How to be your best self in a time of crisis
Not a book, but equally expiring. "Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to listeners' questions from across the globe, she offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 23, 2020).
The Duchess of Cornwall Book recommendations
'There is no friend as loyal as a book' (E. Hemingway) - this popped up on Instagram, what a great quote and one that is right at the heart of the concept of using books as mentors.
The day she flew in a glider for the first time, Rebecca Loncraine fell in love. Months of gruelling treatment for cancer meant she had lost touch with the world around her, but in that engineless plane, soaring 3,000 feet over the landscape of her childhood, with only the rising thermals to take her higher and the birds to lead the way, she felt ready to face life again.
And so Rebecca flew, travelling from her home in the Black Mountains of Wales to New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Nepalese Himalayas as she chased her new-found passion: her need to soar with the birds. She would push herself to the boundary of her own fear, and learn to live with joy and hope once more.
The Power of Habit
We can always change. In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg translates cutting-edge behavioural science into practical self-improvement action, distilling advanced neuroscience into fascinating narratives of transformation. Why can some people and companies change overnight, and some stay stuck in their old ruts? The answer lies deep in the human brain, and The Power of Habits reveals the secret pressure points that can change a life. From Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to Martin Luther King Jr., from the CEO of Starbucks to the locker rooms of the NFL, Duhigg explores the incredible results of keystone habits, and how they can make all the difference between billions and millions, failure and success – or even life and death. The Power of Habit makes an exhilarating case: the key to almost any door in life is instilling the right habit. From exercise to weight loss, childrearing to productivity, market disruption to social revolution, and above all success, the right habits can change everything. Habits aren't destiny. They’re science, one which can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
Reasons to stay Alive
Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth. "I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven't been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free."
Thinking fast and slow
Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.
Fire Woman: the extraordinary story of Britain's first female firefighter
Josephine Reynolds (Jo) signed up to the Fire Brigade in 1981, as the first ever female firefighter. In order to be accepted by the men who risked their lives alongside her, she had to become one of them - whether this meant crawling on hands and knees through rat-infested sewage tunnels, or downing pints with the boys after a shift. In the end though, she stayed through to herself. A truly remarkable story on not caring too much about what others think, and pursuing one's own path regardless.
Vouloir toucher les étoiles
Mike Horn became famous in 2001 after completing a one-year, 6-month solo journey around the equator without any motorised transport. In 2004 he completed a two-year, 3-month solo circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle, and in 2006 along with Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland, became the first men to travel without dog or motorised transport to the North Pole during winter, in permanent darkness. It starts as a crazy challenge: four 8000m climbs in the Himalayas, one after the other, with 3 mountain climbing friends. No oxygen, no ropes, in the purest form of alpine life and trekking, using only the force of will. Mike talks about how, to touch the stars, one has to keep one' s feet firmly on the ground. He talks about how one only climbs the mountain of life one time - how we must not become imprisoned, rather how we must embrace who we are and live our dreams. A truly inspirational book, on how to live life to the full. (In loving memory of Loic Vergote).
Journal Article: Breaking Bias Updated: The SEEDS Model
(Matthew D Lieberman, David Rock, Heidi Grant Halvorson and Christine Cox)
The central challenge in removing bias from decisions is that most biases operate unconsciously. This paper proposes an alternative solution to mitigating bias, derived from a brain-based perspective. It identifies processes that can interrupt and redirect unconsciously biased thinking. It provides the SEEDS Model ® for designing and guiding the use of such processes.
Your brain at work
Your Brain At Work helps you overcome the daily challenges that take away your brain power, like constant email and interruption madness, high levels of stress, lack of control and high expectations, by showing you what goes on inside your head and giving you new approaches to control it better.
Now You See Me: Lesbian Life Stories with Jane Traies
Now You See Me is a collection of powerful personal accounts which bring to light previously undocumented lesbian lives. Jane Traies has been recording the life histories of older women who identify as lesbian for nearly a decade and the narratives in Now You See Me are drawn from this archive of ‘hidden histories’. The stories are told in the women’s own words and vividly recreate a time when being lesbian meant either hiding your true identity or paying the price for breaking society’s rules. The personal is still political in this moving and inspiring book.
Developing Resilience: A cognitive behavioural approach
Some individuals emerge from grim experiences stronger in mind and spirit than others who suffered the same fate. In this book, Michael Neenan suggests that it is the meanings that we attach to events, and not the events themselves, that determine our reactions to them; this is why different people can react to the same event in a variety of ways. Developing Resilience shows how people can find constructive ways of dealing with their difficulties by using the techniques of cognitive behaviour therapy as well as listening to the wisdom of those who have prevailed over adversity. This book provides useful guidance and advice on topics including:
Be bulletproof: how to achieve success in tough times at work
(J. Brooke, S. Brooke)
This is the essential guide for anyone looking to get ahead in the warzone that is often the workplace. However good you are, there are always times you come under fire at work. But how do you turn a crisis into an opportunity, and make yourself bulletproof? In Be Bulletproof, business trainers James and Simon Brooke reveal the top practical solutions for strengthening your resilience – so you can bounce back from every setback, rejection or criticism. You’ll learn to be confident, positive and self-assured in the face of any office adversity.
Follow your heart: finding purpose in your life and work
Follow Your Heart is about doing what you love and finding peace of mind. It is about dealing with disasters and not blaming your mother! It is about how happy people think, why rich people make money - even by accident - and it's about what losers do, and how not to be like them! Easy-to-read and illustrated with Andrew Matthews' famous cartoons.
The solutions focus: making coaching and change simple
(M. McKergow, P.Z. Jackson)
This is a new and updated edition of this acclaimed first business book on the powerful, simple yet subtle approach to positive change in people, teams and organisations. Used around the world by a wide range of people, professions and organisations, the first edition has now sold nearly 10,000 copies and been translated into 7 languages.
Including new chapters reflecting the increasing importance of coaching and the solutions focus movement in the business environment, this wide-ranging book is filled with all the most important ideas, case examples and practical tips for managers, facilitators and consultants. Proven in many fields and with a distinguished intellectual heritage, "The Solutions Focus" provides a simple and direct route to progress in your organisation. It focuses on: solutions - not problems; in between: the action is in the interaction; make use of what's there; possibilities - past, present and future; and language. Every case is different.
The trouble with traditional approaches to people problems is that they assume a straightforward relationship between cause and effect, between a problem and its solution. A solutions-focused approach sidesteps the search for the causes of a problem and heads straight for the solution, showing you how to envisage your preferred future and quickly takes steps forward.
The authors present a set of practical techniques, including specific forms of questioning that lead to immediate action and results. They show how to identify what is working in your organisation and amplify it to make useful changes; to focus on what is possible rather than what is intractable and how to be solution focused, not solution forced.
Maybe you should talk to someone
One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.
As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients' lives -- a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can't stop hooking up with the wrong guys -- she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.
With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.
Turn the ship around
(L. David Marquet)
Captain David Marquet was used to giving orders. In the high-stress environment of the USS Santa Fe, a nuclear-powered submarine, it was crucial his men did their job well. But the ship was dogged by poor morale, poor performance and the worst retention in the fleet. One day, Marquet unknowingly gave an impossible order, and his crew tried to follow it anyway. He realized he was leading in a culture of followers, and they were all in danger unless they fundamentally changed the way they did things. Marquet took matters into his own hands and pushed for leadership at every level. Before long, his crew became fully engaged and the Santa Fe skyrocketed from worst t first in the fleet. No matter your business or position, you can apply Marquet's approach to create a workplace where everyone takes responsibility for their actions, people are healthier and happier - and everyone is a leader.
In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed--be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people--that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls "grit." Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of "genius," Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not "genius" but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance. In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers--from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.
Among Grit's most valuable insights:
*Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
*How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
*How lifelong interest is triggered
*How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much ecstasy
*Which is better for your child--a warm embrace or high standards
*The magic of the Hard Thing Rule
Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that--not talent or luck--makes all the difference.
The entrepreneur's A to Z
Liam says about his book: "Worry – and its pernicious first cousin, self-doubt – have been long-time companions of mine. You are in unknown territory and so your mind will play tricks on you. A big cog in my anxiety generator has been the habit of comparing myself with others perceived as more successful, creative, happier, productive famous. Try not to do this. Everyone’s success is unique.”
Summaries from Kindle Books.
Sleep for Success (James Maas, Rebecca Robbins)
Tips on how to relax, get centered, get eight hours of sleep, and be happier and more successful. Recent research has shown us that when we get enough sleep, we are able to accomplish more in less time and with less stress and greater health. A convincing, psychological approach to changing attitudes and behaviours, is written for anyone who wants to get a great night's sleep, feel wide awake, and be a peak performer all day. If you're human, chances are that you are at least somewhat sleep deprived.
Manager as Coach: The New Way to Get Results (Andrew Gilbert, Jennifer Rogers, Karen Whittleworth)
In Manager as Coach, Jenny Rogers challenges many of the traditional assumptions about what works in management and shows you, step by step, how to be a brilliant manager and get fantastic results: Reduce your stress, develop employees' key skills, Create a culture of engagement, Improve bottom line results. 'Employee engagement' is the magical ingredient to manage performance: it makes staff genuinely committed, creating excellent work. Few organisations actually achieve it, though all say they want it. Coaching is the most reliable a way of producing it.
Five Dysfunctions of a Team (Patrick Lencioni)
Throughout the story, Lencioni reveals the five dysfunctions which go to the very heart of why teams even the best ones–often struggle. He outlines a powerful model and actionable steps that can be used to overcome these common hurdles and build a cohesive, effective team. Lencioni has written a compelling fable with a powerful yet deceptively simple message for all those who strive to be exceptional team leaders.
The House by the Lake (Thomas Harding)
The House by the Lake is a groundbreaking work of history, revealing the story of Germany through the inhabitants of one small wooden building: a nobleman farmer, a prosperous Jewish family, a renowned Nazi composer, a widow and her children, a Stasi informant. Moving from the late 19th century to the present day, from the devastation of two world wars to the dividing and reuniting of a nation, it is a story of domestic joy, of terrible grief and tragedy, and of a hatred handed down through the generations.
Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time (Adriana Huffington)
In The Sleep Revolution, Arianna shows how our cultural dismissal of sleep as time wasted not only compromises our health and our decision-making but also undermines our work lives and our personal lives. She explores all the latest science on what exactly is going on while we sleep and dream. The Sleep Revolution both sounds the alarm on our worldwide sleep crisis and provides a detailed road map to the great sleep awakening that can help transform our lives, our communities and our world.
The Power (Naomi Alderman)
What would the world look like if men were afraid of women rather than women being afraid of men?
All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain - even death. Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control.
Dearing Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead (Dr Brene Brown)
Everyday we experience the uncertainty, risks and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whatever the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process or a difficult family conversation we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.
Beyond Measure: The Impact of Small Change (Margaret Heffernan)
Margaret Heffernan reveals how organizations can build ideal workplace cultures and create seismic shifts by making deceptively small changes. The writer looks back over her decades spent overseeing different organizations and comes to a counterintuitive conclusion: it's the small shifts that have the greatest impact.
Diversify (June Sarpong)
June Sarpong puts the spotlight on groups who are often marginalised in our society, including women, those living with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. Diversify uncovers how a new approach to how we work, learn and live can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the state, and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.
The Trusted Advisor (David Maister, Charles Green & Robert Galford)
The book explores the need for trust-based relationships in business. The writers show readers that the key to professional success goes well beyond technical mastery or expertise. It was primarily written with sales people in mind but there are a lot of cross-overs to general working relationships, and relationships with audit stakeholders.
Messy: How to be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World (Tim Harford)
We all benefit from tidy organisation - up to a point. However, the trouble with tidiness is that, in excess, it becomes rigid, fragile and sterile. In Messy, Tim Harford reveals how qualities we value more than ever - responsiveness, resilience and creativity - simply cannot be disentangled from the messy soil that produces them. This is a book about the benefits of being ‘messy’.
Drive (Daniel H. Pink)
Daniel discusses the surprising truth about what motivates us in this New York Time top 10 bestseller. He explains the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.
Furiously Happy (Jenny Lawson)
Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. This is a book about embracing everything that makes us who we are – the beautiful and the flawed – and using it to find joy in fantastic and outrageous ways.
Mindfulness Solution (Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D)
Mindfulness offers a path to well-being and tools for coping with life's inevitable hurdles. And though mindfulness may sound exotic, you can cultivate it—and reap its proven benefits—without special training or lots of spare time.
Lots of scientific studies recently issued are proving that mindfulness has positive impact on your brain and how being in the moment also help with coaching, motivation and focus.
Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg)
In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business – draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.
Quiet (Susan Cain)
Summarizing five years of research and arguing that society has ignored a veritable powder-keg of untapped talent. Susan Cain studied at Princeton and Harvard Law School, and practiced corporate law for seven years.
Recognising that solitude can be a catalyst for innovation and that quiet leadership is not an oxymoron. Society has greatly overlooked the intellectual gifts of the introverted.
Presence (Amy Cuddy)
Amy Cuddy explains the science behind her TED talk on 'power poses' and how the mind working with the body can change who we are and how we are perceived. Some practical tips on facing high-pressure moments without fear.
Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein)
Nudge shows you how you can unconsciously make better decisions by designing your environment so it nudges you in the right direction every time temptation becomes greatest and thus build your own choice architecture in advance.
Never Again (Peter Hennessy)
At the end of the Second World War Britain was in flux. It was an age of rationing and rebuilding; when hope for a better future contrasted with the horror of war. From the high politics of Court and Cabinet room to the everyday discussions in kitchen or queue, Peter Hennessy's Never Again: Britain 1945-51 recreates the mood and feel of life in early post-war Britain.
There is an I in Team: What Elite Athletes and Coaches Really Know About High Performance (Mark de Rond)
There Is an I in Team explores the relationship between individual and team—asking the question, How can we harness the talent of individual performers into a cohesive, productive team that creates overall value? And why are so many of our assumptions about teams wrong?
Utopia for realists and how we can get there (Rutger Bregman)
This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come.
Another Time (W.H. Auden)
W H Auden’s collection of poems Another Time was published in 1940 in Britain and America, after Auden emigrated to the United States in the winter of 1939. The book contains poems written in England during the late 1930s alongside new verse written in America. Among the poems he wrote during his first months in America was ‘September 1, 1939’, which contained his reflections on the outbreak of World War Two. Auden dedicated Another Time to his romantic partner and collaborator the poet Chester Kallman.