Best “Personal Development” books I read in 2012

The year 2012 is coming to an end and a part of my reflection process is to look back on books I’ve read this year.

Some of them I even read twice.. & some I have blogged about.

Anyways here is my top 20 list

  1. The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them
    – Richard J. Davidson (Author), Sharon Begley (Author)
  2. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
    – Dan H. Pink
  3. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
    – William B. Irvine
  4. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
    ~Shawn Achor
  5. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
    ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  6.  A Whole New Mind: why right-brainers will rule the future
    ~Dan H. Pink
  7. Man’s Search for Meaning
    ~Viktor E. Frankl
  8.  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
    ~Garr Reynolds
  9.  Outliers: The Story of Success
    ~Malcolm Gladwell
  10. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
    ~Steven Pressfield
  11. Mojo: How to get it, How to keep it, How to get it back if you loose it
    ~Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter 
  12. Wherever You Go, There You Are
    ~Jon Kabat-Zinn 
  13. The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
    ~Dan Ariely 
  14. 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot
    ~Richard Wiseman 
  15. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
    ~Charles Duhigg 
  16. Rewire Your Brain: Think Your Way to a Better Life
    ~John B. Arden 
  17. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    ~Steven D. Levitt (Author), Stephen J. Dubner (Author) 
  18. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
    ~Sharon Begley 
  19. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
    ~Daniel J. Siegel 
  20. Don’t Die with Your Song Unsung
    ~Gary Russo 
All these books are very good… and top 10 is essential & highly recommended.
I’ve mindmapped many of them & will create blogposts when time allows it.
My top 5 Music books read in 2012 will be posted on (our music website) soon.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

 From Wikipedia:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (born September 29, 1934, in Fiume, Italy – now Rijeka, Croatia) is a Hungarian psychology professor, who emigrated to the United States at the age of 22. Now at Claremont Graduate University, he is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.

He is noted for both his work in the study of happiness and creativity and also for his notoriously difficult name, in terms of pronunciation for non-native speakers of the Hungarian language, but is best known as the architect of the notion of flow and for his years of research and writing on the topic. He is the author of many books and over 120 articles or book chapters. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, described Csikszentmihalyi as the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology. Csikszentmihalyi once said “Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.” His works are influential and are widely cited.

Check out his ted talk: Csikszentmihalyi  @ ted


But religions are only temporarily successful attempts to cope with the lack of meaning in life; they are not permanent answers.

Children careen from one flow moment to another, animated by a sense of joy, equipped with a mindset of possibility, and working with the dedication of a West Point cadet. They use their brains and their bodies to probe and draw feedback from the environment in an endless pursuit of mastery.

Left to their own devices, children seek out flow with the inevitability of a natural law. So should we all.

Continue reading “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on flow

TED bio:

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. A leading researcher in positive psychology, he has devoted his life to studying what makes people truly happy: “When we are involved in [creativity], we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life.” He is the architect of the notion of “flow” — the creative moment when a person is completely involved in an activity for its own sake.

Csikszentmihalyi teaches psychology and management at Claremont Graduate University, focusing on human strengths such as optimism, motivation and responsibility. He’s the director the the Quality of Life Research Center there. He has written numerous books and papers about the search for joy and fulfillment.

“You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi — on experiencing ‘flow’

“A man obsessed by happiness.”
Richard Flaste, New York Times

about this talk:

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has contributed pioneering work to our understanding of happiness, creativity, human fulfillment and the notion of “flow” — a state of heightened focus and immersion in activities such as art, play and work.

Here goes…


Flow is “oxy­gen for the soul”
-Dan Pink

My view:

rating: 5/6

  • 3/6 on delivery
  • 6/6 on content