- The following article was first published by The Next Big Idea Club and has been republished here with permission.
- Diving into an impactful book is a great way to kick off a journey of personal growth.
- if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, these 7 books are an excellent place to start.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Over the last year, many of us have felt the world spin out of control. The global pandemic has forced us to abandon familiar routines and adopt new habits for everything, from working to socializing.
But no matter what the pandemic puts us through, there’s one thing we can always control: ourselves. So if you’d like to invest some time and energy into personal growth, the seven books below are an excellent place to start.
1. “The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices” by Casper ter Kuile
In America and around the world, it’s no secret that many people are struggling to find fulfillment in traditional organized religion. But Harvard Divinity School Fellow Casper ter Kuile believes that whether you’re religious or not, you can design personal rituals for your life, rituals that add joy and meaning to everyday experiences.
2. “In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning, and Joy” by John O’Leary
With so much bad news showing up everywhere from TV to Twitter, we may find ourselves feeling burned out and jaded more often than we’d like. But internationally renowned speaker John O’Leary believes that we can adopt a different, healthier, more joyful mindset – if only we’re ready to try a new perspective.
3. “Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day” by Jay Shetty
When business and media influencer Jay Shetty encourages us to “think like a monk,” he’s not referencing something he read about, or researched for a doctorate degree. He’s talking about something he lived, as he spent years in India as a monk himself. This remarkable book lays bare the most ancient, most valuable wisdom he learned along the way.
4. “Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas” by Alexi Pappas
Olympic athlete, actress, and filmmaker Alexi Pappas may seem to have it all figured out. But when she was just four years old, her mother died by suicide – and over the years, she’s had to battle demons of her own. In this candid and moving memoir, Pappas shares what she’s learned about overcoming adversity and living the life you’ve always wanted.
5. “Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You” by Jim Davies
Your dog thinks you’re probably the best person in the world. After all, enduring your absence for even half an hour seems to stress her out. So if you want to become every bit as kind, generous, and wise as she thinks you are, you’ll want to crack open this book by cognitive scientist Jim Davies.
6. “The Socrates Express: In Search of Life Lessons from Dead Philosophers” by Eric Weiner
Wondering about how to attain true happiness, or how to become a more ethical person, or what the meaning of life could be? If so, there’s no need to start answering those questions from scratch – in fact, history’s greatest minds have already done the heavy lifting. Let Eric Weiner be your guide through their greatest insights.
7. “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning” by Tom Vanderbilt
When we’re kids, we constantly try new hobbies, sports, and activities. And although we’re not always successful, these forays help us become stronger, more well-rounded individuals. So why do we stop trying new things in adulthood? In “Beginners,” acclaimed journalist Tom Vanderbilt contends that you’re never too old to learn something new.
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Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing
A version of this article was published by The Next Big Idea Club, which delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App today.
The Next Big Idea Club is a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. Get smarter faster with the Next Big Idea app, which offers the key insights from the best new books every day, created and narrated by bestselling authors, ad-free episodes of our popular podcast, and live zoom conversations with leading thinkers.