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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!

                          More Inspirational Books

                          Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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                          Leon Ho

                          Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                          Published on November 23, 2020

                          How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                          How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

                          Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

                          Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

                          Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

                          Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

                          Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

                          Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

                          Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

                          In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

                          Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

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                          After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

                          What can we learn from this historical lesson?

                          1. Focus on the Consequences

                          Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

                          So was Moscow not an important target after all?

                          Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

                          When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

                          • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
                          • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
                          • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

                          The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

                          This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

                          2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

                          Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

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                          Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

                          If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

                          Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

                          This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

                          Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

                          • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
                          • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
                          • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
                          • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

                          Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

                          3. Ask for Advice

                          Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

                          Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

                          A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

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                          Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

                          4. Beware of Biased Advice

                          Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

                          For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

                          • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
                          • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
                          • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
                          • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
                          • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

                          However, most purchases are unnecessary.

                          Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

                          Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

                          After all,

                          • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
                          • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
                          • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
                          • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
                          • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

                          There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

                          Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

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                          Bottom Line

                          It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

                          You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

                          Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

                          Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

                          Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

                          Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

                          Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

                          More Tips on Thinking Clearly

                          Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
                          [2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
                          [3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
                          [4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

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