Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane "pill-flipping" life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

7 Books Pharmacists Should Read Before the Holidays

NOVEMBER 09, 2017

The holiday season typically wrecks our lives for a brief period, ruining our bank accounts, enlarging our waistlines, and sometimes causing depression.

After the holidays, many of us reassess our life choices and make new year’s resolutions, which usually don’t endure. The results of a 2-year study published by the University of Scranton found that 77% of people maintain their resolutions for 1 week but only 12% maintained them for 2 years.


Perhaps we should try something different this year. How about reading at least 1 of these 7 books to help get through the holiday season confidently?


1.  Seven Figure Pharmacist by Tim Church and Tim Ulbrich

These guys know how to do finances. The authors' contention that we should organize our money so that we win makes perfect sense.


As pharmacists, we go from earning nothing to earning an average of six figures, seemingly overnight. If we aren’t intentional about money, our buying habits can create a lifetime of servitude to debt.


This book helps us think proactively about the holidays and beyond and demonstrates how to handle purchases and set limitations or boundaries with money. Use the code BARKER, and get 15% off the book price.


2. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This book teaches us how to change our habits. Aristotle believed that “you are what you do.” If that is true, we should look at our own habits. Do we gain weight every year around the holidays? Are there other trends that repeat in our lives?


The authors found that, though we claim to hate change, we willingly embrace change every time we upgrade our phones, buy a new car, get married, or have children. The book addresses the brain’s role in creating change and how we can trick our brains into the kind of change that we would like to implement.


3. Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results by Stephen Guise

This book, like Switch, addresses habit change, except that this one suggests small ways to make simple changes quickly.


The author began doing one push-up a day and discovered that implementing mini habits changed his life. His methods work, even in the face of busy lifestyles, and they helped me lose 5 pounds in 3 weeks and implement my own daily push-up challenge.  


4. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Kiyosaki thinks that there are 2 kinds of people: those who think like rich people and those who think like poor people. He tells the story of his 2 dads, whose lives were radically different, and the lessons they taught him. He implemented the lessons into his own life, and the lessons from his rich father ultimately made him a millionaire.


This book helps us evaluate the purchases we make around the holidays to determine whether they will make a positive difference in our lives or in the lives of those around us.


5. The Five Minute Journal

This isn’t a traditional book, but it can change our lives if we implement it daily. The journal requires 5 minutes or less each day, and it seeks simple lists of things for which we are grateful, have made the day great, and that could have made the day even better.


The holiday season focuses on consumerism more than faith or family, and it has created an ungrateful society.

 

It seems petty for pharmacists to complain about our 6-figure lives when others don’t have running water. Realistically, we could all stand to develop our gratitude muscle a bit.


This journal changed my perspective about the world and my own problems. It has helped me develop optimism when things are less than perfect.


6. MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins

I recommend this book with a bit of trepidation because there is some controversy surrounding it, specifically because some of the ideas and businesses mentioned in the book no longer exist.

What I love, though, is that Robbins does an excellent job explaining the problems with the financial industry, in laymen’s terms. He addresses the industry’s manipulation of our culture and the financial cost of that manipulation for unsuspecting people.  


He also teaches us about the impact of emotion on our buying decisions, and he explains how to overcome emotional wants and desires so that we avoid making emotion-based purchases. Between the education about the financial industry and the awareness of emotional spending, Robbins’ teachings could save us thousands of dollars.


7. The More of Less: Find the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

I have been reading more about minimalism lately, and I recently wrote about how adopting the practice could help us find work we love. Minimalism, defined as promoting the things we love and removing the things we don’t, flies in the face of holiday commercialism. Although commercialism leads us to believe that we need certain things to be happy, minimalism exposes the flaws in that kind of thinking and encourages downsizing.


It may surprise many of us that living with less will create more fulfillment and less stress in our lives.


Start Now

The results of a study by Magnify Money found that the average consumer accumulated $1003 in new debt during the 2016 holiday season. Half those people said that it would take them more than 4 months to pay off the debt that they accumulated during holiday shopping.


Don’t wait until January to take positive steps to improve your life. Begin now by reading at least 1 of these books in preparation for the holiday season.


Learn to be more intentional this year, so that you can live with less stress and more money in the bank. Start off the new year with some effective new habits already in place.

 


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