Advertising
Advertising

10 Mind Expanding Books To Read In A Lifetime

10 Mind Expanding Books To Read In A Lifetime

Reading is fun. Reading is powerful. And reading has served me so well that I’d say it contributes to the majority of the successes I’ve experienced in my life — both personally and professionally. The rest of it comes from taking consistent and deliberate action on the things I’ve picked up from the books I read.

Today, I’m going to present 10 mind expanding books to read in a lifetime. Bear in mind, I’m not saying you should take a lifetime to read them. The more of them you read, the more benefits you’ll gain from the books, and thus, the more mind expanding ideas you’ll be able to apply directly to your life.

#1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

outliers

    This is a book about success and how there’s a lot more to it than being smart and working hard. Maybe you’ve heard of Gladwell’s famous 10,000 hour rule and how it relates to success – but even then – there’s still so much more to learn about how successful people became so successful in the first place. Outliers is a must-read title if you’re looking to expand your mind about the subtleties and nuances that contributed to the success of icons like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

    #2. Cosmos by Carl Sagan

    Advertising

    cosmos

      This is one of those books that you read, and then just sit there and think. Cosmos is one of the most mind expanding books on this list because it implores you to think about our place in the universe, and the fact that even though we’ve come so far as a species, we’ve still got so much more to learn about ourselves and our future.

      #3. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

      meditations-cover

        This book was written over 1800 years ago. Guess what? The powerful principles written way back then remain just as applicable today, as they did back in the 2nd century. Just read this quote and you’ll understand what I mean: “For how could we do what justice requires if we are distracted by things that don’t matter, if we are naive, gullible, inconstant?” He’s got to be referring to our texting and driving problem, right?

        #4. The China Study by Thomas Campbell

        the-china-study

          If you’re interested in learning about the single most comprehensive book about nutrition conducted to date, then this is the book you need to read. The research behind this book, and its health and weight-loss implications will do more than expand your mind, it’ll downright surprise you (and maybe even scare you) into embracing a healthier way of life.

          Advertising

          #5. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

          How-To-Win-Friends-And-Influence-People

            This is the original book on emotional intelligence. Way before social scientists had the case studies to back up the efficacy of human relations, as well as its impact on the way we live and the way we work, Dale Carnegie had tried and tested his methods of positive influence enough times to know their effectiveness. Over 100 million copies later, the methods have proven themselves by withstanding the test of time.

            #6. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

            flow-cover

              You know that feeling you get when you’re doing what you love. It’s almost as if time just came to halt? As if five hours felt like five minutes? As if everything you were doing just felt right? As if you were doing what you’re meant to do? That’s called a “flow” state. If you’re looking to get more of it in your life, then you should get this book right about now.

              #7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

              Advertising

              The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

                You’ve surely heard of this classic. However, do you know what makes it so mind expanding? The fact that it’s based on principles adds credibility. Principles don’t change. They’re timeless. Each of the habits laid out in this book are designed to act as individual prescriptions for effectiveness in all four dimensions of human nature: physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually.

                #8. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

                never eat alone

                  Are you interested in getting ahead and getting the edge in life, without having to sacrifice your integrity to do it? If yes, then this is your book. Never Eat Alone is a classic book on connecting with others. It’s a must-read for anyone living in the current connection economy.

                  #9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

                  the-power-of-habit-book-summary

                    The interesting thing about habits is that once we develop them, they go totally unnoticed in our day-to-day activities. For example: you probably don’t think about how many simultaneous actions go into reversing your car out of the garage and into the street safely and smoothly. You just do it. That’s a habit. However, so is smoking. The Power of Habit teaches you how to be deliberate about building better habits that serve you both in life and in business.

                    Advertising

                    #10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

                    the_alchemist

                      This book will do more than expand your mind, it’ll downright transform your life… but only if you let it. Learn about the power and wisdom that comes with listening to your heart, recognizing opportunity, and following your dreams in this metaphor-laden masterpiece by Paulo Coelho.

                      Which book will you read first?

                      Now that you’ve got this list of 10 mind expanding books to read in a lifetime there’s only one question left: Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once? Or should you take a lifetime to read them? So many options. So little time. Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career. However, if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started.

                      • Subscribe to a book summary site, like GetFlashNotes Book Summaries to get the key takeaways from the books on this list.
                      • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have a tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once. As we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book and commit to reading it from start to finish.
                      • If you’re in a rush, try Audio books, or Audio summaries.
                      • Finally, if you’re in a super rush, check out some YouTube video book summaries, like this one.

                      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

                      More by this author

                      Dean Bokhari

                      Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

                      How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once 11 Life-Changing Books To Help You Build Better Habits nutrition books 6 Nutrition Books That Will Transform Your Health successful ceo The Daily Rituals of 7 Successful CEOs 10 Mind Expanding Books To Read In A Lifetime

                      Trending in Featured

                      1 How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position 2 Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion 3 7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It 4 New Years Resolutions Don’t Work – Here’s Why 5 40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                      How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                      How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

                      Are you stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

                      Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

                      • Taking a job for the money
                      • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
                      • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
                      • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
                      • Staying in a role too long out of fear
                      • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

                      There are many, many other reasons why you may be feeling this way but let’s focus instead on getting unstuck.

                      As in – getting promoted.

                      So how to get promoted?

                      I’m of the opinion that the best way to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization.

                      Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrated added value?

                      Let’s dive right in how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position:

                      1. Be a Mentor

                      When I supervised students, I used to warm them – tongue in cheek, of course – about getting really good at their job.

                      Advertising

                      “Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else?”

                      This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some reality in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

                      This can get you stuck.

                      Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:[1]

                      “Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role. I bet there was a time when this job was a stretch for you, and you stepped up to the challenge and performed like a rock star. You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong “personal brand” equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call “a good problem to have”: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done “too” good of a job!”

                      With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

                      In Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

                      Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

                      Let’s say that project you do so well is hiring and training new entry level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, making hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

                      Advertising

                      Is there anyone else on your team who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

                      1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
                      2. In becoming a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower then to increase their job skills.
                      3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job.

                      Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Be ready to explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

                      2. Work on Your Mindset

                      Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is well explained by Ashley Stahl in her Forbes article. Shahl talks about mindset, and says:[2]

                      “If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you–not the job–who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”

                      In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

                      Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

                      Share with your supervisor that you want to be challenged and you want to move up. You are seeking more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and will develop with some additional projects and coaching.

                      3. Improve Your Soft Skills

                      When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills:

                      An article on Levo.com suggests that more than 60 percent of employers look at soft skills when making a hiring decision.[3]

                      Advertising

                      You can bone up on these skills and increase your chances of promotion by taking courses or seminars.

                      And you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor, either. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

                      Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has the position you are seeking.

                      Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of her meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what her secret is! Take copious notes and then immerse yourself in the learning.

                      The key here is not to copy your new mentor (think Jennifer Jason Leigh in “Single White Female.” Just kidding). Rather, you want to observe, learn and then adapt according to your strengths. And don’t forget to thank that person for their time.

                      4. Develop Your Strategy

                      Do you even know specifically WHY you want to be promoted anyway? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one year, five year, or ten year plan? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what?”

                      Sit down and do an old-fashioned Pro and Con list. Two columns:

                      Pro’s on one side, Con’s on the other.

                      Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

                      Advertising

                      Look at your lists and choose the most exciting Pro’s and the most frustrating Con’s. Do those two Pro’s make the Con’s worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want.

                      The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

                      Mel Carson writes about this on Goalcast that many other authors and speakers have written about finding your professional purpose.[4]

                      Here are some questions to ask yourself:

                      • Why is it that you do what you do?
                      • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
                      • What does a great day look like?
                      • What does success look like beyond the paycheck?
                      • What does real success feel like for you?
                      • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

                      These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your Vital Work Friends over coffee.

                      See, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. And you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

                      Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose. And like Mastercard says, that’s Priceless.

                      More Resources About Career Advancement

                      Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next