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Brain food

Exercising your mind is likely to reduce your risk of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. The organization advocates finding something you like doing that challenges your brain and doing it regularly like reading “challenging books”.

“Regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain’s ability to cope with disease,” according to the Society’s website. “One way to think about it is ‘Use it or lose it’.”

The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures. Stephen Pile

Anyone can be a success, but it takes real and original genius to foul up big time. These are the all-time greats, Gods in our field of study, surreal artists, who spurn mere drab success (‘I’m a winner, Lord Sugar’) to explore the vast, magical, life-enhancing possibilities of getting it wrong. Any of us could make a mistake, but these great souls can turn the simplest everyday task into a scene of jaw-dropping wonder. These are the immortals. Stephen Pile, President of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain and author of the number-one bestseller “The Book of Heroic Failures”, takes us on an all-new and mind-bendingly hilarious tour to celebrate the most spectacular and absurd failures of the last twenty-five years. Failure is everywhere. There are 235 stories in total spread from the Outer Hebrides to America, Ireland, Australia, Europe and Africa. The Syrian entry, for example, holds the world all-comers record as the driver who got most lost under Sat-nav direction.

The Talent Code. Greatness isn’t born. It’s grown. Here’s how by Daniel Coyle

What is the secret of talent? How do we unlock it? In this groundbreaking work, journalist and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle provides parents, teachers, coaches, businesspeople—and everyone else—with tools they can use to maximize potential in themselves and others.

Whether you’re coaching soccer or teaching a child to play the piano, writing a novel or trying to improve your golf swing, this revolutionary book shows you how to grow talent by tapping into a newly discovered brain mechanism.

Drawing on cutting-edge neurology and firsthand research gathered on journeys to nine of the world’s talent hotbeds—from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York—Coyle identifies the three key elements that will allow you to develop your gifts and optimize your performance in sports, art, music, math, or just about anything.

  • Deep Practice–Everyone knows that practice is a key to success. What everyone doesn’t know is that specific kinds of practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
  • Ignition–We all need a little motivation to get started. But what separates truly high achievers from the rest of the pack? A higher level of commitment—call it passion—born out of our deepest unconscious desires and triggered by certain primal cues. Understanding how these signals work can help you ignite passion and catalyze skill development.
  • Master Coaching–What are the secrets of the world’s most effective teachers, trainers, and coaches? Discover the four virtues that enable these “talent whisperers” to fuel passion, inspire deep practice, and bring out the best in their students.

These three elements work together within your brain to form myelin, a microscopic neural substance that adds vast amounts of speed and accuracy to your movements and thoughts. Scientists have discovered that myelin might just be the holy grail: the foundation of all forms of greatness, from Michelangelo’s to Michael Jordan’s. The good news about myelin is that it isn’t fixed at birth; to the contrary, it grows, and like anything that grows, it can be cultivated and nourished.

Combining revelatory analysis with illuminating examples of regular people who have achieved greatness, this book will not only change the way you think about talent, but equip you to reach your own highest potential.

The New Tsar. The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin by Steven Lee Myers

In this gripping narrative of Putin’s rise to power, Steven Lee Myers recounts Putin’s origins–from his childhood of abject poverty in Leningrad to his ascent through the ranks of the KGB, and his eventual consolidation of rule in the Kremlin.

As the world struggles to confront a bolder Russia, the importance of understanding the formidable and ambitious Vladimir Putin has never been greater. On the one hand, Putin’s many domestic reforms–from tax cuts to an expansion of property rights–have helped reshape the potential of millions of Russians whose only experience of democracy had been crime, poverty, and instability after the fall of the Soviet Union. On the other, Putin has ushered in a new authoritarianism–unyielding in its brutal repression of dissent and newly assertive politically and militarily in regions like Crimea and the Middle East. The New Tsar is a staggering achievement, a deeply researched and essential biography of one of the most important and destabilizing world leaders in recent history, a man whose merciless rule has become inextricably bound to Russia’s forseeable future.

The Stress Code. From surviving to thriving by Richard Sutton

As individuals, we are all impacted by stress – but stress is also having devastating effects on the global economy through reduced productivity as well as the immense burden it places on healthcare systems. Decades of research reliably show that chronic stress severely compromises our physical and mental health, however it has recently emerged that it can also compromise our genetic integrity by destabilising our DNA. Not only does this promote many of the diseases that society is currently grappling with, it can potentially impact on future generations. Yet, stress has two faces: While ongoing stress has become one of the greatest global challenges the world has ever faced, short intervals of stress offer tremendous potential. The potential to grow, break personal barriers and excel. Many of our greatest accomplishments in life are realised in times of episodic stress. Turning the traditional stress paradigm on its head, this book is not one of avoidance, but rather one of resilience. Traditional fears surrounding stress as well as impractical attempts at evasion are replaced with the tools and skills to buffer the adverse effects as well as enhance our functionality and health. The Stress Code is a positive response to the global call for stress management solutions. Supported by extensive scientific research, this book offers comprehensive and structured insights as well as a repertoire of interventions that will allow you to thrive in adversity.

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