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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

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    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.

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          #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

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              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.

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                    #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

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                      Dean Bokhari

                      Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                      Last Updated on April 8, 2019

                      22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

                      Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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                      1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
                      2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
                      3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
                      4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
                      5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
                      6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
                      7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
                      8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
                      9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
                      10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
                      11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
                      12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
                      13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
                      14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
                      15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
                      16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
                      17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
                      18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
                      19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
                      20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
                      21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
                      22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

                      Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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