September 10, 2019

6 Books That Will Help You Think Better and Thrive More


Article by Jesus Jimenez

1. Flip the Script: Getting People to Think Your Idea Is Their Idea by Oren Klaff

Flip the ScriptHow do you get someone to buy your product, adopt your idea, or go with your plan? You have to convince them that the idea isn’t yours, it’s theirs, says Oren Klaff, an expert on selling ideas.

In Flip the Script, Klaff offers steps to pressure-free persuasion. How do you push someone without being pushy? You start by getting your audience to pay total attention and take you seriously — you establish status. Then, you show them you’re an expert, and once you’ve done that, only then do you explain your big idea. Klaff claims his process works as well in the boardroom as it does at the dinner table with your veggie-hating kids.

2. The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman

The Optimist's TelescopeA few years ago, Bina Venkataraman got a rash after going for a hike in the Hudson Valley. She made a note to get it checked out, but her 16-hour days dominated by deadlines led her to forget about it. That is until her knee swelled to the size of a grapefruit, and she found out she had Lyme disease.

Of course, Venkataraman’s book isn’t about recognizing the symptoms of Lyme disease — it’s about how we make short-sighted decisions not just in our personal lives, but in business, government, and society. Using examples from real-world stories and new science, Venkataraman provides readers with ways to change their perspective, look beyond short-term targets, create immediate rewards for future goals, and design better institutions.

3. The Lemonade Life: How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness, and Conquer Anything by Zack Friedman

The Lemonade LifeZack Friedman doesn’t want you to read his book if your life is perfect, if you’re trying to get rich quick, if you expect your problems to be solved overnight, or if you prefer style over substance. Also, don’t read his book if you don’t like lemonade.

“This book is for the successful who want to succeed more. It’s for the strugglers who want to struggle less. It’s for the dreamers who want action, and for the actors who never stop dreaming. It’s for the believers who think anything is possible, and the nonbelievers who don’t,” Friedman writes.

If that sounds like you, dive in. Friedman offers a five-step process for achieving more. He carefully explains each step and how to implement changes in your life in accessible language.

4. Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney

Normal SucksJonathan Mooney didn’t learn to read until he was 12. Growing up, he faced several challenges, including dyslexia and ADHD.

“I’m still dyslexic,” Mooney writes. “I still can’t sit still or find my car keys. I still can’t spell. I still can’t read out loud. I still struggle with the challenges and gifts of anxiety and depression. I haven’t fixed myself.”

So what changed? Mooney shifted his perspective on what being “normal” really means. “Normal is a false standard for human value,” he writes.

In Normal Sucks, Mooney shows readers how they can reshape their own ideas about normalcy. He does this by sharing stories about his own challenges while also bringing in an impressive litany of resources and research.

5. Now Is the Way: An Unconventional Approach to Modern Mindfulness by Cory Allen

Now Is the Way“No matter how frustrated or hopeless I’ve felt, I always had a small ember of hope in my heart that refused to be extinguished by the cold rain of life,” Cory Allen writes. “I kept believing, putting one foot in front of the other, and finding my way to more peace. More beauty. More love. More life.”

Allen, the podcaster behind The Astral Hustle, offers practical advice on meditation, moving on from the past, being kinder, and more. He also provides several exercises readers will find useful for learning how to relax and live in the moment.

6. A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters by Steven C. Hayes, PhD

A Liberated MindNo matter what you’re dealing with, change isn’t easy. In A Liberated Mind, Steven C. Hayes writes about how you can successfully alter your course no matter what your issue is, be it anxiety, depression, substance abuse, PTSD, relationship issues, or something else entirely.

Having dealt with his own problems, such as panic attacks, Hayes deftly explains how to pivot by creating habits, accepting vulnerability, and changing perspective. He doesn’t just draw on his own experiences; Hayes’s book is densely filled with references, research, and analysis. Hayes also discusses how the media, society, and even conventional personal development all impact our ability to pivot.

Versions of this article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine and on

Jesus Jimenez is the managing editor for SUCCESS magazine. He previously served as social media coordinator and associate editor. He eats, breathes, and sleeps Texas Rangers baseball. He also enjoys running, traveling, and buying cool socks.

Read more in Career Goals

SUCCESS is your guide for personal and professional development through inspiration, motivation, and training.