Books that will Change how you think!

So we have had lots of requests for what books we would recommend reading, yes I know for some of you that still seems like a dream, but for those of you who are starting to make the time for yourself..... and for those of you maybe heading to a beach in the  not too distant future

how about a book that will expand your mind, change how you think and is quite fun to read?

So here goes, in no particular order:

Books for your Mind

The 18 Rules of Happiness - by Karl Moore - This is a great little simple book to be re-read every so often just to remind yourself that happiness is created rather than found. You can read it in one sitting, pick out the bits that resonate with you at the time and instantly lift your mood. If you pick just one exercise to follow for a week it will be the start of a new journey. 

Happy - 50 Mindfulness Exercises - Dr Unger - Not sure what mindfulness really is? Can you ever actually properly quieten your mind? You don't have to be a monk or serious meditator to be able to practice mindfulness. There are many ways to bring it into your every day life, and I am sure you will find at least one of these 50 simple exercises that you can do. I personally love the Wave technique for those moments of rising anger and emotions, it really can break my mood and allow me to release it without suppressing the anger. Brilliant for those moments when the kids have pressed all your buttons!

Change your brain Change your body - Dr Daniel Amen - Ok so this book needs a health warning, you will find yourself for a little while a bit of a nervous Annie around your kids. But once you calm your fears a little bit you will find many of your attitudes and thoughts changing for the better. I found it amazing the discoveries Dr Amen has made studying and scanning people's brains and just understanding Neuroplasticity in it's simplest form and breaking the idea we grew up with that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" will have profound affects on how you think going forwards. Ps Check out his brain health assessment https://brainhealthassessment.com/assessment it is amazingly accurate and worth considering some of the vitamin supplements even if not purchased direct from him.

The Little Book of Stoicism - by Jonas Salzgeber - If you have been exploring the world of self-help for a while now, then this book will blow you away. It seems pretty much everything was invented / discovered back in ancient Greece and all modern day gurus are just regurgitating old philosophies. This fantastically written often humorous guide to the principles of Stoicism will really get you thinking. The main principle is we are in control of how we react to things and there is no point fretting over things beyond our control. For example if you step in dog sh*t you can choose to stomp around and curse about it and potentially let it be the trigger for a series of negative events.... OR.... you can simply choose to wipe it off and carry on with your day...

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway - Susan Jeffers - This is a nice simple book that reminds us that well frankly we are all human and have things that make us fearful. Fear (not Phobia) is essentially an emotion and how we choose to feel and respond to that emotion is down to us. If you talk to most actors, or people who do things that we might consider courageous you often find out that they too are experiencing increased hear rate, sweating, shaking limbs and a desire to run away, yet they choose to process those sensations differently. In fact many of the physical responses our body has to Fear are identical to excitement, and learning to harness these feelings can be very powerful.

Thrive - Arianna Huffington - Some elements of this book are.. well, a little American, a little egocentric and a little contrived. But the general principle is good and as a motivator for working mums out there trying to make the best of both worlds you will find a lot to relate to and take inspiration from.

Atomic Habits - James Clear - I listened to the audio version of this on Audible so am not quite sure how the book reads. The principles are great and there are some good examples. It is a little verbose and overly repetitive and simplistic but if you just skim it and take away the general principle to start small, break your habits down in to their parts and think about the idea of changing one small thing at a time and building on that, then you will be much better of than a grandiose New Year's resolution that only lasts a few weeks!

Choice -Edith Eger - This is a cross between a Novel and a self help book based on the true story of Edith Eger and how she survived Auschwitz. It is deeply profound and moving as you would expect and helps put life in perspective. The last few chapters however focus on her practice later in life as a psychologist and has some great tips and insights that are applicable to many people.

Buddhism for Busy People - David Michie - I have always been intrigued by Buddhism but don't truly know very much about it. This is a lovely gentle introduction to the basic principles that can apply to almost anyone's life no matter what your religion. It follows David's own discovery of Buddhism and his learning's, and whilst towards the end it does get a little heavier and specific in parts I took a lot away from reading it. The audio version is also very well done and a good Holiday recommendation.

High Performance Habits - Brendon Burchard - Ok, so yes  many aspects of this are quite American, and egotistical and  you will get a little bored of hearing that he survived a car crash in his twenties... I know they have to market their books, but I do wish some of these "Guru's" would stop pretending they invented things, or that they had some earth shattering epiphany... However that being said....if you are prepared to put that aside, there is a lot of great practical advice, applicable exercises and just good common sense.

Manuscript found in Accra - Paulo Coehlo - you will either find this book really appealing, or wonder what I am on in recommending it. It is a little hard going, and biblical. It does require you to "open your mind" but if you get to chapter 3 then you will find yourself devouring every chapter and all its metaphors!

Inside the Nudge Unit - David Halpern - This was an intriguing book with lots of practical examples of how behavioural science has been used by the UK government.  It will really get you thinking and opening your eyes to the tricks of the commercial world and sales people. There is unfortunately though a lot of unnecessary detail about the people involved and their bios' which detracted from the ease and enjoyment of reading the book.

The Psychology of Influence and Persuasion - Robert Cialdini - this book is often cited by self help gurus, and is a core text for anyone interested in this field. Unfortunately it is quite heavy reading, verbose and very american. In summary it says there are 6 key principles that sales people use to get you to say 'Yes': reciprocity, social proof, commitment & consistency, liking, scarcity and authority.

Clean Language - Wendy Sullivan - this book is so simple and well written. Even if you have never heard of NLP if you want to know how to communicate better with your children, your partner and your colleagues. If you want to learn how to truly listen to someone else then this will show you how.

Breaking the Habit of Being yourself - Joe Dispenza - Please don't make this the first self-help book that you read, and please remember he is a Dr of Chirpractor not a psychiatry. Also get the written version not Audio as it is very verbose, and don't expect the miracle cure it builds up to. However putting the pseudo-science to one side the first 3 chapters of this book are well worth reading and digesting because there is immense power in considering "who" you want to be, instead of focusing on "what" you physically want. If you really think about Who that person is, how they think, how they talk, how they function, who they are down to their core, you can start to ask yourself "what would they do in this situation" and over time you can adjust your behaviours to become them. And the more you become them, the more you can manifest them, then you will find yourself attracting the  things that they would attract. No I am not going all "The Secret" on you, but more think, if you are nice to someone, then they are nice back. Or if you think you are a lucky person, then  you will notice all the lucky things that happen to you and ignore the rest... Kind of like when you buy a Red car suddenly you notice lots of red cars on the road!

The Ultimate Jim Rohn - audio book - If you haven't hear of him, Jim Rohn is famous for teaching people how to be successful. The thoughts and behaviours that it takes, and he is the geniune deal, his list of students is a Who's who of big hitters. This is a collection of lectures he has given with insightful narrations in between. It is well worth a listen particularly if you have your own business.

 

Books for Parenting

Chores Without Wars - Lynn Lott - If you have children (any age) and you want a book that will truly change your life, then this is it! When I started changing my mentality from Boss to Coach and explaining to the family that we are team, communicating what needed to be done in a collaborative spirit and actually taking the time to show them how to do things our world changed. I may have my children in charge of the washing age 8, but they certainly know how to clean up spills, be responsible for their own things and be part of a team. IF you think your children don't listen or do what you say, then you need to read this book, because whilst as much as you would like to.... you can't control another human being... yet...  you can change what you do and get just as good if not better results!

Positive Discipline - Jane Nelsen - There are a series of these books for different ages of children as well as this A-Z and I would thoroughly recommend getting the title that is appropriate to you and reading that first. Then getting this A-Z as your bedside bible. This book helped my parenting immediately. It is all about empowering your child with life skills. It takes you through real every day examples and you will find yourself frequently going "yup, we did that", and "ahh that makes sense now." Sure in the moment it can often be hard to get it all perfectly, but I truly believe every parent should read a copy of this!

Practice Perfect - Doug Lemov - This is actually an academic text for teachers. But as the parent of three (including twins) I feel that sometimes I need some of the crowd control type skills of a teacher. It is a little bit of a heavy read, but you can skip to the summary and bullet points and then go back to the ones that interest you. The idea is to focus and practice what you are good at until it is perfect. There are so many aspects of life this can apply to not just teaching and parenting. If you believe in the 80/20 Pareto principle then this book is worth a read....

How to Talk so Little Kids will Listen - 

Playful Parenting

Talking to Toddlers - Chris Thompson - audiobook - this is an audio file to download directly from his website. It's not cheap at $37 but if you have a toddler and it's your first child then I can thoroughly recommend it. Each chapter is short and sweet, has a very specific topic with practical applications and homework its based on NLP language techniques applied specifically to children...  The idea of offering choices, pre-suppositions, Yes and No sets, Reciprocity, Reframing and picking your battles. It focuses mostly on resolving issues quickly in the moment to avoid tantrums, it isnt a cure all and I think does miss out a little bit on long term avoidance of issues through habits and routine building.

 

Books for Health

The Clever Guts Diet - Dr Michael Mosley - This was one of the first health/nutrition type books I ever read and really set me up on the path to changing the way I eat and approach food. There is some good science but unfortunately it is mixed in with a bit of pseudo-science that makes it a bit hard to follow 100% and please avoid some of the experiment suggestions that have since been withdrawn. With that in mind if you haven't ever really learnt about how carbohydrates work, what resistant starch is, and how important the bacteria are in your gut to your overall well-being then this is a great starter book and could radically change what you eat.

Never Binge Again - Glenn Livingston - you will either hate this book or it will completely transform your way of eating. It is simple, black and white, and like an arrow hitting you square between the eyes. Ever craved chocolate? Sat on the sofa and just pigged out without really being conscious what you were doing? Then give this book a read. Digest it. Implement it, and take life from there...

The Thin Woman's Brain - Dilia Surial - this book is full of practical advice of how to identify and overcome your eating triggers. It can be a bit of a heavy read, but if you are a yo-yo dieter this will help you find your clarity.

Fast Exercise - Dr Michael Mosley - this will revolutionise the way you exercise. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I can personally vouch for the difference just 7 minutes of exercise a day can make to the shape of your body and your energy levels (i use the app 7 ). In 6 months going from the occasional 5km run to doing a marathon I lost no weight and didnt change shape at all, yet HIIT exercise has given me so many benefits, and saved me a fortune in gym membership!

 

NomNom Paleo Cookbook

Mindful Chef : 30 minute cookbook Gluten Free

I hope at least one of these books helps you on your journey, please share your experiences and your own recommendations with us.

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