The most common reason people give for not reading more is that they don’t have time. “I would totally read, if only I had more time.”
Surprisingly, 42% of college graduates will never read a book again after graduating college – Psychology Today
If you’re like most people of a certain age your priorities go something like this:
- Family/Friends/Significant Others
This leaves little time for important things: like reading. Studies have shown that 30-60 minutes of reading nightly can improve cognitive function, stress reduction, and analytical skills.
Here are 5 books that provide some stellar nuggets of wisdom for any career-minded individual. You are what you read and if you want to learn from some great minds here’s a great place to start:
“Give & Take” By Adam Grant
This groundbreaking book by Adam Grant looks at how our interactions with others holds the key to our long-term success. I found this book particularly interesting because it made me analyze how I interact with those around me. What are the motives that drive my actions? A key nugget from this book that is often overlooked is the formulation of character. Why do some people receive great praise for their actions and work, while others fall by the wayside?
Grant categorizes people into 2 categories: The Givers and Takers. Which one are you?
“Outliers” By Malcolm Gladwell
Following a chain of successful bestsellers, Gladwell’s latest book focuses on improbable stories of success. Gladwell provides a passionate argument about success that is compelling: it’s not always the brightest who succeed, rather it’s those who take advantage of the opportunities that they are presented. More important than raw talent and intelligence is having the wherewithal to understand that opportunities are far and few between.
The concept of the 10,000 hour rule is one of the key takeaways I extracted from the book: The idea that anyone can master a craft so long as they spend around 10,000 hours practicing. It makes a lot of sense when juxtaposed with the examples provided throughout the book.
“10% Happier” By Dan Harris
An autobiographical account of a national TV anchor’s struggles with stress and the rigorous demands of his profession — Dan Harris’ account of his struggles with work/life balance will resonate with anyone who has a demanding job. I found this read particularly fascinating because it wasn’t hokey like other spiritual/meditative accounts. This is a story of a real person who overcame great obstacles. What I found immensely fascinating was the injection of neuroscience into the narrative.
If you have any reservations about the power of mindfulness and meditative practice as a cure to many of our modern woes this will likely put them to rest.
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less” By Greg McKeown
I’ll keep this review short and sweet, because it fits with the theme of the book
This book delves into the concept of minimalism. Essentialism is a different way of doing things that can help you achieve more. Narrowing your faculties on a few tasks rather than stretching yourself thin is at the crux of what Greg McKeown describes as “The disciplined pursuit of less”.
“Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success” By Phil Jackson
Phil just seems to get winning like no other coach in the history of professional sports does. His management philosophy is unparalleled and is often duplicated in modern sports and the corporate world. Jackson’s account of his pursuit of eleven championships is a spiritual journey into the power of teamwork and harmony. The injection of Zen into everything inspired his teams. He led by awakening players rather than feeding their greed, egotism and fear.
The book is full of fascinating personalities and what they all had in common: the will to win.
I hope you enjoy these books. I would also love to hear what some of your favorite books are. Please feel free to share in the comments section…