7 books that can supercharge your personal growth this summer

woman reading book bed
Feeling burned out and jaded? Invest some time and energy into your personal growth.

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Read more:

Dream First, Details Later: How to Quit Overthinking & Make It Happen!
How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
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.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A psychotherapist says there are 3 common reasons so many people’s New Year’s resolutions end in failure

woman writing
Struggling to keep your New Year’s resolution might mean you’re not setting the right kind of goal.

  • Many people make New Year’s resolutions, but few people actually see them through.
  • Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert told Business Insider three of the biggest reasons why our New Year’s resolutions fail.
  • People often don’t make their resolutions specific enough, they’re worded too negatively, and they’re not relevant to the individual, he said. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Millions of people in the US make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only a small fraction of them manage to keep them.

If you struggle to keep your New Year’s resolution, one expert says you might not be setting the right kind of goal.

Business Insider spoke with psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days,” who broke down three of the biggest reasons people fail to complete their resolutions each year.

Here’s what he said:

Your resolution isn’t specific enough

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough, Alpert told Business Insider.

For example, resolving to “exercise more” or “lose weight” are easy ways to set yourself up for failure, as they lack ways to mark progress and are unlikely to keep you motivated throughout the year.

Instead, try making your goal specific, like running a particular 5K you have circled on the calendar or losing 10 pounds by a certain date.

FILE PHOTO: Runners race during the 2018 New York City Marathon in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs/File Photo
Running a 5k is fun and definitely doable.

“It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague,” Alpert told Business Insider. “When it’s really detailed and specific, it’s harder to walk away from it.”

Having a timeline on your resolution is helpful, he said, so think of short-term, medium-term, and long-term benchmarks that will let you know you’re on track to achieving your goal.

“What do I need to do this week, what do I need to do over the next month or so, and what do I hope to accomplish over the next several months?” Alpert said.

You aren’t framing them positively

Another problem people face when making resolutions is framing them with negative language.

When people resolve to stop wasting money or stop eating junk food, for example, it often backfires because it makes them think about the very thing they’re trying to avoid.

“It’s almost like I say to you, ‘I don’t want you to think about what a zebra with pink and blue stripes looks like,” Alpert told Business Insider. “You kind of have to think about what that would look like not to think about it, right?”

Try framing your goal in positive language instead.

“So much of how we talk to ourselves impacts our actions and our behavior,” Alpert said.

“We need to feed ourselves positive self-talk. Instead of telling ourselves ‘Don’t eat junk food,’ we should be telling us the behavior we desire, like ‘Eat carrots and peanut butter as a healthy snack.'”

Your resolution isn’t about you

Another major obstacle people face is the tendency to make New Year’s resolutions that don’t reflect what they actually want.

The biggest culprits are dieting and exercise trends, Alpert said. But it can apply to any number of goals, like a career-related goal inspired by what you think other people expect of you.

“Goals need to be made for the individual,” Alpert said. “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.”

“I think it’s important for people to set goals that are for themselves and unique to themselves.”

Read the original article on Business Insider