day, even during his darkest cancer days. 

I can here you say “Ok Remko, what makes The Miracle morning so great”? It is the book that teaches you to create a window for yourself that will improve every aspect of your life and all before 8 am. Yes, it is a morning routine builder book, but this one is real. It is practical, easily executable, fast and will really get you in the zone you always wanted but never can find time for! I promise you. 

Just buy the book, because, why not? Read his life story, the theory of the greats that inspired him and like Nike said: “Just do it”. Embrace the life-S.A.V.E.R.S. and do it for a week, a month but at least 21 days.

What are 3 weeks of your life if it has the chance to absolutely spark something phenomenon forever. I am using big words because it really did do this for me, and I want this so badly to happen to you too. 

We deserve to take an hour a day to invest in ourselves. As dads, we have so many responsibilities. Whether it is straight after waking up to jump into fatherhood, getting the kids ready for school or diving into your mailbox to see if that mechanic replied to solve that housing or car problem. Or work is demanding your decision. Where is our time? Well, it is before the rest of the house wakes up! Trust me.

Disclaimer: it will be tough getting up when the alarm goes, and you are still in your warm bed. But do it anyway, once you are up it is ok. Don’t bring up the lame of “I am not a morning person”. Newsflash: no-one is!!! But if you have a good enough reason, you do it anyway!

Dad tip: put your alarm far enough away from your bed that you must get up to turn it off.

Email me your experiences after doing it for a few days, I am curious about what it did for you.

Special mentions

Believe it or not but it was very difficult to pick just five, so as a special mention I want to call out a few that didn’t make the cut. Perhaps I should do a book review section on the blog as there is so much to share and gain from all of these:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear
  • The myth of multitasking by Dave Crenshaw
  • Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill
  • The 5 AM club by Robin Sharma
  • The 12 week year by Moran & Lennington

You may read this How my mindset made mountains of molehills.

For now, thank you for reading and I sincerely hope I sparked an action in your mind. 

As real growth moves slowly, you must put in the work yourself. Get started today!   

All the best, Remko

Share this post

1 Comment

  1. semantics

    Hey there! This is my first visit to your ƅlog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a
    new project in a community in the same niche. Your
    blog provided us Ьeneficial information to work on. You have done а wonderfuⅼ job!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *