Explore these 5 categories of non-fiction books to feed your intellect and discover:
- a different approach to the meaning of life
- the importance of building goals and a life strategy
- how to master skills you need to succeed
- how to boost your levels of happiness
- the best ways to feed your brain and optimize its performance
CATEGORY ONE. Expand your mind by discovering how other people approach life and create their personal philosophy.
- by Viktor E. Frankl: the psychology of survival and finding strength to live in circumstances where most would give up. It is written as a real life story by a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor. It is also one of the most humbling reading experiences of my life. I recommend it to every human being.
- by Michael A. Singer: a roadmap to achieving happiness, an exploration of what letting go can do to one’s life (it’s not what you think! so be prepared to be challenged as you read this), and a discovery of what happens when we tune out the noise of our busy lives.
- (also) by Michael A. Singer: transforming your relationship with yourself and the world around you, a practical guide to letting go of painful experiences, living mindfully, and freeing yourself from habitual thoughts, emotions and energies that limit your growth, your work, and the quality of your life.
- by Thich Nhat Hanh: a practical guide to finding peace, reducing our daily stress levels and overcoming fears, written in a voice that is kind, calm, reassuring, and wise – a true mark of a spiritual leader.
CATEGORY TWO. Positively change the way you look at challenges, the work you do, the skills you need, and your abilities to master anything you set your mind to.
- by Robert Greene: a book that in essence debunks the myth that it takes a genius with innate talent to produce work of timeless quality. Greene gives examples of some of the biggest minds through history, and shows us that it is focus, true passion and most of all dedicating ourselves to doing deep work that can make us successful in what we do.
- by Carol Dweck: a book that focuses on how the view we adopt for ourselves profoundly affects the way we lead our life. Dweck explains the difference between a fixed mindset (believing that our qualities are set in stone – we can only have a certain level of intelligence, a certain type of personality, or a certain moral character, which we need to prove over and over) andgrowth mindset (believing that the hand we are dealt is just the starting point in our development, and that our qualities are things we can cultivate through our efforts, in other words we can change and grow through application and experience).
- by Charles Duhigg: Being busy doesn’t always mean we are being productive. In fact, there are ways to work smarter instead of harder. Duhigg provides powerful real-life examples of why it’s important to develop motivation to accomplish our goals, how we can strengthen focus by building mental models, and how daily rituals can give us space and time to think about the bigger picture and what our true goals ought to be.
- by Malcolm Gladwell: learn from high-achievers and what makes them different, and discover whether it’s genius, talent, or mastering a skill through overcoming a difficulty that makes them be the best in their field.
CATEGORY THREE. Boost your strategic and leadership skills to help your career or personal development.
- by Machiavelli: learn in depth about human behavior, politics, and gaining power.
- by Sun Tzu: think ahead, develop tactics to manage conflict, and ensure victory.
- by Steven Pressfield: find out how to go from amateur to a complete professional, and what it takes to gain respect from others as well as yourself.
- by Seth Godin: learn the importance of working on the resistance you feel when faced with a challenging situation, instead of simply giving up.
- by Nassim Nicholas Taleb: understand the impact of the highly improbable and our error of placing too much weight on the odds that events from the past will repeat themselves.
CATEGORY FOUR. Flex your happiness muscle by treating happiness like a habit and by actively working on becoming happier every day.
Get ideas from one of Harvard University’s most popular lecturers, Tal Ben-Shahar, who writes books on positive psychology and gives examples how you can apply it to your daily life:
CATEGORY FIVE. Feed your brain with power foods to boost your cognitive powers and strengthen your memory.
- by Neal D. Barnard, MD. This book includes a list of foods for optimizing your brain performance, as well as mental and physical exercises that can sharpen and strengthen cognitive skills and improve memory.