How to Download Information into Your Brain Matrix Style

You’ve seen The Matrix, right? Do you remember when Neo (Keanu Reeves) laid down, plugged in, and woke up saying, “I Know Kung Fu”? Or, in The Matrix Reloaded, when Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) needed to learn how to ride a Susuki GSX-R motorcycle only to be instantly uploaded that skill?

We’re not quite at that point in time where we can instantly upload information into our brains, unfortunately. But, there is something we can do today that is very similar – we can read. By reading, we can learn whatever it is we want to do.

I read for three basic reasons:

  1. To learn something new: a skill or an idea (which may be related to something that I already know about)
  2. To know how to implement these newly learned skills or ideas.
  3. To become more of an expert on a subject. As I’ve mentioned before in this post, to be considered an expert about something, you just have to know more than somebody else about it.

I may be a special breed, but I only read non-fiction books. Educational/information/self-improvement/inspirational books to be exact. To me, this is fun, and I figure I might as well take the time I use to read to improve something about myself. I know I am missing out on a lot of great reads by limiting myself to only non-fiction titles, but I watch enough DVDs as it is, so that’s where I get my “fiction fill”, if you will.

In my last post, I wrote about 5 inspirational websites that I read. Here, I will show you the 5 books I keep close for inspiration.

Books I Keep Right Beside Me At My Desk

Here is a picture of the books I keep right next to me at my desk. I keep them here because they inspire me and remind me about all of the wonderful information I have learned from each and every one of them. Here is everything you see from left to right:

  • The cube with the picture of the beautiful woman inside is a picture of my fiancee, April. She is my true inspiration in life. Only 46 days until our wedding…how crazy is that! I’ll definitely post some pictures.
  • The mug below shows my dedication to my Alma Mater, The University of California, Berkeley. I am a HUGE Cal Fan. I wear Cal gear all the time and chant “Go Bears!” whenever and wherever I can. I was the Student Director of the Cal Band in 2005, and this mug reminds me of all that I learned and experienced…Go Bears!
  • That big brown folder is actually a folder with my official documentation from the State of California that I now own my own company! That’s right, I filed for an LLC just a couple of weeks ago, and I am now the CEO of Flynndustries, LLC. I did this for a number of reasons, which I will go over in an important post this month. I keep this binder here because it reminds me about my goals. One of my life long goals was to start my own company someday. This reminds me that with hard work and determination, I can accomplish anything (cliche, but true).

Now, The Books

  1. The 4-Hour Work-week by Timothy Ferriss: You’ve heard me mention this book numerous times on The Smart Passive Income Blog, and it’s because this book has truly become my second Bible. It’s all about smart passive income, and I do everything I can to imitate Ferriss’ philosophy to engage the lifestyle that I want for myself and my family.
  2. Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver: This is the book I used to learn a lot of the techniques I use to make money online. My landing page on for my ebook is actually a direct copy from Silver’s example. Whenever I’m stuck or want to try something new, I pull this book out and read it.
  3. The One Minute Millionaire by Mark Victor Hansen & Robert G. Allen: From the author of the bestselling “Chicken Soup Series”, you can imagine that this book is an inspiration for any entrepreneur who wants to get motivated. There are some great stories, tips, principles, and mantras that I have tabbed out for easy access.
  4. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley: This book simply reminds me about the lifestyle I want to achieve. A lot of this book is statistical analysis about millionaires and how MOST are not the sterotypical 10-bedroom mansion, 5 car garage, maid-service, money spending people we often think about. Usually, they are frugal people who are smart about their decisions in life and with money. Did you know that over 70% of millionaire families cut coupons and get their shoes resoled? I LOVE this book.
  5. The Exceptional Presenter, by Timothy Koegel: The last book on my table reminds me about another important skill that goes beyond typing on my keyboard: speaking in person. When doing business, even online, being presentable is very important. Many big online business ventures go beyond the face of the website, and I want to prepare myself for any face to face interactions that may happen in the future. Plus, it is my goal to become a professor at a University someday, so I read this book and practice the exercises once a month. The only professors I really remember are the one’s that SUCKED, and the one’s that were AWESOME. I want to be remembered for being awesome.
  6. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: This is the very first book in the money/improvement/educational category that I’ve ever read. I lent it to a friend, which is why it’s not on my desk – otherwise, you’d see it in the photo.

Note: In 2013 I started a book club where I share my favorite business books and what I’ve learned from them. Go here to join the book club. (Editor’s Note 09/2015)

How About You?

I’m always looking for a good (non-fiction) read. I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Thanks again everyone for your support and wonderful comments. In my next post, I’ll talk more about that brown folder you see in the picture with my company’s name on it. Until then…

Have a great weekend!

  • Erica

    I enjoy non-fiction too, currently reading Your Money or Your Life and Think and Grow Rich.

    Erica´s last blog post..What’s your USP?

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  • TightFistedMiser

    My favorite personal finance book is Your Money or Your Life. Someone already beat me to suggesting it but I’ll add a second recommendation.

    TightFistedMiser´s last blog post..FBN Roundup- Final Semester Registration Edition

  • Suze

    I’m a non-fiction reader as well. Time is precious and I’m on a path. Fiction has its place, but there’s really no point in debating fiction vs non-fiction. It’s simply a choice.

    Beside my bed is Ask and It is Given, Abraham-Hicks and Creating Money: Attracting Abundance, Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer. Just on the other side of the bedside table? A small bookcase full of my faves. Lots of them. It’ll be interesting to see what others post.

    Thanks again, Pat. Love your writing.

  • Sarah H.

    Books I’ve read recently include photography technique and photography business books because that is my main money-making focus right now.

    However, a few internet business books I have on my list to read are “Sign Me Up” (Blumberg, Forman, & Miller) about email newsletters, “Don’t Make Me Think” (Krug) about web usability, and “CSS – The Definitive Guide” (Meyer) about, well, CSS.

    They say the richest and most successful people in the world read several nonfiction books per month. Reading is definitely worthwhile.

    I love the Matrix analogy by the way. And your company name, Flynndustries, is quite clever. :)

    Sarah H.´s last blog post..Gift Cards – Do they help us, or hurt us?

  • Vik Dulat

    My favorite books out of those is Four Hour Work Week. A must read!

    Vik Dulat´s last blog post..Saturday Reading # 13

  • Cyn

    WOW, Pat…. I also have “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “The 4-Hour Work Week.” AND (weirdness) I filed for an LLC some months ago. Mine is “Web Cyndustries.” :)

    You’re doing remarkably well, and I applaud you.

    Cyn´s last blog post..Why I Work From Home

  • Robyn

    The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber is one of my favorites. Very inspiring!

  • Jennifer Glennon

    This is a great list. I need to build up my library a little at a time.

  • 01Bri-Guy

    Hey Pat,

    Even though I basically just started reading the 4 hour work week, I just bought Moonlighting on the Internet on your recommendation. I read the first chapter and it sounds really cool.


  • Steve

    I really enjoyed Robert Allen’s books, Multiple Streams of Income, Multiple Streams of Internet Income, and Building Wealth. Another great book on a paradingm for real estate investing: The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, by Gary Keller. And the classic, Awaken the Giant Within, by Tony Robbins.

    I’ve got to get hold of Moonlighting on the Internet, and Tim Ferris’ book as well.

    Steve´s last blog post..Links for 2009-01-11 []

  • Start-Up

    I am about 20 pages away from completing “The Millionaire Next Door” by Stanley and Danko (I think), which seems awefully similar to the millionaire mind. Very interesting read.

    I would recommend “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton Malkiel. I know you focus more on the passive income side, but increasing your net worth by investing your passively earned income and watching it appreciate in value (over the long haul) can be quite passive as well.

    I also cheer Go Bears, but it’s for the Chicago Bears. BEAR DOWN!

    Start-Up´s last blog post..Biggest Lesson Learned from this Bear Market

    • Start-Up

      Im reading Yanik Silver’s book right now. I’m 40 pages in and absolutely loving it. I highly recommend it. Thanks for the recommendation Pat.

      Start-Up´s last blog post..My Favorite Blog Articles of the Week

  • Kevin Koskella

    Pat, there’s another book called “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, which is different from the one you have with a similar title, that I think it pretty excellent! It’s a short read but each chapter presents some powerful mindset info about what getting rich really means…there’s a seminar too which I highly recommend. I would say check out Brian Tracy’s “GOALS!” book too.

  • Steven Leconte

    It looks like we’ve read some of the same books :-)

  • Pete Sveen

    It”s fun to read your old posts Pat. I am always reading myself and thought you picked some good books to share on your post. It’s funny that you mention Rich Dad Poor Dad. That is actually the book I read a few years ago that convinced me to quit my day job. I’ve heard you mention Dale Carnegie books as well. How to Win Friends and influence other People is a great book and I think everyone should read this. Thanks for sharing Pat!

  • Amir Rimer

    Most of the books I read are non-fiction.

    I just prefer to read books which are more “practical”, and you are actually left with something that you can use after you finished reading the book.

    I love the books that you have mentioned! Great Post!

  • James Hare

    The first non-fiction book that I bought was “What I wish I knew when I was 20.” I saw it in the airport when I was living in Orlando (I was waiting for my friend to get into town) and I read the first chapter in the shop and was HOOKED!

    I was 19 then, now I’m 23 and I still haven’t read all of it! Wow! Procrastination sucks! This blog post has actually inspired me to read it all. By this time next week I will have read it.

    The thing that really got me hooked on it is the first chapter when the author (I think she is a professor at Stanford?) told a story about one of her classes. She said that one project she uses is to give each group of students an envelope with $5 in it. They then have 24 hours to create as much income as possible with what they are given. So some buy a lottery ticket. Others go to a casino. And others get some good ideas like a group who set up a bicycle repair service (checking the tyres for a “donation”) on campus. They found that by asking for a donation instead of a set price, people paid more than they were originally going to charge. Sounds like the best idea of the class? No. The winning group didn’t even use the $5!

    Now this is the one that REALLY got me! The winning group booked out different dining reservations at all the popular restaurants in the college town for the Saturday night. Eventually when the night came they stood outside the restaurants and offered their reservations to people waiting in line. They found that people felt value for swapping those little vibrating/ beeping reservation pads that you sometimes get. And they also found that the girls often received more trades because people trusted them more. While the boys went running round the town making other reservations and finding more beepers. See it’s all about testing things out and adapting to the results.

    Now the professor doesn’t even use money. She uses an envelope with a paper clip! Ha ha!


  • Some Guy

    I’d download the entire NKJV of the Bible