7 books you should read this year
2021 is a year where we are particularly focused on expanding ourselves. As we dedicate some of our time and energy to the 12 Pursuits, one way in which we are confident will help us to truly expand, change, and learn more is through reading. In honor of the 12 Pursuits (and as a not-so-subtle hint towards what you have to look forward to in the year to come), we put together a reading list to push you forward. Each book is filled with ideas that will stretch your mind, shape your daily routine, and hopefully challenge you to pursue progress in every area of your life. Happy reading!
1. Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams // by Matthew Walker
If you don't prioritize sleep, get ready for that to change. Why We Sleep dives into the benefits of sleep. Within the brain, sleep enriches a diversity of functions, including our ability to learn, memorize, and make logical decisions. It recalibrates our emotions, restocks our immune system, fine-tunes our metabolism, and regulates our appetite. Dreaming creates a virtual reality space in which the brain melds past and present knowledge, inspiring creativity.
2. Breath: The New Science of A Lost Art // by James Nestor
Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance; rejuvenate internal organs; halt snoring, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is. James Nestor travels the world to discover what went wrong and how we can fix it.
3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less // by Greg McKeown
Essentialism is more than a time-management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution toward the things that really matter (whatever those things may be for you).
4. 5-Minute Journal // by Alex Ikkon/Intelligent Change
Okay so we know this one isn't exactly a book you read, but we promise it's a good one and perhaps one you'll look back on and read. The 5-Minute Journal offers you a chance for gratitude each day. It provides prompts to questions and motivates you to focus on gratitude for at least 5 minutes, both at the beginning and end of each day.
5. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones // by James Clear
If you're having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn't you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don't want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you'll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
6. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone // by Lori Gottlieb
With startling wisdom and humor, author Lori Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.
7. Think Like A Monk // by Jay Shetty
Author Jay Shetty draws on his time as a monk to show us how we can clear the roadblocks to our potential and power. Combining ancient wisdom and his own rich experiences in the ashram, Think Like a Monk reveals how to overcome negative thoughts and habits, and access the calm and purpose that lie within all of us. He transforms abstract lessons into advice and exercises we can all apply to reduce stress, improve relationships, and give the gifts we find in ourselves to the world. Shetty proves that everyone can—and should—think like a monk.