That three pound mass nestled securely in your skull is just begging to be used and challenged. There is so much your brain hasn’t learned yet! Stuff that can, you know, make you a smarter, better human.
That is why you need to get the following five books in front of your face today: these books are remarkable and, dare I say it, they will make your life better. (Seriously, read them. If you don’t think you’re better off as a result, you can send me a hateful email accusing me of wasting your time.)
Learning is fun. Knowledge is power. Reading a book is more likely to change your life than watching the latest TV show. You can’t argue with the facts.
Add these books to your monthly book order, check them out at your local library, or download them for your listening pleasure. Just get them in front of your eyeballs (or in your ears) immediately and you’ll be on your way to a better life.
And please note, affiliate links are used.
Ready for five incredible books you need to read immediately? In no particular order . . .
One of the best lines that reveals what you’re in for with this remarkable book: “. . . but the take-home message of the book is ancient. It is the realization that we are all self-righteous hypocrites.”
Grabs your attention, doesn’t it? I burst out in laughter when I first read that sentence, but it’s true. Haidt doesn’t just make this accusation: he proves it time and time again throughout this book.
This isn’t a statement meant to condemn us, but to make us understand why we think the way we do and why we believe what we believe, and why other people may have opposite views.
Given today’s volatile political climate where anyone on the opposite political team (or aisle) is declared to be an idiot, this book is perhaps more important than ever. And, no, the author does not attempt to persuade anyone to become more liberal or conservative. I think it would be beneficial for every member of congress or anyone who is passionate about politics to read this book.
Even if you have zero interest in politics, you’ll still benefit immensely.
Haidt uses numerous research studies and real world experiences to bring this book to life in an undeniable way. Another quotation: “Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.”
Want to know why you think the way you do, and why “they” think the way they do? Leave your ego at the door, open your mind even just the tiniest bit, and enjoy this excellent book. It’s easy to read and even a bit humorous.
I’ll preface this by stating that some of the information is a bit woo-wooey for my personal taste; specifically parts where the author discusses how the universe acts on our thoughts and you attract what you think/say. Regardless of your preference (or tolerance) for a bit of woo, this is still a great book with useful substance in a quick, easy to read format.
This opened my eyes to the fact that I complain more than I realized, and I began changing from the very first chapter. In fact, this book was the catalyst for the recent article Shut Up and Do Something (definitely read that article later).
A wonderful quotation from the book:
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” -Maya Angelou
Bowen states, “Our thoughts create our lives and our words indicate what we are thinking … We are, every one of us, already creating our lives all the time. The trick is to really take the reins and steer the horse to where we do want to go, rather than where we do not.”
Think you don’t complain much? Yeah, that’s what I thought too before I read the book. I complain too much, and I’m willing to bet you do too; you just don’t realize it yet.
Want to understand why you can’t break bad habits or establish new, and better ones?
Read this book and you’ll find out why, and you’ll be armed with information to control your habits: break bad ones and create new ones.
Duhigg reveals the three main elements to habits: the cue, the routine, and the reward. And how do you change a habit? “Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine,” says the author. And he shows you exactly how to do this.
Willpower is discussed in depth as well and, “Willpower,” states Duhigg, “isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”
But just like muscles can be strengthened, so can your willpower. “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”
Break bad habits and replace them with new ones. Increase your willpower so you don’t only create new and better habits, but that willpower spills over into other areas of your life. It’s a big, beautiful snowball effect.
This is the power of habit, and you should read the book.
There are few, everlasting truths in this world; one being that shit happens. Life will inevitably catch you off guard and force you to deal with less than ideal (or outright terrible) situations.
Because none of us can escape this fact, I suggest The Obstacle is the Way. If you can’t prevent obstacles, why not learn how to face them and, in many cases, use them to your advantage?
Holiday says beautifully, “We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.”
Holiday also quotes Epictetus, “In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, but the choices I make with regard to them I do control. Where will I find good and bad? In me, in my choices.”
Currently dealing with less than ideal circumstances, or want to be ready for them when they (inevitably) arrive? Read this book.
This is another psychology-themed book, but an insightful and entertaining short read. This book doesn’t provide a recipe for happiness, but rather demonstrates through research studies and information the importance of our perception, how unreliable our memories truly are, and other elements that affect “happiness.”
This book is an enjoyable, fairly quick read with tremendous insight. You’ll finish this book knowing more about yourself than when you began, and have a better understanding of why you view things the way you do, and why you may think something will make you happy, but it fails to deliver.
Here are a few memorable quotations from this terrific book:
“The fact that we often judge the pleasure of an experience by its ending can cause us to make some curious choices.”
“Our brain accepts what the eyes see and our eye looks for whatever our brain wants.”
“People want to be happy, and all the other things they want are typically meant to be a means to that end.”
Want to understand how we judge happiness and what it takes to attain it? Think you know what makes you happy (but you’re likely wrong)? Read this book.
I am hopeful you’ll enjoy those five wonderful books as much as I did. In fact, I plan on reading them all again in the future. Read them now: build your brain and make your life better.
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