The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
Elaine N Aron
Emotional expression is at the heart of being human. Philosophers throughout history—Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume—have taken great interest in exploring the “truth” of emotions and how we might better relate to them. Today, the study of emotion has entered a variety of fields, including psychology, economics, and neuroscience. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Elain N. Aron has taken interest in a particular group of people, like herself, who are often told their emotions get the best of them in her book The Highly Sensitive Person. Overstimulation is a way of life for HSPs. Rather than attempting to control and hide this reality, Dr. Aron invites readers to explore “how you can better understand yourself [or others] and your trait to create a fuller, richer life.”
Have you ever watched time lapses of the Earth’s seasonal changes from outer space? It’s as if the Earth is breathing in and out as the ice caps grow and shrink over and over again. This change is constant, and it reflects a universal trend about life as we know it—emergent patterns are everywhere. Adrienne Marie Brown has tackled this idea head on in her book, Emergent Strategy. She doesn’t shy away from the messy, complex nature of society’s design. Rather, she investigates and proposes strategies for how we can use our daily interactions with people and society to better understand how we can thrive in a non-linear and iterative world.
Everything's An Offer: How to do more with less
Robert Poynton and Gary Hirsch
Life is one big improv theater. At least that’s how Robert Poynton and Gary Hirsch see it. In their book, Everything’s An Offer, they explore how improv can cultivate the skill of leveraging limited resources (including time) to create more than what you ever thought was possible. Whenever a problem shows up in your personal or professional life, the art of improv can bring about unconventional solutions—often making space for seemingly competing interests to come together into something new. And, just as teamwork is at the foundation of any improv exercise, partnering with others is a must when you are applying these skills to real life scenarios. So, take a chance and see how “less can be more” when you’re trying to put your next ambitious idea into action.
Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility
James P. Carse
You might find yourself feeling warm and fuzzy on the inside when a motivational speaker tells a stadium-filled crowd, “The possibilities in this life are endless!” It can also come across as downright scary. James P. Carse, author of Finite and Infinite Games, wants to quell those fears. Carse distinguishes life’s actors along a binary—finite players and infinite players. Finite players enter everything with an endgame in mind, while infinite players operate as though the main goal of every game is to keep it going—iterate and grow continuously. Discover how this distinction relates to the lifelong learning mindset you hope to cultivate with the young learners in your community.
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Did you know the foundation of neo-classical economics is to assume all humans are rational? Not at the individual level but in the aggregate? Dan Ariely, and other behavioral economists, is challenging this notion through simple, yet mind-blowing experiments. Ariely’s book, Predictably Irrational, is a culmination of the lessons he’s learned as a behavioral researcher at MIT. His hope is that people can enhance their self-awareness by taking intentional moments to assess whether or not their mind has been led astray—and to act accordingly thereafter. What might you learn if you begin the decision-making process with the assumption that you are acting irrational?
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
The speed of technological innovation makes it seem as if a light bulb went on across all humankind, and together, we entered a new stage of human evolution. Of course, what seems to be and what actually is are two different stories. Dr. Yuval Noah Harari wants to tell the “actual” story in his book Sapiens—a delicate and brief exploration of human evolution starting 100,000 years ago and going all the way to the present day. He asks big questions: “Was hunting and gathering the precipice of human existence?” and “Are the societal structures we see today all imaginary?” If you want a book that will make you uneasy, celebratory, and reflective all at the same time, Sapiens is your kind of book.