5 Books That Will Open Your Mind and Heart

Expand your mind, body and soul with five books that take you from recalibrating your thinking to unlocking the secrets of the heart.

By | January 6, 2021

1. Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential by Dr Carol S. Dweck (Ballantine Books)


“The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” A simple statement by Dr Carol Dweck,  yet one that is so relevant in our lives today. How we perceive and approach things in businesses, in corporate surroundings, in parenting, in relationships with others and ourselves, affects us more profoundly than we think. Especially if the views we adopt are coming from either the “Fixed” mindset or the “Growth” mindset.

The author explains how these mindsets changes the way we do everything and she gives multiple examples of how even the most “naturally talented” or “gifted” can suffer consequences if the right mindset is not adopted. Even her questioning of “Which is the Enemy: Success or Failure?” is on point, for the question itself already demonstrates how we perceive these two words while revealing our limitation and potential instantly.

Mindset is about recognising you, the person, and your ability to transform while letting go of ego and competition with self as it gets in the way of our better judgement. The author does not only raise questions and points out the dangers of having internal-critical-judgement monologues, she also provides tools to help us with this journey and even dedicates a chapter at the end of the book to show us the way. This beautifully written book is a definite must-have for it will change you and hopefully, your approach to life, leading you to the success and happiness you have always aspired to have.

2. Only Love Is Real: The Story of Soulmates Reunited by Dr Brian Weiss (Little, Brown Book)

“With Elizabeth and Pedro, they did not know each other, they had never met, yet they seem to be describing the same past lifetimes with stunning similarity and emotions. Could they have loved each other and lost each other across lifetimes?”

The short introduction and acknowledgement written by Dr Brian Weiss to his patients, Elizabeth and Pedro, was enough to entice me to get this book. Could the burning question of whether soulmates exist finally be answered?

The answer is yes.

This classic work by Dr Weiss demonstrates to us that we do not have just one but a few soulmates whom we’ve met from different generations and will meet again through different times and dimensions. We are “bonded together throughout eternity” and our head may not know or recognise them physically but our heart knows. This is called “soul recognition” and it can be jolted or awakened by a look, a dream, a memory, a feeling, a touch or even a kiss from the other.

Though this book is centred around Elizabeth and Pedro’s journey with Dr Weiss and their eventual meeting, the theme and intention of this book is clear. He is sharing with us that if we think we are meant to be alone in this world or will never again see our loved ones who passed on, we are wrong. His many patients and work with them have proved time and time again that we are always destined to be with our soulmates and our soulmates are not just one but a few. At the end of the day, the emphasis here is love. The love you have for your soulmates and loved ones knows no time nor boundary and “when allowed to flow freely, love overcomes all obstacles”.

3. Unlocking the 7 Secret Powers of the Heart by Shai Tubali (Earthdancer)

Shai Tubali wrote this wonderful book because he wanted to remove the myth that the heart is weak. He wanted to introduce the heart as a source of power, our power.

Instead of trusting our intuition and allowing our heart to function in its true essence and capacity, as the true master of our being, we have re-allocated that power to our mind, the heart’s servant. The mind tells you to be cautious, to fight, but it also confuses our being with thoughts that neglects the essential element in us, our sou

The essence of this book is simply to remind us that our “heart has never hardened … it is always willing, open and innocent. In reality, our heart is forever a child and this quality is our key to indestructibility”.

In other words, our heart is not fragile nor needs any protection. Our heart needs vulnerability to give us strength, to empower us, to forgive and most importantly to love. Opening our hearts means freeing us and allowing us to live a life of abundance and Tubali has provided the steps in this book to get us there.

4. Awareness by Anthony De Mello (Bantam DoubleDay Dell)

“If we really dropped illusions for what they can give us or deprives us of, we would be alert. The consequence of not doing this is terrifying and unescapable.”—Anthony de Mello

Anthony de Mello’s book is the closest thing to you hearing the words “WAKE UP!” shouted at you, to you, at every turn of the page. His style of writing is not meant to offend or insult anyone’s altruistic intention but to get us to admit that we are “asleep”. We are asleep and are enjoying that slumber of illusion and pre-conceived perceptions that were programmed into our being.  Therefore, we are mostly living in a dream state and are refusing to wake up from the reality of things.

De Mello’s words and work will shake you to your core, leading you to question your own motives and your being. To be awake, to be present, and to be aware, we must first admit that we are asleep. Next, we need to listen and challenge our whole belief system through self-observation. Self-observation here means “to watch everything in you, around you as far as possible, as if it were happening to someone else. It means to not personalize what is happening to you and that means, to watch, observe and simply experience”.

Once you are able to do this, awareness will come naturally and this will lead to self-acceptance and just being, with no expectations upon yourself or anyone else. This in turn, will actually lead to a life of happiness, contentment and honesty.

With guidance and examples, de Mello teaches us how to live a life of freedom through awareness so that we could at last see “a vision that is clear and unclouded by fear or desire”.

5. Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kaguchi (Pan MacMillan)

If you were searching for a book that would help you understand the meaning of living in the now with a good story line, then this book will not disappoint.

The story is simple. If you had a chance to go back in time or the future, knowing that it will not change the present, would you still want to?

Toshikazu Kawaguchi wrote this beautiful short novel with a message.

How we live currently, any actions we take or don’t take, say or don’t say, does not change our surrounding or what already exists in our lives. The only thing that can change, is us.

He understood that as humans we have regrets and wants, and amplifies these emotions through his characters. Most significantly his heroine Kei, a mother who may die during childbirth. Kei travels into the future and returns with an understanding as to why the present cannot be changed. In fact, the lesson here is that “The present doesn’t change, hadn’t change—but those people had. They returned to the present with a changed heart.”

A change of heart in a positive and most loving way and our approach to any situation is in fact the key to  our lives and living in the now. By changing us, our approach and outlook, we can set ourselves free while also living in the moment, instead of longing to return to a past that cannot be changed or an unknown future.

This book will make you ponder and might even make you weep. It is definitely a book to keep.

Ai San Lim

Ai San Lim

Ai San is a mom of four and a Reiki practitioner, who loves to bury her nose in books, express her creativity through her painting, and picking up new skills like writing for MYND.