5 Essential Books for Modern Living

January 24, 2017
Joe Hannan

As a dentist, you’re super busy. You want to make sure that you get the most out of the time you invest in reading. With that in mind, here are five approachable books – all of which have nothing to do with dentistry – that will feed your mind.

Books are the furniture of our lives. They help to support healthy thinking and fuel or inspiration. But we get it: As a dentist, you’re super busy. You want to make sure that you get the most out of the time you invest in reading. With that in mind, here are five approachable books — all of which have nothing to do with dentistry – that will feed your mind.

Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius: Stoic philosophy hasn’t been this prominent since it came into being in ancient Greece about 300 B.C. From Wall Street to NFL locker rooms, this way of thinking is helping professionals and athletes to neatly compartmentalize the world into things that fall under one’s control, and things that fall outside of it. Tim Ferriss, the professional self-experimenter, has called stoicism the perfect “operating system for the modern world.” Aurelius wrote “Meditations,” an essential stoic read, between 161 and 180 AD on the battlefield. It is believed that Aurelius never intended for these reflections to be published, but rather wrote them as reminders to stay true to his “ruling principles.” “Meditations” can be found for free all over the internet.

The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph,” by Ryan Holiday: Running a dental practice comes with its own unique set of challenges. As your practice’s CEO, you have to be a clinician and a small business owner. Holiday takes the tenants developed by the stoic philosophers of ancient Greece and adapts it for the modern world. Holiday writes that you can use adversity as a compass to point you toward whatever is most critical to success.

Wherever You Go, There You Are,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn: How easily we are distracted from what is important and essential in modern living We’ve surrounded ourselves with dozens of technological devices, all competing for our attention at the given moment. It’s no wonder we’re so anxious and overwhelmed. Kabat-Zinn’s landmark self-help book is now ten years old, but it couldn’t be more relevant. Use it to bring mindfulness into your daily life.

Storm of Steel,” by Ernst Junger: The perfect read after a hard day in the office. If you think you have it bad, you don’t have it artillery-barrage, mud-up-to-your-ankles, and death-everywhere bad. This short book is one German’s soldier’s recollection of the First World War. The accounts are so vivid, you can feel the drumming of the guns and the searing choke of mustard gas. These forces have the power of putting things in their proper perspective.

Tools of Titans,” by Timothy Ferriss: The author of the infamous 4-Hour series of self-help books, Ferriss’ latest tome is a useful megadose of wisdom distilled from the guests who have appeared on his podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. Each chapter is devoted to a different guest and breaks that person’s advice into easily digestible portions. Chapters are devoted to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, leaders such as retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and athletes such as professional surfer Laird Hamilton. It’s the perfect book to keep nearby for when you need a quick shot of inspiration, motivation, or perspective.