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12 Books To Read To Expand Your Mind

Some people argue that expanding your understanding of yourself and the world is the ultimate human goal. Well, here are 12 books that can help with just that.

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#1 Spiral by Amy Simpkins

This book I authored takes the idea that innovation applies to technology and expands it to apply innovative, creative processes and progressions in a much broader way -- to business development and to personal development. It ties together so many different subjects - engineering, physics, psychology, spirituality, physics - and it does this in a way that makes the whole world, and our human existence, make a bit more sense in the grand scheme of things. This book isn't exactly a Unifying Theory of Life, The Universe, and Everything... but it's pretty close.

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Contributor: Amy Simpkins from muGrid Analytics 

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#2 What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

A classic read from one of the most popular authors of our time. This book is a collection of some of Malcolm Gladwell's popular writing for the New Yorker. While this book is less popular than Outlier and Tipping Point, I find that the varied nature of the articles helps to keep interest throughout the book.

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Contributor: Patrick Kenger from Pivot Image Consulting 

#3 Drawn to the Light by Ella Evers-Meinardi

This intense story begins decades ago after the sudden death of author Ella Evers-Meinardi's husband. Nine-months pregnant at the time, Evers-Meinardi is haunted by the ancient question: what is the meaning of life? Drawn to the Light invites readers to join Evers-Meinardi in search of answers as her journey takes her eleven times to India, an ancient land of God-wisdom. Dreams, alternative healing, meditation practices, esoteric studies, and philosophy found in the Indian scriptures become her companions and teachers.

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Contributor: Maggie Allen from Inkwater Press

#4 The Buddha’s Guide to Gratitude by Becca Anderson

According to Buddha, You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy. As it turns out, Buddha had quite a lot to say on the subject of gratitude, including citing it as one of the four keys to the Gate of Heaven. Why is this? Perhaps the sheer simplicity of gratefulness is a large part of this, as it is available to all of us at any time. Even in the midst of over-busyness, stress, and chaos, we can find plenty to be glad about, and the quotes and meditations in The Buddha's Guide to Gratitude will start your journey towards Zen and gratefulness. Being thankful is one of the most powerful tools we humans have to attain peace of mind and a measure of happiness. But the fact is, the art of living―for that is what we speak about when we speak of gratitude and thankfulness―isn't something that comes naturally to most people. 

Most of us need to work intentionally to increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of positive, grateful feelings―a daunting challenge, indeed. But fear not; The Buddha's Guide to Gratitude is here to help!

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Contributor: Christina McCall from Mango Media 

#5 Principles by Ray Dalio

One of the books I have read recently that really challenged the way I think is 'Principles' by Ray Dalio. He writes on the principles that he lives by and his company runs by. This is no easy read as there are a lot of details provided by Mr. Dalio, and he gives you so much to think about. But it will expand your mind and challenge you to question the way you've been operating your life. For instance, how forthright are you with the people you work with and how much is that hurting your company? It is an excellence read!

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Contributor: Roman Debotch from Black Excellence

#6 The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries The concept of building a minimum viable product (MVP) will stick with you forever. The concept is based on building a product that somebody wants. This concept applies to all business owners--aspiring and current. You can apply this concept to new product lines, new projects, and tweak existing process. 

For business students with no work experience, the real world examples and case studies in the book will help students understand the cause and effect of changes made to product(s) and/or system(s), how to understand the metrics that drive the business, and testing all concepts against reality before implementation to avoid failures. Lastly, it will help you realize that innovation is lower the cost of reaching customers and reduces the associated market risks.

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Contributor: Tony Notermann from Noteworthy Web Design 

#7 The World Premiere of Me by Fred Ford

The World Premiere of Me by Fred Ford is about expanding your mind. It is about Hollywood billionaire movie producer Grayson O’Day who has a plan to rid the world of poverty through the power of imagination. He relocates his operation from Hollywood to The Hamptons, and spends a small fortune to build a prototype movie studio. With construction complete, O’Day needs only one thing to fulfill his vision: a test subject. The World Premiere of Me is the story of Duncan Ferris and his unlikely journey from classic underachiever to forerunner of the final age of man.

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Contributor: Michelle Gamble from 3L Publishing

#8 National Geographic Spectacle by National Geographic

SPECTACLE immerses readers in an inspiring world of travel and cultural insights right from their own home. This photo collection showcases awe-inducing moments from around the world, bringing recipients out of their bubble with each turn of the page with images of natural and manmade wonders, unusual phenomena, and amusing curiosities. Visit places like Peru, London, and Antarctica and expand your mind with imagery of the aurora borealis, cities made of neon lights, a great wildebeest migration, and more. Each page will enlighten and inspire, presenting our world at its best.

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Contributor: Marissa Connelly from Litzky Public Relations 

#9 The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

This book right here is not only for salespeople, but this book is also for anyone and everyone who is plagued with small-mindedness. This book will literally force you to start thinking bigger and will explain why in a way that is easy to understand and makes sense logically. This book will change your mindset and have you start setting bigger goals for yourself and for everyone around you. Because one of the key reasons why this book tells you to think bigger is because it will be a benefit not only to you but to everyone around you. I’m telling you, if you don’t know who Grant Cardone is, you will after reading this book.

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Contributor: Mark Benjamin from Lasting Trend 

#10 The Story of the Human Body by Daniel Lieberman

To expand your mind while learning about your mind, read this book by Daniel Lieberman. In it, Lieberman discusses evolution and related issues such as brain development, diet, and bipedalism. He talks about how different technological advances have affected humans, both in good ways and bad. This book is sure to have you thinking long and hard about the state of the human body and how it has changed over time.

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Contributor: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

#11 If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

This book by Italo Calvino is both a comedy and a tragedy. The reader discovers that the book he purchased is really the same section repeated over and over again, and he runs into many obstacles as he tries to get a corrected edition. Meanwhile, Calvino infuses the work with stories of mystery, spies, and menace, while considering why people read and how we make meaning out of things.

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Contributor: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

#12 Exploring Meditation by Dr. Susan G. Shumsky

Exploring Meditation that I authored is an introduction to Eastern wisdom and spirituality. In this book you will learn the basics about meditation, yoga, “couch-potato yoga,” karma, spiritual healing, affirmation, and intuition. It’s a fun, funny, easy book to read, with simple yet powerful practices that are explained step-by-step. Anyone can learn and benefit from using the methods in this book.

The book also helps you to open to, listen to, test, and trust your inner voice—the voice of intuition and divine guidance within. The book and the accompanying free guided meditation mp3 will help you realize your true higher self and communicate with divine beings, ascended masters, angelic beings, and deities. it’s a direct line to Spirit, without going through a middleman. Learn how to develop your ESP, how to awaken your inner voice, how to solve everyday problems by following the advice of the counselor within you, how to ask for powerful spiritual experiences whenever you want—at will, and how to tell whether your intuition is real, fake, or wishful thinking.

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Contributor: Susan Shumsky 

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Written by Yehoshua Bomberg