I LOVE the energy that a new year brings. Fresh optimism. A real desire to make this year to be a better year than the previous, regardless of how ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it went. For men and women entering their first year not playing ball it can feel like a blank canvas. No structure to rely on, no collective goals to work towards, and no accountability from managers and teammates. It can be daunting, but I hope for anyone who isn’t committing to playing this year that isn’t the word you’d use to describe how you’re feeling about what the next 12 months will hold. I’m hoping ‘excited’ is what springs to mind.
One theme I’ve seen pop up time and again over the last week or two is self-development. A willingness and want to put the hard yards in on yourself. And that is class. In fact, that’s why I’m pretty sure this year will be the best yet for so many of you on a personal level. That is one of the main reasons I started the podcast ‘Are You Well?’, to be able to openly discuss those sorts of topics on a weekly basis. When we were prepping for this week’s episode I was asked on socials to recommend a book that I found made a difference for me whenever I began to really take an interest in my own personal development and immediately I thought of two, so you’re getting both.
Before I give you a rundown of my two personal favourites, I would point you towards James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. I think it’s a superb read that’ll send off so many light bulbs it has to be near the top of your list. But you’ll probably have heard lots of people recommending it so my two are, although very popular in their own right, maybe not as commonly trotted out as Atomic Habits.
First up, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: by Mark Manson encourages readers to prioritize their values and focus on what truly matters to them. Here are some key takeaways from the book:
1. It is not possible or desirable to care about everything, so it is important to choose carefully what you give your attention to.
2. Accepting and embracing negative emotions and experiences can lead to personal growth and a greater sense of fulfilment.
3. Prioritizing your values and setting healthy boundaries can help you live a more authentic and fulfilling life.
4. Changing your circumstances alone will not necessarily lead to lasting happiness. It is important to also work on changing your mindset and attitudes.
5. Facing and overcoming challenges can lead to personal growth and a greater sense of accomplishment.
6. It is important to find a balance between striving for success and happiness, and learning to be content with what you have.
7. It is okay to not have all the answers and to make mistakes. It is more important to be true to yourself and live a life that is authentic and meaningful to you.
If that doesn’t whey your appetite I don’t know what will, then we have Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. It explores the concept of success and how it is related to factors such as culture, family, and opportunities. Here are a few of my key takeaways from the book:
1. Success is not solely determined by individual talent or hard work. External factors, such as cultural background and opportunities, also play a role.
2. The “10,000-Hour Rule” suggests that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of meaningful practice to become an expert in a particular field.
3. Successful people often have a combination of innate talent and opportunities that allow them to practice and develop their skills.
4. Culture can play a significant role in success. For example, certain cultures may place a greater emphasis on education and hard work, leading to greater success in certain fields.
5. Many successful people have experienced “positive feedback loops” in which their initial successes lead to more opportunities and further success.
Get yourself a copy of those or plug them into your ears via audiobook and with what you take away from them I’ve no doubt your 2023 will start taking shape exactly how you’d hoped it will.