By Kwame Johnson
Here are five really powerful books that I think can help anyone wanting to kick start 2017.
How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens - Benedict Carey
The book's promise is to help the reader understand how the mind learns, and share some practical tools and techniques, so that whether you are a student getting ready for the semester finals, or an adult trying to acquire a new skill, be it a physical or intellectual one, you can do it in a better way without beating yourself to death with not-very-efficient repetition and practice sessions.
It achieves its goals: simple yet effective techniques that are the results of memory and learning research of the past hundred years are described in a very concrete manner. They are also contrasted with traditional approaches, often sprinkled with personal stories of the author during his school days. Any university or high school student can empathize with at least one of those personal stories, and this helps the book to have a strong connection with the reader.
It is a very solid book with content whose principles can be applied to any business or are of life where one wants to create and have an iconic experience. I have to say that anyone looking for motivation need look into this book. Not motivation that comes in fancy fluff, but real motivation from accomplishing things by putting in the work. People who are not cleaners don't get it, but those who never put a name to it, will smile. Tim S. Grover's straightforward examples do not tell anyone what to do, but listening to the examples about the best, the unstoppable, the Cleaners, made me reevaluate my strategies.
What he has crafted here is perfect. It is an encyclopedia of ideas one can use to add value and subtract weight from your life. It is two books in one as you read the literal piece and then read the metaphor within. This metaphor would have you reading a section on kettlebell swings as prescriptive for overcoming fear. In this way I think the Kindle version is essential for its search function.
This is a great daily reader to remind leaders of important principles and ideals. I read this each morning at work and use it to provide a focus and goal for my leadership each day.Sometimes you just want to read the days ahead. Some of these pages are:
Everyone influences someone (January 26)
Passion increases willpower (July 23)
Where people need patience from you (September 18)
The power of collaboration (November 16)
The title may imply that this is a blueprint for chronic busy-bodies, but what is at the core of the author's teaching is actually about removing roadblocks in order to have more open time for creativity and spontaneity. You aren't going to get a bunch of mystical and esoteric abstractions with this book. What you will get are concrete and testable actions that will help you get a handle on all of the things you want and need to do. This isn't just a book for business professionals or executives; literally anyone can apply these principles to their daily lives and see an improvement.
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