How to Think Better: books

Everyone has a list of books that have inspired them. I’d like to share a few of my favorites.

  • Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman is on my shortlist of people I’d most like to chat with over a cup of coffee. You’ll love reading about how optimists believe defeat is a temporary setback or a challenge—compared to the way pessimists view the world.

  • This Year I Will  by M.J. Ryan

I like anything M.J. writes, but this is one of my favorites. She packs a lot of compassion, easy-to-digest research, and motivational energy in this one. Some research suggests 45% of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about 8% succeed. This book can help you be one of the 8%.

  • The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

This book gives you an entirely new way to look at managing your energy. Put into practice what this book teaches and become more physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and spiritually aligned.

  • Loving What Is  by Byron Katie

I have a confession to make: I struggled the first time I read this book. I’m not sure why I was resistant, but I was. So, I came to this book reluctantly the second time around. Boy, am I glad I gave it another chance. Here’s the basic principle in a nutshell: “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” It doesn’t get much truer than that.

  • Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice Domar, Ph.D.

I’m a fan of any book that chips away at the notion perfectionism is a good thing. I talk a lot about the “disease of perfectionism” and how it robs us of satisfaction, joy, and contentment. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I can always use a reminder that good enough is perfection.

  • The Right Questions  by Debbie Ford

I’m a big believer in asking questions, and Debbie shares ten essential questions to guide you to an extraordinary life. These questions, when practiced faithfully, bring breakthrough awareness and can be a powerful tool in truly creating your best life.

  • No More Dreaded Mondays by Dan Miller

Living for the weekends and dreading Monday through Thursday is no way to live! Dan’s book is all about finding the intersection between passion and work. If your normal M.O. is to dread Mondays, this one is for you!

  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath

This book asks the question: Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? Of course, to fully answer that question, you have to know your strengths! Make sure to get a new copy, not used, in order to access the powerful online assessment to help you uncover your own talents.

  • Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.

Dr. Grant Halvorson is an award-winning social psychologist. What does that mean for this book? That she’s able to offer proven—aka, based on research—strategies for goal achievement. What’s fascinating is some of the insights about what it takes to succeed are counterintuitive, which means you could be doing just the opposite of what it takes to reach a goal!

  • Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success  by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny

Would you believe willpower is not the answer? From the authors who brought us Crucial Conversations and Influencer, this book helps us recognize powerful influences that can counteract temptation when we’re trying to make a change in our lives—whether that change is losing weight, improving relationships. spending less, advancing our careers, etc. It’s all about sustainable changes in behavior, and this book shines a light on how to do it.

  • Happier  by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.

Touted as the most popular class at Harvard, I love this book! In fact, it makes me happy just thinking about it. Rooted in positive psychology, it’s not an over-promise to say this book can help improve the quality of your life. Are you a rat racer, hedonist, or nihilist? Read to find out!