As I described in last week’s post, I’m a seasoned, passionate, deliberate, strategic learner. I have been all my life. And you are too. Think of how much learning you’ve done since you were a wee baby. If we didn’t learn we wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, socialize, work, play, etc.
My emphasis on learning is why, every year, I set out to read at least one professional development book a month and then summarize them for you, dear reader.
So here, once again since 2018, I’ve curated all the books I read last year. In part one I covered my Learning and Development, DEI, and Personal Development books. In this post I’ll cover the books I read related to Health and Wellness, Business Development, and my overall top reads of 2022.
Health and wellness
- I’ve had people in my life with anxiety issues for a loooong time now so when I saw this in an airport bookstore I picked it up and devoured the pocket-sized book.
- I was tickled to find out that the author is the originator of A.N.T.s – automatic negative thoughts, a concept I’ve been aware of for decades, where some of us automatically go to the worst-case scenario, by awfulizing etc.
- “We’re an impatient society.” The average number of sessions people seek treatment for mental health problems is ….. (drum roll) …. 1! And yet even after only one session, 60% of people show improvement after 18 months!
- We also have super short attention spans, eight seconds to be precise (which is longer than a goldfish’s nine seconds!).
- I’ve always been a big proponent of seeking help through counseling and in this imminently practical book, Daniel says “developing the habit of accurate, honest, and disciplined thinking is essential to overcoming worry and anxiety.”
- Our bodies and brains react to every single thought we have. This book is all about harnessing that potential and power, with simple, easy techniques.
- This is a poetic book filled with light and, well, love.
- Despite “some of us [who] can turn stubbornness into a profession” “it’s about creating a friendship with reality.”
- We can be our own worst enemy; “instead of reflection, receptivity, and responsiveness, we tie ourselves to a looping track of reactiveness.”
- What we should be aiming for is “a heart-centered life .. a reflective life.”
- “When you get still and take the time to consider how beautiful life truly is, you’ll have more Compassion and Acceptance for the ugliness and chaos. Your stillness will increase your capacity for holding the dichotomies and paradoxes of your life. And then it will become more apparent that we are all participating in an ongoing miracle. Looking within is how we awaken to the True Reality—because it has never been outside of us.”
- Ultimately “we keep going through emotional boot camp until we come over the wall with a braver heart.”
- This is a great book on the power individuals have (structural/systemic issues can be incorporated from other resources).
Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It by April Dunford
- “Many of us know what positioning is, but very few understand how to do it.”
- April describes positioning as “context setting” for products,” it is the act of deliberately defining how you are the best at something that a defined market cares a lot about.”
- If you don’t get positioning right, “it’s like trying to make an omelet with rotten eggs—your cooking technique is perfect, but nobody wants to eat what you’re serving.”
- “If your prospects can’t figure out what you do—quickly—they will invent a position for you, one that potentially hides your key strengths or misrepresents your value.”
- “Customers need to be able to easily understand what your product is, why it’s special, and why it matters to them.”
- This book is full of great advice and practical examples. April clearly knows what she’s writing about.
- A wonderful friend and colleague recommended this book to me so I had high hopes for it. I wasn’t disappointed.
- We all do strategy, Sunny says, we just don’t call it that.
- And “if your strategy work is boring, you’re doing it wrong.”
- “Strategy is the logic that drives our action” (high five to that!).
- Strategy incorporates studying the world and its unmet needs carefully, understanding yourself and your strengths deeply, and combining the two.
- “If you want to catch fish, listen to the sound of the river.” aka be curious. Always.
- And replace overwhelming complexity with a simpler story.
- This is a great read with lots of examples that are both helpful and intriguing.
- I picked up this book at the World Domination Summit, a conference for change-makers and entrepreneurs when I gave a workshop there last summer.
- This book was full of surprising insights which draw you in – case in point, did you know Iron Maiden streams more than Madonna!?
- The first step in creating quality work is to have the intention, at the outset, of creating something that lasts longer than normal.
- “We can’t scratch an itch that’s not been identified” aka “you must know what you’re doing and not doing and for who (and not for who).”
- I’ve been working on revamping my metrics (data I collect to measure my impact) and I particularly loved Ryan’s suggestion to hold ourselves accountable for being bold, brash, and brave. Amen!
- Lasting work is an equal mix of preparations + relationships + opportunity.
- In this practical book, he also provides some helpful templates for emails and positioning e.g.
- This is a _______ that does _______ for _______.
- This helps people _______
- I am making a _______ that does _______ for _______ because _______.
Here are my top five favs from all the books I read in 2022. See last week’s post for more information on each one.
- Thanks for the feedback, the science and art of receiving feedback well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
- On lifelong learning, HBR’s 10 must-reads
- I take my coffee black by Tyler Merritt
- Mindset the new psychology of success – how we can learn to fulfill our potential by Carol Dweck
- Atlas of the heart – mapping meaningful connection and the language of human experience by Brene Brown
Which ones resonate with you? What were your top reads from last year? Let me know in the comments below.
Now go on and learn, laugh, and lead
- Part one of my 2022 reads.
- My top Learning and Development books – 30+ years worth Part one and Part Two
- Get instant access to One Hundred Free Books
- The process of learning can definitely be funny. Right brother?!
- Click on the books that call to you to find out more and check out other years’ top reads, including 2021 Part one and part two, 2020, 2019, and 2018.
Is your organization and/or team interested in doing online, on-demand training courses? I’m doing some research and I’d love to chat. Please feel free to reach out to me. I’m standing by all ears.