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Larry Ellison to Graduates: ‘Live Your Dreams, Not the Dreams of Others’
lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2016
Oracle Blog´s: 3 Books that Will Inspire You as a Professional
Self-help books, step by step guides to increase motivation and productivity, or personal development manuals are all trending right now. Some are great and can truly help you rediscover yourself, your work and relationships, while others lack essence and can only distract you from your path. I am passionate about the subject and I’ve explored a lot of these readings. From some I learnt a lot, others I’ve abandoned as I didn’t feel they enriched my knowledge or spirit enough to dedicate the time and effort.
One thing I’ve found out is that, sometimes, you get the most valuable insights and inspiration for your personal or professional development out of apparently unrelated books. In this article, I summarized the three titles that left an impact on my professional self without even realizing it at first.
The Freakonomics series by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
At first, I was just intrigued by the premises of the book – exploring the hidden side of everything. The two authors are asking unusual questions like:
What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
Trust me, the answers were as surprising as the questions. The series offered me a year worth of riddles and stories for cocktail parties. One thing that stayed with me after devouring all three books in the series is that common wisdom won’t get me any further than anyone else following the same path. After learning that there may be a better way to catching terrorists than wars, I prefer taking a step back and trying a new way of approaching a challenge – be it in my personal or work life. The book redefines through forceful and witty storytelling the way we view the modern world, as well as our day-to-day questions and challenges..
The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone
I chose this book just as a personal preference, otherwise the things I’ll say about it apply to all of the other well documented, lively biographies written by Irving Stone (Lust for Life, The Agony and The Ecstasy are just two of the others you should include in your reading list).
The Passions of the Mind explores Freud’s life in excruciating detail. The documentation for the book alone took the author six years to complete. However, the end result is revealing. Freud was one of the most reputable neurologists in Europe’s glamour capital at the time – Vienna. Despite all signs of him becoming an authority in the area, he gave up on this career to pursue an uncharted territory – the human mind. From a respectable doctor, he shortly became a pariah to whom we now owe a lot of today’s modern thinking. His genius is unquestionable and not many of us can claim such a capacity, but we can all learn from the courage and perseverance with which he pursued his dreams and vision. But first, you have to dare to get through all of the 800 pages of this book.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
If you’re afraid Freud’s theories will lay hands on you, worry no more and read Frankl’s autobiographical book – Man’s Search for Meaning. If Freud states that our drive in life is pleasure, Frankl (also a reputed Austrian psychiatrist) comes to disagree and states that the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful in life is our main driver. Besides this rather specific detail, you will discover an intense biography of an Auschwitz survivor who believes (based on his personal experience and the studies he conducted further on) that meaning comes from three possible sources: purposeful work, love and courage in face of adversity. In today’s world where (social) media tends to depict a rather falsely positive and successful image on everyone else’s life besides ours, this book is refreshing and reassuring that challenges and obstacles are part of our lives, at work or at home.
These are just a few resources you could tap in for inspiration whenever you want a refreshing switch from all the buzzing internet articles promising life changing tips. All of the books are handpicked based on their quality of documentation, narrative style and insightful lessons. Take the time to discover the beauty of them and share with us other titles that inspired you at one point in your professional (or personal) life.
About the author: Ovidiu Voina is a digital native and analytics geek, currently working as a Recruitment Branding Coordinator for Oracle EMEA. Connect with him on LinkedInand Twitter.