Top 5 Books for a Positive State of Mind

May 2020

It can be challenging to stay happy and focused while we all adjust to the uncertainty of our "new normal." An optimistic mindset, however, is a powerful tool in times of adversity. Using the extra time on your hands to read a book from the PMA library is a great way to get inspired to refocus and keep working towards your personal and professional goals. 

Each week. Patton provides a weekly summary of the most essential and emerging books from the productivity and professional development genre. We've rounded up the top five must-reads to help you stay positive and productive during these changing and challenging times. 


1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

By Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D
Stanford Psychologist Carol S. Dweck outlines how you can change your mindset to maximize your optimism and potential for success in this . Dweck asserts that people have one of two mindsets: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset believes that one's success is limited by inherent talent and advantages and there is no possibility to improve. A growth mindset, however, believes that anyone can improve and embrace opportunities through hard work and determination. This book will teach you how to adapt a growth mindset to tackle difficult situations, embrace learning, be a positive influence on others and grow into your best self. 

2. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Mind and Found Self Help That Actually Works-A True Story

By Dan Harris
In "10% Happier," author and ABC News anchor Dan Harris shares the positive impact that meditation has had on his life. After having a panic attack on live TV during a broadcast of Good Morning America, Harris was forced to face his anxiety and trauma issues. He learned to meditate and sought out the help of professionals and more experienced meditators. As Harris shares his personal journey, he also provides valuable insight on how to use meditation to take charge of your thoughts, work through issues and become more content and self aware. 

3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth
Talent is helpful, but passion and effort are the major factors that determine your success according to professor and psychologist Angela Duckworth. In this inspiring book, Duckworth demonstrates how you are capable of achievements, even if you don't have natural skills, by prioritizing your growth, maintaining a positive attitude and working consistently each day. This book outlines tips and action items to help you refocus, create long and short-term goals and stay engaged as you work towards your goals. 

4. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

By Greg McKeown
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options and messages we are exposed to everyday.  "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" provides practical advice to eliminate decision fatigue and the pressure to do everything by focusing your energy on "essential" things that are truly important to you by determining your purpose, developing a "design," for your life, and limiting your options with intention. 

5. Eat That Frog: 21 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

By Brian Tracy
Everyone has one or two tasks that they dread and put off as long as possible throughout the day. In "Eat That Frog," Brian Tracy argues that you should beat procrastination by tackling this toughest task first. By figuring out what your "frog," or most important task is, breaking this task up into more manageable steps, and getting into a "flow state" where your brain can fully focus, you can maximize productivity in all areas of your life.