Audio Books Lead to Happy and Successful Life

Time for a strategy change

I had just begun my first job after engineering graduate school. Eight years of progression, from menial part-time minimum wage jobs while studying 60 hrs/week, to doing research and studying, then ultimately winning an excellent fellowship, which was the best I could hope for from graduate research compensation. All this time of hard work, some times making progress, other times just felt like working and waiting. I put my life on hold for future success. It was the only way my family or I knew of at the time. I wasn’t doing much for myself or thinking about how to enjoy my life. I knew for a long time I wanted to be highly successful and wealthy, and the only path I saw was school then corporate job.

Selfie in my grocery store work uniform in 2009.

After receiving my first check, I realized that this ‘high paying’ job alone was not going to be enough to achieve the level of success I desired: private jet money. By that time, I realized the degrees and ensuing job were only going to get me a small fraction of the way there at best. Therefore, I started watching some success-related YouTube videos. I finally realized that I could no longer avoid actively approaching those who were more successful than I to ask what they were doing to achieve their status.

Graduate school research work, one of the best times in 4 years was winning an award for a poster that included a free trip to Cancun. There are easily 1,000+ hrs of work behind that poster.

Eyes opening

Over the previous few years I occasionally visited the family of my girlfriend at the time on the holidays. One of her family members was the most successful person I had personally known or talked to for more than a few minutes on more than one occasion. He had five happy, successful children and a loving wife who didn’t have to work. He lived in a large house filled with luxurious amenities, and had just gone from being a software engineering manager to an independent consultant with his own business.

So the next time I saw him, I said, “You seem so happy and financially successful. What’s your secret?” He told me, “Do you listen to audio books? There’s one book I really like called ‘The Richest Man in Babylon.’ All you have to do is save some of your money and then invest it. You can have it all… a happy marriage, financial success. You just have to want it, know you can have it, and make the right decisions. Try listening to that audio book and some others by Warren Buffet.”

The first audio book

Ironically, I heard some relatively successful colleagues and friends of family discussing audio books in the past, but the idea sounded “lame.” This time was different. I was in my late 20s. It was finally time to be receptive to what successful people were saying and doing. I bought the Richest Man in Babylon audio book and listened to it while traveling for work. It was a story of a young man in ancient Babylon who invested his savings, ultimately becoming the richest man in Babylon. Now I was hooked.

The passion for audio books started here: “The Richest Man In Babylon.”

A change in perspective

From that point on, I began fervently searching for audio books. The books included success classics and informational works on items I knew I needed to know to become successful. Topics included communication, entrepreneurship, positive mindset, self-control, etc. I felt blessed to be able to listen to these audio books while “meditating” on frequent flights that I had the opportunity to take thanks to my new job. My attitude about life, my thoughts were changing. Everything was getting easier. This new understanding of life gave me more control over my thoughts and actions. I was now actively controlling my behavior patterns to get more from life.

First flight for new job: 15 hr trip to Israel. Flying is like meditating because there’s no WiFi, I can’t move much, and it’s usually dark, so all I can do is relax.

Sharing the Wealth

Three years and forty audio books later, I have decided to share the wealth of knowledge I have learned. That’s why I will do this series on key takeaways from the audio books I have listened to. I hope you can enjoy this information, find some more meaning in life, and put this information to good use!

I have definitely become better at choosing calculated business risks since listening to audio books and doing skydiving to “get out of my comfort zone.”

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