5 non fiction books that will change the way you think
What is a good book? How do you judge? Whether its a Newyork best seller or won a Man Booker prize? Or because your favorite influencer/celebrity/paid salesman strongly recommended the book?
Take away is the biggest metric of not just books but any art. What is the take away that is unique to you? Is it inspiring you to think of new ideas? Is it inspiring you to act in a particular way? Specifically does a book alter your thinking for good and impact your actions in a positive way?
We all want to improve ourselves, learn new things. Especially look from perspectives that are not available to us because of our culture and up bringing. More than that, we want to connect with another human being and understand the world from her thought process. And then do something about it.
The best books to me, make me interact with it, fill me with ideas that I did not have before, make me look the world from a perspective that is empathetic and valuable. [Most of my top books look like above, ideas and thoughts scribbled all over]
Good books are like good friends, the ones that appeal to you, speak to you in your own language and make you understand a perspective you had no idea of. And better, change your actions in way that improves your impact and create value.
Each one of the following books are unique and ground breaking in a way because they encourage you to change your world view point on different subjects. They change your opinions in a way that will impact you and others, immediately.
Premise: Carol Dweck talks about how our attitude towards learning and change can drastically impact our progress in life. The Mindset talks about growth mindset, a mindset where you believe that change is possible, intelligence can be improved. The book focuses on human effort rather than genetics and natural abilities.
Impact: We all want to believe in ourselves, badly. We all want to believe like we did as kids, that our effort and not luck and genetics, is what matters, because in way that’s where hope to future lies.
That’s the only way we get inspiration to our actions. And by approaching the subject from various angles based on years of research, Carol effectively manages you to question assumptions and gaps in your own thinking.
Premise: Kevin Kelly, the quirky editor of The Wired magazine and an ardent futurist talks about how we can understand where technology will take us in the future. The author of What technology wants, identifies 12 technology forces that is and will continue to shape our worlds. He quotes examples from the evolution of internet and smart phones and stories of how businesses underestimated and over estimated various trends, to give an understanding of the various triggers in the evolution of technology.
Impact: The author helps you see technology, evolution and future in ways unparalleled.
The book raises question like what is unthinkable today? what is counter intuitive today? what assumptions are inherent in our prediction of future? what are the underlying forces that are shaping technology and culture since the industrial revolution? what are the white spaces out there in various domains? are we really matured or at the earliest stages in the evolution of internet?
In the era where every one is looking for the next big thing to ride the wave on, this book will give you tools to think on your own as to what way future will go.
Man’s search for meaning
Premise: The book is the experiences of holocaust from the eyes of the psychologist who was imprisoned in one of the camps [Viktor Frankl]. The author talks about the daily life in the Auschwitz concentration camp while also discussing about what is the meaning of life and how people’s attitude towards life could help some one survive even the worst conditions humanity has seen.
Impact: Psycho analyzing prison guards and prisoners’ behavior during the holocaust shows how stoicism, ambitious goals and focus on the future can greatly determine the meaningfulness of one’s life there by improving our probability at happiness and fulfillment.
Personally this book has been my “go to” book during my worst times in my life. And from what I have heard from others too, this book has the capability to totally change your attitude to life. If some one can survive holocaust, the same principles can help us go through anything that we would face in our 2016 and later lives.
Premise: Martin Lindstrom, the author of Buyology and Brandwashed will have you hooked to the universal patterns in customer behaviour he finds across people in Siberia, america’s bible belt, Brazil, Japan and more. His argument for small data [ data gathered from observing people’s behavior] is perfect balance in the world preoccupied with big data.
Impact: Everything becomes an indicator. You will start looking at anything that stands out in your own environment. You will ask questions about your own behavior that you were ignorant of before.
Why people behave the way they do? And what does that tell about their desires and aspiration? As an entrepreneur, product manager or just someone interested in understanding consumer products and world, this book would change the way you would observe the world.
Premise: Visualize what you want to achieve is what Rhonda Byrne advises us through stories and anecdotes.
Impact: Have you strongly believed in something? This book would make you try it once and then for ever. You have to read this short book to believe how it can change the way you see and practice life.
Learning can create impact if we can practice it, even if in a small way. Understanding has a meaning when it impacts your actions, when it changes your approach to work and life. An art exists for its own sake, but it transcends time and space when it impacts humans to act for the overall good of every one.