101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think

by: Brianna Wiest (0)

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think, the global bestseller and social media phenomenon, is a collection of author Brianna Wiest's most beloved pieces of writing. Her meditations include why you should pursue purpose over passion, embrace negative thinking, see the wisdom in daily routine, and become aware of the cognitive biases that are creating the way you see your life. Some of these pieces have never been seen; others have been read by millions of people around the world. Regardless, each will leave you thinking: this idea changed my life.

The Quotes

Accomplishing goals is not success. How much you expand in the process is.

Your habits create your mood, and your mood is a filter through which you experience your life.

You must learn to let your conscious decisions dictate your day—not your fears or impulses.

The Reviews

Out of all of the self help books that I’ve read (and there have been many!) this is the one and only book that left a profound impression on how I view the world. After years of battling depression and anxiety I now feel that I have practical tools to comfort myself in those intense moments. This is a gift that is of more value than can ever be measured and I am so thankful that someone put into words what I’ve needed to hear my whole life. I now realize how important it is to take responsibility for my own mental health. I was so lost and disconnected from who I was as a child and this book brought me back to that place, when my values were more clear cut and societal norms had less of an influence on what influenced my level of happiness. Hope that more people are able to get out of this book what I was able to. 😊🙏🏼

I got this book cause it seemed like a good read. I am a couple of essays in. I think the names really hook you of each essay, but at least the first 5 essays that I have read are mostly in lists (and skimming through the pages, most are), and seem to keep say the same message over and over again. This book won't change the way you think, cause the other doesn't change the message. To sum up the message and save you the money and 400 pages of reading, break your routine and don't be afraid of things that scare you - it means you care. Also, take charge of the way you feel.

I discovered Brianna on Instagram and was intrigued by her practical perspective on happiness and emotional well being. And her book definitely expanded on all the thoughts she shares on social.What I particularly liked is that her work isn’t the rah-rah fare that’s pumped out by the motivational gurus. Rather, it shares a path to awareness reminiscent of Wayne Dyer’s early books.Some of the material may surprise some people. For example, I appreciated how she notes that routine can be positive and keep you on track (which is something that I’ve discovered).Highly recommend and am looking forward to reading more of her work.

I LOVE this book. I saw this as a recommendation by YouTuber Jenn Im, and I'm so glad that I read it. Each essay is its own therapy session. I even told my therapist about it, and it's helped me so much more than I can ever put to words. With a lot of positive reinforcement and references to Buddhist meditation practices, it's the perfect book for someone who wants to improve their mental health. Every essay is so well-written and perfectly summarizes the do's and don't's of your emotional and mental well-being. It's 100% worth the read. No doubt about it.

Saw this on YouTube and decided to read it myself. Wow, I’m glad I decided to purchase this book. I like that the chapters are short because I can read 2-3 pages right before bed. I have other books I’m reading as well so I can only juggle so many right now! But this is really nice, insightful book that anyone can read. I’m also happy with the shipping time as it initially said it would come mid September since it wasn’t Prime. I got 2 days after I purchased it! Anyways, if you’re on the fence about purchasing this, just buy it. It’s a nice read. :)

This book changed my entire mind set. I could go on for days about how incredibly transforming this book has been on my life, but I will just say I’m a completely different person than I was a month ago when I started reading it. My mind and my heart has been forever changed and I can only hope that others will share the same experience.

I chose this rating because it indicates the level of enjoyment, support and inspiration ---------Oh and affirmation i experienced in reading and embodying your thoughts. I will recommend this book to my friends, relatives and associates and I am Xeroxing some chapters to read and discuss with my groups. I must have this book in book form so that I may go back to some underlined sections again and again. Thank you. Beatrice Stewart.

There was several typos in this book that were distracting but ultimately didn’t take away from the message. This was one of the most profound books I’ve ever read. Don’t go into it expecting a traditional ‘self help’ book. This book isn’t going to teach you new coping mechanisms you don’t have. Look at it more as an affirmation. This book came at a time when I really needed to be seen and heard and so much of it resonated with me and out words to feelings I didn’t know how to express. To anyone feeling lost or directionless, I highly recommend giving this book a chance.

This reviewer was drawn to this 2016 book entitled: “101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think” by Brianna Wiest by its catchy title and good reviews. There were indeed 101 Essays and some of them truly thought provoking that make the book worth purchasing and reading.All of the essays were short and some of them were excellent and “spot-on”. Other essays seemed as if they were more appropriate for a self-help therapy session book that may or may not apply to the reader. Some of the essays were fascinating and some were a struggle to finish reading. One of the 101 essays is entitled: “101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think”, that is, the exact same title as the book, which rather begs the question of what is added by the other 100 essays.Sometimes the book provided sources used to influence the author’s essays. Sometimes scholarly references were in footnotes. There were several features of the book, as published in Kindle format, that left this reviewer disappointed. In terms of format, when highlighting sections to be excerpted (as allowed by the publisher), the numbers were somehow embedded in the format and were NOT highlighted for excerption.As an example of the author’s substance and style Wiest writes: “In his book Sapiens… Harari explains that at one point, there were more than just Homo sapiens roaming the Earth… There’s a reason Homo sapiens still exist today and the others didn’t continue to evolve: a prefrontal cortex,.. was because of language and thought that... we could create a world within our minds, and ultimately, it is because of language and thought that we have evolved into the society we have today…” Wiest writes: “Every generation has a “monoculture” of sorts, a governing pattern or system of beliefs that people unconsciously accept as “truth.”… The objectivity required to see the effects of present monoculture is very difficult to develop. Once you have so deeply accepted an idea as “truth” it doesn’t register as “cultural” or “subjective” anymore… The fundamentals of any given monoculture tend to surround what we should be living for… You believe that creating your best life is a matter of deciding what you want and then going after it, but in reality, you are psychologically incapable of being able to predict what will make you happy… You extrapolate the present moment because you believe that success is somewhere you “arrive,” so you are constantly trying to take a snapshot of your life and see if you can be happy yet… You convince yourself that any given moment is representative of your life as a whole. Because we’re wired to believe that success is somewhere we get to—when goals are accomplished and things are completed… Accomplishing goals is not success. How much you expand in the process is…. You think “problems” are roadblocks to achieving what you want, when in reality they are pathways… Simply, running into a “problem” forces you to take action to resolve it.” Wiest writes: “The Psychology of Daily Routine… what we don’t realize is that having a routine doesn’t mean you sit in the same office every day for the same number of hours. Your routine could be traveling to a different country every month… In short, routine is important because habitualness creates mood, and mood creates the “nurture” aspect of your personality, not to mention that letting yourself be jerked around by impulsiveness… routine is so important (and happy people tend to follow them more)… Your habits create your mood, and your mood is a filter through which you experience your life… Happiness is not how many things you do, but how well you do them. More is not better… As children, routine gives us a feeling of safety. As adults, it gives us a feeling of purpose.” Wiest writes: “People who are socially intelligent think and behave in a way that spans beyond what’s culturally acceptable at any given moment in time. They function in such a way that they are able to communicate with others and leave them feeling at ease without sacrificing who they are and what they want to say… Here, the core traits of someone who is socially intelligent:… They do not try to elicit a strong emotional response from anyone they are holding a conversation with… They do not speak in [definite terms] about people, politics, or ideas… The fastest way to sound unintelligent is to say, “This idea is wrong.”… To speak definitively about any one person or idea is to be blind to the multitude of perspectives that exist on it. It is the definition of closed-minded and short-sightedness… They don’t immediately deny criticism, or have such a strong emotional reaction to it that they become unapproachable or unchangeable… Socially intelligent people listen to criticism before they respond to it… They speak calmly, simply, concisely, and mindfully. They focus on communicating something… They… know that the world does not revolve around them. They are able to listen to someone without worrying that any given statement they make is actually a slight against them… They do not try to inform people of their ignorance… When you accuse someone of being wrong, you close them off to considering another perspective by heightening their defenses. If you first validate their stance (“ That’s interesting, I never thought of it that way…”) and then present your own opinion (“ Something I recently learned is this…”).. (“ What do you think about that?”), you open them up to engaging in a conversation where both of you can learn rather than just defend… They validate other people’s feelings… validating feelings is not the same thing as validating ideas… Socially intelligent people know that not everybody wants to communicate, learn, grow or connect—and so they do not try to force them… They listen to hear, not respond… While listening to other people speak, they focus on what is being said, not how they are going to respond… They do not consider themselves a judge of what’s true. They don’t say, “you’re wrong”; they say, “I think you are wrong.”… They don’t “poison the well” or fall for ad hominem fallacy to disprove a point. “Poisoning the well” is when someone attacks the character of a person so as to shift the attention away from the (possibly very valid) point being made.” About, the “Happiness of Excellence”, Wiest writes: “Eric Greitens says that there are three primary forms of happiness: the happiness of pleasure, the happiness of grace, and the happiness of excellence. He compares them to the primary colors, the basis on which the entire spectrum is created… The happiness of pleasure is largely sensory… The happiness of grace is gratitude… And then there is the happiness of excellence. The kind of happiness that comes from the pursuit of something great. Not the moment you arrive at the top of the mountain and raise your fists in victory, but the process of falling in love with the hike. It is meaningful work… One cannot replace another. They are all necessary… “Lots and lots of red will never make blue. Pleasures will never make you whole.”… The happiness of excellence is the work of emotional resilience. It’s the highest ranking on Maslow’s hierarchy. It is measured, deliberate, and consistent” Wiest .writes: “If you ask any young adult what their primary stressor in life is, it’s likely something that relates to uncertainty… Nobody—not one of us—knows “what we’re doing with our lives.” … “What do I want?” is a question you need to ask yourself every day… The good news is that your life is probably different than how you think it is. Unfortunately, that’s the bad news, too… Kahneman says: “The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of the quality of evidence, but of the coherence of the story that the mind has managed to construct.” … [Wiest discusses the] biases that affect us so deeply…” Wiest writes: “Learn to love things that don’t cost much. Learn to love simple food and cooking it, being outside, the company of a friend, going for walks, watching the sunrise, a full night’s sleep, a good day’s work… Learn to live within your means—no matter how much money you make, your “percentage habits” will remain the same. If you’re in the habit of seeing all of the income you make as “spending money” (as opposed to investing money, saving money, etc.) you will always revert to that habit, no matter how much you make. It is only by learning to live comfortably within your means that you’re able to actually achieve your goals when you earn more… Differentiate the fine line between what you can and can’t control… “Choose not to be harmed—and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed—and you haven’t been.”—Marcus Aurelius” Wiest writes: “Re-write your “success” narrative… Sometimes it’s doing what you know is right despite the fact that everyone else in your life is looking down on it. Sometimes it’s just getting through the day or the month. Lower your expectations… Connect with people… Redefine “happiness” not as something you experience when you get what you want, but something you feel when you have something meaningful to work toward each day… Focus on getting better, but let go of the end goal. You get better, not perfect… Stop judging other people. See everyone with dignity, with a story, with reasons for why they are how they are and why they do what they do… Read books that interest you…Hearing a new voice in your mind will teach you how to think differently… Don’t stand in front of the road sign forever; map a new path…” Wiest writes: “…it seems that the most effective creative process is one that follows the art of Zen—meditation, mindfulness, intuition, non-resistance, non-judgment, etc… The single most powerful, liberating thing any one of us can do is choose to believe that everything is here to help us. If you want to understand why you perceive your life the way you do, ask yourself what you think the point of it is. This isn’t a lofty, philosophical question… This is the underbelly of how you think and behave… You either see yourself as a victim of what happens to you, or as someone given opportunity to change, grow, see differently, and expand… When people believe that they are victims, they forfeit their power.” Wiest writes: “Success is more a product of habit than it is skill. To excel at something, you must be able to do it prolifically… What separates experts from the rest of us is a blend of profound self-control, disciplined routine, and unwavering dedication… While natural skill is more or less something you’re born with, self-control is something you develop… Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can… My life consists of my days—what am I doing with this one?” Wiest writes: “The 7 Main Ways People Fight… At its most basic level, argumentativeness is a reflex, not a choice. When we feel threatened in some way, we either respond by fleeing, freezing, or fighting. Eventually, most people begin to realize that unconsciously responding to random, external stimuli is exhausting at best and destructive at worst. We begin to censor our responses to things—these are the seeds of self-awareness… there are a lot of idiotic ways that people try to argue with one another, and most of them do not work…” Wiest writes that there are: “16 Questions that will show you Who You Are (and what you're meant to do) [and] The real work of anything is simply becoming conscious of what is already true… Get rid of things that aren’t purposeful or meaningful. The reason why this is so important is because things are defining, especially when we buy them with the intention of making us “different.”… It’s not about having as little as possible, it’s about having only things that serve purpose or hold meaning.” On seeking comfort, Wiest writes: “There’s no such thing as true security… Our bodies were made to evolve, our physical items are temporary and can be lost and broken, etc. To combat this, we seek comfort rather than accepting the transitory nature of life… The only way you grow is by stepping into the unknown… There’s no such thing as real comfort; there’s only the idea of what’s safe… Comfortable is just an idea. You choose what you want to base yours on… The people who have been through a lot are often the ones who are wiser and kinder and happier overall… Truly coming to peace with anything is being able to say: “Thank you for that experience.” To fully move on from anything,.. you must be able to recognize what purpose it served and how it made you better. Until that moment, you’ll only be ruminating over how it made things worse, which means you’re not to the other side yet. To fully accept your life—the highs, lows, good, bad—is to be grateful for all of it, and to know that the “good” teaches you well, but the “bad” teaches you better… Clarity comes from doing, not thinking about doing… A good life comes from choosing to work with what you have,.. ” Wiest writes: “It’s not about following passion; it’s about following purpose passionately. Passion is a manner of… traveling, not a means to determine a destination. Passion is the spark that lights the fire; purpose is the kindling that keeps it burning all night… Cultivating a sense of gratitude—which is not waiting for a feeling of being happy with your life but choosing it by actively focusing on what you’re fortunate, grateful, and proud to have—is essential to ever feeling satisfied with your life, because it puts you in a mindset to seek more to be grateful for… It’s doing, not thinking about doing, that creates a life well lived… purposeful work is cultivated by doing it, not thinking about why you should” Wiest writes: “Your impermanence is a thing you should meditate on every day: There is nothing more sobering, nor scary… than to remember that you do not have forever. What defines your life, when it’s all said and done, is how much you influence other people’s lives, oftentimes just through your daily interactions and the courage with which you live your own. That’s what people remember. That’s what you will be known for when you’re no longer around to define yourself… [Liberation] begins with one question: What do you think you’re here for?... Explore what you most inherently believe, and then determine how you can live that out to the best of your ability… Why do you do what you do each day?... There’s no right or wrong answer… the point is simply just to know what most strongly motivates you… Everybody has one thing that ultimately owns them, drives them, controls them at some visceral level… It’s usually not about freeing yourself from these ties that bind you, but learning to wield them for a greater purpose… There is a purpose to all things. Your job is not to understand why, but just to find it in the first place… A good life isn’t passionate, it’s purposeful. Passion is the spark that lights the fire; purpose is the kindling that keeps the flame burning all night… A good life is not measured by what you do, it’s about what you are… A good life is not how it adds up in the end, but what you’re counting along the way… External acquisition does not yield internal contentment…” Wiest writes: ““There is no grand moment in life. You don’t wake up and say, ‘Aha! I’ve made it!’ Happiness is all in details, the joy is all in the journey… “You haven’t failed until you’ve stopped trying.”… “Don’t take anything too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.”… “We take our lives way too seriously… in a few hundred years, most people will be completely forgotten about. That’s not depressing, that is liberating… do what you most genuinely want to. It won’t matter anyway, so make it matter now.”… Whether success is a product of chance or fate, all you can control is how much work you put in… Nobody ever got anything from just wanting it badly enough. You have to want it badly enough to sacrifice, and to work hard” Wiest writes: “The amount of life we waste gathering and holding onto the things that will never really serve us does one thing and one thing only: keeps us away from the things that matter…. Never taking the initiative to learn how to live within your means—whatever your means might be. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you are making, how many investments you have or savings accounts that are stacked or absolutely empty, it doesn’t matter how much or little debt you still have to pay off, if you are not already in the mindset and lifestyle of living within the means you… have, the same financial problems will follow you no matter where you go or what you achieve.” Wiest writes: “We all have an aching desire to live a meaningful life, and yet none of us seems to know how… Success is falling in love with the process, not the outcome… Only some happiness is valued in society. Not everybody will applaud that you left your job to work at a coffee shop because it’s what you love… Someone else’s success doesn’t make you less successful. Someone else receiving love or praise doesn’t mean you aren’t love or praiseworthy… The happier you are with a decision, the less you need other people to be… You don’t have to go to work; you get to go to work. You don’t have to wake up early; you get to wake up early. When you start considering things not as obligations but as opportunities, you start taking advantage of them rather than trying to avoid them… Anything that exists in your life exists because you created it. Anything that persists does so because you are feeding it… You probably can’t be whatever you want, but if you’re really lucky and you work really hard, you can be exactly who you are.” Wiest writes: “Learn to like what doesn’t cost much… Learn to like reading, whatever it is you like to read. Learn to like talking and people, even when they’re not the same as you. Learn that truths can coexist. That’s the one thing that will set you free in this world… Learn to keep your needs simple and your wants small… Decide to keep nothing but what is meaningful and purposeful… Stop asking: “What am I doing with my life?” and start asking: “What am I doing with today?” Wiest writes: “You Are A Book of Stories, Not A Novel… Life is vivid and changing and real and unpredictable… With no plot other than the one we’re living in the moment, here and now… if you didn’t have rainy days, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the sunny ones?… The same is true of nature: It sustains itself through a cycle of creation and destruction, as does human life… There is no good without bad, high without low, or life without pain.” Wiest writes: “When the Western Zen renaissance began in the 50s… it was a manifestation aligned precisely what ancient teachings hoped and intended for humanity: to adopt it into our lifestyle… The way that non-resistance was intended to be practiced was by striking a fine balance between what you can and cannot control in your life… it is realizing that the path of non-resistance does not call for us to completely surrender to “whatever” happens in life. Rather, it is to be discerning about how we exert control... To think well is to think objectively and factually. The human brain is wired to affirm itself; we are programmed to find evidence that supports what we most want to believe… Despite being a derivative of Buddhist teaching, Zen is simply the art of self-awareness. It does not dictate what you should feel or believe in; how you should be or what you should do… only that you should be conscious of your experience, fully immersed in it. It’s for this reason that Zen principles are universal—they can apply to any dogma or lifestyle… [Wiest enumerates] eight ancient teachings of Zen and how to navigate them in the modern world… Stop Chasing Happiness… It is wiser to spend a life chasing knowledge, or the ability to think clearly and with more dimension, than it is to just chase what “feels good.””

I literally paused reading this book to write this. I have been STRUGGLING and I swear this book has helped more than I ever thought. It never fails I'll start reading where I left off last and the essay will be EXACTLY what I need to hear. I definitely recommend this book

I always purchase this for a graduation gift for both high school and collage seniors. This book changed my life when it was gifted to me. Book was received on time and perfectly packaged. Highly recommend this book and ordering from this vendor as I will be again in the future. 👍

In honesty I don't read a lot because it often doesn't intrigue me, but this book gave me a different outlook on life in the most positive way. I have never enjoyed reading so much, it is very good for self reflection and tips to become the best version of yourself.

This book will leave you revisiting things in your life that have happened and putting some form of foundation or reasoning behind them one before you never really could. Even simple statements like we all have bad days and it's okay really makes you think the next time you have a tough little hiccup instead of focusing on the hiccup thinking this too shall pass... There's a lot of thoughtful insights in this book that will just make you say hmmmm... Interesting and helpful.

The book itself was in perfect condition when I got it! It’s one of my new favorite easy reads, the essays are digestible and shorter in length which holds the attention easily! An easy read perfect for book clubs to create conversation or even as a morning starter!

I've had paperback books that have gotten messed up in the mail but this seller did an excellent job of thoughtfully packing the book and it arrived in perfect condition. Excited to read, thank you :)

It really changes the way you think about a lot of stuff. It gives you a different and better perspective of things and situations in life.

When I first read the title, I was skeptical. Sounds like the usual platitude, but you'll soon realize that each essay does make you think. The author openly admits that some things in the essays may sound like another platitude but as they explain, you start to see it in another way. Some of the essays seemed like a differently worded version of previous essays but I stuck with it and I am glad I did. Even the essays that seem redundant make you think and some things are worth talking about more than once so I was okay with it in the end. This is a book that I'll keep in my library and re-read over and over again, it's definitely not a 'one and done'!

I think every person should have to read this book.

Great value, the folders are perfect for making lap books or just keeping files.

Definitely sturdy and durable, but for the price I think it needs more in a pack

Great quality product in various colors

I am a very organized person and like to color coordinate my files. These are perfect for that!! They are durable and sturdy and serves my needs just perfectly.

Colored cardboard as described. Sturdy enough for general use

This is like a folder. Well, it is a folder. A bunch of folders. I'm not sure why it is a folder. or to be exact, why it is called a folder. I've never folder any paper to put into a folder, nor am I aware that the folder needs to be folded for any reason. It's as if the folder was invented ages ago in a time when perhaps parchment long and thin were used to write on and when it came time to store somewhere, they need to fold it to fit. Yet now, the basic 8.5 x 11 goes into this folder like a charm. It sits perfectly in place and remains congenial with other papers that may join it later, or in times of great paperwork, enter at the same time. I have enjoyed these folders now for two years and can now safely vouch for their equal longevity as well as their stellar color schemes. Blue is my favorite.

Just what I wanted. Sturdy enough for what I needed.


I’m pleased I read this! Want to send copies to my special people. Treat yourself if your ready for the challenge.

This is the best book I’ve read so far. It really pulls your attention and makes you keep reading but the advice this book has given me has really changed my point of view on things, I love this book I think it’s great for mental health.

Great read! New way to think about life

I listen to this on an audio setting and had to have it. So many good points and background information to consider.

So like I seen this book on tiktok and I got it for myself since I love reading and yes get the book! You will not regret it. It has changed the way I think and it’s a book I’ll be passing down to my kids or family members and friends.

Love it

Igual foto

Liked every thing about this book. It is helping me see my life more as it really is, and what I need to change and how to succeed at changing.

The book gives you different perspectives on how you should treat your life and others. This is probably one of the best books i read as it gives me a new view on life like why we suffer or why that didn’t work out or this and that.

I’m only halfway through, but this is such a good book!

I’ve been trying to get back into reading and this book was perfect. If your looking for something to help motivate you or even help you realize everything is going to be ok, this is the book for you. I’m in my 20’s and I’m his book really gave me a great insight on life. My boyfriend even started it and he really enjoyed it. Definitely recommend!

I love this book I’m only a quarter way through and it already has me changing my way of thinking things

She said she loved it.

This is a very useful book. It's not bogged down by long dialog about each point. Instead, it's like a bulleted list supporting each point. An easy, and meaningful read.

This book has something for everyone in it! I gave one to all of my relatives for Christmas and have received several great comments on it.

This book is full of wisdom. It’s so good I like to gift it to others all the time.

I absolutely LOVED this book!! Every essay felt like I was having a conversation with a close friend. Easily 50+ sections I marked off to read/reference again.Would highly recommend to any avid reader in their 20s-30s!

I really enjoyed this book. It gave me a lot to think about and it helped me change some past ways of thinking that have been holding me back. It also opened up my eyes to how I want my future to be. Can't say that it will be a good fit for everyone but I definitely felt it benefited me for my chapter two.

I got this book for myself and for my sister. If you are having a hard time understanding how life can change and how to focus more on self-healing get this book. It really changes how you see things and puts it more in a positive perspective.

Ultimately, just a very good read this definitely changed the way I think and it will continue to do so for the next few years as I continue to read each page. Great comfort book!

Honestly everyone should read this book. There are so many thought provoking pages. So many new ways to look at life

101 Essays That Will Change The Way You Think
⭐ 4.7 💛 10881
kindle: $9.99
paperback: $15.99
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