May 15


5 Non-Fiction Books That Will Change How You See Yourself

By Odyssa

May 15, 2021

Stand guard to what goes in your head.

Here's an extremely clear photo of me at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, California in 2019, taken by my friend Karla who kindly brought me here!


Want to see how the future looks like? Listen to your self-talk.

What you think of yourself matters. Your actions, behavior, habits are products of who you believe you are.

If you believe you’re a loser, your decisions point towards losing. If you believe you’re a winner, you look for ways to get better and achieve goals.

All behaviors are belief-driven. -Jim Kwik, learning expert.

When we identify our self-limiting beliefs, we recognize the things we need to change in ourselves. Reading these books can help you reflect on the beliefs you’ve had for so long, and whether you can keep or throw them out.---

1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

The basic belief that you have about yourself has a powerful impact on your ability to succeed. This is what the research of Carol Dweck presents in this brilliant book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

I was part of a Sales Team in a small start-up company when our manager made this required reading. He knew we needed to change how we thought of ourselves to sell more.

According to this book, much of what we think about ourselves comes from either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Someone with a growth mindset believes he can get better at anything regardless of talent. Someone with a fixed mindset believes he was born with talents and abilities, and there’s no way to learn things outside of them.

Which one do you have now?

In this (growth) mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. -Carol Dweck

If your beliefs about yourself are weighing you down and you need a change in direction, this book is for you.


2. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This book gives you the entire world’s history in 400 pages. It seems an impossible feat, but historian and author Yuval Noah proved it can be done. Sapiens takes you back to the last 70,000 years of the earth’s existence and how our species began and developed into who we are today.

We believe that the money in our bank accounts holds value when it’s only a piece of cloth or paper. We vote men and women into government positions because we trust them. We imagine stories and pass them down.

Sapiens can think of fiction, trust things, or ideas that do not exist. -Yuval Noah Harari

According to the book, we, humans, are merely a natural part of the world’s ecosystem, much like everything and everyone else.

If you want to debunk religious and traditional claims about us, this book is for you.


3. Peak: Secrets From The New Science of Expertise by K. Anders Ericsson

If you ever wondered what separates experts from novices, Peak has the answer. This book talks about neuroplasticity where the ‘brain reroutes some of its neurons so that these otherwise unused areas are put to work doing other things.’

Talent or natural-born gifts are important, but without deliberate practice, they’re useless.

Ericsson recommends having a purposeful practice, instead of mere repetition. Practice with immediate feedback and get out of your comfort zone. 

The main gift that people have is the same one we all have: the adaptability of the human brain and body. -K. Anders Ericsson

If you’ve always wondered how and when you can learn a new skill and master it, this book is for you.


4. Principles: Life & Work by Ray Dalio

In this book, you will learn that everything in this world - economics, evolution, even relationships - works in a system. 

When you identify this system, almost everything can be predicted and measured. Known to be one of the most successful hedge fund managers and investors, he worked his way to building Bridgewater Associates through lessons he wrote as Principles.

According to Bloomberg in 2020, Dalio belongs to the top 80 of the wealthiest in the world.

You don't achieve happiness by getting rid of your problems - you achieve it by learning from them. -Ray Dalio

If you keep running into the same challenges and looking for a book that can help you navigate your way through this complicated maze called life, this book is for you.---

5. Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

This is a collection of ideas from outstanding people and their practical lessons. Author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss combined advice, book recommendations, and life stories of 130+ experts — some he considers his idols from childhood — from around the world.

Tribe of Mentors tells us that routines, the proper mindset, and having goals to reach are critical for success. Hard work pays off. Luck exists, and you can succeed with it, only if mixed with opportunity. We create these opportunities. 

Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.  -Jerzy Gregorek

If you’ve been discouraged by defeat and looking for a source of encouragement from people who have been there, this book is for you.


British athlete Roger Bannister was the first person to run a mile under 4 minutes. Track athletes have surpassed his feat many times over. He changed the mindset of his contemporaries and future runners.

Who you think you are is critical to how your days will turn out. It helps to be aware of our thoughts, behaviors, and actions so we know which ones are serving us and which ones are not.

Remember what Henry Ford said, 'When you believe you can't, you are right. When you believe you can, you are right.'


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About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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