Author Brené Brown humorously proclaims herself a professional “vulnerability avoider.” In the safety of her research, she spent 12 years studying everything there is to know about vulnerability and its relationship to shame. With the data collected, she was confronted with a choice: to dare greatly in the face of vulnerability, or to recoil in shame. This book provides practical insight into the nature of vulnerability and how it directly impacts the human experience.
Read on for key insights from Daring Greatly.
7 Minute Read
There was a time when author and speaker Mel Robbins’ life was in the toilet: her marriage was falling apart, her finances were grim, and she felt like she was wasting away. It all changed for her in five seconds, when, depressed and unable to get out of bed, Robbins counted backward from five and forced herself to get up and start the day. It was a watershed moment for her, and she discovered a principle that would revolutionize her perspective on life. She regained power to make decisions and reclaimed control of her life one small decision at a time. She exhorts others to do the same in her ultra bestseller The 5 Second Rule.
We are creatures of habit. Our brains are routine-creating machines that establish patterns so that we can automatically complete simple, repetitive tasks without giving them much thought. This mindless automation allows us to reserve our mental energies for more important tasks; it also helps us to effectively manage the myriad decisions we face each day. But not all habitual behavior is good. Sometimes we pick up habits we’re not proud of, like overeating, procrastinating, smoking, angry outbursts, and alcoholism. The Power of Habit shows us how habits form, how they become ingrained, and how they can be changed so that you can master your habits before they master you.
Continue reading for key insights from The Power of Habit.
14 Minute Read
This classic by Dale Carnegie has been in print for over 80 years. The book is for anyone who wants to learn how to work effectively with people, to handle conflicts more gracefully, to criticize without offending, and to win others to alternative ways of thinking. Carnegie outlines numerous principles, each full of anecdotes and the writings of famous intellectuals and politicians, as well as his own personal experiences. The principles give the reader insights into what makes humans tick and makes them happy. Carnegie maintains that following these principles will pave the way for more meaningful friendships, wider influence, and greater success in life.
Read on for key insights from How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Sheryl Sandberg was devastated when her husband suddenly and unexpectedly died. Family friend and psychology professor, Adam Grant, was a resource and comfort in that season, walking her through the loss. This book brings together personal reflections on grief, interviews with people who have had to overcome harrowing challenges, and a distillation of the latest research on dealing with hardship and resilience-building. More than just information, Option B is full of practical tools and moving reflections that will benefit those suffering loss, as well as their loved ones wondering how best to support them.
Read on for key insights from Option B.
What best predicts success? Is it education? Life experience? Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves argue that more than special knowledge or skills, emotional intelligence (EQ) is an accurate predictor of success in life and work. Emotional intelligence is what separates high achievers from low achievers. You may be smart, but if you aren’t self-aware, able to interpret your own emotions or read other individuals or groups, then your success will be hampered. The good news is that emotional intelligence is not fixed. It’s a skill that can be developed. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 clarifies what emotional intelligence is, and offers suggestions for improving your ability to deal effectively with self and others.
Read on for key insights from Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
Contrary to popular belief, being a badass has nothing to do with wearing ripped jeans or riding a motorcycle. A true badass is characterized by having unwavering belief in yourself and what you are capable of. Your inner badass pays zero attention to the nonsensical fears you listen to about how you’re not good or strong enough to be and do what you really want. This book will help you to train your inner badass to work for you so you can end the self-sabotage and run free.
Continue reading for key insights from You are a Badass.
What does Bill Gates’ story hold in common with the Beatles’? Why are so many professional hockey players born between January and March? Why do Asians tend to excel in math? In his examination of success stories, Malcolm Gladwell maintains that the way we understand the accomplishments of exceptional individuals often overlooks factors critical to their achievements. Applying a seemingly peculiar metric, Gladwell aims to debunk the popular narratives that assume success is due primarily to one’s individual talent and tenacity. The broader contexts of unique opportunities and advantages better explain the success of these remarkable individuals, or outliers.
Read on for key insights from Outliers.
11 Minute Read
Most of us believe we are in control of the decisions we make and the picture of the world we form. Leonard Mlodinow argues that recent research in the field of neuroscience has shown this to be a myth. In Subliminal, Mlodinow demonstrates the enormous influence that our unconscious brain exerts over our everyday affairs.
Continue reading for key insights from Subliminal.
In a society full of perfectionists, many hide in shame because they inevitably fall short of such an impossible standard. Psychologist and researcher Brené Brown exposes this all-too-common phenomenon of interpreting imperfections as signs of inadequacy. She then goes on to argue that these areas of vulnerability are not failures but amazing opportunities to show courage, exercise true compassion, and connect with others.
Read on for key insights from The Gifts of Imperfection.
What kind of decision maker are you—an impulsive, shoot from the hip, let the chips fall where they may type? Or are you a more analytical, methodical, left-brained person? Truth be told, most of us exhibit traits from both camps. Rarely is anyone just one type or the other. Kahneman’s aim in this book isn’t to help us identify what kind of decision-maker we are, but to enlighten us about the factors which influence our decision processes, highlighting those factors of which we are often unaware.
Read on for key insights from Thinking, Fast and Slow.
The First World War brought a sense of profound unease to the modern soul. The Enlightenment’s optimism about human potential had difficulty explaining the recent displays of mass violence and lust for power. Written during a time when people were cynical about humanity and desperate for a sense of purpose, psychoanalyst and intellectual Carl Jung’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul offers reflections on what it means to be human. This collection of essays is a valuable window into the cultural currents that continue to shape our world almost a century later.
Read on for key insights from Modern Man in Search of a Soul.
7 Minute Read
In the face of unspeakable cruelty and crushing conditions in Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl learned that it is still possible to live a life with dignity and purpose. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl reflects upon his experience and how he found hope in the most unlikely places.
Read on for key insights from Man’s Search for Meaning.
What are the limits of endurance? And is it the body or the mind that sets those limits? In Endure, athlete and scientist Alex Hutchinson travels the globe and interviews hundreds of sports scientists, coaches, and athletes to explore how the brain and body work together to set limits on our endurance—and how those limits can be broken.
Read on for key insights from Endurance.
The story of David and Goliath is one of an epic fight in ancient Palestine between a warrior giant and a young shepherd boy. The outcome decided the fate of their nations. Contrary to everyone’s expectations, the shepherd emerged victorious, and the tale has been handed down across the millennia as the ultimate example of the underdog beating the odds. According to journalist Malcolm Gladwell, however, this isn’t an accurate assessment of the event. In this story, as with many others in our own time, we overestimate the power of life’s giants and underestimate the strength and opportunities available to the underdogs.
Read on for key insights from David and Goliath.
Author and international health professor, Hans Rosling, calls Factfulness “his very last battle in [his] lifelong mission to fight devastating global ignorance.” After years of trying to convince the world that all development indicators point to vast improvements on a global scale, Rosling digs deeper to explore why people systematically have a negative view of where humanity is heading. He identifies a number of deeply human tendencies that predispose us to believe the worst. For every instinct that he names, he offers some rules of thumb for replacing this overdramatic worldview with a “factful” one.
Read on for key insights from Factfulness.
by Earl Henslin
Some scientists have referred to the brain as the hardware of the soul. So what happens when the hardware is not functioning at an optimal level? If the hardware is compromised, then any software we try to add will have little to no effect. If we hope to experience joy in our lives, we must learn how the brain works. It turns out that the decisions we make can impact the brain, which means we have some measure of control over how much joy we experience in life. This Is Your Brain On Joy shows us how the brain functions, and gives suggestions for how our capacity for joy can be enhanced.
Read on for key insights from This Is Your Brain On Joy.
In The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Mark Manson takes on the prevailing cultural beliefs about the good life. He identifies the sources and assumptions of a toxic positivity that leads to paralyzing, unrealistic expectations and a generation of people who feel worthless, discontented, and depressed. His counterintuitive approach is to stop trying so hard, and figure out what is actually worth caring about and what is not. This book provides tools for reframing the way we see the world, our problems, our values, and ourselves.
Read on for key insights from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
Rules? Do we really need more? Clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson says that if we hope to bring order from chaos in our lives then we definitely need the right ones. Many in our modern, scientifically advanced age are tempted to dismiss ancient stories and literature as rife with superstition and prejudice, but in 12 Rules for Life, Peterson’s approach is not dismissal but gleaning and synthesizing ancient wisdom that was hard-fought and dearly bought. Combining wisdom from the past with the latest scientific research from the present, Peterson gives some guidelines for transforming chaos into order.
Read on for key insights from 12 Rules for Life.
Most people know Freud as the father of psychology… and that’s about it. In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud divulges his thoughts about life’s purpose, what drives us as humans, what shapes the evolution of culture, and why a perfect civilization is impossible to achieve.
Read on for key insights from Civilization and Its Discontents.
For most people, the octopus is a slimy monster out of a nautical nightmare. They might appreciate the octopus’ bizarreness from the other side of the glass at an aquarium but would shudder at the thought of touching them, or worse, letting suction-covered tentacles wrap around their arm. Sy Montgomery made it her mission to break down these plexiglass barriers by traveling the world, befriending these misunderstood creatures, and showing intimate portraits of individual octopus personalities, intelligence, even tenderness.
Read on for key insights from The Soul of an Octopus.
When we think of traumatic incidents, we think of near-fatal car accidents and natural disasters. But there is a demographic that is also unknowingly suffering from the effects of trauma: athletes. Placed in high-pressure, sometimes dangerous situations, athletes often endure physical and emotional traumas that wreck performance on a consistent basis. This Is Your Brain on Sports explores the issue of trauma and what can be done about it. It’s useful not just for athletes and coaches, but for anyone who is looking to understand how trauma works.
Read on for key insights from This Is Your Brain on Sports
Psychedelic drugs—and the fear thereof—have shaped culture, politics, and economics with a surprising magnitude. After half a century of being confined to the underground, these substances are making a comeback. Best-selling author and journalist Michael Pollan delves into the mushrooming world of psychedelic research, uncovering the history and surprising benefits of LSD and psilocybin through research, interviews, and some first-hand exposure.
Read on for key insights from How to Change Your Mind.
We live in what some have called the Age of Melancholia. There is a mushrooming depression epidemic that must be dealt with—but how? Psychologist Martin Seligman, famous for his research on learned helplessness, argues that a person’s explanation for moments of failure and misfortune has the power to either encourage pessimism and depression or preempt the downward spiral. Learned Optimism holds out hope that pessimism and depression are not personal traits that people are stuck with. A new set of cognitive skills can help people bounce back from misfortune and failure instead of habitually falling to pieces.
Read on for key insights from Learned Optimism.
At age 23, clinical psychologist Amy Morin lost her mother to a brain aneurysm. On the three-year anniversary of her mother’s death, Morin lost her husband. Not long after remarrying, her father-in-law was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. Refusing to be shattered by yet another death, she sat down to write a list of mental pits that she would need to avoid as she anticipated yet another loss.
Read on for key insights from 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.
In a world full of randomness and chance, making smarter decisions in the face of uncertainty is a skill worth mastering. In Thinking in Bets, professional poker player Annie Duke becomes our guru to help us make better bets in life.
Read on for key insights from Thinking in Bets.
Marianne Williamson became legendary when Oprah began raving about her book, A Return to Love. Here are the insights about the inner life that overturned so many people’s perceptions of what it means to find love. It’s not as far from each of us as we tend to think.
Read on for key insights from A Return to Love.
Many consider William James the father of American psychology. James taught psychology and then philosophy at Harvard in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and his works have profoundly influenced political and intellectual figures, from Bertrand Russell to Jimmy Carter. The Varieties of Religious Experience is a compilation of lectures he gave in Scotland between 1901 and 1902 about the diversity and significance of personal religious life.
Read on for key insights from The Varieties of Religious Experience.