As an editor for getAbstract, I knew instantly which summary I wanted to share with readers when our resident blogger asked me for a recommendation list: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson. Now I know the colorful language in this article may put some people off, but if you can look beyond the swearing and (hysterical) references to “bags of burritos” you’ll be rewarded with an elegant and inspiring message: Finding the courage to be forthright in the face of adversity makes life worth living. Manson inspires you to not sweat the little things and, instead, spend your energy on contributing to the world. His vision is one that would benefit many people in the sometimes-overwhelming times we live in.
For further recommendations, I asked my fellow getAbstract editors for their favorites. For your enjoyment, here are Heather, Dee, Erica, Gaby and Haike’s favorite summaries:
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Master of personal growth advice “that doesn’t suck,” Mark Manson explains why you shouldn’t care what others think or get anxious about adversity. If you enjoy self-help that doesn’t take itself seriously, you’ll find some genuine insights into the human condition.
Manson encourages you to discern something big enough in your life to care about that the thought of adversity won’t bother you. He invites you to accept failure, rejection and boredom as part of life, so you can stop avoiding them and move forward.
2. How to Turn Stress into an Advantage
Most people despise stress, which, according to conventional wisdom, damages your physical and mental well-being. Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal shatters this popular myth. Her research has found that your outlook on stress determines whether it has a positive or negative influence on you.
McGonigal’s fascinating insights and superb delivery will entice you to reconsider your perception of stress and perhaps even to embrace it.
3. The Coaching Habit
Coaching involves much more than just talking to people; it requires posing intelligent questions that inspire those you’re coaching to talk about their work and their personal concerns. Managers can use a proactive questioning process to learn what’s going on with their staff members and to help them upgrade their business skills. Michael Bungay Stanier, the first person honored as Coach of the Year in Canada, teaches managers how to coach others effectively. His firm, Box of Crayons, has trained more than 10,000 managers in executive coaching skills. His manual can help all managers, aspiring business coaches and any practitioners who might welcome a refresher (and he slips in a word or two of advice for parents, too).
4. Democracy Index 2016
In 2016, the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency highlighted that political elites have a very different mind-set than many citizens – sharply so, as captured by the “deplorables” moniker that candidate Hillary Clinton used to describe half of Mr. Trump’s supporters. But the extent of disdain for the established order that both the British and American electorates expressed was not unique to those countries. The results reflect broader, international populist movements. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 2016 examines how traditional views have shifted and what that means for the world’s democracies.
In this lovely, useful book, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein examine choices, biases and the limits of human reasoning from a variety of perspectives. They often amuse by disclosing how they have fallen victim to the limitations of thought that they are describing. The fact that these educated, articulate professionals can fool themselves so often demonstrates how tough it is to think clearly, a point the authors emphasize and even repeat. Humans fall prey to systematic errors of judgment, but you can harness this problematic tendency productively, including by helping others make better decisions. Some of the authors’ suggestions may not be practical, but many are – and all are interesting