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30 Unusual Things You Can Do At Night During Your Travels

30 Unusual Things You Can Do At Night During Your Travels

1. Experience the authentic Finnish sauna, Kuopio, Finland

finnish sauna

    There’s no better place to experience a sauna than in Finland, the country that invented it. For the locals sauna is a necessarily part of their day, with mental and physical benefits and plays an important role of their culture. As the Finns admit, sauna is best enjoyed in your own lake house. Experience your first sauna as part of a full Finnish evening or book in a lake house, where you can dip in and out of the lake whenever you want at night.

    2. Learn tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    tango

      Dancing tango is associated with the term milonga, used to describe an event where people come together to dance tango. This passionate dance remains one of Argentina’s defining traditions, and with Buenos Aires being the tango capital of the world, there’s no better place to attend a milonga, either as a watcher or a participant.

      La Milonga del Indio is one of the top five milongas in Argentina and it’s a free outdoor event taking place in a plaza after 7 p.m. on Sundays. To avoid the unnecessary crowds go late, around 10 p.m. and watch the event become more interesting as only the real lovers of tango will be staying until late. Don’t be shy to learn a few basic steps with the dancers or give a show if you have already mastered tango.

      3. Watch a movie at an outdoor cinema, Athens, Greece

      Cine Thisio Athens Greece

        Outdoor cinemas are the most romantic way to watch a movie, especially in summer nights. There is a bunch of them in Europe and around the world, but if you have to choose one, let in be in Greece. Next time you are in Greece in summer time, don’t miss a movie in the open air, with a hard to beat view. Both Cine Thisio in Athens and Cine Kamari in Santorini will make for an unforgettable night. Choose Athens in August to avoid the big tourist crowds.

        4. Tree camping, Elk, California

        tree camping

          If you are already familiar with camping, take it to the next level by experiencing a night tree camping in California. The different level tents provide for a lively and fun experience, not necessarily private though, so prepare for that. An experience best enjoyed with a small group of friends or your partner. Enjoy a wonderful sunset and/or sunrise from the highest branches of a tree, amidst nature and all its sounds. Be sure to be fit enough to climb a tree and a rope in order to set your own tent.

          5. Star gazing, New Zealand

          star gazing

            While most of the star gazing spots are located in Northern America, South America and the United Kingdom, choose to experience star gazing in far away New Zealand. The Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve is the southern hemisphere’s first dark sky reserve, and the world’s biggest. You’ll have a memorable experience, which you can compare to different ones you can have around the world.

            6. Attend a festival by a castle on the sea, Vlorë, Albania

            art kontakt festival

              Art Kontakt Festival is a two nights event held in August at the Porto Palermo Castle, right on the sea, in Southern Albania. This contemporary art festival brings together visual performances and live music, by featuring artists from the Balkans and Europe, becoming a Biennial of it’s genre.

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              Attend if you want to be part of an interesting community, share your own visual project or just for the experience full of art and good music till dawn. Projects are shared inside the castle and performances are held outside, as well as the parties.

              7. Visit Central Park, New York

              central park

                This is the first park not to miss while in New York. While it is crowded during the typical busy day times, it could be easier to explore until 1 a.m. in the evenings. Go for a long walk, run or have a picnic by the water. With its wide range of activities and landscape option, there is something to please everyone at Central Park.

                8. Attend a “panigiri”, islands Greece

                greek panigiri

                  A “panigiri” is a religious feist, traditional for the majority of Greece’s villages and islands. Each place celebrates on a specific Saint’s day, after whom their church was named. They usually take place in summer. In big villages the “panigiri” may last a few days. Ask the locals where the best one is held near you, the next time you travel to Greece.

                  You will get to know the Greek tradition and folk culture better, their religious devotion and the respect they pay to certain concepts. However the best part for everyone is the big festivities held until morning, with food, drinks and some epic Greek dances. It will be a fun night.

                  9. Go on a sleigh ride, British Columbia, Canada

                  sleigh ride

                    This might seem more like a romantic activity for couples, but it could me much more fun with friends or with a random group of people. There are options of drinking hot beverages or a fondue meal while riding, but skip those and focus on the experience itself. Even if it is not snowing that night, chances are you can still see the stars and enjoy yourself. Dress appropriately and more heavily than you would think. There are usually blankets available, but better be prepared.

                    10. Open air pool in the baths of Budapest, Hungary

                    bath budapest

                      The Szechenyi Spa Baths in the capital of Hungary, Budapest are a typical daytime activity. But during the summer they throw parties on Saturday nights, mostly attended by young locals or tourists. Bikinis and good music in a one hundred years old open air bath pool is an experience you don’t want to miss. If you don’t fancy the loudness of the party, go on usual nights, during the whole year.

                      11. Ice skating, New York

                      ice skating

                        This traditional activity can be enjoyed best in New York if you want everything fancy that comes with it, especially at the iconic Rockefeller Center. Open for the whole winter season, it is less crowded at the start and the end of season (until April). Avoid the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas if you don’t want to wait in line and skate along a big bunch, but totally go there if you want to feel the magic of the season just like in movies.

                        It stays open until midnight. A cheaper alternative that is open until after midnight is The Standard Ice Rink, located on the High Line. It has a more adult vibe and evenings look more like parties.

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                        12. Dine by the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

                        dinner by the golden gate bridge

                          This one needs a little preparation beforehand but it is a no fail way to make a birthday or special occasion unforgettable. Be sure to get all permissions necessary to throw a dinner and follow all rules for a no fuss experience. Take inspiration from Jordan Ferney, who has hosted two dinner parties with little effort and a handful of good friends by the beach looking at the Golden Gate bridge.

                          13. Enjoy a show at the fountain of lights and music, Prague, Czech Republic

                          Křižík's Fountain

                            From Spring to Autumn the musical Křižík’s Fountain in Prague performs a unique computer-controlled light-and-water show. There are performances selected from the world’s most famous compositions to please every taste, from classical music to more contemporary great artists.

                            You can enjoy the show after sunset and in summer nights go even later to enjoy the spectacle of music, water, ballet and colors. Some of the performances include projection of films on water. No booking in advance is required, but you can look at the programme on the website.

                            14. Visit the Temple Street Market, Hong Kong

                            temple street market

                              The Temple Street Night Market is a popular street bazaar, that has served as the backdrop to many movies. Along with the traders, fortune tellers and opera singers appear. The Temple Street Market is an example of the festivity of a Chinese market. Every night there is a show. One can shop for electronics, clothes, antiques and taste different traditional foods.

                              15. Rate the Christmas lights and decorations, Richmond, Virginia

                              Christmas lights

                                There are many places around the globe where you can have a magnificent experience of rating Christmas light and decorations and Richmond makes it to the top list. You can go as small as walking around a neighborhood or as big as taking a guided tour. Even limo tours can be arranged. Experience the best of the “tacky lights” and watch how people compete with each other, with 40.000 lights as a minimum to enter the map of lights.

                                16. Play night paintball in Scottsdale, Arizona

                                paintball

                                  Playing paintball at night makes for a pretty intense activity. The adrenaline reaches a high level and with a group of good friends it will end up being a fun night. Try Westworld Paintball, one of the safest and oldest fields for paintball. They offer outdoor ones that stay open until 11 p.m. on Fridays, which happens to be Ladies Night. If you meet the minimum number for a team, you can book your own private game.

                                  17. Go clubbing on top of a hill overlooking the Adriatic sea in Budva, Montenegro

                                  clubbing

                                    Club Top Hills is one of the most attractive clubs of the Balkans and further. It is located on the top of Toplis Hill above Budva, one of the Mediterranean towns bursting with tourists during Summer. The club can welcome around 5000 people, who can enjoy the best music, different theme bars and many attractive activities.

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                                    18. Visit the world’s oldest open air museum Stockholm, Sweden

                                    open air museum Sweden

                                      Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, created in 1891. It is a great way to understand five centuries of the history Sweden, by visiting historical buildings with period dressed people, having traditional food, visiting the zoo and shopping for souvenirs. It stays open until 10 p.m. in summer nights, but check for special festivals and later times. A great way to spend time outdoors and learning about the history and traditions of the country.

                                      19. Artistic performances, Brooklyn, New York

                                      artistic performance

                                        Join the Beer Garden of Photoville in Brooklyn to grab some food or drinks with like minded artists. Enjoy the multimedia presentations shown at night with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Installations, exhibitions and various artistic performances were shared for free during last year. Check their website for more information, programs and coming events.

                                        20. Explore the city by segway, Rome, Italy

                                        rome

                                          Take advantage of segways to explore one of the biggest capitals in Europe. Packed with tourists during the day, Rome will be charming at night, when the temperature drops in summer and the crowds get fewer. Rent a segway for a solo adventure or book a tour of eight people and be guided through the city. Visit the most important monuments and ancient parts of the city accompanied by experienced tour guides for around two and a half hours in the evenings of Spring and Summer until September.

                                          21. Go on a canal cruise during light festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands

                                          canal cruise

                                            The Water Colors Cruise departs during the Amsterdam Light Festival from November 27 until January 18. Hop on the boats to enjoy the best views of the city at night and watch the light works of international artists and the lighted ships and buildings of Amsterdam. Beat the cold with mulled wine or a warm bite offered in the cruise. The last one departs at 9.30 p.m. on all nights of the festival.

                                            22. Go to a luna park, Sydney, Australia

                                            luna park

                                              The park is open until 11 p.m. on the weekends, so take advantage of them, even if it seems more packed than weekdays. This one seems to be visited by all ages and is not one particularly created for kids. You can catch a concert, grab a meal or go full on fun and ride the Tango Train or Ferris Wheel. Originally created in the ’30s, the park was restored in 2004. If you are lucky, there might be a wedding ceremony or a private celebration or even a gala event you can watch or join.

                                              23. Go fishing in Bendigo State Park, Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania

                                              night fishing

                                                The East Branch of the Clarion River that flows through the Bendigo State Park is stocked with trout and many cold-water pieces, being an excellent fishery. A fishing platform behind the pool allows for easy access. Normal opening hours are before midnight, but you can choose to camp on site in order to have access to the water all night. Make sure to read the fishing rules and regulations from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Web site.

                                                24. Watch a cliff divers show, Acapulco, Mexico

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                                                cliff diver

                                                  Watching the Acapulco’s cliff divers plunge the 136 feet to the crashing Pacific at night, holding torches is a remarkable experience. La Quebrada Cliff Divers are a group of professional high drivers that perform daily for the public, including four evening shows. The best viewing spot is from La Perla restaurant terrace, right at the Cliffside El Mirador.

                                                  25. Samba in a favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

                                                  brazil favela

                                                    Taking a tour of the famous Rocinha favela during the day is a mind shifting experience you shouldn’t miss. Opt for a tour offered by the locals themselves for the most authentic insights. But if you want to complete your experience attend a night party at the favela. It involves samba and funk dancing with the locals until 4 a.m. or later.

                                                    26. Visit the illuminated Niagara Falls by boat, Canada

                                                    Niagara falls

                                                      Sit on the glassed outdoor deck of the boat, while you enjoy a 40 minute Niagara Falls nighttime cruise. Admire the colorfully lit American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls. On Fridays, Sundays and Canadian and American holidays, as well as certain dates there are fireworks lighting up the sky and reflecting on the water, making the experience more exciting.

                                                      27. See a volcano in Tenerife, Spain

                                                      volcano Tenerife

                                                        Visit a volcano on Southern Tenerife’s Mount Teide. The Spain’s tallest volcano is located in the UNESCO-listed Teide National Park. It is the best place to watch the sun set and then learn about the constellations in the sky from a local guide.

                                                        28. Sail on a yacht, Croatia

                                                        yacht sail

                                                          Croatia’s has hundreds of islands along it’s 220 mile Adriatic coastline, crystal-clear water, beautiful medieval towns, lots of beaches and ports amongst its breathtaking landscapes. These facts combined withthe growing international yacht culture, with the yacht week festival being held in the last couple of years make Croatia ideal for a night out sailing on yacht or anchored in the port of a small village to enjoy the romantic views from the deck.

                                                          29. Hike in the Yosemite Park, California

                                                          Yosemite Valley

                                                            Visit Yosemite for the first time during a night hike or rediscover it through the changing sounds and smells of nature under starlight. A small group of 24 people is guided through a short, flat one mile hike in the Yosemite Valley. During the hike, you will learn about the animals behavior at night.

                                                            30. Go on a sangria tasting tour, Lisbon, Portugal

                                                            sangria Portugal

                                                              While many people would bet that sangria is a Spain signature drink, the best one can actually be found in Portugal. Next time you are in Lisbon or any other city in Portigal for a matter of fact, take a long leisurely walk around the town and stop every time you spot a bar promising “the greatest sangria you have ever had”. As bars and restaurants start to fill with people very late in the evening, this is a sure way to get you past midnight, or as long as your feet can carry you through the cobblestone paths of the city.

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                                                              Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                                                              25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                              25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                              I remember the first time I got my hands on a self-improvement book. I was baffled. At that moment, I realized my fate was not set in stone. I could become my own drill master and coach. The books I read would set out the training course for me to overcome. All I had to do was listen to that voice that aspired to climb higher and higher.

                                                              Every time I committed to a new challenge, I knew it was going to be outside of my comfort zone. But after enough iterations, I also knew it will not just be part of my repertoire, it will be part of me.

                                                              Not all self-improvement books are made equal. Some help start you out on your journey, others give you a boost when you’ve achieved experience in certain areas.

                                                              Here are the best ones that I recommend to read no matter how old you are:

                                                              1. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? And Other Provocations

                                                              by Seth Godin

                                                                This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve.

                                                                With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities.

                                                                If you need a friend who understands you, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.

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                                                                2. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

                                                                by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

                                                                  Perhaps it is the fact that randomness played such a significant role in my years as a poker player that I find this book utterly important.

                                                                  We often attribute skill where there is only luck; we confuse correlation with causation and we underestimate the incredible effect small changes can have.

                                                                  This book gave me a perspective that I unfortunately rarely encounter in others: you can do everything right and still lose, or do everything wrong and still win. It is thus not about the outcome; it is about your actions that have lead you there.

                                                                  This important message is central to many of my decisions I make in my life. This book by Taleb helps you develop such a perspective so you will be able to live in a world one cannot fully understand, where the results are not always clear markers of performance and where chance seems to play games with our fates. Stop being fooled by randomness!

                                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                  3. The 48 Laws of Power

                                                                  by Robert Greene

                                                                    I read this book in a time where I thought power was something I should attain. Power for power’s sake. And while I disagree with my former self on this point, the fact remains that power is very real, it forms the invisible scepter of all hierarchical relations around us.

                                                                    I still recommend this book. I believe it is important to know how people use power for their own benefit and what to do to protect yourself from certain abuses of power.

                                                                    Besides the fact that all stories in this book gravitate around power. It contains many life lessons, amazing historical anecdotes. If read in a certain light, the ability to use power for good.

                                                                    From Caesar to Goethe, Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, this eye opening book spans a wide range of human development. If you, like me, would rather be interested in something less egotistical, perhaps Greene’s latest book Mastery will suffice (I haven’t read that one myself).

                                                                    Another great book in the same style, but this time around; covering a wider scope, and perhaps, something that will make the world make a better place.

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                                                                    4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

                                                                    by Stephen. R. Covey

                                                                      The title of this book doesn’t capture it all. Covey shares with us seven habits one should adapt to become truly effective in whatever you would like to achieve.

                                                                      Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. He stresses the fact that we need to go through a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in how we perceive the world and ourselves.

                                                                      This book can be read as a guide, with practices and everything, to go through the stages in order to make such a shift happen. Part shock-therapy, part ageless spiritual wisdom, Covey’s book is packed with wisdom that actually makes a difference.

                                                                      And as I mentioned, don’t let the title of the book fool you; it is about much more than just becoming more effective. It is about becoming a whole integer person who not only seeks the best in oneself, but also in the people around her.

                                                                      A must read for anyone who feels there is always something left to learn.

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                                                                      5. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

                                                                      by James Fadiman

                                                                        While finding a book on psychedelics in this list of books on self-improvement might come as a surprise, I believe any metaphysical distinction between tools such as books, meditation or molecules hold no ground. They should all be solely judged on their merits. And the merits of certain chemical keys, used in a constructive way, are perhaps bigger than any book in this list.

                                                                        The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide will teach you how to prepare yourself and your surroundings, what and how much to take, and what do do when something goes wrong. So you can safely enhance your thinking, creativity, introspection and emotional balance.

                                                                        This book contains everything you need to know about using psychedelics as a tool for self-improvement while drawing on extensive scientific literature and personal wisdom. A must have for the beginning and experienced psychonaut alike.

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                                                                        6.  Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

                                                                        by Brian Tracy

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                                                                          We all know how that destructive downward spiral feels.

                                                                          We have to do some big tasks of which the thought alone triggers resistance. We aren’t sure how and where to begin and feeling overwhelmed before we even start. We get easily distracted to get rid of that feeling, only to suddenly realize that hours went by- precious hours- and then find ourselves in the same position as before, still not knowing where and how to begin, but now, feeling guilty on top of it which expresses itself in more craving for distraction.

                                                                          Ad infinitum

                                                                          To break this spell of procrastination before it paralyzes us, Tracy advises us to Eat That Frog: to set our priorities straight, deconstruct larger tasks into smaller ones, learn when to tackle the big frog first or to start out with something else.

                                                                          Tracy is truly a motivational writer. While I wished he had gone a bit deeper into the psychological reasons why people procrastinate, it is still a must have for anyone who wants to break the spell and get shit done.

                                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                          7. Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition

                                                                          by Napoleon Hill

                                                                            A from 1937, this book by Hill is a masterpiece. Don’t bother with the edited versions since they all omit important and controversial information: some historical, and some pertaining to the goal of the book, which is to think and grow rich.

                                                                            The word rich might imply that this book is all about material gain, and while it certainly covers that area, it is about much more than that.

                                                                            This is perhaps the first explicit mention of positive thinking on how to care not just about the cash in your pocket, but also the thoughts in your head.

                                                                            This book has been able to withstand the destruction of time. It covers all the basics from planning, decision making and persistence, to the more advanced techniques as auto-suggestion, transmutation and what we can learn from fear.

                                                                            This is not a grow rich book, but a timeless guide to find out what actually matters. As it says clearly in the beginning ‘Riches can’t always be measured in money!’

                                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                            8. The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind

                                                                            by Alan Wallace

                                                                              In a world that is dominated by ever stronger technologies designed to grab your attention, a way to empower yourself is to bring that attention back to where you want it to shine. This book offers just that.

                                                                              In The Attention Revolution, Wallace describes the path to attaining Shamatha, a buddhist meditation state of mind that is free from any flickering of distraction. It is a hard and long path, probably not possible for us to reach in this lifetime. However, even getting to stage two or three will make everything in life easier.

                                                                              A wonderful introduction to meditation, The Attention Revolution will inspire you to take on the challenge and see what training your mind can actually achieve.

                                                                              Once you have achieved such level of focus, you can put it to use to open your heart with the practice of The Four Immeasurables or deepen the practice with this wonderful commentary by Dudjom Lingpa, both by Alan B. Wallace.

                                                                              Before you read this book, you may want to take a look at this guide so you get a better idea on how to prioritize your life:

                                                                              The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                                                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                              9. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

                                                                              by John Durant

                                                                                In the last 10,000 years or so, it seems we have been propelled into an ever faster paced world forged by our own hands and minds. Only recently have we been able to reconstruct our journey and reflect back upon our humble origins.

                                                                                This amazing book is such a reflection. It goes back to the paleolithic searching for answers to health and longevity.

                                                                                Between science and his personal experiments, Durant weaves a mind blowing story that will convey the importance of an evolutionary perspective on how to live well.

                                                                                It covers everything from nutrition to exercise, from sleep to fasting, from ancient practices to modern biohacking and even has an outline for a vision of the future where depression and obesity have become obsolete.

                                                                                If you only have room for a couple of books on this list, make sure this one is included.

                                                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                10. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

                                                                                by Daniel J. Siegel

                                                                                  As my Burmese meditation teacher often proclaimed, ‘Mindfulness alone is not enough!’ Siegel seems to have taken this to heart and made an unique synthesis between meditation, psychoanalysis and neuroscience which he calls ‘Mindsight‘. As he says himself, a potent combination between emotional and social intelligence.

                                                                                  All of us deal with one disorder or another, something that seems to disturb the very core of our being at ease; and while it might not always be the best strategy to want to get rid of it, it certainly helps to understand and have compassion for that little aspect that upsets that perfect image of ourselves.

                                                                                  Brimming with techniques, insights and epiphanies, this book contains everything you need to know to reprogram your brain and to optimally use its capacity of neuroplasticity. A great book for spiritual seekers and scientists alike.

                                                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                  11. How to Win Friends & Influence People

                                                                                  by Dale Carnegie

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                                                                                    This is the first self-improvement book I have ever read and it is also probably one of the oldest in this category.

                                                                                    Written in 1937, mainly for the door to door salesman of that era, this book by Carnegie can truly be called a classic. It shows what we all intuitively know:

                                                                                    It doesn’t matter what your line of work is or what you want to achieve. If you are doing business of any kind, you need to make it about the other person.

                                                                                    Being nice helps, a lot. And while I might not fully defend the premise of this book because it doesn’t distinguish between genuine interest and faking it to get what you want; it still contains a treasure chest full of timeless wisdom.

                                                                                    Everybody wants to feel appreciated, and rightfully so. Learning to take a small effort to make someone’s day will make the world better no matter what your goal is.

                                                                                    I still spontaneously remember some of his guidance, and perhaps this quality is the reason why this book still draws millions of readers to this day.

                                                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                    12. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

                                                                                    by David D. Burns

                                                                                      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today. It consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood; and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles.

                                                                                      If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression, how to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further.

                                                                                      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is the best book for the job. Packed with scientific research, exercises and examples, this is the best improvement your self is going to get.

                                                                                      Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                      13. Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

                                                                                      by Maxwell Maltz

                                                                                        What can a plastic surgeon tell us about happiness?

                                                                                        By dealing with his patients, Dr. Maxwell Maltz experienced firsthand that having your expectations come true doesn’t automatically result into a more positive life experience. Their outward appearances did indeed change but their inner insecurity remained.

                                                                                        This caused him to find other means to help his patients, resulting in visualization techniques. He found a person’s outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally.

                                                                                        This book carries a very honest and humbling story, loaded with fundamental truths about our psychology and how our own philosophy affects us. This is all told by a very compassionate writer.

                                                                                        Of some books it can be said that it will be valuable for years to come, and I am absolutely positive that this is one of them.

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                                                                                        14. Thinking, Fast and Slow

                                                                                        by Daniel Kahneman

                                                                                          This brilliant book by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman is a lucid account of all the amazing research he has done over the years. He is the founder of behavioral economics – the way our psychology affects our decisions – and explains in simple prose how our thinking is divided in two systems: one fast and one slow. (Here’s an explanation on how these two systems work.)

                                                                                          The fast one is almost instant; it consists of the hardwired instincts that govern emotions, a remnant of an evolutionary past, an unconscious irrational machine.

                                                                                          The slow one is deliberate, self-reflexive and logical, but can easily be distracted and takes a lot of effort.

                                                                                          Both play a large role in our lives and Kahneman explores when the fast system fails and why the slow system is often not utilized.

                                                                                          Packed with mind blowing examples and sharp analyses, this book teaches you how to learn to make sound judgments, and use the best of both systems.

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                                                                                          15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

                                                                                          by Chris Hadfield

                                                                                            A few extraordinary people journey to the edge of our world and come back with a unique story to tell. Colonel Hadfield is such a person, and his story is perhaps the most important one in this list.

                                                                                            While the other books in this list teach you to be independent, visualize your future and dream big, this astronaut’s guide turns these all upside down.

                                                                                            A truly remarkable book, overflowing with mind-blowing stories that illustrate the life lessons he learned as one of the most accomplished astronauts that ever lived.

                                                                                            Full of compassion, warmth and genuine self-reflexive humor, he conveys to us to be prepared for the worst and never let yourself be swayed from enjoying every moment.

                                                                                            Part action story, part no-nonsense hard truth and part timeless spiritual wisdom, this book makes you feel like you stepped onto a rocket ship and experienced what he did while learning these most valuable lessons on the way.

                                                                                            eBook

                                                                                            16. Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

                                                                                            by Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet

                                                                                              No self-improvement list is complete without a nutrition book and the Perfect Health Diet is arguably the best diet book on the market now.

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                                                                                              If you are overweight or not, feel sick, or just looking for an extra boost in health (and keep it this way), then look no further.

                                                                                              From reading decades of studies the authors construct the optimal way to eat, destroying popular food fads in the process. They explain in sufficient details the optimal macro-ratios of which starches are safe, which vitamins and supplements to take and what foods, or what they call toxins, to avoid.

                                                                                              This book is a great supplement to the Paleo Manifesto as it shares its basic evolutionary perspective; we were evolved to eat non-toxic, high fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates.

                                                                                              And sometimes, going around with no food at all, can be a very healthy thing. If your body is not in optimal health, then it is almost no use to read the other books. Make this your priority number one.

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                                                                                              17. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

                                                                                              by John C. Maxwell

                                                                                                At one time or another, we will all fail. What matters most is how you deal with it once you do.

                                                                                                Will you give up? Or will you use it as a stepping stone for success?

                                                                                                I recently read an article about new start-ups in silicon valley. Its hypothesis was the more you had failed in the past, the more likely you were going to get funding.

                                                                                                Why?

                                                                                                Because failing teaches you invaluable lessons, and if you decide to continue after you hit the pavement, the more you have it in you to deliver.

                                                                                                Now, this is not in anyway our instinctual reaction to failing. Most of us dread it, avoid it or refuse to fail at all costs. All three are by far sub-optimal. It is far better to accept failure where it arises, to accept responsibility and use it as a way to learn about yourself and your weaknesses.

                                                                                                Only when you are absolute honest with yourself with respect to failure can you hope to grow. This wonderful book will teach you how to do exactly this. A honest book for everyone searching for a clean mirror.

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                                                                                                18. The Power of Now

                                                                                                by Eckhart Tolle

                                                                                                  The Power of Now hardly needs any introduction. It is perhaps the book that has had the most impact on our collective consciousness in recent years.

                                                                                                  It inspired millions of people all over the world to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life, all through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness consists of moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. 

                                                                                                  It is a technique that alleviates depression, increases emotional intelligence and develops compassion. And only recently has come to the west, which remained weary and skeptical until science had validated a wide array of its claims.

                                                                                                  The brain can be trained. The Power of Now teaches you how to release your attachment to certain thoughts and states of mind, thereby clearing the mind to fully embrace the present moment.

                                                                                                  If you already have read this book and are looking for deeper understanding, readWherever You Go, There You Are.

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                                                                                                  19. The Last Lecture

                                                                                                  by Randy Pausch

                                                                                                    At some point or another, almost all of us has come across The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. (If you haven’t, watch this powerful message here.)

                                                                                                    What would you say when you only have a few months left to live? This was probably Pausch’s question he posed to himself when he had to deliver his lecture a week later.

                                                                                                    But being confined to an academic setting and short time frame, he felt he had more to share, thus marking the birth of this book.

                                                                                                    Filled with stories about his childhood, it is a very down to earth exploration of what it means to chase your dreams, to be a good person and live a life that gives value to others.

                                                                                                    A beautiful mixture of humor and optimism, his tender voice will be a source of inspiration for everyone who will take the time to listen, something he tried to impart on his readers.

                                                                                                    A very lovely read. And don’t forget, ‘It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.’
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                                                                                                    20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

                                                                                                    by Brené Brown

                                                                                                      I love Brené Brown’s books. She writes about an insight that I have found to be scary but true at the same time.

                                                                                                      Vulnerability, unlike we have been taught, is not a weakness, but a power to be tapped. Growing up with the idea that we have to hide certain parts of ourselves, to look strong and persevere at all costs always seemed a facade to me. And now she has the research to back that up.

                                                                                                      From that place of vulnerability comes a sense of worthiness, which for most of us, needs to be cultivated every day. Only if we get in touch with that tender spot of our hearts can we connect with others and develop genuine compassion, which are prerequisites, Brown tells us, for living a ‘wholehearted life.’

                                                                                                      The reality, however, is that we often close down, feel neglected and misunderstood, and rather want the vulnerability and perhaps even ourselves to disappear.

                                                                                                      This book is an amazing antidote for that common instinct. Want to be truly convinced? Check out her amazing ted talk here.

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                                                                                                      21. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

                                                                                                      by Carl Sagan

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                                                                                                        We all find UFO’s fascinating. We all really want to believe in magic or visiting aliens. (Surely the crop circles are conclusive proof!) And some of us believe the government is poisoning us with chemtrails.

                                                                                                        At the same time we are fascinated by the progress made by science, by all the new technology and medicines and the fascinating discoveries being

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                                                                                                        22. Philosophy for Life

                                                                                                        by Jules Evans

                                                                                                          As philosopher Sloterdijk puts it; ‘philosophy is a beautiful child of an ugly mother.’

                                                                                                          Philosophy first arose when the old Greek polis states were at the brink of destruction. Philosophy, according to Sloterdijk, was not just a way to make sense of the world, to come to knowledge or truth, but to serve as a psychological immune system.

                                                                                                          This book is an amazing expression of this perspective. From the stoics to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Jules Evans writes about some of the amazing philosophical techniques we can use to train and improve our cognitive immune systems.

                                                                                                          He weaves ancient stories with modern applications, from heroism to cosmic contemplation. Philosophy for Life is a beautifully written book that makes it easy to understand the practical nature of philosophy.

                                                                                                          Perhaps the book would have been better if he would have gone deeper into the subject matter, but nonetheless he captures the essence of what philosophy can mean for the modern person. A must read.

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                                                                                                          23. Man’s Search For Meaning

                                                                                                          by Victor. E. Frankl

                                                                                                            If I had to pick one book from this list for mandatory reading, I would choose this one.

                                                                                                            For three years, Viktor Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He tells us about his experience and that of his fellow prisoners.

                                                                                                            Both chilling and uplifting, confronted with the idea that they would be trapped there for the rest of their lives; he gives us an account of those who found meaning and those who succumbed to nihilism.

                                                                                                            A blend between a memoir, a psychological investigation and a self-help book, Frankl delivers a powerful message:

                                                                                                            Finding meaning lies at the core of being human.

                                                                                                            From his own experience as a psychiatrist, combined with anecdotes from his time in the concentration camps, he tells us how important it is to find meaning in our own lives and what we can become if we don’t.

                                                                                                            Suffering, he conveys to us, is inevitable. But as to how we cope with it is dependent on ourselves. If we can find meaning, even in the worst acts our species have ever inflicted upon their fellow men, we will be able to move forward with renewed purpose.

                                                                                                            I also recommend you to check out this article to help you find out your purpose and passion that will motivate you to live in a meaningful way: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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                                                                                                            24. Simplify

                                                                                                            by Joshua Becker

                                                                                                              This is a fun little book written by Joshua Becker, a big proponent of minimalist living. We all know that quote from Fightclub: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” 

                                                                                                              Well, this is ending.

                                                                                                              Slowly we are outgrowing an era where the unquestioned mantra ‘more is always better’ dictates our behavior. Rather, we now find ourselves, our lives and our homes cluttered with too much information, too much stuff and just too much shit we don’t need.

                                                                                                              This simple book helps you become aware of the freedom gained from living with less. It is a small book, easily read under an hour, but it carries a persuasive punch to start living live in a very different way.

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                                                                                                              25. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

                                                                                                              by Kamal Ravikant

                                                                                                                The fundamental ground upon which all true self improvement is build is called self-love. Because in the end, no matter which way you turn, if you don’t love yourself, you will sabotage yourself at one point. You will think that, for some reason or another, you are not worthy. And if you think that, why would you truly want to achieve anything?

                                                                                                                And this is not just about achievement. This is about how you approach yourself every day; this is what you see when you look in the mirror.

                                                                                                                We make so many snap-judgments about ourselves- often without being conscious of them- that are filled with negativity, haltering us before we can even begin to heal. This powerful book shows you the antidote.

                                                                                                                Self love. Not to be confused with creating some narcissistic image of ourselves that some previous books in this list implicitly endorse, but self love, that inner gratefulness that no external condition can take away.

                                                                                                                Self love, that infinite source you can share with others.

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                                                                                                                Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                Now that you’ve got a list of the most inspirational books to improve your life, what should you do next? Read them all?

                                                                                                                It’s of course best to read them all, but we only have so much brain energy to take all this knowledge. What if I tell you there’s a way to boost your brain power? Here it is:

                                                                                                                How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

                                                                                                                More Books for Your Inspiration

                                                                                                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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