“The way you use your mind shapes your brain."
- Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Buddha's Brain
Each and every book below has been instrumental - to both my clients and me - in living from a place of consciousness and power, helping us to live more fulfilling lives overall.
I’m confident at least one will do the same for you.
Susan L. Smalley, PhD and Diana Winston
This book is about mindfulness as a means of living by choice rather than by default.
It's filled with valuable information on contemplative and mindful practices, as well as their more scientific underpinnings.
Sir Ken Robinson, PhD with Lou Aronica
I LOVE this guy!!!
Robinson contends that living one's “Element” (the place where natural skill, a sense of purpose and the joy of participation all meet) is the key to living a life rich in fulfillment and meaning. He argues that current culture in business and especially in education too often pull us away from rather than push us toward our Element.
Rick Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD
The way you use your mind (the thinker/receiver of information) shapes your brain (the physical organ).
Hansen presents this seemingly simple but truly complex concept with a straightforward approach that uses current neuroscience, evolutionary principles, and data from millennia of contemplative culture to make his case for choosing to think in new ways.
Grant’s research breaks people down into three personality styles (Takers, Matchers, and Givers) and looks for a correlation between style and life satisfaction/overall success.
Surprisingly, he found that the best outcomes generally fell to the Givers - specifically, those who learned to avoid burnout. Furthermore, he contends that the non-burnout Giver style can be learned.
Chip Heath and Dan Heath
First of all, I’ve read everything these two brothers have written. Switch just happens to be the book most applicable here, but Made to Stick and Decisive are equally interesting approaches to the subjects presented.
In Switch, the Heath brothers look at how people successfully make sustainable changes on every level from attaining personal goals to affecting global problems. In all cases they find a consistent pattern of behaviors which, at their core, consist of balancing the emotional mind with the rational mind.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that Fuel Success and Performance at Work
Achor uses positive psychology as the basis of his assertion that success does not bring happiness, but that happiness, in fact, is the precursor to success. He supports his point with wide ranging research and case studies from thousands of Fortune 500 executives around the world.
Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD
Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard neuroscientist, had a stroke that wiped out most of the left hemisphere of her brain; this is her first-person account of that story. She begins with the experience of her slipping mental reasoning as she realized that she was having a stroke, and then details waking to an alternate reality of functioning without the ability to speak, read, write, walk or even distinguish spatially between herself and anything else.
Her eight-year journey of discovery and recovery is one of the most compelling arguments for the true potential that exists within each of us that I’ve ever read.
This is the book that opened my eyes to the potential of coaching as a profession.
Martha Beck’s personal journey from life as the daughter of a Mormon preacher to the “rarified” culture of academia at Harvard University where she studied and taught, and finally to her own enlightenment of what it means to be happy and successful, is a persuasive argument for the ways in which our collective culture often hinders personal creativity and growth.
Daniel H. Pink
While Pink’s book takes the topic of human motivation (and what make us tick) and applies it specifically to the business world, the research and conclusions presented have far reaching implications on our daily life. His three elements of motivation – autonomy, mastery, and purpose – mirror much of the current work done by positive psychologists, emotional intelligence authorities, and strengths-based leadership gurus alike.
Robert M. Sapolsky
Sapolsky is one cool cat!
This brilliant, kooky mountain man is a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University. In Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers, Saplosky finds interesting and tangible ways to explain why we’re designed to experience stress, how that evolutionary design has run amok in our current culture, the very serious effect it’s having on the population, and what we can do about it.
Too busy to meditate? This simple little book really packs a wallop. Designed to bring the calming, stress reducing effect of contemplative practice to all, Grenough has developed four 60 second strategies that really work.