Congratulations to the class of 2012! Now’s an exciting, nerve-wracking time for anyone you know who’s just graduated from college, and they’re sure to have no shortage of questions about what’s coming up next. With this in mind, we at Tarcher/Penguin have put together a short list of recommended books for the recent or upcoming graduate in your life.
Whether they majored in creative writing or are preparing to go to business school in the fall, they’re bound to find loads of useful advice here. These great books aren’t just for graduates, of course—current students are sure to get a lot out of them, too!
For graduates who majored in journalism, literature, and/or writing:
Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance by Rosanne Bane (Tarcher/Penguin paperback, on-sale Aug. 2) – In Around the Writer’s Block, Rosanne Bane uses an accessible, scientific approach based on the latest breakthroughs in brain studies to help you understand where writer’s block comes from—and how to get through it.
Good books for all graduates who want to get ahead of the pack:
The Now Habit: The Fiore Productivity Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore (Tarcher/Penguin paperback, out now) – In The Now Habit, Neil Fiore provides a comprehensive strategy to help any busy person reach their peak performance by overcoming procrastination, reducing anxiety and stress, and accomplishing more tasks in less time.
Think and Grow Rich: The Master Mind Volume by Napoleon Hill with Joel Fotinos and August Gold (Tarcher/Penguin paperback, out now) – In the new Master Mind edition of Napoloeon Hill’s classic prosperity guide Think and Grow Rich, readers will learn not only about Hill’s time-tested 13 Steps to Success, but also about how to put those steps into action in their own lives—in an all-new interactive format!
As January comes to a close, it’s that time again where resolutions made in the New Year are broken or remain unfinished. Dr. Neil Fiore, author of THE NOW HABIT, offers a simple yet effective way to change our attitudes and make us producers instead of procrastinators.
See below for five self-statements that distinguish procrastinators from producers.
- Replace “I have to” with “I choose to.” - The language, attitudes, ad behaviors of producers can be acquired through specific, on-the-job practice. For example, if you’re at your desk looking at a pile of unanswered mail and a list of unreturned telephone calls, the first thing you may notice is that your shoulders begin to droop forward in a depressed, burdened fashion. This is a clear signal that, even if you haven’t heard yourself say, “I have to,” you feel victimized rather than responsible and powerful. At that moment of awareness, immediately choose to work or accept responsibility for choosing to delay.
- Replace “I must finish” with “When can I start?” - “When can I start” is the catchphrase of the producer. It automatically follows any worries about finishing and being overwhelmed, and replaced agitated energy with a clear focus on what can be tackled now. It works like a feedback device that pushes any wavering focus back to thes tarting point of the project.
- Replace “This project is so big and important” with “I can take one small step.” – Whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed by the large, grand project that looms before you, remind yourself, “I can take one small step. one small step; one rough, rough draft; one imperfect sketch; one small hello. That’s all I need to do now.” you can never build a house all at once. Al you can do now is pour the concrete for the foundation; hammer one nail; raise a wall–one small step at a time.
- Replace “I must be perfect” with “I can be perfectly human.” – Replace demands for perfect work with acceptance of (not resignation to) your human limits. Accept so-called mistakes (really feedback) as part of a natural learning process. You need self-compassion rather than self-criticism to support your courageous efforts at facing the unavoidable risks of doing real, imperfect work rather than daydreaming of the perfect, completed project.
- Replace “I don’t have time to play” with “I must take time to play.” – Insisting on your regular time for exercise, for dinners with friends, for frequent breaks throughout your day, and for frequent vacations throughout your year increases the feelings of inner worth and respect for yourself that are at the haert of unlearning the need for procrastination.
Yesterday wasn’t just Martin Luther King, Jr Day, everyone. It was also the third Monday in January, dubbed Blue Monday in 2005 by psychologist Cliff Arnall. He came up with the date for the “saddest day of the year” by looking at various factors that put people in bad moods, then figured out how and where those factors intersected on a timeline. Among the factors considered were the unpleasant January weather, post-holiday debt, and regrets over broken New Year’s resolutions.
To help you regroup and take a fresh approach to your New Years resolutions, you might try reading PATIENCE: The Art of Peaceful Living by Allan Lokos. Or, if you’re interested in learning how to save money while also pursuing your passion, pick up THE PROSPEROUS HEART: Creating a Life of ‘Enough’ by Julia Cameron, author of the bestselling Artist’s Way series, and Emma Lively. Of course, there are some out there who haven’t even started sticking to their resolutions, or paying off holiday bills, and for those people, Neil Fiore’s THE NOW HABIT is a must-read.
Renowned psychologist Dr. Neil Fiore, author of The Now Habit, sits down with Tarcher / Penguin Publisher Joel Fotinos to discuss his bestselling program to combat procrastination. Fiore outlines the mental roadblocks that promote procrastination and offers strategies to help us overcome procrastination now. In discussing his approach, he explains how we can schedule guilt-free play, adjust our expectations in order to begin, and dramatically alter the inner dialogue we have with ourselves about work in order to be a producer rather than a procrastinator.