Booklist #2: Books to Change Your Mindset

Good books teach us something new, but great books have the power to change the way we think.

This week I’ve been thinking about books that open us up to a new mindset — a group of ideas, assumptions, and core values that determine how we approach everything in life. A new mindset can help you be more efficient, solve problems better, and be more creative.
 
Here are some books that offer a compelling take on mindset:
 
MindSet — Carol Dweck
 
Carol Dweck’s theory of growth mindset has big implications for how we think and learn. She uncovers the crucial link between achievement and belief in your own personal development.

From Growth Mindset: “Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.” 
 
Flow –Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
 
It’s no exaggeration to say that Flow has changed the way we understand work. Flow, or being in the zone, is that ideal state of engagement when your skillset is perfectly matched by the challenge at hand

From Flow: “Most enjoyable activities are not natural; they demand an effort that initially one is reluctant to make. But once the interaction starts to provide feedback to the person’s skills, it usually begins to be intrinsically rewarding.” 
 
Quiet — Susan Cain
 
Contemporary culture has often undervalued the contributions of introverts. Susan Cain reminds us that sometimes those who have the least to say often have the most to offer.

From Quiet: “The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers — of persistence, concentration, and insight — to do work you love and work that matters.”
 
Future Think — Edie Weiner
 
The future doesn’t come from a formula. Edie Weiner and Arnold Brown help you craft a mindset that looks for its own version of the future, and isn’t confined by the trends, predictions, and misplaced certainty of others.
 
From Future Think: “Seeing alternative realities more clearly helps you penetrate many veils — those that can cloud political issues, make you wrongly judge others’ behaviors or beliefs, and lead you to believe that what you knew in the past shapes all you will know in the future. Seeing alternative realities with fresh eyes helps untrap your mind.”
 
Thinking Fast and Slow — Daniel Kahneman
 
Despite what many business people believe, not all of our decisions are based on logic. Nobel-prize winning economist Kahneman lays out a case for a battle in our minds: between our intuitive, emotional mind versus our more deliberate, logical mind. Emotions win more than we think.
 
From Thinking Fast and Slow: “The intuitive system is more influential than your experience tells you, and it is the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make.
 
Power of Habit — Charles Duhigg
 
It takes focus, discipline and 21 days to adopt a new behavior. This book gives you the tools to develop new habits.
 
From Power of Habit: “If you believe you can change — if you make it a habit — the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”
 
Catching the Big Fish — David Lynch
 
If you spend time in the brilliant and weird mind of filmmaker David Lynch, you’re guaranteed to come away with a more creative mindset. Lynch’s ideas can be a little out there at times, but the core — a mind open to the random and unexpected — is great fuel for innovation.

From Catching Big Fish: “Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”
 
 And be on the lookout for my next Booklist here on Medium. Next up are books on creativity — how to define it, find it, and foster it in others.

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