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10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Learn about building tolerance and making the right decisions


10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024
Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash

When I was younger, I wasn’t keen on my birthday.


‘A year lost’ was the way I was taught to look at it.


But as I have grown older, I have started to look forward to every new year (and my birthday). Each year brings new opportunities, experiences, and adventures.


2024 has just started. We are only one month in. It’s a great time to renew your perspective for this year.


The following books will help you do just that.



10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

It’s time to rethink our moral reasoning.


This book is necessary for everyone to read.


Why?


Because we all are so sure of our own morality and of others’ immorality that we are not willing to give them a pass. We think our opinions are formed on logic and reason.

But that can’t be farther from the truth.


As the author tells us we don’t go by reasoning. Instead, we go by our intuition.


“Groups create supernatural beings not to explain the universe but to order their societies.”

When confronted with information, we pick and choose the one that conforms to our already established view.



“If you really want to change someone’s mind on a moral or political matter, you’ll need to see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.”

The author tells us to see through the eyes of our opponents, those whom we deem as less moral or misguided. He asks us to see ‘deeply and intuitively’. Haidt terms ‘empathy’ as an antidote to righteousness.


Through his book, Haidt also attempts to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

A guidebook for those seeking power.


This book is a controversial one. And rightfully so. Some of the techniques in this book are downright manipulative.


Robert Greene puts it all in ink. Parts of the book are thrilling to read, while others will make you do a double take.


“Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are.”

I imagine a king ruling his kingdom and strategizing with and against his political opponents.


Some advice is generic and conforms to common sense. For example, the author tells us to not insult people’s honor. Otherwise, they might resort to violence.


“There is nothing more intoxicating than victory, and nothing more dangerous.”

Greene tells us about Napoleon and other people of the past. Through their examples, we learn the ins and outs of gaining and keeping power.


Napoleon was timid in social situations. But after realizing the importance of boldness, he started practicing it in every part of his life.


“When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword: Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet.”

This book will teach you how to be on guard from the people who exhibit deceptive and manipulative behaviors in order to gain control.



10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Where is AI research headed?


AI is the new thing.


We are using ChatGPT and many other systems to write, draw, and much more.


But, where is it headed? And what does it mean for the future of humanity?


Max Tegmark is the right person to tackle these questions because he is a scientist and a machine learning researcher.


“Will life in our Universe fulfill its potential or squander it? This depends to a great extent on what we humans alive today do during our lifetime, and I’m optimistic that we can make the future of life truly awesome if we make the right choices.”

The author introduces the story of an AI system named Prometheus which is used by the Omega team to control the world.


He asks us to imagine a world where an enemy’s self-driving cars, weapons, and homes can be hacked.


“The more automated society gets and the more powerful the attacking AI becomes, the more devastating cyberwarfare can be.”

This book discusses superintelligence, the positive and negative effects of AI on humans, legal and ethical issues, and more.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Wisdom from a psychologist.


In this book, Jordan B Peterson draws on psychology, mythology, and more in order to teach us important lessons for our lives.


He tells us simple things like fixing our posture. Stand up straight with shoulders back!


He proves the importance of good posture through the example of lobsters.


“Every bit of learning is a little death. Every bit of new information challenges a previous conception, forcing it to dissolve into chaos before it can be reborn as something better.”

He also tells us about complex things like being open to other’s views even when they make no sense. The author warns us of intolerance. Intolerance means one is simplistic and dangerous.


One of the interesting discussions in the book is about the balance between order and chaos, yin and yang, masculinity and femininity.


“Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because there are still vital and important new things to be learned.”

Despite my disagreements with certain views that Peterson holds, I’d say this. The life advice in this book is pretty solid.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

How do incentives shape our world?


This book is a follow-up to the authors’ previous book ‘Freakonomics’.


“‘Are people innately altruistic?’ is the wrong kind of question to ask. People are people, and they respond to incentives.”

This book also draws on the concept of people responding to initiatives. Anyone can be manipulated for good or evil.


“So it may be that going to the hospital slightly increases your odds of surviving if you’ve got a serious problem but increases your odds of dying if you don’t.”

Using data, we learn of many interesting correlations. Some of them seem a little biased.


“Many of life’s decisions are hard.”

The authors also tell us that cheap fixes that don’t require much effort are easier to implement. People adopt them too. For example: using seat belts for safety.


Complex solutions, however, are difficult to implement.


This book is interesting and will shine a light on many new connections.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Living longer or living well?


Old age is a reality. A reality that personally freaks me out. Where will I be when I am old? How many diseases will I have? Will I be dependent on others for basic tasks? And most of all, will I be happy?


This book explores the topic of end-of-life and palliative care.


Dr Atul Gawande is an American surgeon. He takes a critical look at the current medical trends in the care of those who are aged or terminally ill.


The following excerpt sums up what he hopes to achieve through this book.


“… our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives.”

The author criticizes the fact that we are so focused on keeping people alive that we forget about their quality of life.


Even doctors are not trained enough to discuss tough topics with their patients.


However, when these discussions take place, patients are able to make informed decisions. As a result, they are happier and less depressed.


Healthcare professionals and family members of the terminally ill can benefit a lot from this book.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

How does our brain work?


Daniel Kahneman is known for his work in behavioral economics.


Drawing on his research in psychology and behavioral economics, the author shows us how humans make decisions.


“We are prone to blame decision makers for good decisions that worked out badly and to give them too little credit for successful moves that appear obvious only after the fact.”

Our brain has the ability to think fast and on impulse. It can also slow down and think analytically.


The author goes on to discuss how these systems work. He also takes a look at the effect of tiredness on their efficiency.


“An unbiased appreciation of uncertainty is a cornerstone of rationality…”

The book also shows us how different heuristics and biases affect our decision-making.


Another interesting thing that we learn is that expert opinion produces better predictions than algorithms.


This book will help you understand your own decision-making and those of others.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Bets and decisions, are they really any different?


We can never have all the facts before making a decision.


Annie Duke is a former professional poker player. Using the principles of the poker game, she teaches us how to decide right.


“In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.”

The author says that decisions should be treated as bets. By doing so herself, she found opportunities in uncertainty.


We can never be sure of what is going to happen next. This sentence kinda fills me with dread.


What if I die in the next second? What if an earthquake flattens my house? On the other hand, what if I get a surprise job offer that pays me well and suits my circumstances?


What if I get a car as a gift?


The thing is we can never know. And accepting that is the key to operating in this world.


“Instead of altering our beliefs to fit new information, we do the opposite, altering our interpretation of that information to fit our beliefs.”

This book will help you view decision-making in a new light.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Human predictions are wrong.


Nassim Taleb uses his knowledge of statistics, probability, and chance to open our eyes.


Did you know that we thought that swans were only white? Until black swans were discovered.


10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024
Photo by Marga Santoso on Unsplash

The author’s premise is the same. We think something won’t happen. Until it does. He gives an example of a turkey who is fed and taken care of. The turkey imagines that life would go on this way. Before Thanksgiving, he meets his real destiny.


“If you hear a “prominent” economist using the word ‘equilibrium,’ or ‘normal distribution,’ do not argue with him; just ignore him, or try to put a rat down his shirt.”

The lesson is to not always look at your past to predict the future.


The author tells us about the ‘Black Swan’ events. These are highly unpredictable events that can cause drastic changes.


“If you want to get an idea of a friend’s temperament, ethics, and personal elegance, you need to look at him under the tests of severe circumstances, not under the regular rosy glow of daily life.”

Assessing risk in the real world is difficult. But if we make simple assumptions while disregarding complexity, that is going to make it even worse.


This book will make you understand the uncertainty that surrounds us all in this world.




10 Life-Changing Books That Will Transform Your Perspective For the Better in 2024

Kids should play freely and here is why!


In the old days, news took days to travel. I imagine pigeons carrying letters or horsemen carrying scrolls.


One thing is sure. It took some time. But now, whatever is happening unfolds on our screens in live feeds.


“In general, we want to take the easy way out, but what makes us happy is doing the thing that’s a little bit difficult.”

The author of this book explores the over-influx of information and its effect on the human brain.


Hari tells us that our cell phones are with us all the time. They offer us an easy thing to do. And in doing so they interrupt our focus and attention.


What is it doing to us?


Due to the constant pumping of information, we are unable to focus on individual pieces of it.


In the 3 goals to reclaim our attention, the author includes one about the development of focus in childhood.


“…rebuild childhood around letting kids play freely — in their neighborhoods and at school — because children who are imprisoned in their homes won’t be able to develop a healthy ability to pay attention.”

As a parent who is a proponent of children playing freely and uninterrupted, I cannot agree more.



 

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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog- https://www.thenovelnest.com/blog


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