A Few Mantras To Help You Get Sh*t Done + Reading List

Let me be clear: I don’t read much. At least I didn’t in the past. Beyond the English class novels, I just never felt the need to read for enjoyment. Not that I hated it – the opposite actually. When I start a good book I don’t put it down, but it’s that first step that’s so elusive.

Anyway, today the universe sent me a sign I couldn’t ignore. I was watching a YouTube video when an ad came on. But the ad was done so right that I watched it all the way to the end and consequently spent the next 3 hours engrossed in research.

What got me so interested wasn’t actually a What, it was a Who. A guy named Tai Lopez. The short version of his story is he was living in his parents’ mobile home, sleeping on a couch with $47 dollars in his bank account before he turned things around. I watched his Ted Talk, his YouTube channel, even reached out to him on LinkedIn. That’s how much his message got to me.

It was all about how to get the good life. Before you go and high-tail on out of here because you decided I’m a gullible self-help junkie, stop. I didn’t fall for his promises, I fell for his process. The guy shared really valuable, useful tips to self-improvement and the achievement of success that I think you should hear.

Tai’s Message: Look outwards

Albert Einstein, Ghandi, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet – they all had MENTORS, and Lopez argues that your ability to copy will determine your success. Find a mentor, he says, because they’ll show you the ropes in a way you can’t do as efficiently for yourself. Look to the people more experienced than you, learn from them, and you’ll excel.

I speak for every inch of The X Class when I say AMEN. I’m of the belief that connecting with others, especially those more experienced than you, is infinitely valuable. And I’m sure you are too, otherwise you wouldn’t love the TXC Success Interviews so much 😉 So without further ado, let’s see what else Tai had to say. [See? It’s all irrefutable, really.]

The Rule of 33%

The collective of people you surround yourself with should be comprised equally of people at the same level as you, people lower than you in rank/life journey progression, and those who are above you. Those on your level will be your friends, those below you will be the people you help to navigate the waters of life, and those above you will mentor you to achieve your potential. These groups should make you feel safe (in the case of your friends), generous and experienced (your mentees), and uncomfortable (your mentors). Logical, right?

10x Rule

Find a mentor ten times further ahead than you (if not more). In the words of Tai, “what you don’t want is a situation where the blind are leading the blind” which is what happens when people pick mentors too close to their level.

Be humble

Never be the person who is above everyone. It’s simple, really. Always be hungry to improve.


He says the media tricked us – they only show us only success. Bill gates didn’t take a single day off between ages 20 and 30, but we don’t see that.

Be a stoic

Invest in the future. Understand that consumption and luxury in the now mean investment foregone and toughen up to make the right future-minded choices. Learn to do without a few luxuries if it means achieving your goals.

Read read read

They’re a hidden treasure. Especially when some of the greatest mentors – Shakespeare, Darwin, Freud – are already dead. Bring them into your home and read – Tai reads a book a day. His trick is to go through a book at your own pace. If the thing has only one or two things that are really valuable, read just those. Skim, if you need to. Just do what you need to do to pull out the lessons.

i digress

So I was compelled to pick up a book. Tai came across as such a wise guy, and if that’s something I can emulate by just reading, then why not? It can’t be a bad idea.

Here’s what I picked up, in case you’re curious:

PERSUASION by Arlene Dickinson

This is all about the art of persuasion, told by a marketing maven (Dragon’s Den, anyone?). It’s a skill I’m interested in improving.

I take my book purchases really seriously (student budget + limited time = Dana needs to be sure she’ll love it), so here’s really why I picked it up:

1. Dragon’s Den is the bomb. I have a good sense of Arlene, her voice and her kindness and I definitely don’t mind a person like her collecting my royalties.

2. I found a book on success by Robert Herjavec, which I had high hopes for, but I sided with this one because she’s a much smoother writer. I’m sure I’ve forgone valuable life lessons by leaving Robert’s at the book store, but this one will be an easier read.

3. Marketers persuade consumers every single day. Hopefully I can learn a thing or two from Arlene.


Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.27.45 PMLetters from leaders by Henry Dormann

This one’s a gem. A wonderful man convinced presidents, Muhammed Ali, Donald Trump and SO MANY MORE of the world’s leaders to share a bit of personal advice. The letters are organized by category – optimism, success, working for someone, role models, dedication, the list goes on. Here’s why I picked it up:

1. This positivity is right up my alley. I see myself reading it on my balcony on a sunny day with an iced tea nearby and a smily on my face. Couldn’t resist this feel-gooder.

2. That’s really about it.



I’ll keep y’all updated on the lessons learned from these, because I won’t be able to just silently apply all the advice to my life. Really looking forward to these, and simultaneously nursing my poor credit card back to health. So if you happen to have unwanted Indigo gift cards lying around, you know, you can always send ’em my way.

What about you, what’s on your summer reading list? OR what have you read that really made a difference in your life?




P.S. None of the photos related to this post are mine (unless I later decide to add in photos of me reading my books).


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