Here is a list of resources to help you on your journey to create your next best version of yourself.
To be posted here, the content has to meet the following criteria:
1). It was completed (or is used) by either/both of us.
2). The person who experienced it just couldn’t stop talking about it (we talk a lot and get excited about this easily, so this is not a high bar).
3). The content maps back to best self principles. Being our best selves, being more over doing more, building habits, based on science, etc.
Agile Best Self Community on LinkedIn – Private, curated community on LinkedIn. Curated by Best Self founders Brian and Michaele. The focus is creating a community that will help us all turn up the good. Focus on what you want, not what you want to avoid.
Compete to Create – Online training course. Finding Your Best course on High Performance Mindset found here. Michaele and Brian both completed the course. Access to Olympians as mindset coaches, and strategies to train high performance mindset skills.
Finding Mastery – Dr. Michael Gervais (Apple) BH
Dr. Gervais interviews elite performers from all walks of life to help us understand their mental constructs.
10% Happier – Dan Harris (Apple) BH
Dan Harris’ guests are typically focused on aspects of meditation and the impact it creates.
10% Happier – Mindfulness app for your mobile device. Variety of meditation teachers, as well as some sessions with a bit of irreverence. Free version as well as subscription-based model. Tracks motivating metrics (number of minutes spend meditating, total days on meditation streak, etc).
Audible – Huge collection of audible books and other podcast content. Multiple subscription levels available. You can return an audible book under some circumstances.
Headspace – Meditation app. Free version available, but paid version provides exercises for many of life’s situations. Backed by science.
The following books have been read by Brian and/or Michaele. More books will be posted as they are completed.
Each title has a few sentences describing how and why a book supports the concept of best self. Reader initials are next. An (A) at the end indicates that the book is also available on Audible.
Michaele: I have over 70 books in my Audible library. About 10% of the time, I’m so inspired or intrigued or activated by a an audible book, I order the hard copy so that I can read it.
Brian: Same here – I have the same experience with Audible. For me it is a great way to utilize my long commute. I can do a book a week, on average.
Brown, Brene. The Gifts of Imperfection : Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Anything Brene is awesome. However, this is the only one I’ve had a chance to finish – MG. (A)
Bungay Stanier, Michael The Coaching Habit. This is one of my favorite coaching books because it has very powerful, yet simple concepts. This book can help you learn skills to help others become their best selves. Instead of solving problems for loved ones or team mates, ask some powerful questions to help them solve their own problems. The questions can also be turned inward to help gain some insight – MG. (A)
Duhigg, Charles The Power of Habit. Science behind the power of habits. If you understand the science, you can create better habits more effectively- MG. (A)
Grant, Adam. Originals. According to the publisher: “Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent.” I agree with that assessment. That is a whole ton of best self work right there! MG (A).
Sinek, Simon The Infinite Game. People “who embrace an infinite mindset… build stronger, more innovative, more inspiring organizations. Their people trust each other and their leaders. They have the resilience to thrive in an ever-changing world, while their competitors fall by the wayside.” I’d also suggest that those who try to live the infinite game are more ego-resilient, happier and more connected with the greater good – MG.
Sinek, Simon Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action . This content can be used in many situations. Concepts can be used on a personal or team level. Knowing your ‘why’ can help you make better decisions on how to be your best self – MG, BH. (A)
Clark, James Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results (reviewed). This book provided a simple, powerful framework to change habits. Online, downloadable supplemental templates and other materials help make efforts visible. – BH (A)
Wakeman, Cy No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results. The author makes a compelling case for workplace drama as a significant productivity drag. The book discusses the destructive power of our ego, and empathy as the tool to defeat drama. – BH
We use the same criteria for listing TED talks as Books. Additionally, science and research methodology are important.
Bolte Taylor, Jill. My Stroke of Insight 18:35 minutes. 23+ million views. Amazing story of a neuroanatomist brain researcher Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. She shares her experience of having a stroke and having her brain motor functions shut down. – MG.
Brown, Brene – The Power of Vulnerability 20:13 minutes. 40.5 million views. Great content. Worth watching any time you need a best self bump – MG, BH.
Sinek, Simon – How Great Leaders Inspire Action 17:57 minutes. 43+ million views. He summarizes concepts from his book – MG, BH.
Waldinger, Robert – What Makes a Good Life ? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness . 12:47 minutes. 27+ million views. He asks the question: “If you were to invest now in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy?” He goes on to share data from a 75 year study that answers that question – MG.
Walker, Matt-Sleep is Your Super Power 19:18 minutes. From TED2019.
Dr. Walker earned his degree in neuroscience from Nottingham University, UK, and his PhD in neurophysiology from the Medical Research Council, London, UK. He subsequently became a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, USA. I’m currently reading his book “Why We Sleep“, but have not completed it yet. Thus, it doesn’t qualify for inclusion on the recommended book list. Listening to this talk will help you understand why sleep hygiene is such a critical habit. Additionally, his accent is wonderful. – MG.
Jay Earley, PhD and Bonnie Weiss. LCSW, The Seven Types of Inner Critics
In our research on the different voices of the Inner Critic, this work was referenced most frequently. It is a nice summary of their research, and shows seven personas of Inner Critic that we can all identify with in some way. – BH