The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage (2017) by Mel Robbins
I decided to read this book because I had been impressed by a couple of Mel Robbins’ speeches I saw. In writing, Robbins has the same firmly positive, but realistic tone. Her five second rule seems like a gimmick but it also seems to help tons of people so it’s worth trying. While it hasn’t worked very well for me, I am incredibly over analytical and going through a stressful time in my life at the moment so virtually nothing is working well for me. I believe you are very likely to have better results.
There were two things I liked the most about this book. First, it is very human. Robbins is very open about the struggles she has had and acknowledges that everyone will have some of their own. That said, she advocates finding ways to push through those struggles and succeed in spite of them. Second, while it is a very easy book to read, it is clear that a substantial amount of research went into it. Robbins distills things into very simple concepts but it’s clear she has a well earned understanding of psychology that has made it possible. I believe just about anyone could learn at least something valuable from this book that would help them improve in life so I highly recommend it.
The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone – Especially Ourselves (2013) by Dan Ariely
I’ve been a Dan Ariely fan for quite a while now. His work all falls between psychology and economics and the links between the two are fascinating. I’m obviously not the only one who thinks so as Ariely has come further and further into prominence in recent years. This particular book was a lot of fun to read – although it was also a little eye opening in some uncomfortable ways. It very vividly illustrates a concept I’ve believed to be true for quite some time now; namely, we are all full of shit and the only real differentiating factor is how honest we are about it.
This book goes into detail on numerous experiments by Ariely and others that attempted to identify the significant factors that affect the lying and cheating that make up a much larger part of life than most of us would ever believe or admit. If you’re anything like me, this book will have you thinking a lot about your own life and feeling slightly uneasy plenty of times. But I’m a big believer in having information, even if it’s not the information I wish I had, versus living in blissful ignorance.
And somehow, through all of this rather dark topic, Ariely manages to maintain a light hearted, and even often humorous tone. My sense of humor may be darker than most, but I chuckled to myself several times while reading this book. Overall, this book taught me more about the dark side of people, including myself, and kept me reasonably entertained in the process. I was already a pretty big fan of Ariely’s work so factor in my bias, but I highly recommend this book.