What if some of your assumptions are just plain wrong?
That’s the theme for this series of insightful books, all from this year. They challenge your thought process and way of doing things, some of them hitting a little close to home (e.g., Slack might not be perfect).
1. Think Again
Challenging what you know is a healthy exercise, especially if you have tried everything and failed. I recently had to rethink how I was approaching my dieting and what has “always” worked. In what I have come to see as Adam Grant’s best book, his latest effort is about rethinking the way we do things, how we tackle problems, and how we should live.
One of my favorite authors and one I quote in my own book due out in January, Greg McKoewn has returned with Effortless, a follow-up to his stellar book Essentialism. What you’ll find in the new title due in April is a prescription for starting something new, making it grow, and then watching the results. It’s a brilliant read for the stuck and unstuck among us.
3. A World Without Email
What I liked so much about Cal Newport’s latest book is that it doesn’t mince words. Email is a major time suck. What this computer scientist recommends is a better process that works like an engine, driving us to clear results, as opposed to constant over-communication. He also addresses our obsession with chat programs like Slack. Now that is close to home!
The little tape player in our heads might be playing the wrong songs. (I can relate, especially to the one about eating a lot more ice cream.) In a groundbreaking study of 10,000 people, the author John Acuff finds that most people overthink things, but maybe that’s okay in some cases. His book is entertaining and funny, but also challenging in terms of the assumptions we rehearse in our heads each day.
MORE FOR YOU
Continuing on a theme here, the book Chatter is also about the voice inside our heads. This time, it’s a voice that seems to focus on negative thoughts all too often. Fortunately, there is a way to practice the art of positive thinking by focusing on a completely different narrative. The book presents clear case studies for how rewiring our thought life can pay huge dividends.
6. Cumulative Advantage
I’ve already mentioned how a good process is like an engine, driving us forward. This book is a treatise on how the cumulative effects of things like connections with others, starting out strong with any new venture, and momentum can propel you. I love how he uses a well-known maxim to build his case. By the end of the book, I was convinced his process can work wonders.
Easily one of my favorites of the year, this book about ownership rights is incredibly detailed and includes amazing insights. The authors are writing about things like who owns the water beneath your house, but they include brilliant examples and anecdotes. My favorite is about the guy who shot a drone out of the sky when it was flying over his land.