Looking for books to read? I want to give you a list of my recommended books. This will not only serve as a foundation for you to understand yourself better but also those around you. I am going to be talking about five books that I think will make you a better all-around. What everybody is Saying by Joe Navarro Now I love the catchy title in this book what everybody is saying. This is a book covering human body language. I think this is very important because most human communication is actually nonverbal. Joe Navarro is actually an ex-FBI agent. He talks about all these unique tips that you can use to read people from across the room or even someone you're interacting with. Even the smallest body parts eyelids, cheeks, fingers. When I read this book for the first time it shocked me. I love people-watching. I started understanding what was going on in each situation without even needing to hear what they were saying. The entire body gives us a better picture than just the face and I'll use an example from the book. If you look at two people having a conversation and you look at the direction of where their feet are pointing, that speaks volumes about how much they're enjoying that conversation. If you see two people sitting next to each other and one person's feet are pointing away from that person, then they're ready to get out of that conversation. Joe even goes as far as to give you simple tips to change your posture. It allows you to express authority and build trust with somebody else. If you put your hands completely in your pockets that's a very passive submissive pose. Now if you want to exemplify a little bit of confidence all you have to do is take your thumbs out and that just makes your body language speak with more authority. Influence the psychology of persuasion by Robert B.Cialdini PhD I love reading books on influence and it's not because I want to manipulate somebody. People often think that influence carries a negative connotation. I think it's more manipulation that carries the connotation. Manipulation by definition is a shrewd or devious way to influence somebody for your own advantage. If a patient walks into my office they have high cholesterol high blood pressure and they don't exercise, it's my job to influence them to begin an exercise regimen. It doesn't mean that I'm manipulating them for my own advantage. Whether your doctor influencing your patients or a teacher influencing your students. We also need to be aware of those who are trying to influence or manipulate us. One of the concepts this book breaks out very well is something known as the contrast principle. It's something that salespeople utilize all the time in order to get you to spend more money. I'm a salesperson and you're coming into the store to buy a suit. I'll get you committed to buying this $400 suit and then I'll offer you an $80 sweater which is a pretty expensive sweater but it won't look as expensive because you've already spent $400. WOW The influential mind by Tali Sharot If you want someone to understand where you're coming from it's going to take a lot more than facts and figures. Most people are influenced by emotions rather than facts and figures. You can see this right now on the news cycle when somebody starts talking to your primitive brain they do a much better job at influencing your thoughts and even your actions. When your mind is stressed it's much more easily influenced and we see this after horrific terrorist attacks like September 11th. It takes one person to start running in order to get hundreds to do the same because in that stressed state they're more likely to be influenced. I think the real gem in this book is that it teaches you how to communicate with somebody that disagrees with you. The way you do that is you establish a new concept, that doesn't necessarily disagree with their viewpoint but does agree with yours. Once you find that sort of common ground it can facilitate that conversation and allow you to exert your influence. If I'm trying to encourage a parent to vaccinate their child and they happen to be anti-vaccine. Instead of going back and forth and arguing about the side-effects of vaccines, I introduced a new point where we can both agree. That the disease of the vaccine prevents measles is a bad disease. If the parent agrees with me we have a much higher likelihood of seeing eye-to-eye and agreeing on getting a vaccination for their child. Public speaking for success by Dale Carnegie We all need to improve how we speak in public. To be an effective communicator, to share your story, influence people, and be a better person yourself. You need to be able to be a better public speaker. Dale Carnegie gives you some really simple steps that anyone can follow in order to be a better public speaker. One of those steps that I take too hard and use in all of my speeches is the idea of verbalizing your speech or your talk before even doing it. That way your brain can recite the information get used to saying it. You'll probably stumble and that's okay because you're practicing. But you have to practice. It talks about really great speakers. How they presented their speeches. What words do they use. Why certain speeches were more effective than others. That really goes a long way in order for you to communicate your ideas. Flow: The psychology of optimal experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi I'm sure even though this book is called the psychology of optimal experience, it's basically a book about happiness. This is an evolving field of psychology known as positive psychology. This is one of the first books I've read on the subject and I've become obsessed. In medicine, we always look at the negatives symptoms. We talk about depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. But positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life. What is the flow when you're playing basketball when you're rock climbing when you're playing an instrument you're putting in a lot of effort, and generally for human survival sake at least when we put an effort it's done so in order to get something in return? Whether that's a financial return or a sexual return. It's a very self-fulfilling authentic happiness that you feel. Flow explains that in order to feel happiness, to get in that intrinsic joy in life you constantly need to set these little achievable and meaningful goals for yourself. Whether we're talking about cleaning the house in a certain amount of time or reading a certain amount of books in a given year. A great paradox that this book address is that we don't spend our free time well. Most people can't wait to leave work. They can't wait to retire. But when they do they actually become more unhappy. More anxiety sets in when you are not activating your mind to reach goals and set challenges for yourself like you are every time you're at work. Your mind fills that empty space with anxiety. When you have anxiety that leads to more problems more depression. When you're at work and you're constantly setting new goals and new obstacles for yourself, you're able to reach those goals. Therefore feel that the reward system kicking in.