Before recommending books, it is important to make them "relevant" and useful, methinks.  To help pick those, I ask: What are the key building blocks to having a great life? 

Whatever educational courses one takes and books one studies should be sufficient to absolutely master these!  To the extent, the education is "scattered" one does not achieve but a fraction of what can be achieved otherwise; concentrating in one area to master it is a magnificently productive strategy.   Look up on Amazon what I've listed and decide if each book would be good for you.


Emotional Intelligence - A requisite skill for personal and relationship purpose.
    Achieving "No Fear" - Of loss, of future hardship; no suffering
        Never self-criticism
   Knowing how the mind works, that it is strictly a machine,
        Knowing that you are not the stuff you gathered, knowing who the YOU actually is.
              No need to spend energy on protecting "ego"
    Self-management without urges ruling (at all!):  habits, willpower, self-control
Keeping self in balance and a high state of resourcefulness, homeostasis
   Peace and self-security
   Keeping self "filled-up" as the priority in life 
Keeping self in personal power
   Certainty and completeness in personal life philosophy
Absolute health (and clear criteria, with check-ins scheduled)
Effective time management and life planning
    80/20 principle life management, based on priorities 
        Running life based on values
    No efforts to control where there is a low or no payoff. 



It was a pleasure meeting you today at Barnes and Noble. I can tell that I have a lot to learn from you.

A little bit about me. I am in the   and just moved to the area for work and should be here for another __ years if I stay in the military. I was a Psychology and Philosophy double major 

I describe the military as: I really like the           (due to the travel, financial stability, serving others) but love being an Officer (leading people, taking care of the good ones, crushing or reforming the bad ones, and helping
everyone be better).

If I get out of the military, it will because I want to pursue my passion for counseling. Whenever I end up getting out of the military, I plan on getting my Doctorate in Psychology, Masters of Divinity (I am a non-denominational Christian, but still love learning and thinking about my faith and others), and maybe one
day, a law degree just for fun. I am single with no girlfriend at the present time. I am also passionate about photography, speaking spanish, soccer, and deep conversations. Anyway....lots of random
facts about me.

I am interested in reading books about leadership, books that have changed the way that you see life or changed your paradigm, books on financial investing, psychology, philosophy, religion, biographies,
family or relationships, and so much more. I pretty much read anything except horror (because there are enough scary things in real life) and romance novels (never really delved into this genre). I would greatly
appreciate any book recommendations or authors that you recommend.


Sounds like a good life and life direction!

I will be finishing up a few things on my list and then I'll put together a reading list that will have some value for you.

Of course, as you know from your leadership training, a well-done master plan is essential to creating the life you want (and knowing what that life is that is wanted) - ultimately the overall plan is of course translated into specifics - steps, rules, policies, systems to use (e.g. time mgmt system), resources to use (mentors, etc.)  Having one of these at 28 would be incredibly empowering, although, of course, you already standing strong - perhaps much of the benefit will ultimately be to those whose lives you touch. 

If you choose to set one up, I'd love to see it, and, with your permission, perhaps to include an anonymous version on the site. 

I haven't pulled together all of the planning systems I want to end up with (and I've not found a complete system anywhere), though I've set up a fair amount:   Planning Contents/Links   and Planning Forms Directory Links.

Anyway, for now I'd encourage you to buy Success Principles, Jack Canfield; First Things First, Covey;  Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy.  And then look at the sites for John Maxwell and Brian Tracy to see which of their books are of interest to you (it would be good to know which you select). 

I assume you've been to seminars and workshops, so it would be useful to see which ones you attended and which ones you thought were more useful.  Meanwhile, I'll assume that your education in psychology and philosophy is largely academic, where there are missing pieces in terms of practical implementation (?). 

Inspiring, lessons:

Life Without Limits (and without arms and legs) - Nick Vujicic
Classics (easy to find - but caution as they might not really have direct relevance, though generally positive.

A Road Less Traveled
As A Man Thinketh 

Examples Of Real Good And Bad Management

Turnaround, Mitt Romney - The actual strategies in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics from almost failiing to hure sucess
Confidence Men, Ron Suskind - Behind the scenes, especially about effects of poor management.  A running commentary based on 700 interviews on the financial collapse, Washington, and the "education of a President".
Google:  Best business books.  Be sure to read Collins
Admirability In Action

Winners Never Cheat, Jon Huntsmen, Sr. (father of the Presidential candidate) - A man to emulate.
The Success Principles, Jack Canfield
The 21 Irrefutable Lawas Of Leadership, John Maxwell
The Complete 101 Collection, John Maxwell
Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy - Simple but vital!
First Things First, Stephen Covey (after reading his 7 Habits book)
Living the 80/20 Way - Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed - Richard Koch (&/or his 80/20 Principle)
Awaken The Giant Within, Anthony Robbins

Making It All Work, David Allen - Note the anxiety reduction in this time management book.

Happiness, Matthieu Ricard (aka The Happiest Man In The World) 
To Love Is To Be Happy With, Barry Neill Kaufman - Though it appears to be about relationships, it is actually profoundly about happiness, and better than his best selling Happiness Is A Choice. 
The Buddha's Way Of Happiness, Thomas Bien - A great and understandable explanation of how we make ourselves unhappy - and how correcting that is a portal to happiness.  And then it adds in ways to be happy.  Magnificent and clear! 
The Gratitude Effect, DeMartini - One of the sages
Rational Guide To Living, Albert Ellis 
The Power Of Full Engagement - Loehr 
Search Inside Yourself (Google) - Google's Jolly Good Fellow (Chade-Meng Tan, practical wisdom and practices from Goleman, Kabatt-Zinn

You, The Owner's Manual Oz - Just follow this.
Fairly Sophisticated And Interesting

New Earth, Eckhart Tolle - His best book, I think.  See the free video discussions on oprah.com.
Thinking, Fast And Slow, Daniel Kahnemann, psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics.  How the brain, etc., can trick you...
The Believing Brain, Michael Shermer - What we can get caught up in, foolishly and harmingly.
The Social Animal, David Brooks - Highly respected political journalist, very intelligent and logical, good brain science, about what evolutionarily drives us...
The experts

Brian Tracy
John Maxwell
Tony Robbins
Jack Canfied
Robin Sharma
Robert Ringer

Resources To Use:

Philosopher's Notes 
Search internet:  Life Lessons
The Great Courses (buy when "on sale")

See the links to the books lists at The Best Books Lists - Read The Best Of The Best First! 

More books in each category can be linked into by specifying the subject area and "books".  
Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman - Also read two other books on emotional intelligence.
Building Self-Esteem, L. S. Barksdale - PDF copy, excerpts from: beginning at Procedure For - Straight-thinking, no self-criticism, a vital thing to know and master.
User's Guide To The Human Mind, Shawn T. Smith - Clear, instructive, even to a person who has read over 20 books on the brain.
The Power Of Habit,
Willpower, Baumeister & Tierney
The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal  
Million Dollar Habits, Brian Tracy
The Power Of Positive Living, Peale

Destructive Emotions, Goleman, Dalai Lama, et.al.
Financial (do not buy into the glamorous promise of cleverness, spend no time trying to beat the system)
Making The Most For Your Money, Jane Bryant Quinn - About all financial matters.
The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever 
The Simple, Stress-Free Way To Reach Your Investment Goals - Daniel R. Solin - Don't get sucked into foolish fantasy and wasted efforts!!!! Invest your time into higher payoff areas of your life!(If you're not convinced then read Zweig, Your Money and Your Brain: How The New Science Of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich
Relationship Books - Read all the prioritized ones.