The school of life
A thought popped into my head the other morning. Typical for me to be thinking the most random things, coupled with the strange dreams with some nightmares sprinkled in, this isn’t a surprise. I suppose this came from my own desire to continue with my education, but also through many discussions with a person I’ve been mentoring.
There are many life lessons that are no longer, or never were taught in schools. You’ve probably seen the internet jokes about knowing mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell; but not knowing how to pay down debt. So often I hear younger people say they wish someone taught them… xyz. The xyz being anything from how to apply for a credit card, how to pay off debt, how to open a bank account. Or even, how to choose a career. Another topic I find coming up with others is how to make better decisions, how to stay motivated; and finding purpose instead of just chasing a paycheck. And yet another is learning how to communicate effectively; not always in a professional setting, but with a partner or good friend.
My book recommendations
This particular blog was born from the realization that, I too needed to learn all these things. Mostly through trial and error. In addition, as my readers well know, I read to learn. Every once in awhile, and more in the past year than ever before I read fiction. However, most of the books in my personal collection are non-fiction. Some scientific, others self-help. And still others are memoirs of people I’ve looked up to (such as Michelle Obama’s Becoming).
So where am I going with all this? The thought that went through my head was to compile a list of the best books by category. Books, which if read and studied could teach someone the basics of managing life. If you have any to add to the list, please do comment down below! Here we go:
The white coat investor by Doctor James Dahle
Yes this is meant for doctors, however it is comprehensive, easy to digest and a quick read to set anyone up for success! It just so happens I came across this when helping an MD friend of mine get their own finances in order. I found it to be extremely useful for my own good as well.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss
Tools of Titans is a compellation of short stories on a variety of topics, almost al can be applied to career specifically. This book contains practice advise and fun real-life examples of how to apply the teachings.
How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk by Faber and Mazlish
Perhaps you think I put this title in the wrong section. Funny enough, this is purposeful! Over a decade ago, I was working for an executive whose wife also just so happened to work for our company. She and I were working together on a big strategic project with one of our sister companies (owned by the same private equity). In preparation for presenting to the executive staff, her husband included; she asked me to read this book. You see, not only does communicating more effectively with children work with children, it also works with anyone! After all, we are all humans and inside we each have that inner child who wants to be seen and heard. I recommend this book for any parent, partner or employee to better understand the simple psychology behind communication.
Performing under pressure:
Just tell me I can’t by Jamie Moyer
Throughout my blog, I’ve mentioned this book. It is about my favorite sport, and when I first read it, it opened up my eyes to many aspects of sports I didn’t know about. Previously I thought the experts in a sport didn’t experience anxiety. After all, they are in the majors for a reason. Through reading this, I found comfort in knowing the emotions I feel are normal, and the book provides practical tips for managing those emotions for success. Bonus if you love baseball.
The Kindness Challenge by Shaunti Feldhahn
The subtitle of this book is: 30 days to improve any relationship. If I could summarize this book in a single concept it is, learning how to extend grace. The book reviews different types of kindness, why kindness is important, and challenges the reader to 30 days of practicing the concepts within. This book changed my way of being back in 2019 and helped me put things in perspective with a specific relationship in my life.
How to be an adult in relationships by David Richo
This book is an amazing reminder of what it means to show up for yourself, and be present in a relationship with another person. In this book, Richo focuses on relationships with significant others, however also discusses other types of relationships. It is practical, broken down into the 5 ‘As’: Acceptance, Attention, Affection, Appreciation and Allowing. Mindfulness is the main concept contained, which is based on spiritual concepts; and this book speaks directly to Buddhism throughout.
31 prayers for my future husband by Jennifer and Aaron Smith
So you are aware, this book contains Christian prayers and directly refers to Jesus throughout. Even if you are not a Jesus follower, the prayers and concepts contained in this book are heartfelt and important. If you are looking for your existing relationship to be more healthy; or looking for a relationship in general, I’d recommend this book. It is meant to be read one prayer a day for a month.
Mindset / General Life:
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, MD
This books provides, clear scientific examples of how changing your mindset can change your life. After I had surgery on my face, around this time last year, I needed something to re-gain perspective. Psyco-Cybernetics is written by a doctor, a plastic surgeon. It helped me drastically to think differently, but also provides actual exercises to apply the concepts for yourself.
Who is pushing your buttons by John Townsend
You may have heard of the author for his famous contribution to the book, “Boundaries”. In, “Who is pushing your buttons” Townsend reviews why our buttons get pushed, and how to develop improved communication, emotional regulation and perspective to overcome the affects. This is another Christian book, and approaches the topic with compassion, love and extension of grace. Self-accountability and boundaries are a central theme; therefore this isn’t for the faint of heart.
There are many more books I’d like to list here, but this one is a great start. Most likely, as I grow my blog and my YouTube channel I will do more book reviews. If there are any specific books you’d like me to read and review, please place them in the comments below!