Nine motivational books for the after-Covid-19 period that you can't miss

Content:Donald Nguyen | Photos:TheFace Team | 2020-08-09

Nine motivational books for the after-Covid-19 period that you can't miss
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Are you confident that you will have an income of 3,000 USD per month before the age of 30? According to the marketing and business training professional Dung Nguyen, reading not only helps you understand your self-value (for the office environment, 3000 dollars is a high milestone, and not so many people can do it) but also leads you to a context and a purpose with more instinctive feelings. This is necessary towards uncertain changes and big events in the upcoming time, after-Covid-19 period.

With 12 years of experience in the business, marketing and training industries, professional Dung Nguyen comes to an optimal format for young people to set the direction, determine, use the method to revive, change and achieve their success in any circumstance. Those pieces of advice are in nine recommended books that he has evaluated as a staff trainer with the action steps and influencers' stories of success.

"This list includes Vietnamese and translated books (there are some I recommend you to read the English edition) and some that do not have translated editions. The purpose of reading is to create a diverse approach; this list can apply to everyone, no matter their tastes." The expert suggested in the following order:

Learning to prepare, concentrate, and enjoy every moment.

1. "Mot doi nhu ke tim duong"

The book of professor Phan Van Truong is a small handbook about preparing for the journey of success. Still, the content is nothing like what to do in the 20s, what to do in 30s, what to do when becoming a leader for the first, etc. but in this book, he humbly redefines the meaning of success, audits and eliminates all nonsense and old-fashioned opinions about success. He jumps to the conclusion in the book that: the fate of everyone already possesses many preset crossroads.

My favorite chapter is the near-end chapter named "Kinh chieu hau". In that chapter, the author describes back in time the feelings in the age of 70 (at the moment), then back to the 60s, 50s to the year he was 20. Having been thought of his life all over again, he still found out his specific "stupid mistakes" of all the decades he lived and those did not happen only on the years of his 20s and 30s. But then time will help us realise what is actually essential and let us gain invaluable experiences in life.

The book is a perfect combination between the scientific and self-motivating attitude of the Western liberal arts education, with the vision of a wise man having a bit Eastern Taoism manner. The author's writing tone is so tender, humble and genuine that 400 pages are slightly passed just like an afternoon tea.

Googling for the background of Mr Truong, you will agree with me that he is one of the people standardising the success competence of Vietnamese in the global game (according to his achievements on a global scale.)

Equipping skills to adapt and making a breakthrough towards uncertain changes.

2. "21 lessons for 21st century"

The book from Yuval Noah Harari provides us with a situation of things happening and about to happen soon. Still with the attitude of "happiness internalisation", I think every one of us must know what is happening, the causes as well as the consequences of it, and most importantly: what we need to do to acclimate and change the situation to create a brighter future.

If "globalisation game" in the eyes of Phan Van Truong in his book is a significant and exciting competition (with the variety of business and culture all around the world), via Yuval's writing, it is, by default, a location that we need to understand and operate inside and have no chance to narrow it down. Many topics about 21st century (global warming, technology arms races,…) can only be turned and addressed by globalisation, not by the rivalry between countries or ethnic conflicts.

A concept that Yuval mentioned that I think it is relatable for young people who are and about to joining the labour force is "unemployable generations". They could be the young people who do not acquire enough information, vision and invest too much time into the skills that could be replaced and done better by machines. Or they could be the people at the end of their working-age (around 50s, 60s) who are stuck into the old-fashioned jobs that are no longer producing enough surplus to pay for an employee. Those people, or can be retrained with a lot of resources or worse, cannot be retrained (because their companies, countries are not able to provide the training or they just cannot acquire new skills). "It is not easy for a developing country to retrain millions of labours in the textile industry to become the knowledge workers for the artificial intelligence era," Yuval shares.

A late great man used to say: "the best way to help the victims is not to become one of them", thus, Yuval's advice is to equip yourself those two factors: proactive lifelong learning capacity and emotional resilience. He also emphasises, the latter element about emotions sometimes is even more important than the former because the process of self-reinventing with the amount of time becoming shorter and shorter (it could be from every ten or five years to every several months) can be really tiring and exhausting. In Vietnam and other Asian countries, we can quickly feel this fact via the hardness of college students studying different majors from their working fields. In the new century of technology, all of us will have to "study different majors" (to learn something completely different from what you have learned for the current jobs) and must not stop making an effort.

It is wasting if Yuval's works are only focused on the information and the details. His mindset and his interpretation are also another phenomenal factors that we should recognise and learn from. If you can spend some time watching his speech (on Ted Talks or Youtube), I am sure that you will agree with me.


Speaking of the "self-study" topic, I think I am quite lucky since this is like a unique ability of our Vietnamese people with many authors and books. My following suggested list is about "self-study" topic with different content from four authors. Two of them belong to the past (passed away), and two others are not too aged. Four titles (in chronological order) are:

3- Toi tu hoc - by Thu Giang, Nguyen Duy Can, first edition in 1961

4- Goc nhin Alan danh tang doanh nhan Viet trong the tran toan cau - by Alan Phan, first edition in 2015

5- Cam nang tu hoc IELTS - by Kien Tran, (2016-2017)

6- Thiet ke cuoc doi thinh vuong - by Thai Pham, (2020)

Four people, four vast sources of information, with four practical fields for the young from right now (English, business) to long term period (self-development, lifestyle). We read to understand and know the pattern of self-studying: there is, of course, the methods but individuals need to find their own ways, from little actions to get big lessons and see some big success/failure causing by the little problem. Yet, most importantly, self-study needs to be perceived as a priority, a mission for oneself, and a happy time that we can feel and proactively do it every day even without standard orders, without fancy degrees, but nothing can compare to self-study in terms of pride and impact.

We usually heard about the concept of a startup nation to which I think many countries follow the example of Israel to attempt. But for me, our country and population can just be "the nation of learning and self-studying", soon one day, we will not only become a startups country but also have such significant accomplishments.

Practising self-discipline, physical ability and resilience.

7. "What I talk about when I talk about running"

The book by Murakami is a bit "strange" title from a familiar author. This is the book based on real-life stories of him. It was first published in 2007 before the running trend has become popular in Vietnam (from 2016 until now). In the book, Murakami talks about the impact of running (a physical activity) on his personal and work life. (If you like to read about realisation about running, you can read Shoe Dog too, an autobiographical story of Phil Knight, the founder of Nike).

Murakami describes running that is not so fancy, sometimes even hostile to him. But he feels grateful for it because of the pain when running and benefits it brought him. Self-discipline, physical health and resilience are the foundation of any success. I like this book because it was written from the viewpoint of a senior (it was published when Murakami was 58) telling his experience to keep going when the miracles of youth were no longer there with him.

I am impressed the most with the quote: "If you're young and talented, it's like you have wings." But when you are no longer young, the best thing that every one of us can do is running. Running for your living value when you are not young anymore, requires a lot of efforts.

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."

Investing in finances education for yourself

8. "Rich dad, poor dad" from Robert Kiyosaki.

Kiyosaki wrote: "In life, money is as common and necessary as air. But it is different in one aspect; we were not born with the ability to utilise money instinctively. Money and money-related issues are factors that we need to learn". He called that Financial IQ and emphasised that most educational systems in the world are not applying this perspective well in daily life.

Honestly, I have no idea how lucky I was when I had the chance to read this book quite early until one of my friends (who was born in 1997, major in business and really good at doing business) aggressively posted on Facebook that why he did not know this book sooner. He said that there are many concepts, ways of thinking and approaching that if he had known it sooner, he would have learned, worked and lived so differently. Thus, I have to note right away that I must not forget this book in my suggestions.

Like football games (or any game), there are concepts and rules that we have to know in the financial world. I like the way that Kiyosaki describes and explains intuitively basic concepts such as asset (things that make more money when you own) and liability (things that lose your money when you own), "three types of income" (active, investment, passive), "four kinds of jobs" (employee, self-employed, business owner, investor), etc. If you are in a country that has good welfares (as well as a high rate of progressive tax) like Western Europe, Canada, Australia then you don't have to consider this topic too much. But in Vietnam, a country belonging to the frontier market where threatens and opportunities always go together, an investment for financial self-education is necessary, in my opinion.

Thinking different

9. Predatory Thinking

Predatory Thinking from Dave Trott is a book that has a strange writing style (of Dave Trott). Dave Trott is a "freak" in the creative and advertising fields in England which is the cradle of contemporary advertisement. The book emphasises the attitude of "self-learn, self-experience and self-evaluate" but it also reminds us of something that is usually forgotten: Think different, since, in life, most people approach problems in similar logical ways (and successors keep going with the same ways, this fault is called "think in the box"). That also explains the title of the book "Predatory Thinking".

Think different, work differently and also express differently. In the world where more and more logical thinking mindsets, there are always positions for such rare, interesting people. I myself think that both English and Vietnamese editions are alluring in their own ways, if you can, you should read both.

#BookRecommended from marketing and training professional Dung Nguyen this episode helps you to evaluate who and where you are in the era of significant events and uncertain changes.

To conclude, how can we recognise people who brace and orient themselves well in the after-Covid19 world (and have a high chance of earning 3000 dollars per month before 30) after reading the suggestion booklist? We can summarise in 3 points:

- Understanding themselves and the times they are living

- Believing in self-study, self-development, having skills and motivation to do it.

- Understanding what is essential, "the rules" for each industry, knowing who to ask when in need for help and how to connect and attain that support.


Chuyên gia vận hành & đầu tư giáo dục: Xuất thân trong một gia đình có 3 thế hệ làm giáo dục, anh Donald Nguyễn đã gắn bó với ngành gần 12 năm - qua nhiều phân khúc (đào tạo chuyên môn, đại học, phổ thông...) và nhiều vị trí (chuyên môn, vận hành thương mại). Hiện anh đang giữ vị trí quản lý khu vực Đông Nam Á cho Oksidia, công ty công nghệ và vận hành giáo dục đến từ Phần Lan. Anh còn là một giảng viên và dịch giả với hơn 1.000 giờ đứng lớp và 60.000 ấn bản sách đã phát hành.

"Tôi quan sát và chiêm nghiệm được, là cách mỗi người ứng xử với sách & tri thức (tìm kiếm, lựa chọn, thưởng thức, ứng dụng và chia sẻ) sẽ rất giống cách người đó ứng xử với cuộc đời."

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