Four books to help you feel more grounded in what really matters

Last month we kicked off the Badi Book Club, a section on our blog where we share inspiring reads recommended by our community. Today we’re handing the mic over to Sandra Kassubeck Navarro, Head of Communications and PR at Badi. Unsurprisingly, the books we will be featuring revolve around cross-cultural communication and creating harmonious workplaces, but we’ll also look at some timeless topics such as finding contentment in times of struggle – something we can all relate to at this particular time in history. 

For Sandra, reading is about creating a sense of balance:

Sandra Kassubeck Navarro, Head of Communications and PR at Badi

I am very energetic and love to live my life to the fullest, so I seek books that help me take a deep breath, slow down, and put things into perspective.

Sandra A vivacious communicator on a relentless pursuit of contentment

What summarises our reading list for today quite well is a quote from one of Richard Carlon’s books: “Life is not an emergency”. If you often feel like you’re rushing in no particular direction, you will love Sandra’s recommendations. Let’s look at them!

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

By Richard Carlson

Don't sweat the small stuff, by Richard Carlson

The title says it all, but if you’re thinking “I’ve heard this before”, don’t be too fast to judge a book by its cover. We all know from experience how difficult it may be to change our thought and behaviour patterns, regardless of how logical our arguments in favour of the change may be. That is why we need people like Richard Carlson to expertly show us how to put things into perspective in order to live with less stress and anxiety. Through a series of practical changes, easy to implement in our daily lives, this approachable book reminds us to look at the big picture and not get stuck in the details that often won’t matter a year from now. Experiencing major hardship often naturally forces us to zero in on the essential, leaving the small stuff out of focus. So now that the global health crisis has pretty much sent us in that very direction, it may be a particularly good time for the insights from Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff to sink in and hopefully stick.

Corporate Rebels: Make Work More Fun

By Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree

Corporate Rebels, by Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree

A much-needed read on a topic as hot as ever. Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree are two dreamers who quit their jobs to travel the world. Their goal? Not to find themselves, but to find proof that creating a happier and healthier workplace is not mere theory. They met and interviewed leaders of over 100 of the world’s most progressive organisations, including Simon Sinek, Richard Sheridan, or Katarina Berg, among many others. Their blog has readers in over 100 countries and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, HuffPost, The Guardian, and the BBC. If you feel in your core that a workplace should not breed disengagement and burnout, this book is for you. In the words of Annie Dillard, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives”; so finding a way to humanise the places where we spend the vast majority of our days may be one of the worthiest causes of our time.

The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business

By Erin Meyer

The Culture Map, by Erin Meyer

A multicultural setting is often touted as a major benefit by companies looking to attract the best talent from across the world. And indeed, being able to interact with and learn from other cultures is usually cited as one of the most enjoyable workplace experiences. But it is by no means smooth sailing all the time. In her thought-provoking book, the cross-cultural management expert and an INSEAD professor Erin Meyer looks at how and why professionals from vastly different cultural backgrounds may struggle to successfully work together despite great professional expertise. But she doesn’t leave it at that – she offers smart analytical frameworks to help us understand the role of cultural differences in international business, and she helpfully provides practical advice anyone can put into practice in order to succeed in a global workplace. 

You can be happy no matter what: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective

By Richard Carlson

You can be happy no matter what, by Richard Carlson

It is never a bad moment to take a step back and put our lives into perspective, but right now may be the best moment of all. At a time when a lot of us feel overcome with anxiety and uncertainty over what our post-pandemic lives hold, it can feel quite comforting to hear from Dr Carlson that we all have what it takes to overcome the challenges, and that finding joy amidst struggle is possible. 

You Can be Happy No Matter What is a gentle reminder that happiness is a state of mind and doesn’t greatly depend on external circumstances. Similarly, happiness coexists with a wide range of emotions a human experiences throughout her life, so showing us how we can be happy without negating these feelings is possibly the most refreshing contribution of Carlon’s work. If you often find yourself starting your sentences with “if only” but secretly feel that there must be a better way to go about life, this book is for you. 

And that’s a wrap for today. If this list has inspired you to take a deeper look at the inner workings of your mind on a pursuit of contentment, take a look at our article on how to deal with uncertainty in the face of a global pandemic

What are some of your favourite reads? Meet us over on Instagram and tell us, we’d love to know!