I’m obsessed (I like to think in a healthy way!) with learning and with the process of personal growth. I’m a firm believer that, as human individual beings, we have an unlimited potential with regards to who we can be and the kinds of people we can become. We can never learn too much, know too much, improve too much, or be too skilled, no matter how intelligent, knowledgeable, improved, or skillful we may currently be. This obviously applies to Magic as well.
One of the major draws of Magic is just how complex a game it is, not only with regards to actual game situations, but also to deck creation. There are tons of different formats and within each of those formats there are tons of different cards to choose from to build tons of different decks with. Magic is a game that, as a player, you can never be perfect at. No one has, not even some of the game’s best ever players like Jon Finkel or Kai Budde. You can’t ever play the perfect game or build the perfect deck. However, what also draws us to Magic is the dream of perfection: the dream of playing the perfect game or finding the perfect deck. That’s what keeps us coming back time after time, loss after loss.
Because we can never be perfect at Magic, there’s always room for us to continue to learn, grow, and improve as we move towards getting as close to perfection as we possibly can. In order to do that, we must continuously seek out resources that can help us with this process. Personally, I’m a huge fan of books. I love to read, and I actually have a personal rule where I have to read for at least one hour each day. Reading is a timeless way to learn and grow. So I want to use this article today to share with you various books I have read that I personally recommend to help you improve as a player. Let’s take a look!
Books for Self-Improvement and Finding Success
The Next Level Series by Patrick Chapin
Patrick Chapin is a Hall-of-Famer and not only one of the game’s greatest ever players, but also one of the game’s greatest ever deckbuilders. Over the years, he has garnered the nickname “The Innovator” for his ability to invent new strategies and craft new decks that have gone on to break metagames and find great success.
Patrick is the author of two books on Magic game theory and deckbuilding. The first is called Next Level Magic. Here, Chapin talks about the various technical and gameplay aspects of Magic players need to understand and utilize. He breaks down and discusses everything from how to mulligan correctly to how to play each individual turn of a game optimally, along with much, much more. In his second book, Next Level Deckbuilding, Chapin breaks down the various important facets of deck identification and deck creation to help players understand how to identify the right decks to play for any given metagame as well as how to develop and craft well put together decks that can compete successfully.
I’ve read both of his books and found them both to be very helpful with improving the technical, skill-based part of my game. I highly recommend them both if you’re looking for something to help you in that regard.
The Law Of Success by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 and lived until 1970. During his lifetime, he worked as a very successful speaker and author, specializing in the art of motivation and the psychology behind success. As a close associate of American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie sent Napoleon Hill on a mission. He wanted him to travel around the country, interview the world’s wealthiest, most successful people from various walks of life, and distill that information into a book that could serve as a kind of textbook for creating success in business and in life.
Thus Napoleon Hill spent the next 20 years probing the minds of some of the most successful people in the world at that time: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, and many more. The Law Of Success was born out of those 20 years. In it, Hill breaks down what he considers to be the “16 Lessons for Success”, with chapters such as “Doing More Than You’re Paid For,” “A Definite Chief Aim,” “Profiting From Failure,” and “Initiative & Leadership”, among others.
I’m not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that The Law Of Success changed my life. It completely re-oriented my thinking towards personal development, individual growth, and the psychology behind pursuing personal and professional success. Despite having been printed originally in the 1920s, the principles and concepts with the book are just as applicable today and are truly timeless. True, it’s a long read (over 1,000 pages), but despite its length, I can’t recommend the book highly enough and I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy if you’re interested in personal/professional development.
The Golfer’s Mind by Dr. Bob Rotella
For me, Dr. Bob Rotella is unquestionably the best sport psychologist in the world. I’ve had the privilege of being able to spend time with Bob as colleagues who work in the same field, and I’m a huge fan of his work. He’s worked with some of the best athletes in any sport like Lebron James and Rory McIlroy, as well as having worked as a sport psychologist at the University of Virginia for over 20 years. He’s also the author of several books on the psychology of performance, mainly in golf, my favorite of which is The Golfer’s Mind.
It’s a very modest read at just over 170 pages, but, despite that, every page is packed with tons of extremely useful information on how to think better as a golfer and improve your game. But make no mistake—it doesn’t matter that this book is for golfers. The principles of the psychology of sport and performance apply to all sports and games, whether it’s hitting a ball into a hole with a stick or playing competitive Magic. Everything in this book that can be applied to golf can easily be applied to Magic as well, you simply have to switch up some of the lingo.
In The Golfer’s Mind, Bob goes over extremely important mental game topics, with chapters on confidence, staying in the present moment, preventing anger, emotional control, and so much more. Most importantly, he writes in plain speak, making what he has to say easy to understand and digest for people who aren’t super proficient at psychology lingo. I’ve read The Golfer’s Mind over 10 times and still read it at least once a year. As a competitive Magic player, I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book and begin incorporating the principles discussed in it into your own mental game.
All of the books discussed here having helped me tremendously and improved me in many ways over the years. I find myself returning to all of them time and time again. Do you have any self-improvement books you’ve read that you particularly like? If so, sound off below and let me know you would recommend. I’m always on the lookout for new awesome books.
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!