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Published on October 9, 2020

15 Must-Read Books on Personal Growth That Are Recently Published

15 Must-Read Books on Personal Growth That Are Recently Published

Looking around the self-improvement world, you’ll find plenty of the best books on personal growth around. Over the years, there have been tons of brilliant minds talking about all kinds of different subjects.

With thousands of books available, we’ve decided to pick out some books that were published more recently to help you become a wiser person.

1. Emotional First Aid

    The premise of this book is to help you learn how to stop ruminating on everything. While there are some benefits to thinking deeply, sometimes it doesn’t help you. Ruminating leads to overthinking and in some cases, it makes problems worse for you and can negatively impact your life.

    Emotional First Aid is a book that’ll help with that by providing straightforward and readable advice on various topics—ones that can bring up feelings or even a lot of shame. There are several good lines to be found, and understanding yourself on an emotional level can help you become a wiser person.

    Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

    2. How to Be Alone

      On the note of emotional intelligence, being alone is another sore spot for people. There are many people who struggle with being alone or think that being alone is dangerous. This book explains that being alone isn’t all that bad for you.

      No matter what stage of loneliness you are at, this book explains that it’s okay to feel the way that you feel during those moments. It’s okay to yearn for better relationships or that you’re lonely overall.

      While this book isn’t quite a self-help book, being comfortable with being alone and dealing with tricky situations (e.g. cutting ties with someone that makes you feel unsafe or anxious around) is helpful. Having stronger emotional intelligence is one aspect of a wise person.

      Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

      3. The Mind of the Leader

        This is a book published by Harvard Business Review, and it is a powerful one—a truly inspiring piece that allows you to get into the head of a manager, specifically how a manager should be working. All in all, it’s a great book that teaches you how to manage with compassion, selflessness, and mindfulness.

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        Even if you’re not in a management position, having a grasp of how modern-day leaders and managers should work is big. The working environments have shifted a lot this year but have been changing even before then. You want to have newer tactics.

        Get your copy here.

        4. The Artist’s Way

          Published in 1992, this book revolving around creativity is still a keeper. Despite the title suggesting this is for creatives only, it’s still recommended for those who are outside of that loop. Funny enough, it’s writers—professional creatives—struggle the most with applying some of these tactics. If you’re someone outside of that loop, you may find it easier and advantageous for you to use.

          Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

          5. Crushing It!

            This is the most recent of Gary Vaynerchuk’s published books at the time of writing it. It’s been out for a while, however, this book provides a strong blueprint for how you can be growing a business in this day and age. The book provides plenty of examples of creative ideas and has Gary’s own get-up-and-go motivation.

            Whether you run a business now or are thinking of running one, this can make you into a wiser person. Nevertheless, Gary Vaynerchuk does put out some of the best books on personal growth and business to help you succeed.

            Get your copy here.

            6. How to Get Sh*t Done

              Another common struggle for people is tackling that massive to-do list or marking things off the bucket list. There are tons of productivity books that you can look at, however, this one is one of the best ones out there.

              As the title suggests, this book provides a helpful guide in getting things done in the best way possible. Even if the advice can be weird—such as the first step suggesting you give yourself a break—there are tons of research backing this up. All of the advice will help unload anything nonessential and shift your focus to things that matter most to you.

              Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

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              7. Tribe of Mentors

                Tim Ferriss, famous for his work “The 4 Hour Workweek,” recently published a book providing various tips, tactics, and habits you want to have in your life. The information he shares stems from conversations he’s had with over 130 of the world’s top performers at the time. In it, he writes about their personal stories and how that can help you make better decisions, achieve your goals faster, and achieve more results in your life.

                Get your copy here.

                8. Becoming: A Guided Journal For Discovering Your Voice

                  In 2018, former first lady Michelle Obama published a memoir of her life and what it was like living in the White House. It’s also a book talking about how she was able to find her own voice and become who she is today.

                  Even if you didn’t get the chance to read that book, you don’t have to worry too much about that. Recently, there was another book published that can provide the same benefits. Retaining the same title as the previously published book, this book is more of a journal as the title suggests.

                  In short, this book can provide you with a transformational tool to help you discover values, passions, and overall purpose. This is crucial since many people who want to grab some of the best books on personal growth don’t often know what they want in life. This book provides direction.

                  Get your copy here.

                  9. Burnout

                    For those feeling overwhelmed with everything, this book can provide a staggering amount of relief. The sister duo of Amelia Nagoski DMA and Emily Nagoski Ph.D. go into great detail on dealing with burnout— a phenomenon that both men and women struggle with a lot.

                    Inside, you’ll find tactics on overcoming stumbling blocks, external challenges, and pushing back burnout. These tactics don’t apply exclusively to professional lives but also to personal lives.

                    Buy one of the best books on personal growth here.

                    10. Can’t Hurt Me

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                      Written by David Goggins—a man who overcame depression, became part of the US Armed Forces, and has great athletic achievement—this inspirational book will aid you in overcoming mental and physical obstacles.

                      The overall message of this book is clear: mindset is everything. If you have the right attitude, you have better chances of overcoming the odds against you.

                      Even if your mindset isn’t a defeatist mindset, we often keep ourselves back at various points in time. According to Goggins, most people tap into only 40% of their own abilities. This book could be a gateway for you to unlock the other missing piece and help you strive for something higher.

                      Get your copy here.

                      11. Edge

                        To those who have made it past a large obstacle, one of the first questions people ask is, how was that possible? What’s the secret? Those questions come up especially when you are comparing yourself to others and wonder what they have that you’re lacking.

                        Instead of wondering about that, it’d be wise to look at this book as it provides a lot of answers. The truth is that those who have made it aren’t perfect people, and we can never be like them. Instead, it’s those same people who have looked at adversity in their lives and leveraged it. Thanks to this book, you can do the same.

                        Get your copy here.

                        12. Everything Is Figureoutable

                          It’s uncommon to run into hardships or challenges that dictate how much success and happiness you can get from them. For many people, whenever there are roadblocks, we tend to protect ourselves in various ways—be it victimizing ourselves, blaming others, or even giving up entirely.

                          To avoid those kinds of scenarios, this book provides personal stories from the author, Marie Forleo, and other readers. The goal is that through these stories and actionable insights, you’ll realize that everything in life is “figureoutable.”

                          Get your copy here.

                          13. Stillness Is the Key

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                            One great thing about Ryan Holiday is the incorporation of philosophy into his work. Since he passes this on to his readers, you can receive a nice dosage of philosophy into your daily life with one of his best books on personal growth.

                            This book is grounded on Buddhism and Stoic philosophy as Holiday introduces readers to remaining steady during times of strife and chaos. Holiday calls the concept “stillness” and points to many historical figures who maintained stillness.

                            Overall, this is a book to help you defend and be prepared for more emotional turmoil around yourself.

                            Get your copy here.

                            14. The Values Compass

                              Two big questions in life are “what are your values?” and “are you living in a way that reflects them?” It’s two big questions that people may not know the answers to upon careful reflection. This book in particular brings those questions up to the surface but does so in a unique way—by traveling to 101 countries that live in harmony with their values and tell you how they live their lives.

                              This takes you on a journey to a wide variety of places and from those places, Dr. Mandeep Rai takes insights and explains them in a way that you can apply in your own life. Considering the extensive journey, these chapters are very small making it one of the more easily digestible books on personal growth to get into.

                              Get your copy here.

                              15. Tiny Habits

                                Change is an inevitable part of life, but most people tend to resist it, especially when change is massive and in your face all the time. Whether it’s something that’s forced on you or you’ve done this to yourself, this book allows you to look at those big changes—or desires to change—and make them a reality.

                                How the book does it is by encouraging you to focus on the smaller habits and breaking goals into smaller and more manageable steps.

                                Even if this is something you do, you may still find this book helpful as the book teaches you how to identify small adjustments you can make to your existing habits to make them develop further.

                                Get your copy here.

                                Final Thoughts

                                The list of best books on personal growth is expanding all the time with more books published every single day. This industry is filled with all kinds of insights and ideas to help you grow and become a wiser individual. No doubt, if you pick out any of the books from this list, you are in for a treat and enlightening experience.

                                More Books on Personal Growth and Development

                                Featured photo credit: Joel Muniz via unsplash.com

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                                Leon Ho

                                Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                                Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                                The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                                The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

                                Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

                                The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

                                Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

                                In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

                                When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

                                Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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                                1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

                                When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

                                As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

                                That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

                                The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

                                What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

                                Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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                                There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

                                So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

                                2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

                                When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

                                No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

                                3. Move Your Body

                                A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

                                It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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                                So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

                                4. Connect With Another Person

                                Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

                                One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

                                Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

                                5. Use Your Imagination

                                When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

                                That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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                                And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

                                Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

                                Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

                                More on the Importance of Taking a Break

                                Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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