Business Magazine

Financial Independence and Happiness Books

By The Contender @The__Contender
SPEND.IT.NOW: "You say Read Read Read - I haven't got time to read! TLTM (too long too much?). I've been fed snippets all my life. The news in 10 minutes is all you need don't you know? That's what I want concise, short, to the point, none of this 300 page novel stuff. Crikey, even your blog posts are too long CoNTeNDeR. I've gotta do other stuff you know. 
Financial Independence and Happiness BooksShort is all I want! Let's start by sorting this blog out.
Change it to "SMBH" Save Money, Be Happy" -  that's it nice, simple and quick to read! Genius! 
Delete everything on the blog and replace the front page with "SMBH". Job done. You will thank me CoNTeNDer you can pack up the website as you have done your bit and have all that spare time to fill with fun"

CoNTeNDeR: "SMBH to you too!"
Books are great, something to get lost in for a few hours, something to debate, something new to learn. A lot of what is discussed on this site has its starting point in a book or article. This post is all about the books we have relied upon for our financial independence and downshifting planning.
Reading, Why Bother?
Books, Books, and More Books, so many to read and so long. When will one ever the the time to read them all?
Aren't a lot of books just fiction such as graphic crime stories and romantic slush. Yes they may be great to retreat into a fantasy world unfortunately they will not help with gaining financial independence (although they may help on the happiness side).
What we are really looking for are reference and how to books and essays.
It is all too easy to say "Come on, I had my share of serious books at university" unfortunately the books in university were generally just on topic. Too specific and not everyday real world challenges.
For example Antifragile and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Taleb are the opposite of  "Don't worry about challenges, society will look after you, go to the pub, watch a movie or go to the shops instead. It is more fun". Taleb highlights how fragile some of our support systems actually are how unforeseen events will always exist and what we as individuals can do about it.
Financial Independence and Happiness Books List of countries by literacy rate source: Wikipedia
Distraction is the name of the game
With the whole media outlet pandering to entertainment news, catastrophes and the bad side of society, if you are really bothered to read a book, there is just the right type of paperback pamphlet book for you written in "plain" English so you understand it.
Forcing our way past the world of consumer entertainment, of distraction and information overload is the first challenge. It is so easy to get caught up in the latest entertainment sport on TV or soap opera. They are a distraction  letting the viewer live the pseudo life of others through the flat screen, tabloid papers and glossy mags.
Why is this and who are the winners from this game? Our economic system for one. It is all about consumption and profits at the end of the day. Selling newspapers, e-news, glossy mags etc. all to be thrown away recycled and sold back to the public generating profits is the name of the game.

Employers are happy that we are getting this expensive media fix. Their employees need to work to pay for it all. If you are thinking about opting out, don't worry of that one, they say, we will educate you with business books written in the line of  "How I sacrificed everything and have the world at my feet!" by CEO God. "Get a job work hard and you can be just like me" The President to earn more to spend more.
I made it to the Reference Section in the bookstore - Yeah!
If an individual does make it to the reference section for a book about getting ahead in the workplace they will be amply supplied as these are some of the first books on display.
Displays are set out for "Business books of the year", "How to be an awesome business professional", "How to speed read a bedtime sotry", right?
Not to mention the distracting autobiography  "Le Crunch" - the story of the tough guy of football - all his life in detail, the superstar, the adulterer, the drunken tour gossip. Please really who reads this tripe?
So reference books are just there if one is having a hard time at work, a mental breakdown, or wants to get the lowdown on the abnormal life of the famous.
But wait what is that collecting dust in the back corner of the reference section? Don't go there it is a dark place you won't escape from there. Books written by people who do not conform to societal norms, mavericks and troublemakers.
Financial Independence and Happiness BooksBooks written per 1000 people by Country source:

Knowledge is Power

Thankfully we do not live in Ray Bradbury's world where firemen are the guys who burn books in Fahrenheit 451. All of those useful dust collecting books are still there for us to read. There are Financial Independence Planning and Downshifting books to be found and embraced.
Are these the important books that need to be read? Plato's 80:20 rule that most knowledge gains come from only 20% of the information. This proves that being selective with what one reads (especially at a young age) gives a real edge in life. Reading and learning something real and useful from the reference section can be priceless.
It is possible to learning how to do a job yourself from books. Learn a skill that can save money, be rewarding and even lead to a small business.
Additionally learning about the world and people around you helps the appreciation of all the wonderful stuff that comes for free in life. Looking out the window at falling leaves, skimming stones on a lake, building a camp with the kids, chatting with mates, cooking and eating a meal with friends enjoyed over the course of several hours and copious wine. In Praise of Slow: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed Carl Honore and How To Be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson are both inspiring reads.
In our day and age everything is available to us in books and the internet - how cool is that! We just need to look for and find it.
Useful Books
Yes I am still talking about the ones with the boring titles, dull sleeves, hidden at the back of the store. You won't them on any bestsellers list - god forbid on a financial independence list!
No sexy plot lines, no death, drugs and war, just the real world. Take Currency Wars by James Rickards for instance which is about a real war taking place in the financial world that we will never hear about in the mass media.
These are the books that cover the 'essentials' in life. The books that no one is ever directed to by the education system, careers department or government websites. This is the stuff we need to learn about. We need to know this stuff to be completely free.
There is still distraction here, be careful. Unfortunately mixed in with these are NOISE. Books selling get rich quick ideas - just hand over 20K and you will be a millionaire in 5 years time! and scare stories "Don't do it, leave it to the professionals and all of the related horror stories of people having all of their life savings wiped out. Don't go there. Don't read that stuff, trust us, trust the system!"
They generally have flashy covers and flashy titles. These books are really about desires and wants that complicate life, bringing stress and can result in debt slavery. 

Let's dig deeper into that dark corner. On the bottom shelf is that book that provides key life skills and principles to be financially free. There are books with obscure titles that discuss what is really important in life. These are the real gems such as Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence by Jacob Fisker priceless!
Click Here for Book Lists on Financial Independence, Downshifting, Education, Happiness, Personal Development, Health and Life
Peace and prosperity

* Please note all books are presented by the Amazon affiliates program

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