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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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                      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                      Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

                      But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

                      Sight – Visual Stimulation

                      The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

                      1. Maximize your exposure to light.

                      Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

                      Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

                      2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

                      Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

                      Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

                      Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

                      3. Take note of your environment.

                      Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

                      By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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                      Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

                      What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

                      4. Engage in conversation.

                      Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

                      Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

                      Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

                      Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

                      5. Listen to upbeat music.

                      Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

                      Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

                      Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

                      If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

                      6. Work your nose.

                      Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

                      If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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                      Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

                      Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

                      If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

                      7. Have a good breakfast.

                      Start off with the most important meal of the day.

                      Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

                      Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

                      Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

                      20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                      8. Drink lots of water.

                      Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

                      So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

                      How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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                      Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

                      3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

                      9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

                      Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

                      Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

                      Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

                      25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                      Touch – Tactile Stimulation

                      Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

                      10. Splash cold water on your face.

                      Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

                      This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                      5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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                      11. Use acupressure.

                      Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

                      Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

                      12. Get moving.

                      Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

                      And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

                      You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

                      Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

                      Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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