Jason Feifer's Book Club: 5 Must-Reads for This Month
Looking for some new inspiration? Check out these stories.
Entrepreneur editor-in-chief Jason Feifer has five reading recommendations that can help you pass the time during a holiday break, learn new skills and improve your working life. You can find Feifer's list on Scribd, but we'll also give you a introduction to each of his choices below.
1. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control
Psychologist Walter Mischel designed the Marshmallow Test to explain what self-control is and how to master it. The premise is simple: A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice to eat one now or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do, and what are the implications for her behavior later in life?
Feifer says: Would you choose instant gratification now, or greater gratification later? That's the premise of Walter Mischel's marshmallow test. In this book, he broadens it into a blueprint for succeeding in all areas of life. The most successful entrepreneurs all play the long game. But, that doesn't mean self-control comes easy.
2. Insight: Why We're Not as Self-aware as We Think, and How Seeing Ourselves Clearly Helps Us Succeed at Work and in Life
Research shows that self-awareness is the meta-skill of the 21st century -- the foundation for high performance, smart choices and lasting relationships. Unfortunately, we are remarkably poor judges of ourselves and how we come across, and it's rare to get candid, objective feedback from colleagues, employees, and even friends and family. Tasha Eurich's Insight helps us get a better view of ourselves so we can improve our work and life.
Feifer says: After thousands of hours of research, case studies and analysis, organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich unveils the truth about self-awareness -- what it is, why it matters and how people pursue it. (Spoiler alert: Most of us are doing it wrong!) With a background in coaching business leaders, Eurich presents an impeccable guide to harnessing the power of self-awareness to improve your business and yourself.
3. Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential
Dr. Barbara Oakley's Mindshift shows us how we can uncover and develop talents we didn't realize we had, no matter our age or background. We're often told to "follow our passions," but we can also broaden our passions. Drawing on the latest neuroscientific insights, Dr. Oakley brushes off simplistic ideas about aptitude -- which really only provide a shapshot of who we are now with little consideration for the future.
Feifer says: Barbara Oakley teaches college courses on the science of learning. In Mindshift, she dives deep into the concept -- exploring how people can continuously develop new skills. With insights from neuroscience and psychology and countless case studies, Oakley can help you overcome impostor syndrome, break into a new industry and transform your mind for the better.
4. Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most
In Performing Under Pressure, Dr. Hendrie Weisinger and Dr. J.P. Pawliw-Fry tackle one of the greatest obstacles to personal success: pressure. Despite sports mythology, no one "rises to the occasion" under pressure and does better than they do in practice. The reality is pressure makes us do worse, and sometimes leads us to fail utterly. But there are things we can do to diminish its effects on our performance.
Feifer says: Ever feel like waiting until the last minute makes you more productive? According to renowned psychologist Hendrie Weisinger and performance coach J.P. Pawliw-Fry, you're just tricking yourself! Whether it's the weight of a championship game, overwhelming audience or make-or-break meeting, Weisinger and Pawliw-Fry argue that nobody performs better under pressure. This book debunks the pressure myth and then presents more than 20 strategies to relieve pressure so you can better excel in your personal and professional life.
5. Mr. Nice Guy
Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer teamed up to write Mr. Nice Guy, a novel about the pursuit of success -- both in life and love -- in today's working world.
The story follows Lucas Callahan, a man who gave up his law degree, fiancée and small-town future for a shot at making it in the Big Apple. He snags an entry-level job at Empire magazine, believing it's only a matter of time before he becomes a famous writer. And then late one night in a downtown bar he meets a gorgeous brunette who takes him home ...
Feifer says: Hey, recognize one of those author's names? (The other one is my wife.) This is a brand-new romantic comedy we wrote together — it's about two people who each week sleep together and then critically review each other's performance in a magazine. So, yes, it's not exactly a business book, but I include it here because even the most focused workers need a break. You won't reach peak performance by charging hard 100 percent of the time. Let the mind relax. Enjoy a story! You'll be fresher tomorrow.