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10 Books Mark Zuckerberg Wants You To Read

10 Books Mark Zuckerberg Wants You To Read

Mark Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook when he was a computer science student at Harvard University, is one of the most influential leaders in the world, and at the beginning of this year, he began a challenge read a new book every two weeks. The challenge is called A Year of Books, and he invited anyone interested to take the journey with him and created a Facebook page to chronicle the journey, as well as provide a place for discussion of each of the books.

Zuckerberg has a specific goal in mind as he reads new books this year. He wants to learn more about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies, and these categories help in deciding what books to read.

Below are the first ten books in Zuckerberg’s Year of Books challenge.

1. The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn’’t What It Used to Be by Moisés Naím

the-end-of-power

    The End of Power looks at the way power has been shifting away from those who once held it almost without challenge or question. This includes power shifting from large corporations to small start up businesses, from governmental agencies to the common people, and from men to women. Power shifts can be beneficial, especially in areas where power was abused by those who previously held it, but Naim looks at the way power is actually fading. Naim’s carefully researched book takes a thought-provoking look at the potential dangers of the shifts in power in today’s world.

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    2. The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

     
    the-better-angels-of-our-nature

      This intriguing book looks at the history of mankind and makes the surprising assertion that humanity has actually become less violent and is currently at its most enlightened point in history. Pinker makes this claim despite all the evidence we see on the news on a daily basis. This is an interesting book that gives hope that human beings can be better and seem to be continually headed in that direction.

      3. Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh

      gang-leader-for-a-day

        This is the compelling story of Sudhir Venkatesh who, as a young sociologist, ventured to get an inside look at one of Chicago’s crack-dealing gangs. Venkatesh shows the unique struggles those in a gang face and how difficult it can be to get out of that way of life. What makes this story even more compelling is the unlikely friendship that Venkatesh and the gang leader known as JT develop.

        4. On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss

        on-immunity

          Eula Biss, as a new mother, explores the conceptions people have about vaccinations for children, specifically exploring the question of why people fear vaccinations. It is an intriguing account of human fear and the metaphors associated with injections and the implications for both those who choose vaccinations and those who do not.

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          5. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

          creativity-inc

            This book was one of the most anticipated of 2014. Ed Catmull was one of the co-founders of Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter and is now the president of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Studios. Pixar’s ability to create great films for the last two decades, as well as their creative culture, have made them one of the companies that business leaders and creatives look to for insight on how to create better and develop a solid team structure. Creativity, Inc. is the accumulation of Catmull’s best advice to those who want to learn from Pixar’s success.

            6. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn

            the-structure-of-scientific-revolutions

              This book, originally published in 1962, is a foundational text in the scientific community, which explores the processes of discovery in science. Kuhn saw scientific breakthroughs not as something gradual, but as something more revolutionary at the moment it occurs. This is an important book on the history of science.

              7. Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Chwe

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              rational-ritual

                Chwe’s book is an examination of the rituals that permeate different cultures and exactly what causes them to become rituals that people share. This is an intriguing look at the role of common knowledge in the development of rituals.

                8. Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower by Henry M. Paulson

                dealing-with-china

                  Paulson has played a uniquely influential role in China’s development into the economic superpower it is today. In Dealing with China, the former head of Goldman Sachs guides readers through the organization structure of business in China and how to best benefit from and work with China.

                  9. Orwell’s Revenge: The 1984 Palimpsest by Peter Huber

                  orwells-revenge

                    Peter Huber challenges the ideas that Orwell put forth in his novel 1984 because it’s so obvious now that Orwell was wrong about the role technology would play in controlling people’s minds. Orwell’s Revenge is both a rewriting of 1984 with Orwell himself (as Eric Blair) as the protagonist and a discussion of the key themes of Orwell’s book.

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                    10. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

                    the-new-jim-crow

                      Michelle Alexander’s book looks at the continued racial divisions that still take place in our society. Though we should be in an unprecedented time of racial equality, Alexander argues that a racial caste system hasn’t been eliminated. It’s been redesigned. This is a remarkable book about the need to keep moving toward racial equality in American society.

                      Featured photo credit: Mark Zuckerberg F8 Keynote/Brian Solis via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                      Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                      You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                      This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                      What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                      According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                      Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                      There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                      How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                      When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                      Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                      1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                      One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                      The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                      Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                      2. Be Honest

                      A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                      If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                      On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                      Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                      3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                      Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                      If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                      4. Succeed at Something

                      When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                      Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                      5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                      Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                      Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                      If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                      If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                      Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                      6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                      Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                      You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                      On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                      You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                      7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                      Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                      Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                      Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                      When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                      Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                      In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                      Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                      It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                      Final Thoughts

                      When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                      The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                      Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                      Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                      Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                      More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                      Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                      [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                      [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                      [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                      [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                      [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                      [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                      [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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