Recommendations for the shelf - Books to condition the mind

Almost a life skill now, mind conditioning is defined as a process of training your mind to modify the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs to accept thinking patterns, tendencies and/or mental states in order to optimize positive thinking and ultimately optimize your performance. And what better way than reading books to inculcate this life skill into our lives! Here are some suggestions. 

Book recommendation for mind's conditioning

Man's Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl

This is a record book of the experiences of Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl that he had during Nazi death camps and the consequent lessons he learnt. These lessons revolved around spiritual survival. As he treated his patients he came to terms with the fact that suffering is inevitable. Though we can’t avoid it, we can definitely control the way we deal with it. Frankl’s theory - Logotherapy entails the conviction that the main motive that drives humans is not the sense of pleasure but the lookout for what truly is meaningful.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

By Yuval Noah Harari

This log celebrates the success of humans! It celebrates their dominance and the name ‘Homo Sapiens’. What happened was that we began placing trust and importance in gods, books, rules, laws and rights. And what in store for us in the coming centuries. Dr. Yuval Noah lays out human evolution in the light of Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. This book is a striking account of what we know about us, our thoughts, our actions, our power and our future.

The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art Of Turning Trials Into Triumph

By Ryan Holiday

Some see a problem while some see an opportunity. What drives this choice is formula! A formula laid out by a Roman emperor that comes as an outcome of philosophical principle that transforms a challenge into a favourable situation. We all are faced with adversities, in those moments, it’s the perspective that makes the difference.

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

A book that flat lays the fragility of life when it comes to the healthy functioning of the human body. This is a self written account of a neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. How his life changed when one day he was treating his patients and the next day he himself turned into one. He wrote this book while battling a terminal disease and digs up on 'What makes a life worth living?’, ‘What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present?’ and ‘What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away?’ 

At the age of 36 and completing a decade of medical training, the future he and his wife had painted crumpled and there was nothing that could be done to reverse this. But how he conditioned his mind exploring the Seven words by Samuel Beckett - 'I can't go on. I'll go on.’

Give And Take: Why Helping Others Drive Our Success

By Adam Grant

In the past we relied on passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s world it is the power of collaboration and networking. Our success is largely governed by how we treat and interact with others. Professionally, we fit in as takers, matchers, or givers. While on one hand takers take as much as possible and matchers calculate the exchange evenly, on the other hand there are givers who just give and expect nothing in return. Some of them stand exploited while some of them manage to achieve extraordinary results.

The Power Of Habit

By Charles Duhigg

The author writes about how good influence and control on our habits can lead to a transformation. Observation, inference and improvement of our day to day attitude can prove to be very beneficial. There is science around how our habits work. This book chronicles just that. 

Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If You Life Depended On It

By Chris Voss

The author of this practical guide went onto becoming the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator as he approached the pinnacle of his profession. Chris outlines the high-stakes negotiations and the skills that he acquired which paved the way for him and his colleagues’ success. He shares the nine effective principles—counter-intuitive tactics and strategies—to be used to become more persuasive in both professional and personal life.

The Art Of Possibility: Transforming Professional And Personal Life

By Rosamund And Benjamin Zander

A set of 12 effective strategies to incorporate creativity into everything that we do, is what this book discusses. The Art of Possibility combines Benjamin Zander's experience as conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and his talent as a teacher and communicator with psychotherapist Rosamund Stone Zander's genius for constructing innovative theories to ensure personal and professional success. By means of worthwhile tales and anecdotes, the authors explain how we can become passionate communicators, leaders, and performers.

Thinking, Fast And Slow

By Daniel Kahneman

In this book, Kahneman drives us on a pathbreaking tour of the mind and delves on the two systems that our mind uses to think:

System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; 

System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. 

This log explores the innate and spellbinding capabilities and also the fallacies of fast thinking. The base of this book rests on these 2 systems functioning in tandem with each other thereby influencing our judgements and decisions.


Books that can help in mind's conditioning

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

By Caroll Tavris And Elliot Aronson

This book wonderfully explains and simplifies self deception. What it is about, what possible harm it poses and what can be done to overcome it. The authors have successfully managed to explain how the human mind can potentially construct justification around a mistake that has been made. Why do we shy away from facing the repercussions of ugly situations? Why do we turn away when things get rough? What is the blame game played? Read this book to find out.

The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightment

By Eckhart Tolle Wherever

The age old saying that encourages us to dwell in the moment is what this book propels. But cladded and reinforced in concrete language and simplified concepts. The tone of this book by world class teacher Tolle Wherever is clear, supportive and enthusiastic. It makes for a great guide for whoever has been seeking the truth of the above mentioned saying.

You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life

By Jon Kabat-Zinn

The author of this book beautifully traces a path for implanting mindfulness into our daily routines. This serves both! The ones who are fresh in practicing meditation and also the ones who have been into it for years together. 

The Willpower Instinct

By Kelly McGonigal

Combining latest research and newest theories about psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, Kelly decodes the concept of willpower, what is it and how it functions. Will power is a triggered bodily function that can be made better through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. This account explains how too much self-control can actually be bad for your health. Temptation and stress hijack the brain's systems of self-control, and that the brain can be trained for greater willpower.

When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead

By Jerry Weintraub

Here is the story of Jerry Weintraub: the self-made, Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raised Hollywood producer, legendary deal maker, and an ally of politicians and stars. No matter where his life took him--the club rooms of Brooklyn, the Mafia dives of New York's Lower East Side, the wilds of Alaska, or the hills of Hollywood--he managed to pave a way out on a show and sell tickets at the door. "All life was a theater and I wanted to put it up on a stage," he writes.  

The Moral Animal

By Robert Wright 

In his book, Robert has raised questions. If humans are raised to cheat, if monogamy satisfies women's interests. The author discusses genetic strategies that direct end to end instances in our life, ranging from sexual desire to professional encounters.

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