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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

                      How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Your Dreams Happen The Daily Rituals of 7 Successful CEOs How to Develop a Can Do Attitude and Succeed in Whatever You Want How to Be Productive: 11 Ways to Be Productive and Happy at Once 11 Life-Changing Books To Help You Build Better Habits

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                      Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                      How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

                      How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

                      The hardest part of socializing, for many people, is how to start a conversation. However, it is a big mistake to go about life not making the first move and waiting for someone else to do it [in conversation or anything].

                      This isn’t to say you must always be the first in everything or initiate a conversation with everyone you see. What should be said, though, is once you get good at starting conversations, a lot of other things will progress in the way you want; such as networking and your love life.

                      Benefits of Initiating a Conversation

                      First thing is you should acknowledge why it is a good thing to be able to initiate conversations with strangers or people who you don’t know well:

                      • You’re not a loner with nothing to do.
                      • You look more approachable if you are comfortable approaching others.
                      • Meeting new people means developing a network of friends or peers which leads to more knowledge and experiences.

                      You can only learn so much alone, and I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of learning from others. Being able to distinguish the ‘good from bad’ amongst a group of people will help in building a suitable network, or making a fun night.

                      All people are good in their own way. Being able to have a good time with anybody is a worthy trait and something to discuss another time. However, if you have a specific purpose while in social situations, you may want to stick with people who are suitable.

                      This means distinguishing between people who might suit you and your ‘purpose’ from those who probably won’t. This can require some people-judging, which I am generally very opposed to. However, this does make approaching people all the more easier.

                      It helps to motivate the conversation if you really want to know this person. Also, you’ll find your circle of friends and peers grows to something you really like and enjoy.

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                      The Rules

                      I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything; but when it comes to approaching strangers, there are a few I’d like used.

                      1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. First impressions mean something.
                      2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.
                      3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people like you’re already friends.
                      4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

                      Who To Talk To?

                      I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone. Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much fair game.

                      That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

                      In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone, or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop to it.

                      Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you notice about their dress sense?

                      Building Confidence

                      The most important part of initiating conversation is, arguably, having confidence. It should be obvious that without any amount of self-esteem you will struggle. Having confidence in yourself and who you are makes this job very easy.

                      If you find yourself doubting your worth, or how interesting you are, make a few mental notes of why you are interesting and worth talking to. There is no question you are. You just have to realize that.

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                      What do I do? What is interesting about it? What are my strong points and what are my weak ones? Confident people succeed because they play on their strengths.

                      Across the Room Rapport

                      This is rapport building without talking. It’s as simple as reciprocated eye contact and smiles etc. Acknowledging someone else’s presence before approaching them goes a long way to making introductions easier. You are instantly no longer just a random person.

                      In my other article How Not To Suck At Socializing, there are things you can do to make yourself appear approachable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to flock to you. You’ll still probably need to initiate conversations.

                      People notice other people who are having a blast. If you’re that person, someone will acknowledge it and will make the ‘across the room rapport’ building a breeze. If you’re that person that is getting along great with their present company, others will want to talk to you. This will make your approach more comfortable for both parties.

                      The Approach

                      When it comes to being social, the less analytical and formulaic you are the better. Try not to map out your every move and plan too much. Although we are talking about how to initiate conversation, these are really only tips. When it comes to the approach, though, there are some things you should keep in mind.

                      Different situations call for different approaches. Formal situations call for something more formal and relaxed ones should be relaxed.

                      At a work function, for instance, be a little formal and introduce yourself. People will want to know who you are and what you do right away. This isn’t to say you should only talk about work, but an introduction and handshake is appropriate.

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                      If you’re at a bar, then things are very different and you should be much more open to unstructured introductions. Personally, I don’t like the idea of walking directly to someone to talk to them. It’s too direct. I like the sense of randomness that comes with meeting new people.

                      However, if there is rapport already established, go for it. If not, take a wander, buy a drink and be aware of where people are. If there is someone you would like to talk to, make yourself available and not sit all night etc.

                      When someone is alone and looks bored, do them a favor and approach them. No matter how bad the conversation might get, they should at least appreciate the company and friendliness.

                      Briefly, Approaching Groups

                      When integrating with an established group conversation, there is really one thing to know. That is to establish the ‘leader’ and introduce yourself to them. I mentioned that before, but here is how and why.

                      The why is the leader of a group conversation is probably the more social and outgoing. They will more readily accept your introduction and then introduce you to the rest of the group. This hierarchy in a group conversation is much more prevalent in formal situations where one person is leading the conversation.

                      A group of friends out for the night is much more difficult to crack. This may even be another topic for discussion, but one thing I know that works is initiating conversation with a ‘stray’. It sounds predatorial, but it works.

                      More often than not, this occurs without intention. But if you do really want to get into a group of friends, your best bet is approaching one of them while they are away from the group and being invited into the group.

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                      It is possible, like everything, to approach a group outright and join them. However, this is almost an art and requires another specific post.

                      Topics Of Conversation

                      Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

                      • Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or “What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.
                      • Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”
                      • Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they like, dislike etc.
                      • Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on. The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.
                      • Current events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted, forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war or politics. If your town has recently hosted a festival, ask what they think about it.

                      Exiting Conversation

                      Although I’d like to write a full post on exiting strategies for conversations you don’t want to be in, here are some tips:

                      • The first thing is don’t stay in a conversation you’re not interested in. It’ll show and will be no fun for anyone.
                      • Be polite and excuse yourself. You’re probably out with friends, go back to them.  Or buy a drink. Most people will probably want to finish the conversation as much as you.

                      Likewise, you could start another conversation.

                      If you’d like to learn more tips about starting a conversation, this guide maybe useful for you: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                      Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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