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Published on February 3, 2020

12 Mindset Books To Grow Your Mindset And Change Your Life

12 Mindset Books To Grow Your Mindset And Change Your Life

When you first dive into self-improvement or brain development, you might get suggestions to read a mindset book. Or maybe someone will quote a particular book.

Whatever the case may be, one good decision we can make in our lives is deciding to take up reading in order to improve ourselves. Over the years, there have been numerous authors who have written powerful and inspiring books. These have pushed people to new heights in the development of their mindset. Both young and older alike.

But because there are so many books to choose from, I want to provide you with a comprehensive list of books. These are books that I find powerful and have shaped my life over the years. And I believe they can do the same for you.

Before diving into the list, it’s important to cover why bother reading in the first place. Just because I’ve read plenty of books doesn’t mean others are going to get the exact same experience as myself.

While every person’s experience in reading a book is different, every book has a base value for people. Not only are we improving our reading and comprehension skills, but these books provide extensive knowledge.

We have no idea what is going to resonate with us and help us see things from a new perspective. But all the same, that can change our lives around as we will see our problems differently.

As I said, there are numerous books with vast knowledge for us. Regardless of when the book was published, many mindset books are still appropriate in today’s society. Most – if not all – mindset books are evergreen after all.

Below are some of my top picks for books to consider. They’re not in any particular order so pick the ones that strike your fancy.

1. The Power Of Habit

    The first I want to cover is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. After that book, he also published Smarter Faster Better which is another I’d recommend.

    But getting back to Power of Habit, Duhigg argues in the book that 40% of our daily activities stem from the habits that we form. In order to prove this theory, Duhigg worked with neurological researchers and conducted studies where people broke several bad habits and tested to see if brain activity changed as a result.

    What they found was interesting and led to one clear message:

    No matter how many bad habits that you have, you can change them all if you focus on breaking one of them.

    Duhigg then translates that into practical uses people can use in business and society.

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    Check out the book here!

    2. The Happiness Project

      For those of us looking for more balance, this is a mindset book you want to pick up. In the book, author Gretchen Rubin conducted a self-experiment for a year.

      In it, Rubin broke happiness into 12 sub-categories and every month she focused on one of those aspects.

      The insights and the stories that she provided are insightful and inspiring and in the end, it looks like she achieved her balance.

      Check out the book here!

      3. Search Inside Yourself

        A book written by Chade-Meng Tan, Tan works at Google to this day. He started off as a software engineer but changed roles later on. He’s now a personal growth coach with a focus on mindfulness.

        The book focuses a lot on the subject. Specifically, he focuses on emotional intelligence. To Tan, mastering this intelligence is the key to higher productivity, health, and peace.

        Check out the book here!

        4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

          Written by Richard Carlson, this is an older book but still a great one. In many cases of mindset books, it sometimes pays to have books serve as reminders for things we already know.

          In this case, this book reminds us that the small challenges and frustrations do build up.

          And the best way to remove them is to not worry so much about the small stuff.

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          Check out the book here!

          5. Loveability

            Written by Richard Holden, Ph. D., this is a mindset book that touches on advice for giving and receiving love — both internally and externally. This book also explores broader definitions of love that we tend to forget.

            Holden believes that love is everywhere, even in relationships we’re not fond of. To him, the absence of love is fear rather than hate. Because of this, he offers unique positions to offer love at all levels.

            Check out the book here!

            6. The 52 Weeks: Two Women and Their Quest to Get Unstuck, with Stories and Ideas to Jumpstart Your Year of Discovery

              Written by Karen Young and Pam Godwin, this can look like a chick non-fiction book but there are some powerful insights for everyone. The idea with this book is two authors set off to go on one new adventure every week for a year.

              Each new activity was a small goal, but each one achieved brought the two to realize something:

              It was that life is all about learning, experiencing and growing.

              This book also covers advice from psychologists and life coaches which is practical and sound too.

              Check out the book here!

              7. Prisons We Choose To Live Inside

                Written by Doris Lessing, this is a book published in the 80’s that is still relevant today. It’s not so much a book but rather a series of essays based on what Lessing gave back then.

                This book goes into explaining how societal groups shape our own perception of reality. From church to politics and government, these groups teach us to define who is good and bad.

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                From those beliefs, we insist that we are right and that our actions are justified whenever we try to “fix” people or treat others poorly. All in all this book challenges our own perceptions of the world.

                Check out the book here!

                8. The Myth of More

                  In this book, Joseph Novello challenges the belief that happiness brings us pleasure. When we buy a new home, get a promotion or a new car, we are happier.

                  Novello spends his time digging into these ideas and why these things will never make us happy. Instead, he pushes us to find pleasure in seeking.

                  This book may come off a bit dry, but there are strong stories, good humour and enough poignancy to keep peoples attention.

                  Check out the book here!

                  9. 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

                    As I suggested above, a shift in habits can change your life around. While it’s smart to replace those bad habits with something better, there are other habits that we could adopt. My suggestion is the habits that are outlined in this book.

                    Written by Stephen R Covey, this book takes the habits from the best leaders around and stuffed them into a single book. But what’s nice about this is that Covey spends time in the book talking about mindset too.

                    He challenges the reader to change their approach to productivity, time management, and positive thinking. All aspects that fuel a mindset.

                    Check out the book here!

                    10. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

                      The premise of this book is to challenge your thought process on experiences.

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                      For many of us, our fondest memories are vacation trips we took or a memorable dinner with family. What this book does is shakes those memories and challenges us to have a fondness for other things. Like times we put in more effort at work to achieve a goal.

                      The book expands on those points and shows us how we can bring flow into our life and use that to achieve great things.

                      Check out the book here!

                      11. Thinking Fast And Slow

                        Another solid pick is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Kahneman digs into psychology to help us unlock the code of how we come to the decisions that we make.

                        He starts by breaking down our thought process into two systems and highlighting how each system influences our decision-making.

                        Regardless of what industry your in or how complicated your decisions have to be, this book will provide help in understanding how we think. This can lead to us making better and smarter decisions.

                        Check out the book here!

                        12. Awaken the Giant Within

                          The final book I’ll cover is one written by Tony Robbins. He’s a famous speaker and has published several books. For this book, in particular, Robbins provides actionable steps and strategies to help us regain control of our emotional self.

                          The theory of this book is that when we have control internally, we’ll be able to steer ourselves externally. It’s an interesting read and it challenges you about your own perception of yourself.

                          Check out the book here!

                          Final Thoughts

                          The list of mindset books to try out is extensive but each one is well thought out. There is a reason why these books take up such a large section in book stores after all.

                          People are always looking for ways to optimize their life. For many, we feel like we are lacking in some areas and these books can provide the key. And based on the fact that many of these authors have spent years through self-experimentation and/or research, they’re providing great advice!

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                          Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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                          Leon Ho

                          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                          Published on October 22, 2020

                          What Is Analysis Paralysis (And How to Overcome It)

                          What Is Analysis Paralysis (And How to Overcome It)

                          Have you ever taken so long trying to solve a problem that you just ended up going around in circles? How about trying to make a major decision and just freezing up when the time to decide came?

                          You might have found yourself gathering too much information, hoping it will help you make the best decision—even if it takes you too long to do so. This probably led to many missed opportunities, especially in situations where you needed to act on time.

                          Nobody wants to make the wrong decision. However, delayed decision making can have a hugely negative impact on all aspects of your life—from your personal relationships to your career. Delaying important decisions can be the worst decision of all.

                          At one point or another, people get stuck at a decision impasse they can’t seem to overcome. This is due to a mental blindspot called information bias, informally known as analysis paralysis.

                          Analysis Paralysis and Stalled Decisions

                          Information bias, or analysis paralysis, is our tendency to seek more information than is needed to make decisions and take action.[1] It is one of many cognitive biases that cause us to make mistakes during the decision-making process.

                          A related cognitive bias is the status quo bias, which is our tendency to prefer that things stay the same and fear any changes.[2] Together with analysis paralysis, these two dangerous judgment errors pose a threat to our successful navigation through our rapidly-shifting world.

                          Consider what happened to Lily, a consulting client of mine who’s a mid-level manager in the UX department of a large tech company. Lily had been there for 5 years and was thinking about switching to a startup after a couple tried to recruit her.

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                          However, she had been taking a lot of time making a decision. In fact, before she contacted me, she had already gathered information and talked to a lot of people for 7 months. Realistically, more information won’t sway her decision, but she kept trying to gather more information.

                          And then, there was the technology company that came to me after their growth started to decline. The company had initially experienced rapid growth with a couple of innovative products. However, its growth started to decrease—unfortunate, but not unexpected.

                          Essentially, the company’s growth followed the typical S-curve growth model, which starts as a slow and effortful start-up stage. This is followed by a rapid growth stage, then a slowdown in growth, often following market saturation or competitive pressure or other factors. This is the point where the company’s existing products reach maturity.

                          However, even before a slowdown hits, forward-thinking companies would innovate and change things up proactively. This is so they could have new products ready to go that would maintain rapid growth.

                          Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case with this particular tech company. Not only did they not address the potential decline but once the company’s growth stalled, the leaders dug their heels in and stayed the course. They kept on analyzing the market to find the cause of the problem.

                          Worse, a couple of executives in the company proposed launching new products, but most of the leadership was cautious. They kept on asking for guarantees that the products would be a success, demanding more information even when additional information wasn’t relevant.

                          Both Lily and the tech company remained paralyzed by too much information when they should already have taken action. While this situation isn’t unexpected, it is totally avoidable.

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                          As I told both parties when they consulted me, all they needed to do was to face analysis paralysis head-on and make a decision. But they had to follow the best decision-making process available first, didn’t they?

                          8-Step Decision-Making Process to Avoid Analysis Paralysis

                          I told Lily and the leaders at the tech company that we should never go with our gut if we want to avoid disasters in our personal and professional lives.[3] Instead, I advised them, as I advise you now, to follow data-driven, research-based approaches, such as the one I’ll outline below.

                          From hiring a new employee, launching a new product, selecting a Zoom guest speaker for your annual video conference to deciding whether to apply for a higher-level position within your company, the following steps will help you fight analysis paralysis and make the best decisions possible.

                          1. Identify the Need to Launch a Decision-Making Process

                          This is particularly important when there’s no explicit crisis that cries out for a change or decision to be made. Such recognition is also applicable when your natural intuitions are keeping you from acknowledging the need for a tough decision.

                          Remember that the best decision-makers take the initiative to recognize the need for decisions before they become an emergency. They also don’t let gut reactions cloud their decision-making capacity.

                          2. Gather Relevant Information From a Wide Variety of Informed Perspectives

                          Listen especially to opinions you disagree with. Contradicting perspectives empower you to distance yourself from the comfortable reliance on your gut instincts, which can sometimes be harmful to decision-making. Opposing ideas also help you recognize any potential bias blind spots, and this allows you to come up with solutions that you may not have otherwise.

                          3. Paint a Clear Vision of Your Desired Outcome

                          Using the data gleaned from step 2, decide which goals you want to reach. Paint a clear vision of the desired outcome of your decision-making process. You should also recognize that what seems to be a one-time decision may turn out to be a symptom of an underlying issue with current processes and practices. Make addressing these root problems part of the outcome you want to achieve.

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                          4. Make a Decision-Making Process Criteria

                          Make a decision-making process criteria to weigh the various options of how you’d like to get to your desired outcome. As much as possible, develop these criteria before you start to consider choices. Our intuitions bias our decision-making criteria to encourage certain outcomes that fit our instincts. As a result, you get overall worse decisions if you don’t develop criteria before starting to look at options.

                          5. Generate Several Viable Options

                          We tend to fall into the trap of generating insufficient options to make the best decisions, and this can lead to analysis paralysis. To prevent this, you should generate many more options than you usually would. Generate several viable options that can help you achieve your decision-making process goals. Go for 5 attractive options as the minimum.

                          Keep in mind that this is a brainstorming step, so don’t judge options no matter how far fetched they might seem. In my consulting and coaching experience, the optimal choice often involves elements drawn from out-of-the-box options.

                          6. Weigh These Options and Pick the Best One

                          When weighing your options, beware of going with your initial preferences. Try to see your preferred choice in a harsh light. Also, do your best to separate each option from the person who proposed it. This minimizes the impact of personalities, relationships, and internal politics on the decision itself.

                          7. Implement the Option You Chose

                          For implementing the decision, you need to minimize risks and maximize rewards, since your goal is to get a decision outcome that’s as good as possible.

                          First, imagine that the decision completely failed. Then, brainstorm about all the problems that led to this failure. Next, consider how you might solve these problems, and integrate the solutions into your implementation plan.

                          Next, imagine that the decision absolutely succeeded. Brainstorm all the reasons for success and consider how you can bring these reasons into life. Then, integrate what you learned into implementing the decisions.

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                          Finally, develop clear metrics of success that you can measure throughout the implementation process. This will enable you to check if you’re meeting the goals you identified in step 3. It will also help guide your goal-setting process—something to keep in mind when you use this decision-making technique again in the future.

                          8. Set a Reminder to Use the Process for Future Decisions

                          Regularly check if it’s time to employ the decision-making process once again. As discussed in the first step, there may be times when there’s no explicit crisis that cries out for a change, even though underlying issues might already be signaling that it’s time for a tough decision.

                          Setting a reminder—perhaps a visual one such as a note on your desk, or even just a scheduled alert on your phone—will ensure that you can catch decision-making cues before they’re due.

                          While Lily and the tech company initially had to fight off a lot of discomforts when using the process, they were ultimately rewarded with sound decisions they were immensely satisfied with.

                          This battle-tested method will do the same for you. It will certainly propel your decision-making and, at the same time, help you thwart analysis paralysis and avoid decision disasters.

                          Conclusion

                          Nobody wants to make the wrong decision, but you also don’t want to take too long and miss opportunities. By using a data-driven and research-based approach to decision making, you can nip analysis paralysis in the bud and make the best decisions.

                          More Tips to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

                          Featured photo credit: Muhmed El-Bank via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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