Top Psychology Books

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Psychology is one of the most interesting scientific disciplines. If you’re wondering why, please spend a moment thinking about one of Oliver Sacks’ opinions: the human brain is the “most incredible thing in the universe.”

Well, psychologists study it. And whether from a sociological, behavioral, or biological perspective, they have come across some brilliant findings.

We’ve spend some time choosing the best of the best among them.

And here they are!

#1. “Civilization and Its Discontents” by Sigmund Freud

Civilization and Its Discontents SummaryLet’s be honest: Sigmund Freud is a bit outdated. So much so, in fact, that he has become the butt of many “yo mamma” jokes. (Really, can you go lower than that?)

But, let’s not kid each other: Freud is not merely the father of modern psychology, but also so big that, even if you haven’t read any of his books, you already know many of his ideas.

And, really, we could have chosen basically any book by Freud, and we wouldn’t have made a mistake. We opted for “Civilization and Its Discontent” mainly because it’s his most relevant and least challenged.

In it, Freud claims that civilization and culture are built upon forfeited individual desires. And that there’s no other way. So, if you want to be happy and fulfilled, you’ll have to find some other way.

#2. “Man and His Symbols” by Carl Jung

Man and His Symbols SummaryPsychology was barely instituted, when it happened upon its first (and greatest) schism. Sigmund Freud saw in Carl Gustav Jung a potential heir, but Jung grew to become his intellectual nemesis.

A great thing – both for the sake of humanity and for the sake of science. After all, there’s no progress in conformity.

Anyway, Jung was a charismatic person. And in 1959 he gave a 40-minute interview for BBC’s John Freeman, which made him somewhat of a name among the general public. And yet, his complex books were inaccessible to it.

So, he decided to write “Man and His Symbols,” his last and simplest book. More importantly, his only book specifically written for the laymen.

Densely illustrated and beautifully written, the book is the best introduction to Jungian psychology, and one of the most influential psychological books ever published.

#3. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow SummaryDaniel Kahneman is one of the world’s most revered intellectuals.

How can it be any different? He is not only one of the most studied psychologists, but also the winner of the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences!

And “Thinking, Fast and Slow” is both the best introduction to his work and the most accessible summary of his ideas. The book’s fundamental thesis is that there are two modes of thinking. The first one is fast, emotional, and instinctive, and the second one slow, rational, and logical.

Elucidating the biases of each one, throughout the book, Kahneman investigates a thought-provoking quandary. Namely, why do we believe human judgment so much, when it’s fundamentally flawed?

#4. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini

Influence SummaryRobert B. Cialdini boasts with a portfolio lengthier than your detailed biography. And most of it revolves around a very specific aspect of psychology: the psychology of influence.

You can see why it’s so popular right from the start, can’t you? If you can learn how to make people say “yes,” you can make your life a lot easier.

Well, there’s no better place to start than “Influence,” Cialdini’s 1984 masterpiece, one of the smartest business books ever written. Well-researched and evidence-based, this book explains the six universal principles of persuasion, as well as how you can use them to your benefit.

Whether employing them – or defending against them.

#5. “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade” by Robert Cialdini

Pre-Suasion SummaryPossibly, we should have listed “Pre-Suasion” before “Influence.” But, it was written well afterward, and we always prefer actual to thematic chronology. (“Star Wars” fans know what we’re talking about!)

Yes, it’s another book by Robert B. Cialdini. And, for that matter, another book on the topic of influence. But – in a prequel type of way.

Because, if in “Influence” Cialdini teaches you how to persuade people, in “Pre-Suasion,” he teaches you how to prepare the ground for it. In other words, influencing people starts well before the actual techniques kick in.

And, by the same analogy, Cialdini’s “Influence” starts with “Pre-Suasion”.

#6. “The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science” by Jonathan Haidt

The Happiness Hypothesis SummaryOne of world’s top thinkers, Jonathan Haidt is one of the many social psychologists we couldn’t ignore when making this list. Unlike Cialdini, he specializes in the psychology of morality. So, basically something almost completely opposite than him.

And “The Happiness of Hypothesis” is here to prove it!

Deemed “the most intellectually substantial book to arise from the ‘positive psychology’ movement,” “The Happiness Hypothesis” has it all! Plato, Jesus, Buddha, how their ideas compare with modern psychological findings, and yes – a scientific formula for happiness.

It should work – but, that’s not the point! Find out what is.

#7. “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers SummaryA book so good we’ve written about it twice! (Really!)

And we can even rephrase that! An author so great we could have listed each of his five books here and no one would have blamed us for being biased.

Yes, we’re talking about the phenomenon that is Malcolm Gladwell. “Outliers” was his third book and his third “New York Times” bestseller. Once again, Gladwell takes his readers on journey through a host of research studies in the fields of social science, to make a startling point.

In this case, that successful people are successful because they usually practice the right way for about 10,000 hours. (Yes, that’s more than five years if you practice 5 hours on a daily basis!)

Of course, believe us when we say that the destination is less interesting than the journey.

#8. “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink SummaryMalcolm Gladwell wrote “Blink” about three years before “Outliers.” Needless to say – both are still read and discussed. “Blink” maybe even more!

In a nutshell, it’s a book about Kahneman’s first mode of thinking: the fast, intuitive one. It shows how some people are great decision-makers and are able to analyze a complex situation in few minutes.

And the reason behind this?

Well, they are capable of something Gladwell calls “thin-slicing,” i.e. the ability of separating the important from the unimportant. In other words, good and rapid decision-makers don’t analyze everything faster than you.

They just know what to analyze and reach to a conclusion faster.

#9. “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson

Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) SummaryCarol Tavris and Elliot Aronson are well-respected psychologists, with the latter one being one of the most quoted in history.

In “Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)” they try to see how their psychological theories work in the real world. And they show, over and over again, that you are bound to make many mistakes in your life – and admit none of them!

Why?

Because, there are many self-justification mechanisms which work in that direction. Whether it’s cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, or fabricated memory – you’ll find them all in here.

In addition to few advices on how to trick them.

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#10. “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil” by Philip Zimbardo

The Lucifer Effect SummaryPhilip Zimbardo is, undoubtedly, one of the most cited psychologists in history. And the reason behind this is the Stanford prison experiment which he conducted in 1971.

In it, a group of 24 people were randomly assigned roles of prisoners and prison guards. The two-week experiment ended only after six days, because prison guards turned sadistic, and prisoners started experiencing bouts of depression.

The Lucifer Effect” builds upon the findings of this experiment. And it concludes that people are not inherently good or evil. They can be either – based on the situation.

And some are capable of exploiting this.

#11. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales” by Oliver Sacks

Oliver SacksThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat Summary was not only the preeminent neurologist of the past fifty years, but also the prime popularizer of the discipline.

Called a poet for the power of his writing, Sacks was the person who introduced us to the biological predetermination of some of our actions.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” takes this into the extreme, showing how our brains can malfunction to the point of… well, mistaking our closed ones for hats.

Yes, that’s a true story! And only one of the many this book has to offer. Make no mistake, though: it’s not a simple book. Each of the stories here is poignant and humane, beautiful and enlightening.

In a “it makes you wonder” kind of way.

#12. “Getting Unstuck: How Dead Ends Become New Paths” by Timothy Butler

Timothy ButlerGetting Unstuck Summary is not actually a big fish in the waters we’re currently swimming. But, we couldn’t resist adding this little gem of book in our list.

Mainly, because of the wealth of practical advice it offers. And because all of it focuses on something many people experience nowadays: a state of crisis.

“Getting Unstuck” can help you overcome this. Ignore the theoretical framework, which basically boils down to one thing only: know thyself. Use the practical exercises, because they do exactly that.

And, because, as Butler claims quoting a German poet, if it doesn’t work, you must change your life.

It’s that simple.

#13. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink

Drive SummaryMuch more than a behavioral scientist, Daniel H. Pink is a provocative thinker. “Drive” is a good example to what extent.

In it, Pink examines what is the thing which really motivates people. And tries to show that all of the old models we rely on may be wrong. For a simple reason that motivation may be much more intrinsic than one would believe.

In other words, especially in the case of mechanical jobs, rewards and punishments do nothing for motivation after a certain degree. What does are three completely unrelated things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Find out what Pink means by each of them – the book is both captivating and straightforwardly written.

#14. “The Psychology of Winning: Ten Qualities of a Total Winner” by Dr. Denis Waitley

The Psychology of WinningLove him or hate him, Denis Waitley is a motivational heavyweight.

And, even though (at least when compared to the other books on this list), his books are based more on inspirational writing than scientific studies, he’s so good at the former, that it turns into something science is bound to explore in the future.

In other words, it works! And Waitley has a daunting portfolio to prove it.

If we are completely honest, “The Psychology of Winning” is much more than a book: it’s a whole industry. But, it started here, with these ten qualities.

Maybe that’s where your journey to the pedestal should start as well.

#15. “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain

Quiet SummaryHave you ever felt that this world somehow wasn’t built for you to thrive in it?

Well, Susan Cain wondered the same thing during her Harvard Law School years. And she was flabbergasted to find out that the fact her education seemed “a trial” to her wasn’t because of her traits, but because the world simply didn’t like them.

And she had a revelation: the world was built by and for extroverts, pressing the introverts to the wall the same way women were before the feminist awakening.

Cain’s “Quiet” is widely credited by many psychologists for starting the Quiet Revolution, an attempt to “unlock the power of introverts for the benefit of us all.” Because, that’s basically the main premise of the book: Western society loses out by misunderstanding introverts and may win much if it starts caring for their happiness.

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The Road Less Traveled Summary

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The Road Less Traveled Summary

MicroSummary: “The Road Less Traveled” is an ultra-popular 1978 psychological book by M. Scott Peck, aiming to redefine concepts as ubiquitous as love and religion, and striving to demonstrate how understanding discipline and grace is essential to both leading a healthier life and truly grasping the meaning of your existence.

A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

Life’s not treating you too kind? Can’t get your head around why seemingly everything and everyone is so unfair to you?

In “The Road Less Traveled,” M. Scott Peck says that you’re asking the wrong question. We look over the right ones in the summary of his ultra-popular book.

Who Should Read “The Road Less Traveled”? And Why?

As we commonsensibly point out in our critical review, a book as famous as “The Road Less Traveled” is an essential read for anyone with even a vague interest in spirituality. It’s also a book students of religion, psychology and human emotions must acquire at least some knowledge about.

But, finally and primarily, it’s a book which may help you become a better person. And even save your life. Just take a look at some of the Amazon’s comments – you’ll know what we mean.

About M. Scott Peck

M. Scott PeckM. Scott Peck was all but an ordinary American psychiatrist when the manuscript of “The Road Less Traveled” was turned down by Random House for being a bit “too Christ-y.” Six years later, its Simon & Schuster edition would make publishing history and Peck would become one of the most talked-about psychiatrists in the United States.

He authored many books afterward, dealing with topics such as human evil, love, suffering, spirituality, and even exorcism and possession. “People of the Lie” is the only one which earned at least some of the fame associated with “The Road Less Traveled.”

“The Road Less Traveled Summary”

“The Road Less Traveled” starts pretty memorably. And we’re pretty sure that quoting its first paragraph is a nice way to start our summary as well:

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

And the resolution of this so profoundly Buddhistic sentiment forms the basic premise of Peck’s book.

“The Road Less Traveled” is divided into four parts, each of them discussing a different feature of Peck’s philosophical system.

The first part is entirely dedicated to something your parents spent most of your childhood annoyingly imparting on you: discipline.

Guess what? Peck says that they were right on spot in doing so.

Discipline, in Peck’s opinion, is the essential element of your spiritual life and your psychological health. And it consists of four components, each of which deserves a separate attention.

Delaying gratification is possibly the most important aspect of discipline. It means sacrificing your present comfort to find some happiness in the future. Remember that beautiful Bob Dylan’s verse: “People don’t do what they believe in, they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent”? Well, delaying gratification is the exact opposite of this.

And it’s closely linked to the concept of acceptance of responsibility, which means exactly what it says. So, from now one, if you made a mistake – you were the one who made it.

Which leads us to the third aspect of discipline: dedication of truth. People, says Peck, will rather lie to themselves if that helps them adapt. But that’s not the right way and it leads to a schizophrenic society.

Finally, discipline is about balancing as well. It’s what you need to do when facing with a tough problem and irreconcilable factors which might impact your decision. It’s not a science: it’s an art. But, you should invest some time learning it.

In the second part of “The Road Less Traveled,” Peck deals with some of the most common misconceptions about love. Believing it to be much more universal and profound than your Hollywood-based version of it probably is, Peck argues that love is what you do when you extend your nemesis, the ego, towards someone else.

Almost obviously, from discussing love, Peck moves on to discussing religion in the third part of his book. Once again, he tackles one misconception after another to prove that religion is something more than merely an organized system of thought.

Which brings him to the last part of his book and his discussion about something as ineffable as grace. In order to bring this indescribable concept closer to his readers, Peck selects few real-life stories, which, in his opinion, show that miracles happen all around us.

And, obviously, he believes that these miracles are prove that you are not alone in this universe.

Key Lessons from “The Road Less Traveled”

1.      Your Everyday Menu: Discipline, a Four-Layered Sandwich
2.      Love Is an Action, Not a Feeling
3.      Laziness Is the Original and the Ultimate Sin

Your Everyday Menu: Discipline, a Four-Layered Sandwich

You’d think that a healthy life begins with a healthy diet; but, it seems smart people often think of it in terms of some other things. In Peck’s opinion, the essential element of a healthy life is discipline.

And, in his opinion, discipline means delaying gratification, accepting responsibility, being honest and truthful, and, finally, balancing. It’s not easy. But, nothing that matters in life is easy.

Love Is an Action, Not a Feeling

Peck believes that love is both the most important and the most misunderstood aspect of living. The way he sees it, love has nothing to do with romance and feelings. And it is way more complex than that passive “waiting-to-be-loved” version everyone loves to write about.

Love is active, and crammed with responsibilities and risks. And if you’re not willing to take them – you won’t find it.

Laziness Is the Original and the Ultimate Sin

You probably think that pride or the strive for knowledge is the original sin. However, Peck thinks otherwise. In a nutshell, that Eve and Adam were lazy to take the time and energy to debate whether eating the fruit is good or bad.

Don’t be like them. A good life requires a lot of dedication. And active participation.

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“The Road Less Traveled” Quotes

Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it. Click To Tweet Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit. Click To Tweet Human beings are poor examiners, subject to superstition, bias, prejudice, and a profound tendency to see what they want to see rather than what is really there. Click To Tweet You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. Click To Tweet I define love thus: The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Very few books have had a more profound impact on our thinking ways than “The Road Less Traveled.” In fact, many general readers consider it the best psychology book ever written. Thought-provoking and beautifully written, the book really lives up to the hype.

And the fact that it’s sold in almost 10 million copies, surviving for more than a decade on the “New York Times” bestseller list, is merely further evidence that it’s a must read.

In other words, it may not be as life-changing book for you as it has been for many other people. But, then again, their opinions count just as much as yours.

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Breakfast with Socrates Summary

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Breakfast with Socrates SummaryThe Philosophy of Everyday Life

Philosophy has no beginnings and no endings.

It started even before we were aware of it, and continues to provide guidance for the people.

We briefly present the ideas of the greatest philosophers and give you something to think about.

Who Should Read “Breakfast with Socrates”? And Why?

As soon as we started living in groups, we began our process of evolution. Some prominent figures stood up and shared their ideas to set right what’s was evidently wrong.

Breakfast with Socrates” is an inspiring, and informative book, that is convenient for all open-minded persons.

About Robert Rowland Smith

Robert Rowland SmithRobert Rowland Smith is a valuable member of the Independent and London Evening Standard and an ex-Oxford Philosophy Fellow.

Smith is a philosophy enthusiast that currently lives in London and lectures ordinary people to apply modern-philosophical concepts in everyday situations.

“Breakfast with Socrates Summary”

Philosophy covers a wide range of ideas such as: How to find my place in this world? Am I a good parent and so forth. The out-of-box thinking mentality shaped our society and brought wisdom into an ignorant world.

Unlike other scientific branches, philosophy is not based on facts, and the one amazed by it will find strength and happiness – from unreliable abstract energies. Surely, first, you have to develop an open perspective and be eager to look for big questions that will satisfy your appetite for knowledge.

Once you become a part of the new consciousness, your inner-self will start reflecting wisdom and real knowledge.

Clearly, understanding consciousness is not a straightforward matter and requires something extraordinary on your part. How can a person be absolutely confident in its methods? – To know whether you are still sleeping or not, all you have to do is analyze the life force moving through you.

Dreamers have an intention, to twist reality in order to make it more suitable for their mental circle. Awaken individuals see the world as it is; transcending tranquility and peace.

In the 17th century, a renowned French philosopher known by the name of René Descartes was restless, in terms of seeking out new mysteries and digging for more in-depth wisdom. His intentions were pure, and he didn’t rely on facts, instead – doubts were his starting point for every theory.

Sigmund Freud appeared on the grand stage at the beginning of the 20th century. As a neurologist expert, he was ahead of its time, conducting psychoanalysis, as a method of studying the depths of the human brain. Based on his findings, Freud asserted that an average human brain is composed of different forces, which struggle for supremacy.

The ego is a reflex “organ” that is mainly concerned with the superficial assets of human life. Living life in a routine, best describes its influence.

The world is a demanding place, and sometimes we are on pins and needles trying to satisfy others. If you can recall such behavior, then you have a good understanding of the next layer called Superego.

Showing appreciation, speaking with kindness, or following some basic behavior rules, represent this segment.

Freud described our morning routine as an illustration of the struggle between these two.

Nietzsche despised the collective mindset and stimulated free ideas that will improve anyone’s rank and lead you to self-satisfaction. His fellow philosopher and Karl Marx later materialized and remodeled these insights to inflict a new meaning to the word.

Marx’s ideas were put to the test in some states in the 20th century.

Karl Marx had a counterpart on the other end. While he believed that the system is designed so that wealthier will increase their wealth, Weber implied that – We all have equal chances of gaining capital, it’s just a matter of will-power and sacrifice.  

To drive this point one step further, Weber used a phrase: Work both hard and simple, and sooner or later you will become rich and earn your respect.

People’s habit of passing judgment based on gender is not entirely eradicated. Trying to establish and forge healthy relationship is complicated if you persistently continue to attribute some of the misunderstandings to maleness and femaleness.

If you take men to be angry and dominant, and women emotional and explosive, then you need proper schooling. You have to abandon such shallow thinking if you have an intention to grow.

Why is it so difficult for us to treat one another with respect? Perhaps, there is still some societal stigma attached, but that’s no valid excuse.

French feminists started this movement, asking more openness, openness, tolerance, and empathy among partners.

Key Lessons from “Breakfast with Socrates

1.      Buddhist’s secret to calmness
2.      Karl Marx’s intentions
3.      German philosophy

Buddhist’s secret to calmness

After a long day and exhausting day, who wouldn’t want a bath? In fact, you can improve the atmosphere by adding candles, flowers, and a little bit of instrumental music. That’s pretty much everyone’s perfect ending.

Buddhist ideology has nothing to do with momentary relaxation. The real efforts are pointed at achieving real peace that doesn’t go away – depending on the situation.

Karl Marx’s intentions

After years of observation and collecting of evidence, Marx ultimately formed a judgment – that an average worker has little choice but to remain poor.

His words were not well-received by the elite, however, he later even declared that the oppressed workforce is nothing shorter than a modern-slavery system.

German philosophy

Your current status act as an indicator of your importance in the society or does it? A German philosopher known for its contradictory views remained sober and critical throughout its life.

The 19th-century theorist, Friedrich Nietzsche challenged the community with several mind-blowing questions “What if I had a chance to give this life another turn? – Is this life worth living”?

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“Breakfast with Socrates” Quotes

Let's remember you can still go shopping without buying, because where buying is a matter of need, shopping is a question of want. Click To Tweet Given that Socrates was effectively assassinated by poison, you might think twice before accepting his invitation to breakfast. Click To Tweet Let’s remember you can still go shopping without buying, because where buying is a matter of need, shopping is a question of want. Click To Tweet Where cleverness satisfies itself with winning arguments in the abstract, wisdom is a practical art, aimed at making deft judgments in the midst of everyday complications. Click To Tweet There is a holiness in rest. Why? Only rest affords the time for contemplation. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Yet again, we are facing a crossroad.

Don’t panic; philosophy doesn’t give you hard facts to hold on to, instead – it offers a new set of appropriate solutions that are odd to many people.

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Top Mindfulness Books

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We know how vital serenity and self-awareness can be for your well-being in the fast-paced and event-flooded world of today. And we’ve never forgotten how little time you might have to start reading the right books covering these topics.

That’s why we’ve decided to make a list of the 15 best mindfulness books we could find. And, guess what: we’ve already written summaries of most of them!

It’s time to start transforming your life – the calm way.

#1. “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation” by Sharon Salzberg

Real Happiness SummaryMaking bad decisions too often? Stuck in way too many bad habits? And life has become nothing more but a string of disappointments?

Well, “Real Happiness” may be the perfect book for you! In it, Sharon Salzberg explores the concept of insight meditation, an ancient and straightforward Buddhist practice focused on moment-to-moment awareness. By teaching you how to cultivate concentration, mindfulness, love, and kindness, this book will strengthen your attention, and help you achieve more balance in your life.

And it will make you one more favor! Because, before balance, comes recovery. And “Real Happiness” knows this. So, it includes many bits of practical advice on how you can cope with disappointments and distress.

The best part? It’s a 28-day program!

#2. “A New Earth: Awakening to the Purpose of Your Life” by Eckhart Tolle

A New Earth SummaryCrippled by fear, anxiety, and despair? What you need is an internal transformation!

“A New Earth,” by perennial favorite Eckhart Tolle (yes, his other book is in this list as well), will guide you on a wonderful quest to awakening. It will help you forget about your ego and erase the “I” which is bothering you.

The New Earth of the title is the earth of the selfless and the compassionate. It’s the earth inhabited by those who are aware that they are more than the voice in their head. And who can live much more fully because of this.

As Tolle writes: “Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” So, become aware now!

#3. “Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Consciousness in Everyday Life” by Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace Is Every Step SummaryEckhart Tolle is not the only guy with two books on this list! There are two more! And Thich Nhat Hanh is the second one.

His book, “Peace Is Every Step,” is a timeless masterpiece. You know, one of those books which can cultivate some peace in your life wherever and whenever you live. And, some more!

Because applying the Hanh’s principles of meditative mindfulness won’t only benefit you as a person! They will also play a significant part in spreading peace to your family, neighborhood, country, and even the whole world.

Hanh’s teaching revolves around the method of conscious breathing. It suggests cognizance of every move you make in your daily life. Because you can achieve peace and happiness only if you are focused at all times.

And doing away with distractions starts with living in the present moment.

#4. “The Power of Now: An Incredible Masterpiece of Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now SummaryFeeling a bit stuck in your past? Can’t get out of your head to see the happiness around you?

Eckhart Tolle‘s “The Power of Now” may make all the difference in your life!

It’s a combination of the most relevant ancient philosophies and modern teachings. And it is designed to help you overcome your past pain, anxiety, and stress. So that you can consciously start living your life moment by moment!

Discover numerous meditation approaches which provide profound insights into presence, positive thinking, mindfulness, and acceptance.

And do it… well, now!

#5. “The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to the Practice of Meditation” by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Miracle of Mindfulness SummaryOnce again Thich Nhat Hanh!

Appealingly written, The Miracle of Mindfulnessguides readers to attaining the skills of meditation and mindfulness.

Because, being focused on your work, and being ready to deal with any situation which might arise, is the essence of the power of self-awareness.

This book is the ideal introduction to your inner self. The author’s spiritual teachings utilize familiar objects and situations – like dishwashing, and drinking tea – to illustrate how you can maintain mindfulness and live a better life.

Yes: In the unbearably dynamic world of today!

#6. “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A. Singer

The Untethered Soul Summary

Do you want to gain some freedom from your limitations and rise above your weaknesses? What can you do to achieve happiness and self-realization?

“The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer answers these questions in a profound and appealing manner.

By scrutinizing all aspects of meditation and mindfulness, Singer illustrates how living well is interrelated with the development of consciousness. And how doing the latter is equal to living in the present moment and letting go of past painful thoughts.

After all, they are the only ones which prevent you from excelling.

#7. “Mindfulness in Plain English” by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Mindfulness in Plain English SummaryThe main idea behind “Mindfulness in Plain English” is helping you see reality just as it is. So no theory, no ideology – just the practice of mindfulness.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana – god, that’s a difficult name to spell! – dives into mindfulness meditation in an extremely simple, yet pragmatic way.

Most importantly, he provides deep insights into the Buddhist-based practice called vipassana. In plain English, it means insight into the true nature of reality. Into Gunaratana’s even plainer English, it’s a shortcut to overcoming past obstacles and living your life in the present moment.

Noticing a mindfulness pattern?

#8. “Buddha’s Brain: The Neuroscience of Happiness, Compassion, and Wisdom” by Rick Hanson

Buddha's Brain SummaryFirst of all, let’s get one thing straight: the brain is not the same as the mind. The first is a biological fact, the second a psychological entity. Now, a question: do you know that changing your brain can change your life as well?

“Buddha’s Brain” elaborates how. It examines the lives and teachings of great leaders, such as Buddha, Mohammed, Moses, Gandhi, and Jesus, and shows how they upgraded their normal brains in ways that transformed the world. Paradoxically, the author, Rick Hanson, Ph.D., draws on modern neuroscientific breakthroughs to give evidence for a more in-depth spiritual life.

And that is the best part of “Buddha’s Brain.” It’s an extraordinary amalgam of meditative practice, neurology, and psychology. Moreover, it is enriched with practical tools which can help you use the unexploited potential of your brain to achieve better well-being, as well as peace of mind.

#9. “The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu

The Book of Joy Summary“The Book of Joy” is a rare delight of a book!

After all, it’s written by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu! Nobel Prize Laureates, Misters Holiness themselves!

And, as the title suggests, the book is for anyone who wants to bring greater joy, contentment, and purpose into their lives.

It’s a one-of-a-kind teaching which depicts the nature of the interrelated relationship between painful experiences and deep happiness. The authors explain how prominent spiritual leaders like Abraham demonstrate what it really means to be both ordinary and at the same time outrageously and completely unpredictable!

Like, for example, right ab…

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#10. “Emotional Intelligence: Why it Could Be More Important Than IQ” by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence SummarySorry for finishing the previous summary so abruptly! But, can you blame us? We were merely practicing our right to be unpredictable!

“Emotional Intelligence,” however, steers a bit the other way. It tries to show how important harnessing your emotions is and how anything else can hurt your potential.

To prove this point, Daniel Goleman points to the surprisingly malleable circuitry of a person’s brain. And he shows how it changes via the power of emotions from childhood to adulthood.

Goleman believes that temperament isn’t destiny. It’s merely the complex of physical, social, and chemical aspects which shapes your emotional responses.

And which you can hardworkingly change!

#11. “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves through Meditation and Mindfulness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Coming to Our Senses SummaryComing to Our Senses is another plea for living in your “now”!

It is a beautifully and profoundly written book, tracing your steps from waking up from your memories to re-discovering the present moments, which actually make up your life.

And when we say beautifully written book – we really mean it!

It’s written with such a poetic voice, that merely reading Jon Kabat-Zinn will calm your spirit and relax your nerves. And, this merely reinforces the knowledge it presents, both ancient and contemporary.

An incredible spiritual primer, “Coming to Our Senses” expounds on the Buddhist-based meditation techniques which are proven over and over again to work wonders!

#12. “Journey of the Heart: Path of Mindful Love” by John Welwood

Journey of the Heart SummaryJourney of the Heart by John Welwood is a wonderful little book.

It is meant to inspire those who believe that an intimate relationship can help two individuals to grow and expand their senses. In fact, the book shows how one can use the challenges one experiences in a relationship as perfect opportunities to deepen his or her ability to connect with others.

In a nutshell, “Journey of the Heart” is a guidebook to mindful love.

#13. “Body Calm: The Modern-Day Meditation Approach that Helps You Live Your Life to the Fullest” by Sandy C. Newbigging

Body Calm SummaryLooking for practical self-healing meditation techniques which can help you achieve inner peace?

Body Calmis here to help you! It’s a great no-theory all-practice book, which strives to help you stay healthy.

It presents a powerful way to meditate and give your body enough rest to recover, while also helping you to have a calm mind. It utilizes the mind-body connection to promote healing and bring greater harmony to your mind, body, and soul.

So, if you want to lead a healthy life and deliver your best in either sports or business, this book is for you!

It will not disappoint you!

#14. “Anti-Stress Dot-to-Dot: Relaxing and Inspirational Adult Dot-to-Dot Pictures to Calm Yourself” by Emily Wallis

Anti-Stress Dot-to-Dot SummaryOK, this one’s a wildcard! (Get used to them: there will be few of them in these lists).

A Top 15 Mindfulness book that has practically not one line of text, bar its title! But, believe us: it makes a lot of sense! Because just as mindfulness is about not thinking, reading may be all about drawing!

We’re not joking!

“Anti-Stress Dot-to-Dot” by Emily Wallis is one of the first books of its kind: a complex dot-to-dot drawing book. Featuring elegant buildings, spectacular nature scenes, and majestic animals, Wallis’ book spells peace and calm on basically each and every one of its pages.

And whether you decide on dot-to-dot drawing a beautiful mermaid or a knotty swarm of bees, it really seems that this compact little masterpiece has it all to help you reach serenity trough practice!

#15. “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Full Catastrophe Living SummaryFull Catastrophe Living” is Kabat-Zinn’s second entry on this list. And it’s prefaced by another of our two-entry authors, Thich Nhat Hanh.

So, need we say more?

Yet, we will.

Because, “Full Catastrophe Living” is a groundbreaking work on healing, mindfulness, and meditation. It’s a book for the beginners, and for the most advanced, for those who are happy, and for those who are in a deep crisis.

Kabat-Zinn presents profound insights into the powerful effects of trained breathing, meditation, body scans, and yoga. And he doesn’t merely investigate some original ideas about the origins of stress and anxiety and their dominant role in our everyday lives.

Oh, no! He offers effective ways to deal with them on a daily basis. And what more can you ask from a book on mindfulness?

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Big Magic Summary

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Big Magic SummaryCreative Living Beyond Fear

Literally, not even money can give you fearlessness, and security.

Not worrying about your current financial situation may be your biggest strength.

We briefly give our thoughts on sharing the magic.

Who Should Read “Big Magic”? And Why?

In times where everything seems superficial, Elizabeth turns on to the other side, trying to spark something in you.

Big magic” is a life-altering, informative book, that is appropriate for various profiles of people.

About Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth GilbertElizabeth Gilbert is a celebrated author of the internationally best-selling book Eat Pray Love, which is translated into more than 30 languages.

The Time Magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people globally.

“Big Magic Summary”

There are hardly any words suitable for explaining the meaning of creativity. Thinking about being creative and innovative is not practical either. It’s best if you understand what is keeping you from getting mileage out of your hidden craft.

As you may have assumed – that’s fear, losing courage is a common momentum. Perhaps, finding the inspiration to continue and do your stuff with excitement is harder for adults. As a person grows older, it ignores the power of curiosity. It seems like, we’ve lost our childhood innocence and completely forgot about dreaming.

Don’t destroy your artistry by being too rational, allow mysterious forces to enter your life.

With an intro like that, we’ve got you all tingled with excitement and ready to absorb the big magic of creativity.

The collective mindset of millions of people worldwide is continuously endangering the creative nature of one’s self. Growing up in an environment, which consistently promotes the absolute, “life or death” necessity for formal education, is gradually destroying happiness.

Once you are all done with your degrees, next in line is finding a suitable job that matches your skills. At this journey, the creative part is neglected and abandoned. Who says that this is a one-way ticket to professional delight and fulfillment?

Just like soccer players, or musicians, it takes years of practice and flair to convert your average work into incomparable mastery. Early failed attempts, serve only as a reminder that you should to foster hardship and defy every imposed idea. What is the cost if decided to chose otherwise?

Millions and millions of depressed souls, who didn’t reach their full creative potential, and the opportunity to live out-of-the-box.

In the skepticism of today, digging deep to find an incentive that will push you to go beyond the limits is a challenging task. If you take this road, beware of both external and internal factors – both in a secret mission to tackle your happiness.

Misconceptions must be avoided at any cost. Don’t be guided by false claims and misleading ideas that creativity is a handy tool that shall bring you money and fame. Instead, let those things appear spontaneously; your job is to embrace curiosity and to reject fear.

Almost every person can recall some bad times that caused stress and pressure. Even if your thoughts imprison you, and it seems like they are not backing down, don’t worry – it’s not the end of the world.

Your only concern is to stay focused, and creative by being perceptive. Many people are overthinking, a habit which is responsible for lack of inspiration. The strange thing about intuition is that it can be ignited anywhere regardless of how meaningless some situation might be. Whether you are doing your laundry or going grocery shopping, you mustn’t be putt of balance by these activities.

Every idea lands in your mind, accepted or ignored – selectiveness is the key. Whether that plan is based on solid grounds and reasonable facts or not, you must take it into account. As floating, inner sensations, these concepts are mystical and unexplainable.  Many artists and experts would agree with this theory and the seriousness of taking measures.

Many people are still not sure what separates originality and authenticity. In today’s market, nothing is more valuable than staying true to what you believe in and sharing your story from such standpoint. Don’t become add to the averageness and bring something unique.

We hate bursting that bubble, but your education stands in the way of what you really love to do. In truth, many argue otherwise, because they failed to reach their sacred place. You should beware of such personalities on the grounds that, they tend to drag you down. Living your life fully is tightly connected with the privilege of transforming your passion into a daily job.

Just imagine, how would it look like if you wake up each morning with a big smile on your face, and high spirits to do your work. It’s not a job, it’s a dream, and you’re living it.  

Key Lessons from “Big Magic

1.      The real threat
2.      Don’t trust your thoughts
3.      Schools don’t create geniuses

The real threat

In reality, we are our greatest enemy when it comes to this magic.

Creatives are aware that their biggest obstacle often comes in the form of conviction and self-imposed limitations.

Don’t trust your thoughts

If you are making a move on following your passion, usually a little voice inside your head comes up saying – you are not there yet, or you are not good enough.

Gear yourself up with knowledge and enthusiasm, and the rest will come spontaneously.  

Schools don’t create geniuses

Authors are not born in the classroom; they are self-made; the same thing goes for artists, musicians, and other individuals who were willing to take a risk.

Even it’s not entirely correct to call it a risk, according to them – this was not a choice between two options, they’d rather die than live as “rats.”

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“Big Magic” Quotes

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. Click To Tweet Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy. Click To Tweet You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures. Click To Tweet It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too. Click To Tweet Done is better than good. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We all need a little magic into our lives, just to make things easier. We need something that can spice up the story, and put extra excitement into it.

“Big Magic” is undoubtedly the partner in such efforts.

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As A Man Thinketh Summary

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As A Man Thinketh SummaryThe classic text that proves the power of positive thinking

When optimism becomes secondary, and realism takes first place, we need an instant transformation.

We encapsulate the essence of this book and briefly explain its methods.

Who Should Read “As A Man Thinketh”? And Why?

Perhaps, in times of rapid change, we’ve lost the sense of pure joy. In order to revive that reality, we must reject the egoic suggestions, and turn to a more open approach.

To stimulate such an attitude James Allen wrote: “As a Man Thinketh” which is suitable and applicable to the wider audience.

About James Allen

James AllenJames Allen (1864–1912) was a British motivational writer and according to some the leading force in the self-help movement.

He is lauded as a great philosopher and author anywhere in the civilized world, for his work on positive thinking that launched a new era and inspired millions.  

“As A Man Thinketh Summary”

Who doesn’t want to become powerful and influential? The strange thing about life is that only a handful of people have defined goals. Most of us are looking forward to crossing swords with the world. With a harmful, self-centered attitude, you cannot push and reach your final destination.

Evidently, the society continues to promote “chase your dreams” mentality, but that doesn’t serve as a guide. If you can’t make heads or tails of it, the chances to climb up the ladder of happiness are slimming.

Take concrete actions, and listen to those people whose plans are indicating prosperity. Typically, each person will share and give you a piece of advice based on its viewpoints and current situation. So, beware whose experience you embrace.

For instance, a manager will probably suggest that you “clean up” your to-do-list and organize your activities. An artist will advocate for something profound and meaningful rather than superficial.

Well, most of the things we do are complementary with our mental state. So, if you know someone who is always complaining about the deadlines, play dirty tricks at work, you have some idea of how that person actually feels.

Giving up, backing down, withdrawing from an agreement; all of these are inherent for underachievers. They transfer their attitude in their relationship and go up in smoke if there’s even the slightest change of pace. This phrase means that as rigid, and stubborn individuals they fail to earn respect from the group.

By what we’ve acquired up to now, it’s advisable to outline two things that make a difference – attitude and action. As two separate but highly related units, you should admire people who adopt the right approach and take proper measures.

Underachievers tend to blame the organization for their sinking ship. Feeling downhearted is merely a temporary thing, but they reject this notion and continue with their intentions. If you lack the self-esteem and you need a motivational boost, make sure you’re in the right company for such endeavor.

Ask any millionaire to describe the key assets for success. We guarantee you that unanimously you’ll get your answer, which will be self-respect and attitude. However, not everyone is aware of this.

People that are superstitious incline to accuse other people and even environmental factors and signs for their predicaments. Perhaps, you’ve also been in such situation, when you felt miserable about something that has happened earlier that day.

Passing blame on external influences can make you go through that period of life, but it’s not a long-term solution. Don’t allow momentary setbacks dash your hopes of becoming a real winner. In fact, we rarely find the strength to pull ourselves up from a tight spot.

For instance, let’s assume you are living in the States and you obviously speak English, as you can see external factors like dwelling in the U.S. “force” you to use a specific language. Nonetheless, that’s not the case with life.

Influences that are not controlled by you are not in fact, powerful enough to shape who you are. In reality, we are the lords of all creation and the leaders of life as it is.

Let’s go into another quick example:

How come we all show different signs of aging? Same as the theories we just discussed, it’s all about the habits and whether you have access to the right medical tools for proper healthcare. However, never forget that even if you own a private hospital but lack the attitude to take care of yourself, you’ll still end up sick and vulnerable.

You know the old classic – think positive and joy will follow? We bet you are already pretty familiar with this anecdote. You are as young as you feel – is another saying that yet again proves and endorses this idea.

To reach such heights, you must trust in your potential and ultimately convert your ideas into something of worth, by focusing on the end result.

Key Lessons from “As A Man Thinketh

1.      New times require new measures
2.      Happiness and success as one
3.      Make your dreams come true

New times require new measures

When it comes to goals, you might want to try the power of fixation. By concentrating on the ultimate mission, you’ll become the master of your thoughts and not vice versa.

At the peak of economic fluctuations, the market now more than ever, requires ingenuity.

Happiness and success as one

Rather than being at the mercy of other entities; your strongest tool for reaching real delight is the mindset that requires redevelopment.

If you want it simple, your actions and reactions represent the foundation for the situation you’ll end up in.

Make your dreams come true

Regardless of the circumstances – the only thing that really has an impact on your well-being is you. How many times have you heard this? – It’s only because it’s true and useful when appropriately understood.

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“As A Man Thinketh” Quotes

Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves. Click To Tweet You cannot travel within and stand still without. Click To Tweet The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means… Click To Tweet A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. Click To Tweet The human Will, that force unseen. The offspring of a deathless Soul, can hew a way to any goal though walls of granite intervene. Be not impatient in delay, but wait as one who understands; When spirit rises and commands, the Gods are… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This book (written in the early 20th century) sure provoked some discussion and heated debates.

From today’s standpoint, we can entirely embrace James’s views and admire his vision that was ahead of its time.

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Are You Fully Charged? Summary

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Are You Fully Charged SummaryThe 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life

Having an urge for becoming a valuable member of your company, is not enough.

The real battle is not related to success but to happiness.

This book summary will help you master all the techniques in order to do a bang-up job.

Who Should Read “Are You Fully Charged?”? And Why?

Once you begin feeling proud of your efforts and transform yourself into a real “wolf,” the next steps will become visible instantaneously.

Are You Fully Charged?” is an inspiring book that promotes a new mindset. Each and everyone should be ready and willing to revolutionize its ideas, for the purpose of exploiting its hidden potential.

Happiness, on the other hand, will emerge spontaneously as a result of proper mentality.

About Tom Rath

Tom RathTom Rath is a capable author and a researcher who place emphasis on the links between human attitude, well-being and doing business.

Among other things, he is lauded as a great author, which is logical considering the bestsellers he wrote such as How Full Is Your Bucket? and StrengthsFinder 2.0.

“Are You Fully Charged Summary”

There’s not a single person in the world who doesn’t pursue happiness. In the attempt to get there, we make some mistakes along the road. In reality, the society even links the hunger for success with achieving a state of pure self-contentment.

Not so many of us, are aware that when we are on the lookout for “things” that can bring us joy, we are mentally destroying ourselves. This recognition cracks many theories wide open and opposes the “stylish hunt” for momentary euphoria.

The bottom line is you cannot buy nor attain a state of delight if you are not fully prepared to transform your thinking patterns. In other words, happiness cannot be achieved or be presented as an award that is given after a series of adequately conducted tasks.

It’s a natural state, that’s often described as the end-result of a meaningful life.

This long journey starts with by understanding what’s keeping you down. The habit to react rather than to do something about your life is a problem of the highest order.

Honestly, when was the last time you did something that expanded your awareness and improved your well-being? You can’t remember? Welcome to the club!

Nothing can ruin your life more than your thoughts about yourself. How did you wind up in that position? There are a lot of questions to be answered before you can move to the next level and pull this off. Chasing signs of happiness is a wrong aspect to be worrying about; instead, you should feel grateful for everything.

People are obviously more interested in spending time on their smartphones, which causes mental distractions from the only goal you have in this life. Nobody is saying that you should not check your e-mail or do business via Internet, but having a policy in your back pocket is essential.

You know the old-classic motto – Keep the good energy flowing. This, not some repetitive quote that we would like to reestablish. Never forget, that the occurrence of good things starts from within. Spread that positive vibe and expect the same in return.

For instance, if you spend half an hour with the right person, who can lift your spirits, you’ll be dancing all week long. Energy exchange represents the embodiment for reaching inner joy, which is also a valuable asset that can get you rid off all negative emotions – that you’ve accumulated.

In general, even your performance at work will improve as a result of your dedicated attitude towards the well-being of your co-workers. It may even seem too optimistic, but that’s how it goes. Have you ever seen a depressive person who is productive and creative? We doubt it!

Once you boost your self-confidence, you can really begin to spread joy, and everyone around will enjoy your presence. Many people take competition too seriously; never forget to show support for your peers, and praise their efforts.

Rejecting to admit that they’ve been a profitable asset for the company is a self-destructive strategy. Remember, their success will be your satisfaction, not otherwise. Although most people disagree, we encourage you to try this approach.

Another secret when it comes to feeling fully charged is to seek beneficial experiences linked to the right persons and abide by their rules. Maintaining good and healthy relationships with people in and out of the organization will keep your sharp, and motivated to sniff out opportunities.

Positive experiences are not one-time treats. These energies have a long-lasting value and should be met with a straight face. Likewise, one must cherish these moments, and expect periodical delight, to turn into something meaningful.

A recently conducted study revealed that participants who agreed on a last-minute travel experiment were much happier after the trip than at the start of the project. What does that say to you?  

Being flexible sure does improve your well-being and adds to your happiness.

Key Lessons from “Are You Fully Charged?

1.      Develop a fitness routine
2.      Sleeping is crucial for sparking creative ideas
3.      A new rule

Develop a fitness routine

According to a group of human behavior experts, a simple 15-20 minutes workout, can juice up your life, and affect your mood.

Rather than doing nothing, think about changing your schedule to fit with your new fitness regime.

Sleeping is crucial for sparking creative ideas

People often are misled with the idea that reducing the sleeping time from 8 to 7 hours is beneficial.

Remember, nothing comes before health and you should avoid abiding by such misconceptions.

A new rule

Despite what societal constraints have formed your opinion about life, it’s time to put your destiny into your hands.

Reject everything, and fixate your attention on the well-being of your family including yours.

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“Are You Fully Charged?” Quotes

There is nothing wrong with working on important individual milestones as long as you understand that they may not be the memories you treasure 25 years from now. Click To Tweet Working toward a shared mission with other people will add a positive charge to each day. Click To Tweet In Finland, for every 45 minutes in the classroom, students are given a 15-minute break. Click To Tweet It turned out that looking forward to a vacation or event provided even more happiness than the event itself. Click To Tweet I have started forcing myself to substitute thinking “I’m busy” with “I need to do a better job managing my time. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

On account of these quotes, and key takeaways you should make a final conclusion.

From our standpoint, we enjoyed every bit of it, because it’s easy to grasp, and straightforward to implement the ideas.

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The Art of Thinking Clearly Summary

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The Art of Thinking Clearly SummaryBetter Thinking, Better Decisions

Even if you think yourself to be a rational thinker, you have probably faced situations when you could have chosen a better way to act than you did.

Read our summary of “The Art of Thinking Clearly”, that lists the most common cognitive errors, and realize what you have been doing wrong all this time.   

Who Should Read “The Art of Thinking Clearly”? and Why?

In reality, we are all irrational.

We are prone to thinking errors, to lousy thinking habits, and we make poor choices.

But, that should not worry you too much, since it is part of the human experience.

Rolf Dobelli presents you “The Art of Thinking Clearly,” a book consisted of 99 chapters, which will acquaint you with various cognitive mistakes, such as overestimating the possibility of success or becoming overwhelmed by options.

We recommend this book to all people who want to make better choices.

About Rolf Dobelli

Rolf DobelliRolf Dobelli is an author, the founder of Zurich.Minds and the co-founder of getAbstract.

“The Art of Thinking Clearly Summary”

Humans experience different reasoning patterns, out of which many are a barrier to logical thinking.

Most of these cognitive errors are common, which means that it is possible to identify them. Knowing what you have been and are dealing with means that you will be able to avoid similar mistakes in the future.

Now, don’t get us wrong, you are “wired” to make such mistakes, so you cannot entirely avoid them. What you can do is minimize them, and start opening yourself to more logical alternatives.

What are these cognitive errors we are talking about?

To start with, let’s talk about inspirational stories.

We all love “rags to riches” stories since they make us feel that everything is possible. But inspirational stories tend to make us think illogically since we immediately identify ourselves with those “one in a million” exceptions.

We are not saying that you are not one of the few, but you will make far better choices if you take into account all the people who falter.

But why do we get trapped into such thinking habits?

Well, it is safe to say that most people discredit information that is not in line with their beliefs.

In fact, when individuals face people who disagree with their opinions, they think of them as poorly informed idiots.

Nowadays the problem is even bigger since all around the Internet you can find materials that will reinforce your confirmation bias, regardless of its nature.

However, the next time you search the Internet hoping to find those individuals that support your opinion, keep in mind that search engines tailor the results you get, so you will not stumble upon data that is different from your views.

Furthermore, we constantly face story bias, as well.

Story bias exists since people have a hard time remembering bare facts and explain the world through stories.

As engaging as they may be, stories lead to reality distortion.

One of the stories we tell ourselves is believing we are intelligent and can make the right predictions based on our knowledge. However, we tend to overestimate ourselves, and the amount of information we have.

The world is changing all the time, and most of the time we know less than what we think we know.

Failing to face this ego-shattering fact leads to underestimating costs and length of projects. Fix this error by becoming a pessimist in terms of estimating the time and costs for some future undertaking.

Furthermore, people often confuse the message with the messenger. In other words, they judge the credibility of a certain message based on who conveys it.

Ever since ancient times people blindly believed figures that hold some sort of authority. What you need to do is question everything around you, as well as yourself.

Understand that no one can know everything. So, become one of those people who invest in your circle of competence, and do not spread your attention all over the place.

Having limits is human. The sooner you see it, the sooner you will become happier.

Key Lessons from “The Art of Thinking Clearly”

1.      Outcome Bias
2.      Loss Aversion and Fear of Regret
3.      Alternative Blindness

Outcome Bias

Outcome bias is the tendency to assess decisions based on the results they give. However, a bad result does not necessarily mean that a decision was bad.

Every result is a sum of both decisions and external factors such as luck or timing.

Loss Aversion and Fear of Regret

Gaining something will make you happy, but losing the same thing will make you much more distressed.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that a negative emotion people suffer when facing a loss is stronger than the emotion they feel when they gain something of the same value.

Similar to loss-aversion is the fear of regret. Many people stay in their comfort zones because they are afraid that they will make a wrong decision, and be sorry for it.

Both of these fears keep you where you are, and limit your progress.

Alternative Blindness

Whenever people think about an offer, they become blind to alternatives.

However, to be able to make the right decision, you have to go out of your mental limits.

Sometimes, having too many options is a problem as well, since a wide range of options makes people feel stuck and continuously question whether they are making the right choice.

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“The Art of Thinking Clearly” Quotes

How do you curb envy? First, stop comparing yourself to others. Second, find your “circle of competence” and fill it on your own. Create a niche where you are the best. It doesn’t matter how small your area of mastery is. The main… Click To Tweet If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems will be nails. Click To Tweet If 50 million people say something foolish, it is still foolish. Click To Tweet There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know. Click To Tweet As paradoxical as it sounds: The best way to shield yourself from nasty surprises is to anticipate them. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Knowing the mistakes that Rolf Dobelli lists does not mean that you will avoid them, but this book will make you question your mistakes, so you stop making them again.

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The Wisdom of Insecurity Summary

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The Wisdom of Insecurity Summary

MicroSummary: “The Wisdom of Insecurity,” as its subtitle suggests, is Alan Watts’ book-length message to the inhabitants of an age of anxiety, i.e. us. And the message is simple: don’t chase happiness or live for tomorrow; live in the present moment – because that’s the only place where happiness ever was or will be.

A Message for an Age of Anxiety

Have you ever felt like you’re constantly and futilely chasing happiness?

Alan Watts would not take it!

In “The Wisdom of Insecurity” he advises you to embrace the now and stop worrying about the future.

And here’s his train of thought.

Who Should Read “The Wisdom of Insecurity”? And Why?

“The Wisdom of Insecurity” is “The Power of Now” about 40 years before Eckhart Tolle’s book. So, just like “The Power of Now,” “The Wisdom of Insecurity” is about everyone. Depressed and anxious people especially.

With Allan Watts, they might find a way to slow down and smell the roses.

About Alan Watts

Alan WattsAlan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, best known as one of the first Western popularizers of Eastern spirituality. In fact, his 1957, “The Way of Zen,” is considered to be the first bestseller on Buddhism in the Western hemisphere.

Trained to become an Episcopal priest, Watts turned out to be a cult figure, almost a guru for millions of Americans even during his lifetime. Almost half a century after his death, his writing still resonate with the young and the lost.

“The Wisdom of Insecurity Summary”

Let us take you back to 1964:

“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love…” – sang the Beatles. And the world sang with them. And nobody really got the message.

Even though it was there for a while!

Alan Watts, for example, wrote “The Wisdom of Insecurity” almost a decade and a half before the Beatles single. And he was also trying to convince the world that money and love are two completely unrelated concepts!

You see, just like many other thinkers during that period, Watts was profoundly worried by the way you’re living your life in a world without god.

Because, like it or hate it right now, scholars agree that for millennia religion was the ultimate manager of human life. The sheer belief in the concept of an afterlife made people rethink their choices and decisions in this life – at least from time to time.

Moreover, it also helped some other thinkers similar to Watts devise related concepts which further advanced the ethical aspects of living.

But then, evolution happened and the two world wars brought atrocities previously unimaginable to the human mind. And, suddenly, all was empty: there was no god, and without god, there was no reason to be ethical as well.

According to Watts, the vacuum created by the absence of god was filled with a primitive consumeristic drive. If there are no consequences after death, then the only thing you needed to do here is concoct a “how-not-to-get-caught” plan.

No commandments – no problem!

Suddenly everything from stealing to taking drugs to having casual sex with everybody was allowed. The humbler couldn’t bear the mayhem. So, they either went into a state of depression or started overworking themselves to exhaustion.

Did any of it fill the emptiness?

Of course, it didn’t. It merely made things worse.

Because, constant stimulation leads to desensitizing. Show me a person who has worked or partied hard – says Watts – and I’ll show you a human being who has deadened his senses! We can be a bit blunter: capitalistic consumerism leads to self-destruction.

And it doesn’t really matter whether you’re spending your money on alcohol, expensive cars, or large mansions. It’s all the same!

As a matter of fact, Watts compares consumerism to addiction. You start with a beer or two, but you move on to several wines and then to hard liquors. You haven’t even noticed how your senses died out in the process. And how you are aimlessly chasing happiness, while descending further and further down.

And happiness is not in the more – it’s in the less.

A great way to illustrate the gist of Watts’ philosophy is by reminding you of a wonderful short story written by German Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Böll.

A well-to-do photographer notices a poor fisherman napping in a fishing boat. He scolds him for not working. The fisherman explains that he is resting because he was fishing in the morning and he has already caught enough fish for two days.

The photographer objects: “There’s your chance,” he says. “If luck served you well so far, why shouldn’t serve you even better if you keep fishing?” And then he tells him how the fish surplus will get him a motor boat in time which will get him even more fish, which will help him buy a net.

After a while, this should get the fisherman enough money to buy him a factory, build a fish restaurant and even export fish and lobsters in Paris.

“And then?” – asks the fisherman.

“Then,” says the photographer, “you could sit here carelessly, caressed by the sunbeams, while looking at the beautiful sea.”

“But, I’m already doing that,” replies the fisherman.

The photographer leaves with envy, instead of pity.

And Alan Watts asks you why would you act in any manner other than the fisherman’s.

Don’t overthink it, he pleads. Just live your life with as little worry and anxiety as you can. And you can do this if you stop thinking about the future and live in the now. If you recognize pain as part of pleasure, and mind as part of your body.

If you listen to your body attentively.

And  if you love Love – instead of money.

Key Lessons from “The Wisdom of Insecurity”

1.      Everything Is Allowed in a Godless World (But That’s Not a Good Thing)
2.      Don’t Take Photos of Your Meals – Eat Them (If You Want To)
3.      There Is Such Thing as a Gut Feeling (Follow It)

Everything Is Allowed in a Godless World (But That’s Not a Good Thing)

In 1882, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed: “God is dead!” And few years before him, everyone’s favorite Russian darker, Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, tried to understand what it would mean to live in a godless world. And you’ve guessed it: it’s bleak to even think about it!

Because, no god means no reason to be good. Some even believe that this is the fundamental problem with atheism. Nevertheless, Watts says: you must fight consumerism because it is bad in itself, god or no god. It’s a bottomless pit and it doesn’t fill your need for happiness.

On the contrary, in fact!

Don’t Take Photos of Your Meals – Eat Them (If You Want To)

Have you ever been to a restaurant and taken a photo of your meal so as to post it on Facebook or Instagram?

Here’s a simple question: why?

After all, the meal might even have been bad. But, you wanted to show to the world beforehand how good it looks like. News flash: meals are not paintings!

Live through your experiences! Don’t virtualize them.

There’s quite enough virtual existence as it currently stands.

There Is Such Thing as a Gut Feeling (Follow It)

You know why you won’t find a single fat tiger in the wild? Because, their body tells them when they are full and when they are not. Our bodies did that too – when there was scarcity of food. But, in the meantime, we kind of messed up the regulatory mechanism.

Fortunately, they’re still there. You know them as “intuition” or “gut feeling.”

And it may sound a bit corny, but it wouldn’t hurt, from time to time, if you followed them! In other words: eat only if you’re hungry. Not because – well, it’s there on the table and it smells nice.

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“The Wisdom of Insecurity” Quotes

There is no other reality than present reality, so that, even if one were to live for endless ages, to live for the future would be to miss the point everlastingly. Click To Tweet What we have forgotten is that thoughts and words are conventions, and that it is fatal to take conventions too seriously. Click To Tweet A convention is a social convenience, as, for example, money… In somewhat the same way, thoughts, ideas and words are ‘coins’ for real things. Click To Tweet If we cling to belief in God, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go. Click To Tweet What we have to discover is that there is no safety, that seeking is painful, and that when we imagine that we have found it, we don’t like it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Wisdom of Insecurity” is, really, a book everyone should read. Alan Watts wrote it more than seventy years ago, and it seems like he was ahead of his times! Our age is much more anxious than his. And we are much less happy. This book may help you find a way out. Or, at least, understand why.

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Mind Gym Summary

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Mind Gym Summary

MicroSummary: “Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence” is Gary Mack’s testamentary reminder to all the athletes out there that your mental attitude influences your success on the field just as much as your physical condition. It’s a book filled with anecdotes and practical bits of advice, which try to teach you how to make your goals SMART and why your mental toughness depends on 7 C’s.

An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence

Have you ever wondered what is that special ingredient which makes one college talent a superstar and another a draft bust?

Noted sports psychologist Gary Mack gives his view in “Mind Gym,” co-written with David Casstevens.

And, as usually, we have the best summary.

Who Should Read “Mind Gym”? And Why?

Most of the books whose target audience consists mainly of athletes focus on body exercises. This one takes you to a special form of a mind gym. And it convincingly argues that you cannot excel at anything unless you develop both your body and your brain.

Sportspeople – whether experienced or novices – will find “Mind Gym” exceptionally interesting. Others may find it merely motivating. But, let’s face it – that’s not a bad thing as well.

About Gary Mack and David Casstevens

Gary MackGary Mack was considered to be one of the best and most respected American sports psychologists. During his short, but illustrious career, he worked closely with athletes as exceptional as Alex Rodriguez, and franchises such as the Phoenix Suns, the Seattle Mariners, and the Chicago Cubs.

He died from coronary heart disease, shortly after completing “Mind Gym” with “Fort Worth Star Telegram” columnist and bestselling author, David Casstevens.

“Mind Gym Summary”

You know that old Latin phrase: “a healthy mind in a healthy body”?

Well, as many other things around, it’s taken out of context and somewhat misunderstood. Healthy body doesn’t get you a healthy mind in itself. It doesn’t work the other way around as well.

You need to focus simultaneously and equally on both. Because, after all, your brain is a muscle too and it can be flexed as well!

In fact, that’s the first lesson you’re going to learn in Gary Mack’s “Mind Gym”. And he has an experiment to prove it.

It involves three groups of college basketball players. The first one was asked to shoot free throws an hour a day for three months. The second wasn’t allowed to – they just had to visualize making baskets for the exact same time. Finally, the third group did half an hour of both: shooting and visualizing shooting free throws.

By now, you’ve probably deduced the outcome of the experiment: the third group fared far better. Conclusion: visualization is as important as practice. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to train your brain to take notice of the goals your body is able to subsequently achieve.

But, if visualization helps improve your free throw shooting percentage, doesn’t it also affect your self-image as well?

Of course it does!

Take, for example, former NBA player Nick Anderson. He was a 70% free throw shooter, until four key free throw misses made him doubt his ability to shoot well. And his career took a downward spiral from there.

It was the same player as before those free throws – with the same capabilities and routines. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the same confidence. Instead of seeing himself as a great shooter, he saw himself as an average free throw shooter. So, he turned into one.

Luckily, you can turn that ship around!

Instead of visualizing a loser – imagine yourself as a winner. And all of your body will start working toward it!

However, you’ll have to help it, by setting reasonable goals. On second thought – reasonable is only a part of it. Try setting SMART goals.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. It’s just another way to tell your brain to tell your body that success is a marathon – not a sprint.

Your body will want to set a new world record the moment you start practicing for this marathon. Of course, at face value, that’s an unrealistic and unachievable goal. So, your brain must be the one to give your body a check of saneness:

“Hey, wait a minute, body! Let’s break this down. Let’s start by running two miles a day and build that up. Trust me: we’ll get to 26 in few months. But, let’s not burn out in the meantime. Let’s plan this out.”

It’s this kind of mental discipline you’re going to need if you want to achieve greatness. In the opinion of Gary Mack, it comes in the form of a seven C’s – and you’ll need to develop each of them separately.

Firstly, competitiveness. Whether it’s sports or business, it’s definitely not an area where you need to practice humility. Michael Jordan may have been the best basketball player in history. Well, he was also the most competitive! Sensing the common denominator here?

Then, courage. Of course, you can’t be a gladiator if you’re not brave enough. Beating the best means being brave enough to challenge them.

Which takes us to the third component of your mental toughness: confidence. Not believing in your abilities means not being able to fully use your potential. And being confident – means making a step more.

Reasonably, you shouldn’t go overboard! You should exert both control and composure – and constantly improve your emotional intelligence.

Greatness is all about consistency. You can’t give up the moment something goes against you. In fact, not feeling sorry for oneself is the first rule in the books of the mentally strong.

Finally, commitment. That’s the thing that helps you move forward and push the limits. It’s what will ultimately earn you that breakthrough!

Key Lessons from “Mind Gym”

1.      May Your Goals Always Be SMART
2.      Learn The 7 C’s of Mental Toughness
3.      And Don’t Forget the 3 L’s of Successful Life

May Your Goals Always Be SMART

In order to achieve success, you must always set SMART goals. Yes, smart would be a good adjective in itself as well, but it’s actually an acronym. And it stands for five adjectives: smart, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Now, that’s how setting goals works!

Learn The 7 C’s of Mental Toughness

You can’t expect an NFL starter from a guy who hasn’t gone to the gym! But, you can’t expect an MVP from someone who isn’t mentally tough. And just like your body, you can train your mental toughness as well. It’s a hard work and it involves exercising these 7 aspects of your character: competitiveness, courage, confidence, control, composure, consistency, and commitment.

And Don’t Forget the 3 L’s of Successful Life

However, being a successful athlete isn’t an isolated affair. In fact, it has a lot to do with what being a successful person means as well. Harvard researchers have developed their own variant of the happiness formula: love + learning + labor.

And it’s a triangle!

In other words, you’ll never labor enough to learn what you need if you don’t love what you do in the first place!

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“Mind Gym” Quotes

Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course: the space between your ears. (via Bobby Jones) Click To Tweet Ninety percent of the game is half mental. (via Yogi Berra) Click To Tweet Nothing stands between us and success but our will to win. Click To Tweet The probability of achieving the outcome you want increases when you let go of the need to have it. Click To Tweet Only climbers get to the top. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Let’s have a quick look at the accolades. Our edition of “Mind Gym” has a foreword by Alex Rodriguez, Mr. A-Rod himself. Speaking of home runs, that’s exactly how Ken Griffey Jr. – another one in the coveted 600 club – describes this book. And NBA great Jason Kidd claims that he has gotten a lot out of this book.

We’ll just repeat the second part of Kidd’s statement to voice our opinion about “Mind Gym”: “Gary has important lessons to teach, and you’ll find the exercises fun and beneficial.”

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