Napoleon Hill was once a poor Appalachian boy. Orphaned at thirteen and poorly educated, he joined the newspaper business. After several years as a journalist, he had the good fortune of landing an interview with business tycoon Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie could see that young Hill had grasped the secrets of business success that Carnegie had been elucidating. Carnegie commissioned Hill to interview 500 successful individuals, learn their stories, and distill guiding principles of wealth acquisition that could be shared with the general public.

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Ray Dalio built Bridgewater Associates out of his small New York City apartment in 1975. Bridgewater is now considered one of the most successful investing firms in the world, and Times and Forbes have deemed him one of the world’s wealthiest, most influential people alive. In this book, Dalio distills decades of knowledge and experience into guiding principles for getting all that we can out of life. According to Dalio, it all begins with fundamental truths that equip us to achieve our personal and professional goals.

Read on for key insights from Principles.

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In the 1991 comedy City Slickers, there’s a memorable exchange between the film’s protagonists, in which the older, sage figure tells the younger character, “Do you know what the secret of life is? One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that, and everything else don’t mean sh*t…. That’s what you’ve got to figure out.” Gary Keller (co-founder of the world’s most successful real estate company, Keller Williams Realty) teams up with his editor, Jay Papasan, to convince the world that this is the soundest advice out there, that to find and pursue that One Thing is the key to a life that is simpler, less stressful and more meaningful.

 Read on for key insights from The One Thing.

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