Updated: Jan 5, 2021
It's a new year! That means many, if not most, of us have big goals and resolutions in mind to make 2021 great. But how many of you have rocked your New Year's Resolutions in the past? I have certainly struggled with this. So to kick off your 2021, here are some great books I recommend to help you build the foundations underneath your goals.
1) The Power of Habit - by Charles Duhigg
This book is about achieving success, not by aiming big, but by observing your habits. Small changes now make for big change later.
"At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work."
2) Atomic Habits - by James Clear
This book is also about the power of adjusting your habits to create success, and it acts as a great follow-up read to The Power of Habit, as it expands on the ideas Duhigg lays out. James Clear focuses on enjoying the process, instead of aiming for the goal. As a bonus, the audio book version is only about 5 hours long and is narrated by Mr. Clear himself. “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.”
3) The Talent Code - by Daniel Coyle
As artists, we are often told we are "talented," and it absolutely drives me crazy! Talent seems like it is some innate, abstract thing that some are gifted with and some are not. In this book, Daniel Coyle breaks down how "talent" is actually acquired with practice and commitment. “This is a remarkable—even inspiring—book. Daniel Coyle has woven observations from brain research, behavioral research, and real-world training into a conceptual tapestry of genuine importance. What emerges is both a testament to the remarkable potential we all have to learn and perform and an indictment of any idea that our individual capacities and limitations are fixed at birth.”—Dr. Robert Bjork, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Psychology, UCLA
4) Beyond Talent - by Angela Myles Beeching There are so many paths to success as a musician. Landing the big orchestra job or dream role in an opera are not the only ways to "make it." Additionally, in this day and age, musicians are small businesses unto themselves, and there are so many extra-musical skills required in this field. How do you focus your time and energy in the right direction? Beyond Talent, in my opinion, should be required reading for every student of music.
"Every musician looking for real career traction is facing an enemy. It’s not the competition or the culture. It’s nothing outside of you. It’s actually within you."
Bonus: Shopping Local helps our community. Here are a few of my favorite local book stores. The Irreverent Bookworm - South Minneapolis
Storied Owl Books - Highland Park, St. Paul
Moon Palace Books - Longfellow, Minneapolis
LibroFM - This option is for those who prefer audiobooks. Libro FM makes it possible for you to purchase audiobooks through your favorite local bookstores. It is a great alternative to audible, and it is the same price per subscription.
Happy Reading, and Happy New Year!