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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

                      More by this author

                      Dean Bokhari

                      Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                      Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

                      Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

                      Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

                      Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

                      There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

                      Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

                      Why we procrastinate after all

                      We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

                      Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

                      Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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                      To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

                      If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

                      So, is procrastination bad?

                      Yes it is.

                      Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

                      Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

                      Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

                      It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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                      The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

                      Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

                      For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

                      A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

                      Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

                      Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

                      How bad procrastination can be

                      Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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                      After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

                      One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

                      That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

                      Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

                      In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

                      You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

                      More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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                      8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

                      Procrastination, a technical failure

                      Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

                      It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

                      It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

                      Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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