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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!

                          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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                          Last Updated on February 11, 2020

                          8 Brain Exercises for Mental Strength and a Smarter Brain

                          8 Brain Exercises for Mental Strength and a Smarter Brain

                          Everyone says that we need to strive for a healthy body. These people are the people who say we should be going to the gym, exercise daily, and eat the right kind of food.

                          And while that advice is helpful, I feel a lot of people forget about another important part of ourselves: our brain.

                          Think about it.

                          When was the last time that you read a book?

                          Most are likely guilty of not having read a book in years. From 2004 to 2018, the number of people in America leisurely reading has dropped by 30%.[1]

                          We place so much priority on our bodies, and yet most of us don’t prioritize brain exercises or brain care. Why is that?

                          Fortunately, with brain exercises, we can reverse a lot of the damage that’s been done. Thanks to massive developments in neuroscience, we understand when our brain is at peak performance and what we can do to maintain it or bring it back to those levels.

                          Do Brain Exercises Really Work?

                          The short answer is yes.

                          First, there is all of Sherry Willis’ work. From her efforts, participants were able to do varying degrees of difficult tasks. Not only that but they were able to do so in an efficient manner than before.

                          There was also an extensive study that looked at the long-term effects of brain exercises on older individuals. The study provided brain exercises to 2,832 individuals aged 65 and up.[2]

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                          Over a 10 year period, participants were given training in processing speed, memory, and reasoning. Another smaller controlled group received no such training.

                          After that 10 year period, the researchers came back after 5 years to see results. While the training did help the older individuals during the 10 years of brain exercises, those benefits were gone after 5 years.

                          After 10 years of having the brain training, there were no signs of brain improvements.

                          What this study uncovers is that not only does the training work, but also it’s important to practice this regularly. Similar to our health, if we don’t train our bodies, it’ll deteriorate similar to our brain if we don’t exercise it.

                          Which Brain Exercises Are the Best?

                          According to research done in 1999, our brain reaches peak performance between age 16 and 25.[3] After that, our cognitive functioning – our ability to mentally process and carry out tasks – declines naturally. This doesn’t mean that we will be mentally incapable of working after a certain period of time though. Rather, our ability to change, process certain tasks, and introduce new processes will be tougher.

                          Understanding this is important since brain exercises are designed to keep the brain functional all around.[4] Examples are being able to do daily tasks, retaining memories, and keeping focus. This might not be a big issue right now but, it becomes more pressing when you get older and there are threats of dementia, amnesia, and Alzheimers — mental issues that could be stopped through regular exercise of our brains.

                          The question is, what sort of exercises are best for us?

                          Simple: personalized brain exercises.

                          Many people have tried all kinds of tactics to exercise their brains. And while there is research to support a variety of these claims, there’s more scientific support behind this particular form of training.

                          The strategy has been proven by Dr. Sherry Willis, a professor at the University of Texas. Through her research, she proved participants became more efficient at performing typical tasks at varying levels of complexity.[5]

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                          Participants were able to write shopping lists to being able to operate technical equipment with ease.

                          The big question now is where can you find these sorts of programs?

                          Since this research emerged, many businesses have been formed to help in this area. Training can be as simple as playing Sudoku to having full-fledged programs given out by various apps.[6]

                          8 Brain Exercises to Strengthen Your Brain

                          While having a personalized brain training course is great, not everyone is mentally prepared for them. Instead, people may find it better to strengthen their brains in other ways.

                          While these methods lack built-in long-term challenges or personalization, those can be mitigated. That is, if you want to start taking care of your brain as much as you want to look after the rest of your body.

                          1. Exercise

                          Studies from 2006 show that exercise has tremendous benefits on our brain. Specifically, exercising can protect our brain from shrinkage as it ages.[7]

                          While exercise may not be the most engaging or challenging brain exercise, this is one way to get the best of both worlds. Not only that, but you can add a layer of challenge by doing different exercises.

                          This helps because it teaches our brain to fire off new signals to our brain. This increases our brains plasticity – the ability to change and think differently. Thus doing new exercises will strengthen our brains.

                          2. Drawing Maps

                          A lot of us remember the streets we grew up like the back of our hands. We can navigate it with ease with no challenge.

                          But have you ever drawn it out before?

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                          One good challenge is to draw out the streets and what your neighbourhood looked like. Try to recall iconic landmarks and place them on the map as well.

                          Once you’re done with the map, find a real map and compare it with the one you drew. More often than not, you probably missed a few spots here and there. This happens because our brain doesn’t store that specific information for very long. Once we know where we want to go, our brain typically signals us to go a familiar route. We subconsciously comply and think nothing else of it.

                          Regardless, drawing a map can help us strengthen our brain and is a step above physical exercise since this demands more brainpower. I’d also encourage you to challenge yourself further and draw larger scale maps. Why not draw a map of the United State and write in all the state’s locations and capitals? Why not do the same with Canada?

                          3. Learning Something New

                          Barring personalized training, the best form of brain exercise stems from doing something different. Starting something new requires a lot of mental capacity.

                          Not only are you learning to do something new, but you also need to keep yourself motivated to continue doing it. Because of this, learning something new will keep us on our toes.

                          What’s also nice is that the activities don’t need to be really challenging. For example, one study had two groups and was asked to do different activities.[8] One group was asked to learn new skills like quilting or digital photography. The other was asked to watch movies or listen to the radio.

                          The study found that those quilting or doing digital photography had a better memory than those who had more leisure activities. They proved this by giving the individuals memory tests.

                          4. Socialize

                          When we get older, we tend to have a smaller circle of friends and thus, talk less and less. What’s saddening is the lack of social activity negatively impacts our mental health.

                          We’re obviously social creatures, so it should come to no surprise that being socially active is one way to exercise our brain. It also is one way of fighting back dementia and Alzheimer’s.[9]

                          Even if you are an introvert, seeking social interactions clearly has short-term and long-term benefits. Some ideas to be socially active is by joining clubs, going for daily walks with people, volunteering in your community, or staying in contact with your family or past friends.

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                          5. Doing a Jigsaw Puzzle

                          Big or small, research shows that this exercise recruits multiple cognitive abilities.[10]

                          6. Playing Card Games

                          Similarly, card games both online and offline can prove useful for your brain. One study in 2015 found that card games activate various parts of the brain.[11] Games included poker, crazy eights, solitaire, bridge, and gin rummy.

                          7. Learning a New Language

                          I mentioned earlier that learning something new is good but, it doesn’t always have to be a physical skill. Learning a new language activates many regions of our brain while also boosting cognition.[12]

                          8. Taking a New Route to a Familiar Destination

                          That or simply go down a different road. This doesn’t apply to driving or travelling but to any sort of problem that you deal with in life. By pushing yourself to think of other alternatives, your brain receives a number of benefits from making a simple change as these taxi drivers discovered.

                          Bottom Line

                          A lot of the reasons to consider brain exercises in our lives is similar to our health. As you can probably tell, these exercises do not take very long. They can be easily integrated into our daily lives.

                          Furthermore, brain exercises improve our focus, memory, and ability to complete daily activities. To stop doing brain exercises is to remove all of those benefits that can help us significantly as we get older.

                          So if you can’t get personalized brain training, consider the strategies I mentioned above. You’d be surprised how easy and how quickly you’ll notice changes in your life from this.

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                          Featured photo credit: Micael Sáez via unsplash.com

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