Reading is one of my favorite activities as I strongly believe that learning is a lifelong commitment and one can never read enough. In this blog, I will share my reviews and memorable excerpts from some of my favorite books to add to your list this summer. All books are certified by me as they have added value to my life and shaped the way I think. Below are 3 book recommendations you can read for a better mindset!
First up is HARD Goals. This is a truly great place to start when it comes to personal or professional goal-setting. Written by Mark Murphy, who vividly explains the secret to getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to be through sheer self-discipline. He gives insight on strategy and process with a brutal honesty in what it takes to achieve your goals. Simply put, your goals mean nothing if it is not HARD: Heartfelt, Animated, Required, and Difficult. They must be as equally fun and exciting as they are during and challenging. That’s what makes it all worth it. I recommend this book for anyone who is looking to push themselves but needs the framework or proper vision to get started. (It also includes exercises for journaling and introspection.)
Excerpt: “…difficult goals instill confidence. I mean nobody is going to give difficult goals to a dummy. You’d only give difficult goals to somebody who had a real shot at hitting them. So, by extension, if your boss gives you a difficult goal, he or she must believe you can achieve that goal. It’s another way of the boss saying, “I believe in you, I trust you, you’re the right person for this job.””
The next book on my list is The Brain That Changes Itself, written by Norman Doidge, M.D. Sharing inspirational stories of human potential and learning, the message of this book can be perfectly summarized as: mind over matter. Doidge explains the science of neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neuronal connections throughout life) and how adaptable the human mind can be by regaling stories of stroke patients cured, people overcoming emotional disorders, the rewiring of behavioral patterns, and more. What I loved most about this book is how well it illustrates that anyone can change or improve themselves regardless of their circumstances so long as there is a will to practice and persevere. The mind is truly powerful. This book is for anyone fascinated by the brain’s capabilities and can serve as inspiration to develop a positive mindset.
Excerpt: “Emma’s blindness has reorganized her brain and her life. A number of us who were at the dinner are interested in literature, but since she has gone blind, Emma has done more reading than any of us. A computer program from Kurzweil Educational Systems reads books aloud to her in a monotone that pauses for commas, stops for periods, and rises in pitch for questions. This computer voice is so rapid, I cannot make out a single word. But Emma has gradually learned to listen at a faster and faster pace, so she is now reading at about 340 words a minute and is marching through all the great classics.”
The last book on my list and one of my favorite reads this year – Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and translated by William Scott Wilson. Yamamoto, an eighteenth-century samurai writes of the philosophy and wisdom of bushido or way of the warrior, the code which dictated how the samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live and die. I always knew motivation was fleeting and that discipline was integral to personal development and having a sense of alignment. And who better to learn from than the samurai? A key takeaway for me after reading this book is to move forward always, and that your efforts deserve your utmost loyalty.
Excerpt: “It is not good to settle into a set of opinions. It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that. At first putting forth great effort to be sure that you have grasped the basics, then practicing so that they may come to fruition is something that will never stop for your whole lifetime. Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, “This is not enough.””
Improving yourself is the best way to improve the lives of others, and these books are a great place to start.