“Know yourself and seek self-improvement.”- Marine Corps leadership principles

Want to be better at life?

How about just trying to get hired as a police officer, or you if you are a police officer, trying to get promoted? Even simpler, how about just career survival?

Then do it, be better.  In today’s world, you have to be continually improving or you will get left behind.  Doesn’t matter how you feel about it, you gotta hit the books like a true American.  This country was founded on self-sustainability and literally, our founding fathers picked up books to learn how to build roads, bridges, and plan entire cities.  There’s no human problem that book hasn’t been written about with a solution.  Therefore, you too should pick up a book to build yourself into a better person, and in doing so, be a better leader.

The following are three books every police officer should read.  I was lucky to have these books enter my life as I never once thought I would need them… until I did.

#1: How to Win Friends and Influence People – by Dale Carnegie

I don’t list this book as #1 by accident.  It has transformed my life completely and the principles inherent are tools I use daily while on patrol.  DE-ESCALATION is the name of the game and rather than waiting ten years to develop your people skills, read this book and surprise your supervisors and training officers as you talk to anyone like they are your friend because they literally will become your friend.  Communication is the first step to being tactically savvy and this book will put you on the right track to practicing adequate communication.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is key to success, this book teaches you how to practice it.

This book will transform your life too.  Many police officers could surely use some manners, not because police officers are assholes, but because all PEOPLE are assholes. Every day we see rude people including in the mirror, running havoc on the streets.  When is the last time you saw someone reward their kid for treating another kid with empathy? It’s rare.  Most kids, including ourselves, are no longer held accountable for proper manners.  To give you an idea of how well-mannered this book is, rather than telling you, “Hey stop being a douchebag to people,” it tells you that you will become influential and powerful.  In other words, even the title of the book is meant to feed into your own selfish notions in order to trick you into learning some manners.

How to Win Friends and Influence People is my guide for human interaction but don’t take my word for it.  It’s also Warren Buffet’s favorite book.  So much so, he highlights it and annotates it, and for the past 7 or so decades of his life, continually reviews it.  If the richest man in the world finds this book so essential, then you have no excuse for not reading this book while wishing for success.

#2: The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman – by Timothy Ferris

This book will transform your life and your body.  More and more, police departments are asking officers to view themselves as professional athletes when it comes to fitness.  However, unlike professional athletes, most of us do not have access to cutting-edge education on exercise or the trainers.  Timothy Ferris went out and tried almost everything, from getting muscle tissue siphoned out of his legs to actually training with Olympic coaches and in his book, The 4-Hour Body­ brings you tips and hacks decades of ahead of university studies.

How do I know this? Because this book is what got me started on my own fitness journey.  It has something for everybody. I think of it as a fitness bible.  From improving your running, jumping, lifting, and even humping (sex), this book has it all.

The best part is, you don’t have to read it from start to finish and you can simply dive into the easy to read chapters and go with what interests you and SAVE TIME.  As the title suggests, you can be fit with 4-hours only.  Time is our biggest asset, and by reading this book you will learn how to stop wasting time on needless workouts and focus on what you need.

#3:  What Color is Your Parachute – by Dick Bolles

When I was leaving the Marine Corps, we had to take classes on transitioning into the civilian workforce.  I can’t remember anything they taught us, but the classroom had What Color is Your Parachute books stacked up at the door, with a sign instructing us to take one copy.  I like to think I took the book because it would enrich my life.  Go back and read the authors name… being a Marine, THAT’S why I took the book, and thank God!  I didn’t touch it again for almost two years since it didn’t look very interesting.  Besides, how much more job hunting info could this book provide that the instructor in our transitioning classes hadn’t provided, standby…

I was actually disqualified from the application process when I was trying to become a police officer.  This book was part of the reason I got hired as a police officer.  Despite having a military background of 8 years, having a top-secret clearance, background in diplomatic relations, blah blah blah, it didn’t matter.  The civilians that were hiring me were so distanced from the military that I may as well have been a foreigner juxtaposed in a country with an inverse culture.  But I didn’t understand this until I blew off the dust on this book and peered inside.

This book not only will help you get hired as a police officer, or any other job, it will provide guidance on changing careers, and help you get PROMOTED.  As a police officer, you will re-interview for other positions within departments, some which are at times, promotional.  Therefore the knowledge in this book isn’t just for those unemployed.  As a matter of fact, the idea to start officermeraz.com stems from reading this book.

This book literally jumpstarted my career in the civilian world, and it will propel you to success as well.  So far, every person I have recommended this book to has responded with great praise and thanks.

There you have it.  These three books encompass communications, fitness, and career advice.  Not only will they help you get hired as a police officer, once you become a police officer, they will continue to enrich your professional development.  I hope you guys take advantage of these tools for success and look forward to all of your messages of how much these books have inspired and aided you in achieving your goals.

While you wait on your book order, or wait till you can make a trip to your local libraray check out these other articles which will make you a better you:

7 Principles of Fitness

How To Stop Eating Junk Food

3 Things I Wish I Had Known About Jogging

5 Tips to Conquer Your Diet and Stop Counting Calories