Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

3 Recommended Books

An open book and a notebook

You are what you read. That’s especially true about the books you read. Those books, the words on those pages, shape you. They influence your thinking. They challenge you. They make you think.

I’ve read a number of books over the last year or so. Three of those books gave me pause and compelled me examine the way I do certain things and the way I look at certain aspects of my life.

Let’s take a quick look at those books.

Essential Zen Habits — I’ve been a fan of Leo Babauta’s writing for a number of years. What he has to say about productivity and simple living meshes well with my own thoughts in those areas. It’s Babauta’s ideas around changing habits that have gotten my attention as of late. In Essential Zen Habits, Babauta offers a six-week course that can help you change bad habits and develop good ones. He also also explains how to get over the bumps and overcome the struggles that come with trying to change your habits. Best of all, the book isn’t all theory. It’s very direct, very how to. It gets you involved in the process from page one.

The Joy of Missing Out — In The Joy of Missing Out, Christina Crook explains that constant connectivity isn’t the be all, end all of life. She describes, both from her experience and extensive research and interviews, how stepping back and disconnecting, how taking things slower and at a more relaxed pace can increase our mindfulness and our presentness, and improve our lives. Crook doesn’t advocate completely disconnecting yourself from the digital world. Instead, she advocates stepping back. What will you be missing out on? Probably not much.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You — You’ve probably heard the advice that you need to follow your passion to find the career or work that will define you. Cal Newport thinks that’s wrong, and presents a solid case against following your passion in So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Instead of doing what you think you love, Newport argues, you need to excel at work that matters. Once you do that, you’ll find your passion. And that passion can come from an unexpected corner. So Good They Can’t Ignore You is part manifesto and part blueprint that can help you find what you’re passionate about.

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