The Age of Empowerment: New personal development books

Powerful systems and emerging technology can feed off of our sense of loneliness, insecurity, and sense of being stuck. It’s more important than ever to protect our authentic humanity and contribute creatively to our world in order to create connection, security and positive progress. These new personal development books will help you explore those areas in depth:

The Age of Insecurity: Coming Together as Things Fall Apart / Taylor, Astra
“These days, everyone feels insecure. We’re financially precarious, overwhelmed and worried about the future. The status quo isn’t working. Even the affluent and comparatively privileged are deeply insecure. Our social order runs on this insecurity. Across disparate sectors, the systems that promise us security, instead, actively undermine it. We’re made insecure on purpose, and our endless striving shapes how we feel about ourselves and others (including what we believe is personally and collectively possible). The book explores our contemporary predicament, exposing the psychological and political costs of the insecurity-generating status quo, while proposing ways to forge a new path forward.” (Adapted from publisher and catalogue)

The Handover: How We Gave Control of Our Lives to Corporations, States and AIs / Runciman, David
“A few hundred years ago, humans started building the robots that now rule our world. They are called states and corporations: immensely powerful artificial entities, with capacities that go far beyond what any individual can do, and which, unlike us, need never die. They have made us richer, safer and healthier than would have seemed possible even a few generations ago – and they may yet destroy us. The Handover distils over three hundred years of thinking about how to live with artificial agency” (Publisher and Catalogue)

The House That Joy Built / Ringland, Holly
“A book about the transformative power of finding joy through creativity, and offering a jump-start for anyone whose desire to create is flattened by fear. Fear of feeling vulnerable, of criticism and judgement from others, of not being good enough, of having ‘bad’ ideas, of being ‘too much’. It’s for everyone who has ever felt stuck creatively. It’s for those yearning to write, and also, more generally, for anyone who longs to create but doesn’t know how to find a way into, or back too, their imagination.” (Adapted from catalogue)

The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want / Lue, Natalie
“The people-pleasing roles we took on in childhood may have gained us attention and affection in the past, but have prohibited us from becoming our true selves. Saying ‘yes’ inauthentically — and resentfully — when we should say ‘no’ leaves us stuck in frustrating patterns and actually lead to more problems. This book can teach you how to heal and transform by doing so, establish healthier boundaries, foster more intimate relationships and fulfilling experiences, and reconnect with your values and authentic self.” (Adapted from catalogue)

This Exquisite Loneliness: What Loners, Outcasts, and the Misunderstood Can Teach Us About Creativity / Deming, Richard
“Loneliness has long been a complex and slippery subject, as lush and fruitful as it is searingly painful. It’s often stigmatized, freighted with shame and fear, easy to dismiss as mere emotional neediness. But to see it this way is to misunderstand it. Deming turns an eye towards the unwelcome feeling, both in his own life and art, as well as the lives and work of six ground-breaking figures. The common thread reveals that loneliness is in fact one of the most powerful fuels available for our creative desires that forged some of the most original and innovative art and writing of the twentieth century.” (Adapted from publisher and catalogue)

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