Top picks: Most Impactful Books

A short-list that can expand your mental horizon

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A lot of people say that books are the perfect example of Return on Investment. I couldn't agree more!

Books can open your mind to new topics, deepen your knowledge, make you see the world from a different perspective. In the long run they’re a 100% safe, risk-free investment.

The following is a short-list of the books that I found extremely impactful.

Happy Reading 📚💡🚀

The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg

If you ask me what’s my favorite book of all time, I’ll hesitate for a few seconds — it’s hard to pick just one — and then I’ll confidently say The Power of Habit.

This was one of the first books I picked up when I started looking for ways to develop better habits and make life more productive.

We are creatures of habit! For some of it's the morning routine or the yoga class that you won't miss. The furious late night chocolate rampage or fridge pillage you can't control.

It was extremely eye opening to learn about how habits can be created, how we can train ourselves to stick to them, to the point that we almost don't notice nor question them. And, specially, it makes us re-evaluate our current and break the cycle, if necessary.

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Show Your Work!, Austin Kleon

I'm not entirely sure how I discovered Austin Kleon's work. Having read his other book Steal Like An Artist — which is also fantastic — it was natural to read his newer material.

This book was almost like an epiphany, an absolute A-ha! moment.

The main message, to share your work, to share something everyday, even if very small, couldn't be more spot on. Regardless of what you do, there is an art and magic about sharing your work.

To me, it was sharing my music, the books, articles, songs I find interesting, my thoughts and ideas about living a healthy, productive, optimized and balance life.

Sharing forces forces you be vulnerable, open for contradicting and constructive opinions, it puts you and your work in the centre of a continual improvement cycle.

Obviously, it is easier said than done. Fear is always lurking around. But if you share little things more often, you start conquering that fear.

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Grit, Angela Duckworth

As a intensely process and goal driven person, I'm always looking for ways to understand the mechanisms we can use to achieve our goals, specially when facing adversity.

In this book, the result of multiple studies that Angela Duckworth and her team conducted, goes to the bottom of what makes a high achiever, regardless of the domain.

She concluded that what distinguishes these individuals from the rest is that they have grit, a combination of passion, which is driven by your interests and the purpose you have, and perseverance. They also have a great sense of determination and direction.

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Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan

With Meditation and terms like Mindfulness increasingly becoming part of our vocabulary, it's difficult to assess what are good, credible resources and what's definitely not.

Sometimes it's good to take a step back and examine things from a pragmatic point of view for instance, through the eyes of an engineer.

Being an engineer myself, I couldn't relate more with the approach that Chade-Meng Tan — a Google engineer — used to address these topics. An absolutely rational, pragmatic, down-to-Earth kind of approach.

The book helps you how integrate meditation in your day-to-day, and also includes a lot of guided exercises, so you can start practicing right away.

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Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

Learning about how humans think has always fascinated me.

This book describes our mind as a dual, complimentary and fully integrated system. While one system — System 1 — provides automatic, quick, gut-like responses, System 2 is the slow operator, requiring time and attention to process situations.

Thinking about how we interpret stimuli and process every single event in our lives through the lens of this dual system made me more aware about how I navigate life and made me alert to when my jump-start, gut-feeling mind comes into play.

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Shoe Dog, Phil Knight

I grew up seeing NIKE as a household name, but I no idea about their history.

Phil Knight, Nike's founder, tells his story with such detail and intensity, that it's breathtaking. He guiding you through all the ups and downs, twists and turns, telling it like it is … it's exhilarating.

This book is full of examples of how Knight and his team experimented, countless times, all in the name of innovation and to give athletes better performance equipment.

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Lateral Thinking — Edward de Bono

Vertical Thinking is the traditional way of thinking: you move forward by making sequential steps. Whereas with Lateral Thinking you generate multiple possible and parallel paths that you can explore. You don't have to pick the right path in order to move forward.

This book really opened my mind to exploring multiple hypotheses and ideas. Instead of being focused on the right answer, you acknowledge that you might have to do some exploration before getting to your destination.

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I write about Data Science, Data Visualization, books and learning more effectively 📚🌱💡🚀

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