The beauty of audio is that it allows you to learn and grow while you’re doing something else. Grab your earbuds and folding laundry becomes a learning opportunity and a packed-to-the-gills subway car transforms into a classroom. Or, how about this? Do something great for your brain and your self-development while you’re doing something great for your body! I really like running, and make sure I get out for a run at least every week. With an audiobook in my ears the run not only becomes more enjoyable, but also adds a workout for my brain.
I picked out these ten books from the Blinkist library to motivate you as you get your sweat on, and to help you make the absolute most of your day once you’re done. Included here are ideas on how to change bad habits into good ones, find your calling in life, and changing your mind in ways that will help you succeed at whatever you’re doing.
1. Mindset by Carol Dweck
Huffing and puffing through your morning run, it might not occur to you that you could ever enjoy this punitive activity. But if you explored the notion of learning to love running and, even better, found a way to get yourself to believe it possible, there’s a good chance you’d have more athletic success!
Mindset, written by renowned psychologist Carol Dweck, explains the two types of mindsets: fixed and growth. People with the first are more likely to despair: “I’m not good at this, I’ll never get it!” whereas those who’ve got the second keep on barreling up that hill, muttering “I’m not good at this — YET.”
Give this one a read or listen and you’ll start seeing difficulties as temporary and failures as chances to improve, a mindset which will help you achieve your goals.
2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
If Dweck’s book didn’t help you re-think your run, some Gladwellian logic might do the trick.
Have you ever felt like you’re just not cut out for something, like say, playing the violin? In Outliers, Gladwell explores historical and scientific examples that prove how work and practice (specifically, 10,000 hours) can make you a master in anything you put your mind to, regardless of that slippery thing called “talent.”
3. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Emotional Intelligence, written by psychologist and twice Pulitzer Prize-nominated Daniel Goleman, outlines the nature of emotional intelligence and the many aspects in which it impacts your life.
If you’re striving to live up to your potential, this book will support you with helpful insights. Great news: “Emotional literacy” is not predetermined at birth, but rather something you can develop throughout your life! This means it’s never too late to get smart about it and push your EQ.
4. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
We all have bad habits we dream of nixing for good, and hopefully a few good habits we’d like to pick up, but changing and acquiring those positive habits is notoriously difficult.
The Power of Habit explains, as the name suggests, why habits are so powerful, and shows you the right mental buttons to push to change your habits and reach your goals. Hear this and you’ll be ready and raring to change your life — and have the tools to do so!
5. Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson
Was your budding career as an artist nipped in the bud when your second-grade teacher didn’t recognize the hedgehog you drew?
In Finding Your Element, renowned educator Ken Robinson explains how school has probably discouraged you from finding your true passions, and how it’s not too late to turn it all around. Find your element, even if you lost it many moons ago.
6. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
In his book Essentialism, Greg McKeown teaches you how doing less will make you better. It’s a perfect read for people who are “busy” but don’t feel productive and it will help you clear out the things in your routine that distract you from being truly productive and fulfilled.
After reading this book, you’ll also be able to better identify your priorities in life.
7. Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
If you’ve ever been misunderstood in conversation, you’ll know to value this read. Nonviolent Communication introduces simple techniques that you can use to speak more consciously and compassionately with others and create better relationships.
Regardless if you want to improve your relationship with a colleague or family member, or you’re trying to make friends in a new city, this book offers you the tools to succeed.
8. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Did you know people give and feel love differently? This book is a guide to the 5 different ways people experience love and will not only help you recognize the love language of your partner and yourself, but also offers concrete tips on how to use this knowledge to improve your romantic relationships.
9. 30 Ways to Reboot Your Body by Ben Greenfield
When we’re busy seeing the world, building our careers and social relationships, our health sometimes gets left behind. With Ben Greenfield’s book you’ll get the keys to repairing and regenerating your body to set it up for next level health and fitness goals.
Learn about why digestive health, light exercise and solid routines are so important and get ready for your ideas about diet and exercise to be challenged.
10. Philosophy For Life by Jules Evans
This book teaches you the self-development applications of lessons from some of the greatest philosophers in history, from the Stoics to Aristotle.
Nothing like a few well placed, thousand-year-old secrets to help soothe you at the end of your workout — after which you can go out and make the changes suggested to enjoy a better life.
All of these reads are on Blinkist audio in 15-minute insight summaries, so download the app, queue them all up and you’ll have about 3 days’ worth of things to listen to on your run! Let’s get growing.
Holger Seim is Co-Founder and CEO of Blinkist. For more content like this, visit Blinkist Magazine.
Originally published at medium.com