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10 mins

10 Life-Changing Tips From The Best Nonfiction Books

What if you could absorb the key points from a nonfiction book within minutes? What could you learn? And where could these new ideas lead you?
by Carrie M. King | Feb 16 2018

Fiction may be where the world pours its empathy, but nonfiction is where it stores its wisdom. The pages of nonfiction books hold knowledge and experience that stop us from unnecessarily reinventing the wheel every time we face a challenge. But when the nonfiction library is so vast, how are you supposed to know where to start?

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That’s why the Blinkist app was created. It offers short versions of nonfiction titles that you can read — or listen to — in 15 minutes or fewer. Over 4 million people are using Blinkist to get the key knowledge from the world’s best nonfiction in minutes. Here are 10 of the most popular insights that they chose from over 2,000 titles in the Blinkist library.

1. Express a desire to learn, cultivate gratitude, and learn how to forgive for a happier, richer life.

Jen Sincero’s bestselling title is all about making the most of life. It’s about finding the beauty in every moment, going after what you want, and realizing that yes, you really are a badass. This insight strikes a chord with Blinkist readers who wanted to foster a richer way to be in the world.

2. If you want others to like you, don’t criticize them

This might seem either obvious or cowardly, but in actual fact, this is a key tenet from one of the bestselling books of all time, Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends & Influence People. Carnegie isn’t saying that you can never offer feedback, but merely that it’s wise to carefully choose your words when doing so. Being openly critical of someone else can make them feel attacked, and less likely to change their behavior.

3. Deep work requires intention.

Across a library of over 2,000 titles, many Blinkist users find this insight essential. In a distracted world, finding the concentration to do deep, focused work can be extremely hard. There are many strategies to do this, but all of these require intention. You need to really want to get it done. Cal Newport’s book offers a few ways to engage with deep work that you can learn within minutes using the Blinkist app.

4. Turning suffering into happiness requires focusing on your purpose and your values.

This title took the world by storm, mostly because it seemed to have an anarchic flavor that consumers found appealing in a world that asks too much of them. In actual fact, this book isn’t at all about not caring, rather, it’s about choosing what you really do give a f*ck about and focusing on that. By figuring out your purpose, you can better focus on what you want to achieve, and gain perspective on your suffering. This will enable you to find meaning and depth in your life, which will lead to a happier day-to-day.

5. Plan your day with the wisdom of the 18 minutes ritual.

How could 18 minutes change your life? Peter Bregman’s title offers you a daily ritual that can help you prioritize what really matters, and crucially removes your focus from things that don’t require your attention. Lots of Blinkist users love this ritual and highlight this insight to save for a later date. How could 18 minutes change your daily routine?

6. Habits are simple cue-routine-reward loops that save effort and endure.

At various intervals throughout the year, many of us try to gain control over our habits, either by banishing bad ones or instigating new ones. However, our habits are one of the hardest things to control. This insight from Charles Duhigg’s bestseller breaks down habit to its most basic form, which can help us to feel like they really are manageable, and more importantly, changeable.

7. When opportunities become scarce, we desire them more.

Ever bought something you didn’t need simply because it was on sale? Exactly. Our sense of urgency about any number of things increases as soon as we know that we may not have ample opportunities to get it. The competition drives us to make impulse decisions that don’t necessarily benefit us in any way.

8. Your initial contact with another person is called the greeting and it comprises a few key elements.

This one probably feels a bit obvious, but it was still one of the most highlighted insights across the entire Blinkist library. The key thing about this insight is that a greeting doesn’t just mean how you say hello. There are so many minute details of each greeting that influence how a person receives us. By being aware of, and controlling those aspects, we stand to come across as more likeable straight away.

9. Time is a limited asset – use it wisely by focusing.

The one thing that we can never get enough of is time. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, yet some of us manage to be far more effective than others. So, how do we use our most precious resource wisely? Laser focus. There are 1,440 minutes in every day, and we can only make the most of them if we stop answering to others when they ask if we can spare a minute.

10. Snap judgments: how the mind makes quick choices, even when it lacks enough information to make a rational decision.

Here’s a book that you’ve undoubtedly seen in stores and on bookshelves everywhere. Daniel Kahneman’s book is based on years of Nobel-winning research, and offers insight into the human condition. This insight explains a variety of reasons we’re given to making snap judgements and how this is is both essential to our survival and deeply problematic.

These insights were all highlighted and saved by readers like you using the Blinkist app. The Blinkist app gives you access to a vast library of the world’s best nonfiction, with each title condensed into 15-minute reads. Download the Blinkist app today for access to the best nonfiction highlights. What could you learn in 15 minutes?

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