As Thrive’s Chief Training Officer, I’m always searching for science and storytelling I can bring into our behavior change experiences — and learning from others who are coming up with solutions to our biggest collective challenges. Here are some of my favorite books and podcasts right now.
I recently loved reading If You Could Live Anywhere: The Surprising Importance of Place in a Work-from-Anywhere World by Melody Warnick. She talks about aligning your location with your values, and how the future of work is evolving. If you are working remotely, I highly recommend reading this book.
Another favorite is Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven. This book is based on the Navy SEAL’s inspiring graduation speech in 2014. The idea is that if you want to change the world, start by making your bed. He talks about what he learned in his naval career and how those lessons can apply to all of us and help us make the world a better place.
If you want to read a great book on building resilience, I’d recommend Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and co-founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help kids thrive. Her untraditional perspective on success is insightful and refreshing.
Adam Grant’s Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things is another great read that’s filled with research and insights on how to build the character skills and motivational structures to realize your own potential. It will shift your mindset around success and inspire you to reach your full potential.
For a feel-good read, I’d recommend Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone and feeling empowered to do something different. Also, The Book of Animal Secrets, by Dr. David Agus, a member of Thrive’s Scientific Advisory Board, is a great book with practical takeaways on what we can learn from mother nature.
We talk a lot about Microsteps here at Thrive, and there’s so much science that shows small habits lead to lasting change. One book that delves into that concept is Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, by Amy Cuddy. She talks about simple Microsteps that can help you shift away from stress in high-pressure situations. It’s both actionable and really enjoyable. Another book that talks about small habits is The Miracle Morning:The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod. I love the idea of starting your morning with small, energizing rituals to set the tone for a great day.
For an interesting perspective on life and work, I’d check out Principles by Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs. It’s filled with practical lessons to help you reach your goals and wisdom around building meaningful work relationships.
Finally, if you’re looking for a boost of inspiration, I’d recommend Speaking With Spirit by Agapi Stassinopoulos, filled with uplifting prayers and soulful wisdom –– and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown, which touches on the power of belonging and strengthening our connections.
I highly recommend Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” podcast. It’s a masterclass in how to lead more authentically.
“10 Percent Happier” with Dan Harris is another favorite. He chats with some incredible A-list guests, as well as experts in meditation and psychology. The range of topics is quite broad, but it all relates back to behaviors you can use to be 10 percent happier every day.
To use Adam Grant’s own words, “We spend a quarter of our lives in our jobs. This show is about making all that time worth your time.” That’s why Grant’s podcast “WorkLife” is a staple for anyone who finds themselves wondering how to make work more productive and more enjoyable.
Jen Fisher’s “WorkWell” podcast is a must-listen if you resonate with Thrive’s mission. Fisher, who is Human Sustainability Leader at Deloitte and Thrive’s Editor-at-Large for our Human Sustainability Hub, explores ways to improve well-being through communication and self-care. She also talks about the connection between sustainability and burnout, and how we can better take care of ourselves and the world around us.