Several people asked me to post a list of recommended books. Since I’m a bookaholic, that’s easy to do, but I haven’t done it in five years. Here’s my most recent “secret list” of gems.* I’d love to know which you have read, and what you would add to my list. Enjoy! – Love, Joe
The Secret List
The Most Life Altering Books of All Time
Compiled by Dr. Joe Vitale
Moonshots by Naveen Jain. Think the world is void of opportunities? Think again. Jain is mining for minerals on the moon and working to make illness optional. There are no limitations in the real world of abundance. An exhilarating manifesto.
Principles by Ray Dalio. Wisdom from the life experience of a billionaire. Not something you’ll read in one day, but something you’ll eat every day for a year. This is an operating manual for life and business. Detailed. Overwhelming. Mind boggling.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I know you’ve heard of it. But have you read it? After reading a biography of Carnegie (Self-Help Messiah), I decided to read it again. It is a masterpiece. I am in awe of Carnegie’s conversational writing style, powerful stories, and crisp message. Priceless.
The Power of Impossible Thinking by Yoram and Cook. Life changing. It helps you think about your thinking, which frees you to think differently than your standard predictable pattern. I’ve put this title on every book list I’ve ever created. Read it.
The Book of est by Luke Rhinehart. Hypnotic. Loved it so much I published it after it went out of print. It’s a fictional account of the infamous confrontational self-help seminar of the 70s. Written so well you feel you are in the room. All about self-empowerment and personal responsibility. It’ll make you squirm.
Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Incredibly terrific. Even “Fantastic!” I hyperventilated reading this autobiography by the bodybuilder, movie star, governor and more. He learned his hardcore rules for success in the gym, and applies them to everything. Exciting.
I, Mammal by Loretta Breuning. Enlightening. Read all of her books. She basically points out that you are a monkey with a reactionary monkey brain. As soon as you realize it, and with awareness and discipline, you can become less a monkey and more an awakened ape.
You Are the Placebo by Joe Dispenza. The author explains how it is possible to heal many “incurables” with thought alone, by detailing how the mind influences everything. In a way, this is a manual on how to create the placebo effect as needed. Fascinating.
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth. Fun, funny, flippant. It will spin your writing into a spell generator. (“Spell” as in “I’ll put a spell on you!”) This charming book demonstrates the elements of eloquence while explaining them.
The Magic Power of Emotional Appeal by Roy Garn. I love this book so much I buy every edition I find and have read it a dozen times. Garn reveals that we are all emotionally led by the nose, and shows how to use that fact to influence others. A gem.
The Third Door by Alex Banayan. When you want to achieve a goal, most people make a straight line to the front door. They do what everyone else does. Others join the inner circles of the influencers who might help them get what they want. But what if the front door is locked and the inner circle is barred? You look for “The Third Door.” Anything is possible, but you may have to open the third door. Terrific book.
The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill. Get the 1928 (not 1925) version of this massive work by the famous “Think and Grow Rich” author. This was his magnum opus. Everything you need to know about success is here. Devour it.
The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr. Let me tell you a story…You buy, sell and share with stories. The better the story, the better the result. This brilliant book opened my eyes to how our minds work, so we can better communicate in a way that gets the results we want. Loved it.
Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. I hate the title. But I’m sure that’s my ego objecting to it. Holiday has single handed brought Stoicism to the masses. All three of his philosophical books are brilliant, including The Obstacle Is the Way and Stillness Is the Key.
The Will to Live by Dr. Arnold A. Hutschnecke. This 1951 masterpiece reveals that your unconscious mind is running the show. You may not achieve what you want due to subconscious influences. This riveting book demonstrates how the inner mind works, and helps guide you to clearing the hidden blocks to freedom.
The Robert Collier Letter Book by Robert Collier. Hands down the single most powerful book on copywriting. The metaphysical author was a legendary copywriter. His samples may seem dated but I’ve modeled many of my most successful letters on his work. Pure gold.
The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts. This is the “channeled” book that started it all. It’s big and detailed and was the first to introduce me to beliefs and how they create reality. The ghostly “Seth” may or may not be the source, but the wisdom is practical and head spinning.
Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. I stopped worrying about being rejected after reading this book. Great stories. Great fun.
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles. Old (1910) but relevant. It inspired the movie ‘The Secret’ but it’s more practical than woo-woo. Read it with focus to understand it.
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga. A runaway bestseller in Asia. About understanding that you are a meaning creating machine. Change the meaning, change your life. Be ready to be fully you.
Sanity, Insanity, and Common Sense, a 1987 book by Rick Suarez, Roger Mills and Darlene Stewart. A few gems from the book reveal its depth: “The fact is that in separate realities, everyone is right and everyone is telling the truth as they see it.” “Stress is a byproduct of thinking; it is not inherent in situations or circumstances.” “A reality is an apparency. It is how something appears to be.”
Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter. Yes, I saw the movie too, but did you read the book? This 1913 classic is delightfully written with all the energy of an action movie, and at the same time brilliantly conveys one of the simplest and most profound self-help methods of all time. Read it and learn how to play The Glad Game, too. Entertaining, profound and not just for kids.
The Power of Neuroplasticity by Shad Helmstetter. Conversational guide on how to scientifically use your brain to achieve goals. Based on solid research. Genius.
The Practical Visionary by Corinne McLaughlin. Offers overwhelming proof that every social problem you can name is being addressed. While the mainstream media rarely nods in the direction of the good deeds people are doing, seeing all this evidence for the positive is wonderful. Shows you how to be a practical visionary, too. Inspiring. Refreshing.
The Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele. A spiritual masterpiece. Explores how to use the ten ethical guidelines of yoga practice to have a meaningful life. Beautifully written with examples that bring the tenets to life.
Stratagems by Frontinus. Written in the first century AD by a General from ancient Rome, this fascinating collection of true stories reveals creative military strategies from Greek and Roman history. Very readable, surprising and entertaining.
Personality Isn’t Permanent by Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D. Empowering. Liberating. The idea of making choices now that my “Future Self” will thank me for later is enough to recommend this great book, but there’s far more juice in it, all about breaking free of mental limits. Read it.
There’s A Customer Born Every Minute by Joe Vitale. Forgive the self-promotion but many business people (like Dan Kennedy and Mark Joyner) worship this book about the ten proven methods of the titans of modern history, especially the outrageous P.T. Barnum.
*Note: My last list of recommended books (posted 2015) is here: https://www.mrfire.com/law-of-attraction/best-books-ever/
My 2014 list of recommended books is here: https://www.mrfire.com/law-of-attraction/best-books-2014/
My 2013 list of recommended books is here: https://www.mrfire.com/law-of-attraction/best-books-of-2013/
Dr Joe Vitale is the bestselling author of way too many books to list here.
Note: Dan is still with us. See my update https://www.mrfire.com/marketing/dan-kennedy-update/
As I write this, marketing legend Dan Kennedy is in hospice. He has days to live. He may in fact be gone by the time I post this.
I am shaken. Dan has influenced me more than any other living marketer.
I have read his books, listened to his talks, devoured his newsletters, bought his courses, and more.
He has always been supportive of me.
He loved my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.He plugged it numerous times on stage, in his newsletters, and more.
He had me write about how I turned my Rolls Royce Phantom into a highly paid mastermind on wheels. He published it on the front page of his newsletter.
He interviewed me once with Jay Conrad Levinson and Jay Abraham, a humbling and joyous experience to be included with such icons.
He asked me to write the foreword to his book, No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent. I was so honored, I wrote and rewrote it until it was a masterpiece. He loved it. I was proud.
Years ago I interviewed him for my Hypnotic Gold series. It was on wealth attraction. It was one of the highlights of my career. You can listen to it here https://hypnotic-marketing-delivery.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/interviews/Dan+Kennedy.mp4
We talked about writing a book together. We kicked around ideas about events, joint ventures, hanging out, and more.
While he taught me copywriting and direct response marketing, and always reminded me to keep my eye on the bottom line, I find writing about him as he lay dying the most difficult writing of my life.
I don’t know how to process this let alone write about it.
Dan, I am forever grateful to you.
Godspeed on your next journey.
PS – Read about Dan’s current state at https://dankennedytribute.com
Note: You can listen to my Hypnotic Gold interview with Dan Kennedy on wealth attraction here https://hypnotic-marketing-delivery.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/interviews/Dan+Kennedy.mp4
Because I wrote a popular business book on P.T. Barnum, called There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, numerous people have been telling me about the new movie titled The Greatest Showman.
The movie is a musical loosely based on the life of “The Greatest Showman” – P.T. Barnum.
I say “loosely” because the movie isn’t concerned about the facts; it focuses on the spirit of Barnum.
After all, the real “The Greatest Showman” didn’t dance, or sing, or run, or look or sound like the actor playing him, Hugh Jackman.
But Barnum would have loved the movie.
And I loved it, too.
“The Greatest Showman” is a big scale, old school Hollywood production, with a large cast, huge sets, big music numbers and fast dance routines, and more.
It is hugely entertaining.
It is fun for the whole family.
I found “The Greatest Showman” inspiring, uplifting, nurturing and contagiously happy.
Actor Hugh Jackman does a wonderful job of making Barnum understood and liked within the context of the times “The Greatest Showman” lived.
Barnum did in fact promote the unusual, and he was indeed a man behind “humbugs” and “hoodwinks.”
He lived in the 1800s, and his promotions were new, unusual, entertaining, educational, and highly curious.
He never said “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
People loved his shows.
He was the Disney of the 1800s.
But he didn’t have a fling with Jenny Lind, and he didn’t open a circus tent right after his museum burned down, and he didn’t retire to watch his children grow.
In reality the real “The Greatest Showman” wrote his autobiography, went into politics, lectured on the speaking circuit, made partners (like General Tom Thumb) rich and famous, and promoted even bigger events and shows, including the circus, right up to his death in 1891.
Still I loved this movie.
As long as you turn off any fact checking in your mind, you can sit back and enjoy one of the most entertaining movies of 2017 and early 2018.
And if you do care about the facts behind “The Greatest Showman,” then go get my book: There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
PS – The Greatest Showman – the real one, not the Hugh Jackman movie version – used 10 “Rings of Power” to make himself and his businesses so famous that we still make movies about him 100 years after his death. Get the real story in There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
“If you’re going to excel in business, learning about a showman like Barnum and applying some of the lessons he taught can give you valuable insights. Joe Vitale has captured ten of these lessons (he calls them ‘rings of power’) and shows how you can apply them in a way that will open your eyes and stretch your imagination. There’s a lot of money-making and fun wisdom here.”
— Joseph Sugarman, Chairman, BluBlocker Corporation
I’ve been writing about hypnotic stories since the 1990s.
My first e-book, Hypnotic Writing, described them.
I created Hypnotic Writing out of two passions of mine in the 1980s and 1990s: literature and copywriting.
Jack London, Mark Twain, William Saroyan and other great story telling authors fascinated me.
But so did great copywriters like Robert Collier, Bruce Barton, and John Caples.
After speculating on how each wrote their stories, I developed Hypnotic Writing as a way to explain it and teach it.
In short, I combined both styles of writing to create a third style.
I’ve written about this in many of my other early marketing books, including Buying Trances.
Of course, my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, is packed with hypnotic stories.
But I just discovered even more proof that hypnotic stories increase sales, influence, and more.
Let me explain:
I came across a project called Significant Objects.
The idea behind Significant Objects was to create a scientific study to see whether creative stories about mediocre objects could persuade people to buy near worthless stuff.
In other words, the authors would take a simple object that you might find at a garage sale for one dollar.
Then they would write a fictional story about it.
And then they would list the item, with the story, on eBay.
Surprisingly (or not), the item sold for many times its original price.
They did this for 100 objects.
The results were astonishing.
Objects that originally sold for around one dollar, were each placed on eBay with an accompanying made-up story.
The story triggered sales.
Those meaningless objects, now given meaning, sold for thousands of dollars in total.
For example, a Missouri shot glass, which looked like trash to me and originally sold for $1, had a fictional story written about it.
The story and photo were put on eBay.
That shot glass then sold for $76.
That’s a $75 profit from a hypnotic story.
That’s the power of a story.
The point being, the stories did the selling.
Of course, I’m not at all advising you to write fictional stories about your product or service.
But you have stories.
They are from you (how you began your business or why) or from your customers (testimonials from satisfied people).
It’s those hypnotic stories that can increase your sales and influence.
In my book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, I advised revealing “the business nobody knows.”
In other words, tell the story behind you, your product, your service, and/or employee.
Your hypnotic stories will bring your business to life.
There’s a site you can visit http://significantobjects.com/ that fully describes the Significant Objects study, and their stories. It’s worth a look.
Their site opens saying, “Significant Objects, a literary and anthropological experiment devised by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn, demonstrated that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively.”
Meanwhile, what’s your hypnotic story?
PS – My newest book is out this week: Dr. Joe Vitale’s “Greatest Law of Attraction Quotes.” You can find the printed and Kindle versions at Amazon. Open the book anywhere and see what “hypnotic story” begins for you. 🙂
I spent two months trying to figure out my career – my rise from nothing to something – so I could explain it in some comprehensible way to the Austin, Texas writers group of the National Speakers Association.
I knew no one would care about my story unless I gave them something to care about.
I knew that the Law of Attraction alone wasn’t enough for most people.
Telling my birth, struggle years, first tiny successes and list of failures, shooting star moments and such, could be lengthy.
It might fit in an autobiography, but not in a short talk.
So I decided to answer the question, “Can people change?”
To begin, let’s look at the me of 1974.
Brace yourself –
I was broke, alone, unhappy, angry, and driven to be an author.
But my drive was more obsession than passion.
I modeled my life after self-destructive authors like Ernest Hemingway (who many said I resembled at the time) and Jack London.
And as a result of the unconscious belief that I needed to struggle, I went through homelessness and poverty and many “dark nights of the soul.”
I didn’t know that the Law of Attraction was in effect, matching my reality to my subconscious beliefs.
But, today, I am happy, successful, healthy, in a long term relationship, with fans around the world.
Look at me now –
This is what I wanted to explain to the Austin special interest writers group of NSA members.
With that in mind, I created “The APS Formula.”
“The APS Formula” is a 3-step strategy for going from nothing to something – like I did.
I delivered the formula at the private event for 12 people.
I stayed away from Law of Attraction and just focused on visible, practical, doable steps.
Afterwards, the group leader told me, “Out of a scale of 1-10, your presentation was a 17.”
I know you weren’t at the event. So I’m revealing the formula here for the time first ever in print.
Here it is:
The A stands for author/authority.
If you aren’t an authority, few will listen to you with any respect.
The best way to be an authority is to be an author-ity; write a book.
My 1984 book Zen and the Art of Writing proved I could write. Later books, such as Turbocharge Your Writing and Cyber Writing and Hypnotic Writing, all did the same thing.
My first clients all hired me for writing, including a businessman who paid me the largest fee of my life to write his book.
My first talks and classes were all on writing and publishing.
When the Internet came along, I wrote articles about copywriting, sales letters, marketing; and they were posted online. This made me one of the first cyber promoters and cyber copywriters.
Some people today still know me as a copywriter from this early period.
Today I’ve recreated myself as a musician. I wrote a little book, Healing Music, to establish my authority as a singer-songwriter.
And because of my self-help books, such as The Attractor Factor and The Key, I’m now considered a self-help, self-improvement, and spiritual teacher.
Again, you want to be an authority and being an author can do that for you.
The P stands for promote/product/passion.
I learned if I didn’t promote my own work, it died.
I also learned I had to create more product, which I did with Hypnotic Writing, Project Phineas, and others.
I also followed my passion, as when I wrote The Seven Lost Secrets of Success. I was on a mission. The book made people know me, like me, and want to do business with me. One company bought 19,000 copies of the book. (!)
Project Phineas was my home study course, recorded in my bedroom with pillows under the door. I recorded it with my passion for “Phineas,” P.T. Barnum’s first name. It eventually became my first Nightingale-Conant product, The Power of Outrageous Marketing.
It was my passion for metaphysics that led to Spiritual Marketing, which later became The Attractor Factor, which led to an invite for me to appear in the hit movie The Secret, which led to redirecting history for me.
Same with Zero Limits (and later, AT Zero) and my passion for ho’oponopono.
Same with P.T. Barnum and my book, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
These were all products that I was passionate about and heavily promoted.
I went on the cover of Austin All Natural magazine to promote myself as a musician, shortening a one-year program into three months to get it done and seize the publicity.
Again, you need to promote your book, create more product, and follow your passions.
The S stands for speaker/salesperson.
I found that I could reach people and sell people if I got on stage.
At first it was just breakfast groups. But those led to other groups. And adult education classes through Leisure Learning in Houston. I had six people in my first class and was so terrified I nearly passed out. But word got out that I was worth hearing.
And, over time, I got better.
I developed products to sell in the back of room at my talks, like Hypnotic Writing.
I’ve been a keynote speaker at the national NSA meeting.
I’ve spoken to 20,000 people live in Peru.
But I started with six people.
And I turned my success at speaking into a product too with Hypnotic Speaking.
The APS Formula is a greatly simplified explanation of my successes.
When I think about it even deeper, I intentionally and usually un-intentionally used all 10 of the steps I reveal in my book on P.T. Barnum.
Anyone wanting massive success should read, study and apply the steps in There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
Finally, I also think “The Great Something” was behind my rise from nothing to something.
I wrote a song about it, with a little inspiration from Melissa Etheridge, and it is on my new album, The Great Something.
If I can go from homeless nobody to famous somebody, you, too, can achieve your dreams.
Yes, people can change.
At least start here, with The APS Formula.
PS – It’s always wise to get help. Check out my Miracles Coaching program.