Breaking The Wheel

Productivity & Self-Improvement Resources

Full disclosure: this page makes use of Amazon affiliate links. If you use those links to purchase their respective products, Breaking the Wheel will make a small commission (that comes out of Amazon’s pockets, not yours). In short, purchasing these weighty tomes of knowledge helps support the blog at no cost to you. I am only putting up products that I believe in and that I think can benefit you.

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, Tim Ferriss

This book is not without its controversies and I question the ethicalness of some of Ferriss’ recommendations. But putting those reservations aside, this book has a fairly simple core premise. Being busy is not the same as being productive, and much of the busyness that we hold sacred is really just cruft preventing us from enjoying the lifestyles we actually want to live. You don’t need to agree with everything Ferris writes or recommends to get mileage out of The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s worth reading just for the entertainment value of Ferriss’ irreverent moxie.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck

Every so often, you run into a book that becomes a game changer for you as a human being. For me, Mindset is one of those books. If you’re easily flustered and deterred by failure, or you don’t pursue an ambition because there is some skill that you feel you intrinsically lack and others seem to have in spades, you (like I) may be suffering from what Dweck calls a “fixed mindset”. Her book is all about how to shift into a healthier, more progress-oriented “growth mindset”. A fixed mindset says there are things you can do and things you can’t, while a growth mindset says there are things you can do and things you can’t do yet. It’s also serves as a cautionary tale of hiring for raw talent versus aptitude for learning.

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach, Ph.D.

Pulling from her extensive knowledge of therapy, meditation, and Buddhism, Brach offers a guide to accepting and living in peace with life as it is. Fear, pain, anger, self-loathing. Brach addresses all of these universal experiences, but in a way that will make you think she wrote the book about you. Yes, the text does contain enough granola to put General Mills out of business, but don’t let that dissuade you. Get over your cynical self, and take a fraternity-party sized rip off the bong that Brach is passing around. There is wisdom in her words.

Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

A collection of letters from Seneca to his friend Lucilius, Letters from a Stoic is stoicism in taught in a topical manner. Said topics run from failure, to poverty, to death. This is worthwhile reading for anyone who feels anxious about the future and the constant unknown that is life. Like, game developers and studio founders, for instance.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Ferriss interviews world class experts in a broad array of fields, from stand up comedy to palliative care, about how they got where they are, the mistakes they made along the away, and the tricks and tools they use to stay on top. He also shares a lot of his own personal tools for productivity and self-improvement.

The Tim Ferriss Show

Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness

If you’ve ever wanted to try meditation, this is the app for you. While most of the sessions are locked behind a paywall, the app does come with a free 10-day course of 10-minute sessions called, intuitively enough, “Take 10”. It changed my life. And it doesn’t take hours of time or religious devotion to see results. I saw improvements in just the first few sessions. If you feel perpetually scatter-brained or unable to live in the present because you are too obsessed with the future (or the past), a little more headspace may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Plus, the founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe has a voice that is disturbingly soothing.

Headspace Guided Meditation App