Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip & Dan Heath
The title basically sums up the book, which discusses all of the flaws in our decision-making processes. While this topic may sound dry, if you’ve read any other Heath brothers’ books you’ll know it’s not. The Heath brothers weave engaging stories and very interesting studies on decision-making into their 4 step process to make better decisions in your own life.
This book was especially appropriate for my work with helping students make decisions about their futures. For my thoughts on this, read my posts How to Choose a College, Major, or Career Part I and Part II.
“Sometimes the hardest part of making a good decision is knowing there’s one to be made. In life, we spend most of our days on autopilot, going through our usual routines.”
I came across this book after watching Meg Jay’s Ted Talk, Why 30 is not the New 20. I highly recommend watching this 15 minute video for Jay’s reasons about why the 20s shouldn’t be considered a throwaway decade. This book dives deeper in this topic, explaining how waiting until your 30s to take life decisions seriously is holding many back from living the life that they want. Work, relationships, personality, and identity have the potential to be shaped more during your 20s than any other point in life.
Again, this book was a great read for my line of work. Although I don’t necessarily agree with everything that Jay proposes, it’s a very interesting look into what our culture says about twenty-somethings. It’s a short read and one that I recommend if you’re in your twenties or have a family member in their twenties.
“The one thing I have learned is that you can’t think your way through life. The only way to figure out what to do is to do – something.”
“We know that, of any time in life, our twenties are our best chance for change.”
It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig
I read this quick book at the beach this year, when we were resting from John’s illness. At this same time, I was feeling sick from extreme anemia (though I didn’t know it at the time). This book was enlightening on how the food we put in our bodies affects us. Although I know this in principle, it was helpful to understand exactly how and why this happens. It was also encouraging that I wasn’t crazy for having so many symptoms that I’ve had most of my life go away once I went gluten free.
Although I haven’t followed the strict Whole30 eating plan that they recommend, I found the knowledge of how we digest food and why we need certain nutrients to be very interesting. There are also some recipes at the end. It’d be a perfect read for the new year if you want to start eating healthier.
“The food you eat either makes you more healthy or less healthy. Those are your options.”
“Genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger.”
Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks, & Build an Incredible Career by Jocelyn K. Glei
This less than $5 Kindle book is written by contributors to 99U, an excellent blog that I daily read articles about “insights on making ideas happen.” Maximize Your Potential is about how to live into your full potential. It is written in a series of short essays on topics such as creating opportunities, building expertise, cultivating relationships, and taking risks. Although I haven’t finished reading it yet, it’s a great book (again) for my line of work with coaching. Yet I recommend it to anyone wanting to reawaken their sense of purpose in their work or life. With short essays, it’s an easy book to pick up and read throughout the day or week.
Also, Cal Newport, an author of a nonfiction book from last year’s BeEmbraced book guide, writes one of the first essays in Maximize Your Potential.
“Your ability to realize your potential will depend upon your willingness to hone your skills, to take bold risks, and to put your ego on the line in pursuit of something greater.”
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed