Hello Overachievers!! Get ready for three of the best books from 2015 and beyond.
Working as the creative strategist for a new product during the day, diligently working on my first book at night, and steadfastly serving as a designer/marketer always, these books have inspired and enabled me to kick some serious creative ass. You’re not a creative? Don’t worry, friend. I’ve got you covered.
- If you’re an overachieving, obsessive entrepreneur like myself, or you know someone “suffering” from similar Type A personality traits, this list is for you.
- If you know a damn good team member who has lofty career goals, this list is for you.
- If you’re just looking for a great book that’s business-relevant but not a bucket of boredom, this list is also for you.
Let’s get this best-books-for-overachievers party started!
The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do
What it is: This book is fucking life changing. I mean it.
Yes it talks about water. Being near water. Looking at pictures of water. The impact of experiencing water. But there’s more to this book than that. Blue Mind digs deep into what happens when we allow our minds to rest. How and why our ideas bubble to the surface. How and why artists are taught to step away and come back shortly, later, or tomorrow because we’ll have opened the space of our brains to allow solutions and ideas to flow. Blue Mind speaks to practices of the past and gives every reason to fuse them with the present.
For those of us who thrive on moving at the speed of light or adore change so much they vibrate, this book implores us to STOP. Hit the pause button. Reconnect with our surroundings, their sounds, their color. Reconnect with oneself. Embrace how it feels to stop for all of what may be 15 seconds to take in something other than the speed of our ever-working brains.
Why I recommend it: I’ve always encouraged my direct reports to welcome the days where the brain needs to idle rather than push it to the brink of tired, craptastic results. While I often equate it to my days as a waitress, folding napkins during a slow Sunday brunch, Blue Mind clarifies the science behind our need for such space. We need to leave some room for our ideas to walk in. If we can proactively take advantage of this time when it serves itself on a silver platter, we’ll be better equipped to fight unexpected fires.
This year, my New Years resolution was to practice what I preach. To slow down and try my damnedest to take more things on one at a time. Blue Mind gives a foundation for such a challenging goal. It offers a near spiritual connection to understanding why the body and mind needs time, needs water, needs the symbiotic properties of both.
Bottom line: If you’re chasing a dream of any kind, READ THIS BOOK.
Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Survive
by Chip Heath
What it is: Made to Stick is the perfect sidekick to Lean Startup, Lean Canvas, Lean UX, and Inbound Marketing. It’s a phenomenal way to tackle any business problem and grab third-party perspective as if there were a consultant in the room.
In a nut shell, the framework is based on the acronym: SUCCESs.
The methodology is explained through real case studies and “clinics” where we can test our SUCCESs smarts. Made to Stick keeps our attention because it’s applicable to absolutely everything.
Why I recommend it: I’ve used Made to Stick to block out the elevator pitch of my debut book, AstroWed, and brought it into my creative content strategies at work. Even if all I can apply is one or two of the six pillars (Concreteness and Simplicity are big ones), it shapes my thinking in a streamlined way that I haven’t found anywhere else.
Bottom line: Made to Stick is a jam-packed quick-read ready for action!
The Number One Strategy of High-Performance Brands
What it is: The essence of Zag is this: when everyone zigs, we should zag. Standing out like a sore thumb (in the best of ways) is key to creating brands that stick.
Zag is a small in stature (about the same size as an iPhone 6 Plus) and a punchy, well-designed read. Through it’s staccato-like lessons and tiny test projects, Zag shows us why it’s important to be against the grain.
Why I recommend it: While the first two books were pulled from my bedside table during 2015, Zag has been a zen-like tool in my creative toolkit since 2008. The grit and gusto of this short and mighty book is timeless.
Bottom line: The next time your wondering whether the risk is worth it, keep a copy of Zag in your back pocket.
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And there you have it, friends. Give your ambitious resolutions, personal goals, or gift-giving prowess the book-boost it’s been waiting for. Also, if you’ve read any of the above, let me know how they’ve helped you!
Happy reading everyone