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10 Mind-Blowing Books That People Who Love Thinking Can’t Miss

10 Mind-Blowing Books That People Who Love Thinking Can’t Miss

P.J. O’Rouke once said, “Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.”

While I do think there is a place for cheesy romances and beach novels, a sharp mind needs the prodding of good book. If you love to read and enjoy to have your ways of thinking challenged, then you will love these 10 books. All of these books will challenge your world view and make your mental wheels turn as new worlds and ways of thought are illuminated. Plus, they will all make you look good if you die in the middle of reading it!

1. ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers

    ““Who we are cannot be separated from where we’re from.”

    Anything by Malcolm Gladwell is sure to educate you and change the way you think. This particular book is the third non-fiction book in a series. Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to success, and his findings will not be what you expect! You can buy it here!

    2. ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values’ by Robert M. Pirsig

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    zen

      “When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”

      This hefty novel is often considered to be an American cultural icon in literature. The book chronicles a man’s 17-day motorcycle journey with his son Chris from Minnesota to California. During the trip the unnamed protagonist muses and philosophies about the concept of ‘Quality’ and wrestles with his past. This book is not about ‘zen’ in the Bhuddist sense, and it’s not about motorcycles, but it will certainly make you  think! You can buy it here!

      3. ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin

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        “The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude.”

        This nineteenth century novel focuses on protagonist Edna Potellier’s struggle with femininity, motherhood, marriage and gender roles in a conservative Southern American turn-of-the-century culture. The surprising ending and conflicting consequences of this still relevant story will make you want to share it with all of your feminist friends and see what they think. You can buy it here!

        4. ‘The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself’ by Michael A. Singer

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          “If you truly love someone, your love sees past their humanness”

          Michael A. Singer offers a step-by-step guide through the process of Gyana, or Yoga of the Intellect, to the Source. Even if you aren’t fully sold on yoga or spirituality, this book will undoubtedly expose your mind to new and unique ways of viewing the universe and your identity. You can buy it here!

          5. ‘This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking’ by John Brockman

          9780062109392

            “Every aspect of life is an experiment that can be better understood if it is perceived in that way.”

            For people who love to think, what book is better than a book that improves your thinking! This collection of sharp, brilliant essays written by all of the world’s leader thinkers will improve your decision making skills and sharpen our cognitive tool kits. You can buy it here!

            6. ‘The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace’ by John Paul Lederach

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              “Reconciliation is understood as both a place we are trying to reach and the journey that we take up with each other.”

              John Paul Lederach is a leading voice in the international conciliation and mediation field. He has served as a consult and a direct mediator in conflicts all over the globe. In this book is explores the process of peace-building and reflects upon his experiences in the field. It is a remarkable text that will surely find application in your daily life. You can buy it here!

              7. ‘Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think’ by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed

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                “Interestingly, the more Americans report knowing about Muslim countries, the more likely they are to hold positive views of those countries.”

                In post-9/11 United States most Americans associate mainstream Islam with Islamic extremism. This book is the product of a massive six-year long study conducted by the Gallup organization. The interviewed, questioned and got to know tens of thousands of Muslims in 35 predominantly Muslim countries. This mammoth collection of data is synthesized into one fascinating book that will challenge and educate current streams of thought in the United States. You can buy it here!

                8. ‘Invisible Cities’ by Italo Calvino

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                  “Futures not achieved are only branches of the past: dead branches. ”

                  The 1972 novel, Invisible Cities, explores imagination, reality and memory through vivid and fantastical descriptions of cities through the narrator Marco Polo. The book is centered around a surreal conversation between Marco Polo and Emperor Kublai Khan where the two men discuss Khan’s desire for and struggles with his ever expanding empire. This experimental novel is as beautiful as it is complicated, and some of the descriptions will leave you reeling for days. You can buy it here!

                  9. ‘Philosophy: The Pursuit of Wisdom’ by Louis P. Pojman

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                    “In a sense, philosophy is just hard thinking about the important issues of life.”

                    Louis P. Pojman makes this introduction to philosophical thought surprisingly fun and accessible. He presents major major philosophical veins of thought in clear, lively writing that is as entertaining as it is informative. If you are looking for an easy but quality ‘Philosophy 101’ book, then this is the book for you. You can buy it here!

                    10. ‘One Thousand Beautiful Things’ A collection by Marjorie Barrows

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                      I inherited my grandmother’s copy of this book and the pages are worn thin and the spin is coming apart because I have returned to it time and time again. One Thousand Beautiful Things is a collection of poetry, prose, drama and quotation’s from all the world’s literature. It is drenched in thought provoking wisdom and breath-taking beauty. Every book shelf would be improved by the presence of this book. You can buy it here!

                      Featured photo credit: Abhi Sharma via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                      How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                      How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                      What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                      To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                      All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                      There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                      With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                      What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                      1. Think Big

                        From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                        “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                        There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                        Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                        Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                        Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                        Instead be ambitious.

                        2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                          From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                          “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                          This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                          Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                          If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                          Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                          Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                          Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                          3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                            From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                            “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                            All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                            If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                            However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                            If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                            In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                            To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                            4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                              From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                              “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                              There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                              Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                              His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                              He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                              Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                              Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                              If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                              5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                6. Be a Person of Action

                                  From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                  “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                  Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                  Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                  When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                  You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                  All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                  Applying this to you?

                                  Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                  7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                    From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                    The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                    The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                    People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                    This is key to good leadership.

                                    It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                    But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                    What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                    As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                    8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                      From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                      “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                      It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                      Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                      If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                      9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                        From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                        “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                        Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                        It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                        Keep dreaming!

                                        10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                          From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                          “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                          Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                          Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                          If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                          However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                          11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                            From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                            “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                            It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                            When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                            Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                            If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                            This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                            12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                              From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                              “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                              You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                              Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                              True success comes from work.

                                              You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                              Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                              13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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