11 Books That Impacted How I Lived in 2021
Reading helps you perceive your experiences better. You get insights into how the world around you works and on why you (and others) behave in certain ways.
Armed with this knowledge, you can change your thoughts and actions and improve your life.
Books have been my friend since 2010. My girlfriend at that time helped me develop the habit of reading, and I’ll remain indebted to her for it.
In 2021, I had more time to read than in previous years. So I read plenty of books for the first time and reread a few old ones.
Here are 11 books that deeply impacted my thoughts in the last year.
Mastery explains the process of how one achieves true expertise in a field. (Spoiler: The genuine experts today are the ones who keep on learning.) The journey towards mastery fills our lives with purpose, intrinsically motivates us, and makes us feel satisfied. (The links contain my book summaries which include notes, quotes, and personal takeaways.)
The Optimism Bias discusses human beings’ tendency to overestimate the chances of getting positive results in the future. Knowing how to work with this bias can reduce stress and anxiety, motivate us, and make us more productive.
Deep Work dives into mastering hard things quickly and producing at an elite level in terms of quality and quantity, both of which are core abilities to thrive in the new economy.
The Psychology of Money reveals that financial success is not rocket science; it’s a soft skill where how you behave is more important than what you know. The good news is that like every soft skill, it can be learned, and this book teaches it to you.
Upstream explains why most problems simply refuse to disappear: we either learn to live with them or even fail to notice them. However, the most effective way to deal with problems is not just to solve them, but to prevent them from reoccurring.
The Art of Learning is a memoir by chess prodigy and Tai Chi World Champion Josh Waitzkin, who documents his experiences and how he learned from each of them. After all, we don’t learn from experience, but from reflecting on our experience.
Turning The Flywheel reasons why transformation never occurs overnight, even if it appears like that. Rather, it’s like a giant flywheel that gathers momentum as it moves. You can build such a flywheel to improve in your professional and personal life.
The Startup of You highlights the striking resemblance between strategies in careers and startups and modifies business strategies from startups that you can use to grow in your own career.
Turning Pro reveals that the only way to achieve true happiness and fulfillment in life is to “turn pro,” which means leaving behind your amateur habits and beginning to live your life like a professional.
The Power of Habit, which uses science to prove that we’re the sum total of our habits, and deep-dives into how we can embrace better habits to achieve success.
The Kaizen Way dispels the myth that change has to be painful, instantaneous, and demand steely self-discipline. Instead, Robert Maurer, Ph. D., gives myriad steps (with examples) to show how tiny, simple actions taken consistently can make a vast difference in the long term.
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