These 3 books will boost your mental performance

Deepak Chopra and Kabir Sehgal, Contributors
Jason Redmond | AFP | Getty Images

Becoming more mindful means increasing your awareness of yourself and those around you. When you're in a meeting, for example, you'll start to notice not only what other people are saying but how you listen to them.

By turning your attention inward, you'll observe whether your mind is wandering or trained on the person talking. Mindfulness will help make you a better listener, colleague and employee. Here are three excellent books that will help you on your quest to become more attentive and conscious of your thoughts and actions:

1. "Principles" by Ray Dalio

This book will show how you can incorporate meditation into your career over the long term. Ray Dalio is one of the wealthiest people in the world, and the founder of Bridgewater Associates, one of the largest hedge funds. He is a longtime practitioner of meditation and mindful techniques. He attributes some of his success as an investor to his ability to still his mind and detach.

He writes that meditation "has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity, and creativity … It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight." If he can find a moment of peace while working in the turbulent world of international trading markets, so can you.

When Elon Musk had an existential crisis at age 14, he read this book
When Elon Musk had an existential crisis at age 14, he read this book

2. "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker

This book will remind you how important it is to get a good night rest. Neuroscientist Matthew Walker explores what happens in your brain while you rest. He finds that sleeping can spark and boost your creativity. When you're snoozing, your mind melds both the fictional and factual worlds, helping you envision things that you normally wouldn't while you're awake.

He also chronicles the insomnia epidemic from which 56 million Americans suffer, and consequently there are 1.2 million accidents every year because of sleepiness. If you want to sleep better, stay away from caffeine, alcohol (in any amount), and even sleeping pills. After you read this book, you will realize one your best investments in your career is a full night of sleep.

3. "The Strange Order Of Things" by Antonio Damasio

This book will help you question the world around you. It will give you a better understanding of homeostasis. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasion investigates "the way things are" and how we perceive them to be.

In other words, he traces the human story from our evolutionary and biological roots to modern man, and what are the reasons why we exist, survive, compete, and succeed. For example, he addresses why we feel pain, suffering, happiness and satisfaction. After you read this book, you will become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and therefore be more able to influence them.

Commentary by Deepak Chopra and Kabir Sehgal. Chopra is the author of
The Healing Self with Rudolph E. Tanzi, the founder of The Chopra Foundation, co-founder of Jiyo and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. Sehgal is a New York Times bestselling author. He is a former vice president at JPMorgan Chase, multi-Grammy Award winner and U.S. Navy veteran. Chopra and Sehgal are co-creators of Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome, inspired by American immigrants.

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