So back in January 2016 I set a New Year resolution. It was to read more often and more consistently. As I know that no resolution sticks unless I make it a habit, I made a plan and started reading every evening before bed. This has resulted in me reading and listening to 23 books in 2016 and so far, 27 in 2017. In addition, I also released my very own book this year, “Keep calm & enjoy the ride”. Good enough reasons to share my top 10 reads to train your brain over the holidays.
1. Peak – By Anders Ericsson
Perhaps the most important research into peak performance has been done by a Swedish psychologist called Anders Ericsson. Over the past decade, quite a few books have been written about Ericsson’s findings – with Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers being the most famous. However in Peak, Ericsson explains in his own words how to interpret his research and what the defining factors to mastery and success really are.
2. Keep calm & Enjoy the Ride – By Annette Paterakis
This is my first book and is a summery of my work so far. I aimed to write an easy to read and accessible book on mental toughness for equestrians of all ages and from all different backgrounds. You will learn more about the psychology behind the sport and get tips and exercises to help implement the theory into your daily riding routines.
“what is the secret to outstanding achievement?” Her conclusion in a nutshell, it’s a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance which she calls “Grit”.
3. Grit – By Angela Duckworth
In her bestseller, Psychologist Angela Duckworth digs deeper into the work of Anders Ericsson and adds her own research studies to answer the question, “what is the secret to outstanding achievement?” Her conclusion in a nutshell, it’s a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance which she calls “Grit”.
4. How champions think – By Dr.Bob Rotella
Dr. Bob Rotella has written many books on mental toughness in relation to golf. In this book however he explores and combines the most important character traits in athletes. Apply these traits yourself and you will set yourself up for success.
5. Open – By Andre Aggasi
I’m sure many of you have already read this masterpiece. But for those who haven’t yet, this autobiography provides an impressive view into the life of one of the most successful and beloved athletes in history. To me, the most beautiful lesson it reveals is the importance of having a strong “why”, a true and lasting purpose to what you are doing.
6. Mind gym – By Gary Mack
Mind gym is an easy to read yet profound book on sport psychology and the power of the mind. It includes 40 helpful lessons as well as inspiring anecdotes.
7. Presence – By Amy Cuddy
After her moving Ted talk, Amy decided to translate her research findings into a book and explains how we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we make on ourselves. In case you want to learn how to let go of what other people think of you, read her book and get comfortable with your own powerful presence.
8. The power of habit – Charles Duhigg
If you want to know how to change your bad habits into good ones, you definitely want to read this book. It explains clearly how our behavior, actions, decisions and even our thoughts are all influenced by our habits, and how we can change them.
9. Bounce – By Matthew Syed
In case you would like to dive deeper into Ericsson’s work and find out more about what the secrets to improvement and success really are, then you must read Bounce. Apply the principles of deliberate practice and you will see steady but sure improvements in your riding and results.
10. The 4 agreements – By Don Miguel Ruiz
Finally, this book is a must read for those who would like to improve their relationships with a spouse, partner, trainer, sponsor or parent. Apply these 4 simple yet powerful lessons and you will notice a profound difference in how you think and act in every encounter.