As humans, we all have a deep desire to learn and grow. We all learn, grow and develop in different ways. Some of us love to learn visually through video or demonstrations. Some of us love to learn by listening to audio programs and podcasts or goto talks, speeches and seminars. Some of us love to learn by getting our hands dirty and trying things out, experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
One of the most common, practical and useful ways of learning is through reading books. When it comes to reading, I’m a huge fan of personal growth, finance and business related books. Today, however, we have a guest post from Jovell Alingod who shares with us 10 books that will make you smile and feel happier. Now who doesn’t want some of that?
Take it away, Jovell!
Learning is fun. Learning makes us happier. Researchers David Cutler and Adriana Lleras-Muney have looked into the relationship between education and health and have found that four extra years of education lowers people’s five-year mortality rate by 1.8%. The report established some astonishing new facts about the mechanisms that seem to be at work in when it comes to happiness and longevity.
The main pattern discovered was that education has a positive effect on people’s well-being and subsequent happiness. Educated people have a lower morbidity percentage for diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, and ulcers. It has also been confirmed that education is also positively associated with better physical and mental functioning.
Yet another study by San Francisco State University researchers found that while a process of mastering a skill might be stressful and challenging, in the long term this satisfies our needs and makes us happy. So, while learning to drive or how to speed read might be a demanding task that might cause anxiety, once this skill is mastered we relish the autonomy and competence we’ve obtained and become happier.
Below are ten books that will make you happier or just put a smile on your face. And as the studies above suggest, they will make you happy both because they have positive insights and because learning and education promotes happiness anyway!
In his most beloved book, Dr. Seuss teaches (or rather prepares) us for what’s lying ahead. No matter what our next step is, be it college, kindergarten, marriage, or adulthood, this is a one-book-fits-all-circumstances work that people love to love.
This book seeks to familiarize us with Taoism. The wisdom and richness of Taoism is given a new spin, explained, challenged and illustrated with a bit of help from Winnie the Pooh. A thought-provoking book that explains seemingly distant and obscure tenets through the conversations of Pooh and his company of plush-furred friends.
Did you read The Little Prince when younger? Don’t worry that you’ll be bored now, because this book is for all ages. Though frequently presented as targeted to younger readers, its truths, lessons and insights are for grown-ups. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s most successful book teaches us in the most romantic and innocent manner about the importance of being optimistic and introspective. The little prince offers us, through his own adventures, the keys to human existence: the importance of dreaming, hoping, and valuing life.
This book by Laura Hillerbrand vividly narrates the strength and magic that permeates all human beings. Lieutenant Zamperini’s odyssey eloquently illustrates how human existence is a magical source of strength and resilience.
This classic work by Richard Bach uses a poetic manner and a nonhuman hero to illustrate how following our dreams is a challenging but rewarding struggle. A book about discovering human strength and uniqueness and chasing your dream while making your own rules along the way. Uplifting and hopeful.
This is a wonderfully put together book from Chronicle Books designed to put a smile on your face no matter your present circumstances. It’s a pocket-size volume you can carry in your bag and peruse through in moments of weakness, or just when you feel like you need a little pep-talk. Graphic designers, illustrators and new artists have all contributed their artful skills in creating a book of optimism, encouragement and hope that’s decidedly human.
Tali Sharot takes you by the hand and into a journey of mental absurdity and fascination. The basic assertion Tali Sharot makes is that no matter how traumatic or repulsive an experience might be, our brains are hardwired to look for hope and optimism. Your brain will photoshop hopefulness and optimism when none exists just to help you go through a challenging time of your life. A must-read that delves into the mechanisms of the brain that work to ensure our sanity and survival.
8) Live Now
Because the present moment essentially all we have full control of, we need to pay attention to it. After his diagnosis of three cancers, Eric Smith decided to look life straight in the face and, well, live it. His book Live Now: Artful Messages of Hope, Happiness and Healing, offers an optimistic window that can make both the present moment and how we think about the future a bit more hopeful.
This book is the offspring of the Live Now Project which Eric Smith developed. It’s a fresh collection of insightful, optimistic words artfully designed by talented artists and illustrators. A great reminder of how important and unrepeatable the present moment is.
How similar are photography and life? Best-selling author Lorenzo Dominquez exemplifies obscure truths about life and its meaning through photography. As he argues and shows in his book, the art of living can be deciphered through photography.
10) The Last Lecture
This book by Randy Pausch perfectly sums up the glory that is living. His last lecture, “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” makes a simple and perennial point: that there are obstacles to be overcome but there’s joy in helping others, growing wiser, following your dreams and finding meaning in the daily. Insightful and moving.
Author Bio: Jovell Alingod is a Project Manager for eReflect – developer of 7 Speed Reading, a software for learning how to speed read with tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.
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