2021 Summer Reads - Some Fun in the Sun!

books growth Jun 24, 2021

The kick-off book for our summer reads is "Greenlights" by the illustrious Matthew McConaughey.  Yes. You guessed right, the famous Action, Adventure, RomCom actor from the big screen. He shares the art of "catching greenlights". 

What's a greenlight?

It's a metaphor that indicates "permission to go."  There are greenlights all around us, but we're often blind to see them. When we don't see them -- we hold back, and fail to be who we are meant to be.

Reflecting from his own incredible journey, McConaughey offers us a fresh and fun perspective on seeing greenlights and creating them.  It's suited for any entrepreneur, adventurer, or dreamer -- or just a person who just wants to be entertained.  (I recommend the audible book for full entertainment value).

The second book we have queued up is "W1NNING: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness" by Tim Grover.  This is a gem of a book. Grover was the personal coach for Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, and hundreds of athletes and business professionals.  He knows what it takes to elevate one's game.  But it's not about sports. It's about mindset, and understanding what it really means to be consistently great.  

Finally, our third book to close out the summer is "Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most"  by Greg Mckeown, who is a best selling author. This is a book that zeroes in on helping you make "the most essential activities the easiest ones" so that you get the results you want without feeling burned out.  It's the perfect book to wrap up the summer. 

Initial Thoughts and Takeaways

Here's a little bit more on each of these books and authors to help you gain a better picture.

"Greenlights" is a great fit to follow "The Hero Code" by Admiral McRaven, which was our last book to close the Spring. Incidentally, McRaven and McConaughey happen to be both alums from the University of Texas; 1977 and 1993 respectfully.  The fact that these books are back to back may not be a coincidence. :-)

A few months prior we read another phenomenal book called "Soundtracks" by Jon Acuff, which continues to resonate.  That resource helps make books like "The Hero Code" and now "Greenlights" even more practical exposing some key soundtracks that you can apply to your life. 

Here are just a few soundtracks from Greenlights that caught my attention, which you are welcome to add to your personal playlist:

  • One in a row. Any success takes one in a row.
  • Yesterday’s red light [eventually] leads to a green light.
  • I am ready to graduate and take “I would if I could” to “I can and I am.”
  • I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.

W1nning is really a great book too; perfect for summer listening. I've already had a chance to dive into it thanks to a recommendation from my friend and coach Mike Harbour. We learn that "The race never ends and you shouldn't want it to."  We learn that "Winning", as one Amazon reviewer shares, "gives voice to the spirit of greatness itself." We learn a little bit more of what it takes excel.  I have to say, it is clearly a book that will give you insight with a realistic perspective.  Like Greenlights, it's also fun -- perfect for summer.   

Effortless, our third book, is going to create an impact for a lot of people.  I have done a quick skim of the book and can already see some powerful principles. I am often reminded of Teddy Roosevelt's famous quote.

There is no effort with error and shortcoming. -  Theodore Roosevelt

Yet - Mckeown reminds us that there is a right way to do things.  And that's what effort is about.  It's not always the hard way, it's the doing the right things the right way.  That there's a way to turn tedious tasks into enjoyable rituals. There's a way to prevent frustration by solving problems before they arise.  And there's a way to set a sustainable pace instead of powering through.  Mckeown walks us through three phases:

  • Effortless State, which is about focus
  • Effortless Action, which is about productivity
  • Effortless Results, which is about impact

Effortless may be the ideal book to end the summer and tackle burn out (before it happens).

Warning; Parental Guidance suggested for any of the books we choose. We try to be mindful of young ears and eyes, but please know our first two books, Greenlights and W1nning, do have a few choice words.  That said, if you choose to look beyond the language, you'll find some great insights that will encourage you and empower you both personally and professionally.  They will serve you well.  Better yet, both these books are a lot of fun, and will help make your summer even more enjoyable! 

Praise for these Books / Authors

“McConaughey’s own story is arguably more interesting than any character he has embodied on the silver screen over the decades.”—USA Today

“Tim Grover was by my side for fifteen years, and knows more than anyone about building winners. This book is essential for those who want to be the best at whatever they do...and are willing to pay the price to get there.” —Michael Jordan

“In a world beset by burnout, Greg McKeown’s work is essential.”—Daniel H. Pink,  

Let me know what you think of these books. I'd love to hear from you.

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