Many students must be struggling to find motivation as they wrap up a whirlwind pursuit of their goals and dreams through the education system. Where to find the motivation then? There are numerous ways to search for motivation and one powerful approach is through relevant books. Countless books offer inspirational lessons about coping with unconventional matters in life, teaching about self-acceptance and showing compassion and empathy. Youth Today rounded up seven most recommended international books to help students persevere with these tough challenges.
1. Thinking, Fast And Slow – By Daniel Kahneman
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” is a New York Times bestseller published in 2011, an award-winning exploration of how we think. The author Daniel Kahneman, an Economics Science laureate, takes us on a tour to understand the functional system of our brain which drives the way we think and also teach readers to know their own impulses and intuition. The book explains two systems in our thinking: System 1 is fast and emotional, System 2 is slower, more logical. The book will help readers to think fast in a rational way.
2. Do Hard Things – By Alex and Brett Harris
STUDENTS out there, you are not alone. The authors of this book published in 2008 — that attracted over 40 million hits — were 18 when they recognized a teen rebellion in the making. In the world of adolescence where teenagers are expected to be good in everything they do, society and parents do not realise that their good intentions actually can hurt your self-esteem and confidence instead. “Do Hard Things” will teach you the concept of self-value and self-love and to shake off the limitations of society and the family institution, with a tinge of Christian hype, that if you want to rebel, make sure it is good for your own future. This motivational book is for teenage students in search of inspiration and make personal changes if they must and not be shackled by social norms. It is a book written by teens for teens, for teenage rebel-utionaries.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change – By Steven R. Covey
Habits are hard to cultivate but it isn’t unachievable. But remember habits die hard. Bad habits, that is. Don’t change good habits. If you need time to change, this is the right book with advice on 7 good habits, published in 1989. Popularly known worldwide, this self-help book is considered by many to be one of the most inspiring and impactful books designed for students to understand the essential role of habits to achieve goals through stamping personal and professional character in daily life. Of the seven habits listed in this long term study on the principles of success, one stands out: seek first to understand then to be understood. Which implies, that we listen first before expressing your own opinion. What are the other six habits? Read all about it.
4. Getting to Yes with Yourself – By William Ury
Getting to understand your inner self and finding your real potential are complex mental activities. However the journey to self-realisation is made easier by life’s lesson from the author William Ury who has changed thousands of professionals like lawyers, managers, teachers, diplomats, government officials and even the humble coal miner. His key line to become a good negotiator is: how can we get others to say ‘yes’ (to something) when you haven’t gotten to saying yes to yourself? It’s like the zen line of know yourself before you change others. This book will teach you to question your way of thinking and show you the influence you can cast on yourself. This book is non-negotiable on the biggest hurdle: yourself.
5. The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World – By Lewis Hyde
The education system provides students with a set of knowledge but some curriculum restricts creativity since society at large fears it as a threat to their status quo. In short, some education systems use the rote method of memorisation to create robotic students who toe the government line out of fear that imaginative graduates will enter the working world and change it.
This book, published 25 years ago, tells you to understand creativity as the greatest gift you can develop in this market-oriented world. Pablo Picasso said: “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”
6. Rules for the Unruly: Living an Unconventional Life – By Marion Winik
In the conventional life of a student, there will be mistakes made and risks to be taken. That is the learning curve when directions are vague with tough decisions to make. What a growing student needs are words of wisdom and you can find them in ‘Rules for the Unruly’. Living an ‘Unconventional Life’ outlines the unique life of radio commentator and author Marion Winik. Her experience is explained in motivational dialogues, funny anecdotes as a suitable balance for self-therapy as well as a memoir, which was published in 2001. She shows that by being your strange self, with self-belief, you can find happiness and success. And not to fear leading an unconventional life.
7. The Checklist Manifesto – By Atul Gawande
For the young looking for inspiring tips to sort out a complex matter, The Checklist Manifesto is about organisation. Author Atul Gawande will show you simple step-by-step ideas about how we can deal with any complexity in our lives in safety, consistency and correctness. The book will motivate students to be organized and be calm in their daily life. Dare we think of the pilot who doesn’t plan before a takeoff? Woe betide if you are buying ingredients to bake a cake without a list, and go home with one key item missing. If you don’t plan, you are doomed to failure.