This is a "Thank you" - page to the people that helped me to develop myself the most over the past years.

It should also serve as a starting point for people who want to work on themselves, but just don't know how. I've been there too and knowing that you need to do something, but not knowing what, is very taxing.

If find interest in any of the creators below, I can vouch for the quality of their content. Your time spend on their work will be worth it!

Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss - Show

Tim Ferriss is the father of my deep interest in self-development and I strongly recommend his work for everyone who is starting out on their own journey.

I read the "4-Hour Work Week" at some point in the past and stumbled across his name again in 2014 as the host one of the leading podcasts on iTunes:

The Tim Ferriss - Show

It's a long-form interview podcast with top performers from all walks of life.

One of the reasons he started the podcast was that he wanted to learn what made all these great people great.

And that's what he thoroughly works out in each of his interviews.

I started listening to his then-current episodes and worked my way back through his archives whenever I was waiting for a new episode.

This gave me a lot of practical knowledge on how people think about the world and how they solve the problems they are facing. I also never thought how much successful people actually struggle themselves. They just never let that stop them.

Certain themes were evident across experts from various domains. So I tried out most of these things, kept what worked and discarded what didn't.

It also gave me ideas for transferring concepts to my own life. I tried out those as well and - once again - kept what worked and discarded what didn't.This method of A/B-testing things in your own life is actually one of these concepts.

And I also heard from all people or books I list here from his show, directly or indirectly.

That's why he is the father of my self-development journey and I can't thank him enough for that. I paid him for 2 books of his and with a weekly addition of 1 to the immense download numbers of his podcasts. And he gave me all that in exchange...fucking great deal!

I love his latest book "Tools of Titans". It's a summary of 300 podcast interviews where Tim extracted the most valuable lessons he learned from each guest and presents them in an individual chapter. This book allows you to study the most important points from 500+ hours of podcasts in a fraction of the time. It's a must-read for everyone interested in self development and improvement.

Here are a couple more links to Tim's creations:

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers

I heard from Derek Sivers for the first time on the Tim Ferriss - Show.

It was this episode, where they talk about some of Derek's amazing life stories. It was probably the most inspiring and fun podcast I had ever listened to at that time.

That guy surely caught my interest.

Derek has a lot of qualities, but one I find particularly outstanding: he writes so beautifully concise. So why tell you a lot about him, when you can read everything that needs to be known about himself in a couple of minutes?

He also has a frequently updated now - page where you can briefly read up on what he is currently doing.

His blog posts are word-poor but idea-rich. These are 3 of my favorite examples.

If you like any of those, I'm sure you'll enjoy a lot of his other articles.

His collection of book notes is free, extensive and fantastic.

And if you're an entrepreneur or aspire to be one, definitely get his book "Anything You Want".

You read that full damn thing in 45 minutes and it will give you stuff to think about for weeks.

If there's art in the world of business books, this is it!

Scott Adams

How to Fail at Almost Everything And Still Win Big

Scott Adams is the creator of the cartoon Dilbert, author and host of "Coffee with Scott Adams", his daily podcast focused on politics from the perspective of a trained hypnotist / persuader.

I like, love and enjoy all of his content, but would like to recommend his book

"How to Fail at Everything and still Win Big"

in particular.

The overarching theme of book is that following systems is better way to live than going after goals.

Here's the reasoning in his own words:

"Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous presuccess failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do."

And he goes on:

"The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction."

His book is full of examples where he chose to follow systems instead of goals and how it worked out.

It's a powerful concept that you can use in many areas of your life to get better results while feeling better on your way of getting there.

You don't want to miss out on this. It's a life-changing way to look at yourself and the things you do.

Craig Wilkinson

Dad - Be the Father Your Children Need

For me, this is THE BOOK for every father out there.

It has an religious undertone, but not overwhelmingly so. I don't mind because the techniques I learned from this book overpower any language I don't share.

He presents 12 so-called DADverbs. And some of them are prime parenting material.

Serious game changers.

Just one example: Talking to your kids in terms of identity.

I biked up some larger-than-used-to to hills with my older son the other day. Guess who doesn't quit? The one that I asked "You're somebody who pulls through, instead of quitting if things get a little bit more difficult, aren't you?" when he conquered new boundaries in the past.

When he was little and misbehaved in a way that I couldn't let pass, I would ask him if he thinks whether a good kid or a bad kid would do such a thing. And then I would slowly steer him towards coming to the conclusion that he wants to be a good kid and good kids don't do those things. And in most cases, that was the last time that this particular behavior occured.

Talking to your kid in terms of identity is one of the great things to learn from this book.

But there's A LOT more than that! I recommend it for every father out there. Also makes for a great present!

The Minimalists

The Minimalists

I'm not sure how I first heard about The Minimalists - Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn - but I'm certainly glad I did.

For them, minimalism isn't purely about owning few things. It's about owning things that add value to one's life and discarding everything that doesn't.

I haven't become a minimalist, but I'm a lot more conscious about my purchases now. Does that thing that I want to buy really add value to my life? And what is the real cost of buying that thing apart from the price (time consumption, attention, maintenance)? I basically stopped buying things for the novelty value or status and I think that's a great change.

I also played the Minimalism Game with my wife and it was fun, challenging and led to a less cluttered household and insights on what we really need as a family.

But it doesn't stop there: apart from the owning-less-stuff - thing, the Minimalists talk a lot about other areas of life and how minimalism can be applied to those.

I find their views on life beautiful. Listening to their podcast just makes me feel good. And sometimes, I get some great ideas to implement into my own life from them.

I recommend their book

"Everything That Remains".

It's basically the story how and why they became the Minimalists and the writing is outstanding. Joshua holds online courses on writing on the regular and this book is proof, that he knows what he is talking about.

Their blog posts are also great. And their movie Minimalism - A Documentary About The Important Things is very well done.

They do fantastic work!

James Altucher

James Altucher - Show

I got into James Altucher's Podcast

- the James Altucher Show -

when is was through with all prior episodes of the Tim Ferriss - Show and looked for another podcast to listen to.

James Altucher is a very interesting man.

He's a writer, entrepreneur, investor, podcaster and - his latest thing - stand-up comedian.

I don't recommend subscribing to his email-newsletter because you'll get spammed with investment advise. But his podcast and his books are free of those and just great.

His podcast episodes are typically in the 1-hour range and James' ability to ask interesting questions is a joy to behold. Most episodes seem shorter to me than they actually are. For me, this is a good measure of time well spent. It's entertaining and educational at the same time.

James was broke, got rich, went broke again and now seems to be doing ok. He learnt a lot of things on this wild ride and I took some realy good advise from him.

Like him, I take some time each day to write down 10 ideas. I heard him talk about it regularly over a period of time and then gave it a shot. Today, June 21st 2019, I'm 883 days in. Because it's definitely a good idea to stretch your imagination a bit every day. Makes you have it when you need it. And you actually always kinda need it, if you think about it.

That's just one example. There's a lot more. If you want to start to become an "Idea Machine" yourself, there's a book. as well. It's 180 questions to find 10 ideas to. That's 6 month worth of exercise. After that, you're all set to continue with your own questions.

And I also liked Choose Yourself. Not all chapters equally, but some A LOT.

I recommend to scroll down his list of podcasts and listen to an episode with someone you already know or want to know more about.

You should be hooked as well.

Rick Hanson

Hardwiring Happiness

I got to know about Dr. Rick Hanson on this episode of the Art of Charme podcast*.


The podcast is about his book

"Hardwiring Happiness"

and it has truly changed my life!

I tended to believe that your brain is trainable, but the exercises in this book made me see and feel that this is real.

I had a problem not recognizing the good things around me and focusing on the bad things instead. Rick Hanson explains why that is a common problem and provided the cure. His book gave me the tools to make myself happier whenever I feel like I need it.

We know that books costs around 10 bucks and that some of them provide an absurd multiple in value. This was one of those books for me.

If you feel like you're too often unhappy, you might also share the happiness-blindness I suffered from before.

I believe, that this book will improve your life as well, as we're all working with the same trainable hardware.

It's definitely worth a try!

*(Disclaimer: The host, Jordan Harbinger , is not with Art of Charme anymore. The new stuff isn't good and Jordan has his own show now, which might be right up your alley)

Jordan Peterson

12 Rules For Life

Dr. Jordan Peterson is a clinical psychologist by trade and developed into a YouTube - personality with hundreds of millions of views on his channel.

He also fills venues with thousands of people in the US and abroad talking about life philosophy. It's unreal, but shows you how profound his knowledge is.

I got to know him from this interview with Joe Rogan and started to listen to podcasts he was a guest on.

I told a friend a couple of times about things I heard from him and for Christmas, my friend gave me his bestselling book "12 Rules for Live".

It's one of those books that you just wished, you could have read it earlier in life.

But even at 40 years of age, I could still take a lot from it. Especially on parenting, how your physiology shapes your psychology and who the only person you should compare yourself to is.

It's a best seller. And it's obvious why it became one.

I think everybody should just spend the few hours to read this book.

If only one thing sticks with you for a lifetime (and there's a near 100% chance at least one single thing will), it was a great investment of your time and money!

Seth Godin

Seth Godin

I don't know so much about Seth Godin, to be honest. He doesn't share much about his private life and I didn't feel like stalking the man - yet.

All I know is, that he's a leading marketing mind, as evidenced by the success of his books, his podcasts and his blog.

I like, that he's an honest marketer. Like someone, you want to run the marketing as a customer. Because he disavows deceit. Because he focuses on the long-term relationship. And because he always closes his arguments with 3 reasons, as I just did. Watch for it.

Also watch for non-straightforward ways to think about business.

If you're an entrepreneur, you probably know - and appreciate - Seth Godin already.

But if you only apire to be one, his work might give you some good ideas and momentum. And if you're in a cubicle, like me, you will find things applicable to your workplace as well.

Him and Derek Sivers are Grandmasters of conciseness. His podcasts are like 25 minutes long and a blog post can be 3 sentences and yet complete. He just creates premium content.

I haven't read any of his books yet. But I want to list them here anyways for all the marketers out there.

With Seth Godin, I trust the reviews based on all the other things he created.