Seven Books that changed the way I think

 Seven Books that Changed the Way I Think

My curiosity is peaked by how to better learn, to grow and live more richly, with greater love and awareness, in reaching for the greatest version of myself. What follows are a few books I really enjoyed and highly recommend reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas about the books. If you have any recommended reads please share them.


The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle

This has to go down as an all time favourite book of mine. It has amazing methods of how to learn and how to better teach skills. It’s jam packed with cutting edge research, backed up with loads of real-life stories, to illustrate the concept that talent is grown and not born. I love how well the information has been put together and Daniel Coyle’s passion for his subject is woven into every page.

See the trailer for the book here:  The Talent Code

 Mindset, Carol Dweck

A book I listened to in audio form, only because I couldn’t get my hands on a hard copy quickly enough. Carol Dweck is largely responsible for changing the ideas around building self-esteem and junk-praise, which are slowly filtering into South Africa. I wish every teacher, parent and coach on earth could read this and ‘The Talent Code’.

The Self-Esteem Trap, Polly-Young Eisendrath

This book was lent to me and I read it with reluctance. Once I finished reading it I couldn’t stop talking about it to every parent I knew. People were so interested that I eventually put a talk together that I have shared with teachers and parents alike, in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town. As a teacher it changed how I interacted with my students. If you work with children or youth at all – this is a highly recommended read.

The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander &Benjamin Zander

Each chapter holds within it one idea that, if implemented, could enrich your life. The author’s are Ben – conductor of the Boston Philarmonic Orchestra and his wife – Rosamund who runs a private practice in family therapy. They have taken powerful ideas and made them really simple to understand and implement. When we take responsibility for each aspect of our lives the opportunities become endless. Empowering. Loving. Gentle.

The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt

This book offers great insight into how humans are dramatically influenced by both our thinking and emotions. I listened to this on audiobook and I had some resistance to some of the first few chapters (they really challenged some of my beliefs). Once I made it through these chapters I absolutely loved the rest. Jonathan challenges conventional wisdom with modern research. His findings show not all ancient wisdom is applicable today in the light of new knowledge. A valuable book that helped clarify my values. It also helped me better understand human behaviour.

Born to Run, Christopher Mcgoungil

I am not a runner but this book spoke to me in the bookshop and so I found myself engrossed in the ultra-marathon running world. If you’re interested in mind/body/spirit, this is a book worth reading. It has fascinating ideas about how running played a pivotal role in the human’s dominance on earth. As a Nia teacher I also loved how the human bodies perfect engineering was acknowledged. My advice – read it!

My Stroke of Insight, Jill Bolte-Taylor

Jill is a neuro-anatomist who had a stroke in the left side of her brain, without language or words she found herself in meditative bliss or ‘la-la land’ as she named it. The reason she chose to work to regain the skills she’s lost was because she wanted to share this heaven-on-earth with others. A fascinating story!