Updated: Jan 16, 2022
by Kristina from WorldTribe
I love to share the contents of the books that influence me either here via blog post or in videos, like through my former YouTube channel “Books that Change my Life”, so that some titles can be useful to other people. And then again you might like to share your favourites with your friends & colleagues. Knowledge is one of the best things to nurture your mind with, besides love. And even love can be cultivated by applying the right knowledge.
During this year I had the chance to learn something new through the following titles. There are two books, I am still reading yet, slowly, over months of time again. But I am already able to include them in this list.
Here we go! (Pictures from Amazon.de/Amazon.com and Wikipedia.org)
Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain and Body
Daniel Coleman, Richard Davidson
As a comparably mild practitioner, practicing different kinds of mindfulness meditations since 2016, I was very curious to learn more about what science has figured out on meditation and the results are amazing.
One of the first things I liked about this book, is that it admitted that there also is a lot of junk meditation practice in the world and that the topic alone means big business. So be careful whom you go to to learn from and practice with.
The second thing I liked about the book: I learned that my little bit of practice throughout the years is not comparable to that of truly spiritual practitioners who transcend with their mind after 30 - 50 years of practice, although I reached some wonderful states of inner tranquility and simple being by mixed techniques.
The third thing I love about this book are the examples it uses, where master practitioners from different parts of South-East Asia agreed to be part of our western scientific research, doing something good for a majority under high risk, since flying to the US and being confronted with such a different lifestyle meant disease and death to some practitioners.
You will be amazed by the contents, since the revelations about our brain activities are essential to understanding the human communication on a higher level.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
This is maybe the most important book for me in 2021 because I was able to control the effects of a newer allergy I had developed throughout 2020. The book mostly teaches you about the importance of correct breathing which is through the nose and can be rhythmically manipulated to be more even more beneficial. It compares traditional yogic techniques with contemporary ideas and I have to say that nose breathing changed me. My allergy is not gone, but I do not notice it much and I am a healthier person.
The book tells you many more incredible stories about people and what they can achieve with their breath.
Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career
This book really will save you some time. You may already have practiced some partial techniques of ultra learning without calling it that. I myself learned that things are not always the way they seem and that with the right effort, even elaborate master study programs can be learned in a couple of months instead of ‘wasting’ years.
Some of the books main points are:
If you want to learn a new language, one of the fastest ways to speak it, is to travel to a country where it is being used and practice it right away without using any other language until you leave the country. This could get you to a B1/B2 level in a couple of months. Of course, let me tell you as a teacher: you will not qualify to become a translator that way. Your learning should be accompanied by correct studies of grammar either through a private teacher or some course you can attend.
Also, we should be more active when learning something. To truly understand, we need a real connection and not only formal knowledge. Makes total sense.
And when we learn something, we need to activate feedback loops, either via tests or real corrective feedback from a person.
There are many more take-aways from this title! And I can recommend it to those who have the time to learn ultrafast, since you need to find the time to truly focus after you have decided on the subject and method.
Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office
Lois P. Frankel
I can’t believe that it has been only this year that I have read this book. It seems like ages ago. Well! There are many true points in it. Our behavior and also our looks determine what we get and what we do not get. Especially women need to learn a lot along the way, since we tend to be overly humble when it comes to our skills and to be afraid of hurting others too much.
Having my own small business already rules out several of these self-sabotaging behaviors but I do recognize many of them in other women and I personally deal a lot with how other people perceive me. According to the author, I shouldn't wear long hair at my age any more since it could be disadvantageous and I need to admit that there is some truth in this. After reading this book, I often tie my hair to make a more ‘competent’ impression. But well! It is not easy to make people be aware of the fact that I am extremely smart, experienced and knowledgeable, when looking pleasent and communicating joyful as I often do.
A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success
Actually I was just looking into empowering literature for women and ‘A Woman Makes A Plan’ fell into my sight. Now, I was at a different point in my life when I read the book and already had overcome plenty of emotional breaks and I had left my cage and flew more and more successfully through the world like a free bird. But I still know so many women (and some men) who are still in terrible marriages, unfulfilled careers and not leading themselves towards a self determined lifestyle. Actually, by then I also had a student living in an abusive marriage with a child involved and I recommended this book to her. Yet I guess she was not ready to find her way out and take the risk to stand at her own two feet. These things take time, as we can learn from Maye Musk's book.
Fun fact: I only understood months later that Maye Musk’s sun in the book is actually Elon Musk.
Meanwhile her book has been translated into multiple languages such as Japanese and I am sure it has motivated many women and some men around the globe.
Spie the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception
Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, Susan Carnicero, Don Tennant
I had read chapters of this book some years ago and now the complete version. It is engaging and leaves you with plenty of hints on how to spy a lie when communicating with others. Actually, it is pretty easy to apply this knowledge in many daily situations. I recommend it to parents who suspect their kids to not always say the truth :) (which is also pretty normal, so no worries).
The examples taken from the book are from real life & work situations of the authors and are incredible.
By the way: We all lie every now and then. It is just part of our nature and part of our society (like not wanting to hurt others with the truth).
Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley’s Bill Campbell
Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg
I got this book to learn some coaching methods and what I found was a beautiful homage to Bill Campbell and his performance as a coach. Just by getting into his life, I figured out some true underlying traits when dealing with people. Being honest, blunt when needed and humble are some of these characteristics. All in all, you just feel like that he was the ideal prototype of a 'Coach'. He actually had initiated his career in sports and therefore had qualified knowledge of team dynamics. Amazing!
Besides that, you learn a bit about the Who is/was Who in Silicon Valley! It is quite nice!
How not to die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
Michael Greger, Gene Stone
This book was a hint given by my student Mrs LM who is a doctor in Switzerland. And I loved it. It is a very complex research but shows how important plant based alimentation is in avoiding or treating diseases. Many contents of this we had used during our WorldTribe Well-Being Retreat, which held in October 2021. Amazing content!
I used to be a vegetarian/pescetarian and vegan during lent but this year I stayed vegan until the beginning of August. Then I was at hospital, had lost much blood and I might otherwise not have been aware by then of balancing my iron, too. Now, even though I am absolutely convinced of a vegan diet, it is still difficult for me to maintain one. I will go again for 100% vegan in the next lent and maintain this diet from then on.
The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe
Lynne Mc Taggart
The author is a journalist and fell in love with the topic of quantum theories and introduces a variety of applied fields, spiritual ideas and future possibilities. For those who are not much into physics but interested in the topic, this book is an easy way to step into theories and ideas. Later on I will introduce another title which discusses quantum physics in a much more profound way. Definitely a topic not to ignore.
Of course, the second half of the book is a bit challenging since it goes further abstract into interdimensional possibilities on a spiritual level. But you best keep an open mind. There are things happening in the realm of communication and time, we simply can't explain satisfactorily yet.
Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)
This title took some chapters to convince me but in the end this division of human behavior types is so useful in understanding teams and the importance of differences. It is a repeated theory in history but this contemporary approach by Thomas Erikson is easy to understand and to teach to my students.
It definitely alleviates the frustrating experience of this color theory. It made me think further to try to identify the time in life when we ‘decide’ to go for one or the other. It is not merely our nature but more the way we grow up that decides for our preferred behavior.
Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
When you are interested in understanding quantum physics, its history, its competing theories without being a physicist, this book will help you! The author is a theoretical physicist and knows how to explain a difficult topic to novices by using vivid examples.
This is one of the books I have not finished yet. But the year still has a few days left. I wish, this was the stuff we would teach to kids at school in an easier manner.
The Power of Time Perception
Jean Paul Zogby
This is a nice title and if it is only to understand how different creatures perceive time. I was not aware of the suffering of many farm animals who live in barns using normal electric light. Since many animals perceive time more detailed than we wo, they see light flickering all the time, while it looks quite steady to us. If you would do this to human beings over a longer course, we would be so brain dead.
There are many hints in the chapters on how to manipulate your time perception so you would perceive your own time, your own life as more real or more livable. Some of the ideas were novel, many others very familiar concepts in society, I believe. But there is new information in each chapter, so do not only read the first half of the book :).
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
As a Tesla fan and having heard ‘something’ of SpaceX, I was happy to find this title explaining so well the development and objectives of both businesses while also telling Elon Musk's story of persistence and partly huge luck. Incredible! It also taught me how it was actually possible for a private company to get into a field where usually governments need to be in control: they helped each other.
Both businesses and their start-up mentality (even though the size of both companies exploded) are a good example for me to understand the challenges in different innovation styles myself and apply it in some of our future training sessions with ‘traditional’ German businesses. Great journalistic research and full of enlightening interview quotes.
The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness
The first part of the title is flat. But do not be scared! The topic still is something we all deal with in our daily life and we are sometimes very delusional about it, I'd say, especially when we are under 40. This book is easy to read and definitely a good complement to existing great books on money, simply because it mentions an aspect most literature on private business and finances leaves out: the proportion of luck. I am truly grateful to have been reminded of this. Also it supports the idea of compounding rather than taking unforeseen risks.
There are many interesting titles and gaining knowledge is so important if you want to proceed with your bigger projects in life. You don’t have to read a title a week or a title a month but try to make reading a habit you can build upon and read about topics that interest you. You’ll see that you will be inspired to try new things and that keeps you developing and keeps you alive!