Or so my boss said, in response to the news that I would be leaving the business to start a new role at Three UK (in Maidenhead, Berkshire – of all places).
At the time, I fully agreed with him.
That commute, after all, was not for the faint at heart. Least not for someone like me who had a habit of moving house just to be closer to work.
FUN FACT: In the four years I have lived in London, I have moved a total of seven times. Three of these moves happened so I could walk to work. I was the anti-commuter…
At the time, I was living in Fulham and working in Chelsea (both west London, for those who don’t know). My commute consisted of a 15 minute bus ride or a 35 minute walk. I would set my alarm for 8am every morning, roll out of bed, and take the 211 into work. I was the definition a skiver.
That was just over a year ago. And lots has changed since then.
Fast forward to today, and my daily commute is a 3 hour journey, with 4 stations, 12 stops, and 2 trains. Oddly enough, I love it.
Here’s the thing: when you have an hour or more to yourself everyday, you’re given the gift of time. And one of the most meaningful ways to invest said time, in my experience, is to read.
In the first six months of my new commute, I finished a dozen or so books that had piled up on my nightstand. Books that I couldn’t find the time to read until I had no other option but to fill the time I had.
I now consider the commute not a chore but a journey. And I fervently look forward to the time where I can sit quietly, with my book (or kindle), and decompress.
Because I’m so smug about all my reading, I thought it best to share some of my favourite books from the past year. If you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments below. I promise to read every single book that is recommended.
My favourite reads
- Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss — The best book for lifestyle design, productivity, efficiency, and those who really need a reality check from their daily grind. (Especially good if you’re a slave to email).
- Choose Yourself by James Altucher — You can’t help but love James Altucher. He successfully built some 17 different companies, each time making a fortune, then squandering it all on poker, alcohol and expensive hotel suites. James is a reformed man and offers a similar reality check to Tim Ferriss above, but it’s rooted in heartfelt sincerity.
- The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk — The definitive guide to social media for cynics. Gary Vee rose to acclaim by setting up Wine Library TV in 2006, since then he’s headed up VaynerMedia and written several New York Times Bestsellers.
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl — Frankl is psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. Reading this book will put your whole life into perspective. There’s nothing more really to say.
- Losing My Virginity by Sir Richard Branson — You have to admire Sir Richard Branson’s hustle. He is a master hustler. Reading this book will make you feel like a hustler, too.
- Man Down by Mark Ormrod — A former Royal Marines Commando, and UK’s first triple amputee from Afghanistan, Mark takes you through his story of how he was injured, and how his life changed as a result of his injuries. I was fortunate to hear Mark speak at a work event, and he was absolutely amazing. Definitely check out this video if you can’t get the book.