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Last Updated on September 4, 2019

10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

If you want to change your life, you are going to have to do things differently. And sometimes, you can look to inspirational books to create a positive change in your life.

If you desire change, you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone. As Anthony Robbins points out:

“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting an empowering new belief” — Anthony Robbins

In order to transform your life, you will experience discomfort and pain. Change can be a painful process, but the rewards of going through the change are priceless.

Before I focused on running my own Lifehack business, I was a full-time manager in a software company. I was offered another promotion after succeeding in a project. But I wasn’t thrilled about the opportunity. That was when I realized something wasn’t going quite right in my life. Why would I not be excited about such valuable opportunity? Wasn’t that what I wanted?

I felt like all these times my effort in my job was wasted because it didn’t seem to be what I wanted most for my life.

I was lost and didn’t know what to do, so I started to look for ways to get out of the rut. The shrinking free time remaining was spent poring over hundreds of books about motivation, productivity and communication.

And through reading, I found my purpose in life and how to break free from my limitations to live the life I truly want. Here’re the 10 books I recommend you reading too to get inspired.

1. Awaken The Giant Within, by Anthony Robbins

    The inspirational message from this book is how you have the power right now to control how you think, how you feel, and what you do. Anything you want or desire in your life, you already have the power to achieve it.

    “You and I have that same power at our disposal every moment of the day. At the moment, the questions that we ask ourselves can shape our perception of who we are, what we’re capable of, and what we’re willing to do to achieve our dreams” – Anthony Robbins

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    2. Screw It Lets Do It: Lessons in Life, by Richard Branson

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      Reading other people’s stories about their journeys in life can give you better perspective of what the journey of change can be about. Richard Branson is into reinvention and as a result, he embraces change.

      This book will fuel your enthusiasm to give things a go. It will show you how to sort out the self-limiting beliefs that stop you from stepping up and taking on the challenge of change.

      “As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live” – Richard Branson

      Print | eBook | Audiobook

      3. The Art of Happiness, by Dalai Lama

        There is not a person I know who is not in the pursuit of happiness.

        “The Art of Happiness” is a book that will encourage you to practice the discipline of self-reflection.The more you reflect on your life, the deeper you look into your inner self (your soul). This is where you discover what happiness truly means to you.

        Knowing what happiness means to you, gives you purpose. With purpose, you’ll have clarity, focus, and a vision. These are the foundations that will empower you to embark on the journey to change your life.

        “Both these people illustrate the essential point that happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” – Dalai Lama

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        4. The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

          “The Four Agreements” are Don Miguel’s code for life.

          “The Four Agreements” provide an inspirational code for life, for the way you handle your relationships, how you behave, and how you communicate with others. If you want to change your life, read “The Four Agreements”. This book will show you how to attain a happy fulfilled life.

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          “If you live in a past dream, you don’t enjoy what is happening right now because you will always wish it to be different than it is. There is no time to miss anyone or anything because you are alive. Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being only half alive. This leads to self pity, suffering and tears.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

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          5. The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J Schwartz

            According to Dr Schwartz, to create change in your life and to attain all that you desire, you need to change your thinking and your attitude.

            The importance of preparing your mind and your thinking for the journey of personal change is the key message of this book.

            “Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.” – David J. Schwartz.

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            6. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul: How To Create A New You, by Deepak Chopra

              Deepak Chopra believes that personal transformation not only involves the mind, but also your body and soul. According to Chopra, you cannot transform your mind without transforming your body and soul.

              Reading this book will encourage you to think about the potential energy force and power you hold within you. This energy grows when you are connected and aligned to your mind, body, and soul.

              “The key to transformation is that you create the change you want to see in yourself.” – Deepak Chopra

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              7. The Greatest Salesman In The World, by Og Mandino

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                This little classic has been around since 1968. Have you ever wondered what truly successful people have in common?

                This book doesn’t really tell you how to be a great salesperson. It will; however, give you some fantastic tips on how to be an entrepreneur, how to self-motivate, and how to think like a successful person.

                The underlying message is the power of positive thinking – that you become what you think, say, and do. This book has great tactics for those of us in the process of change.

                “My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action.” – Og Mandino

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                8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, by Richard Carlson

                  This book helps you to manage the small stuff in your life that is usually creating the most pain in your life. This very supportive book is full of great practical suggestions on how you can live a more joyful and peaceful life.

                  “True happiness comes not when we get rid of all of our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice, and to learn.” – Richard Carlson

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                  9. Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip & Dan Heath

                    Have you ever tried to lose weight or get fit and never reached your goal? You know that you have to make changes in your life, but you don’t know how?

                    If you are nodding in agreement, then you need to read “Switch“. If I had to recommend one book that shows you how to create and maintain lasting change in your life – then it would be “Switch“.

                    In this book, Chip and Dan share the Secret as to how you can create and sustain change in your life.

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                    Hint: It has something to do with knowing how to “Direct The Rider”, “Motivate The Elephant”, and “Shape the Path.”

                    This book, without a doubt, will show you how to change your life.

                    “When you’re at the beginning, don’t obsess about the middle, because the middle is going to look different once you get there. Just look for a strong beginning and a strong ending and get moving.” – Chip & Dan Heath

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                    10. The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown

                      Do you ever feel that you are just not worthy enough, intelligent enough, or courageous enough to live a fulfilled happy life?

                      Do you have secret dreams that you hold deep inside of you that you don’t share in case someone thinks they are silly? Or are you too scared to follow your dreams because you fear that you may fail?

                      Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, will show you how to find your courage, as well as rediscover your self-belief and self-worth.

                      This is the book that will get you prepared to embark on your journey of change. “The Gifts of Imperfection” is about you learning how to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

                      “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brene Brown

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                      The Bottom Line

                      These 10 books were key to helping me change my life. I rediscovered my purpose and my strength. I hope that by reading these books, you will find the same inspiration and motivation to your challenges in life.

                      More Great Books

                      Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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                      Leon Ho

                      Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2020

                      Think Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead

                      Think Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead

                      Positive thinking is one of the most touted philosophies in the world. The advantages of positive mantras have been presented by authors and motivational speakers around the world. However, value affirmation may be more effective.

                      Do these techniques really work? Why would repeating a simple, positive phrase change the way you think and feel? Those are the questions we’re going to dive in to.

                      Decoding Positive Thinking

                      Positive thinking[1] is about developing our mindset in such a way that we expect good and favorable outcomes from events in our life. In other words, it’s the process of transferring our energy into reality by thinking optimistic thoughts.

                      This doesn’t mean we are unrealistic about the possibilities. Positive thinking is about recognizing all of the possible outcomes but choosing to focus on those that are positive and offer improvements to our lives.

                      Does Positive Thinking Work?

                      While many people believe that positive thinking leads you to the path of happiness, there are others who think otherwise. Both sides have put forward many compelling reasons supporting their views. While the argument may never end, the detractors have many reasons to believe that positive thinking, in isolation, doesn’t do much for our mental health. Here are some ways positive mantras can backfire.

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                      How Positive Mantras Can Do Harm

                      While positive mantras can be a good addition to a routine when understood, there are some downsides that you should be aware of.

                      1. Suppression of Negative Emotions

                      If we use positive mantras [2] too frequently, it might work for a shorter period, but in the long run, it may cause adverse consequences. Why?

                      When we use a positive mantra, it tends to suppress our negative emotions. If it continues for an extended time and becomes a habit, then we might be overwhelmed by even more negative feelings at times when the results are not as expected, as there should be a balance between positive emotions and negative emotions in life. The balance of positive and negative feelings in life is what helps us to accept challenges and overcome them.

                      2. Actions Speak Louder Than Mantras

                      Additionally, uttering positive mantras in our life might work sometimes, and also, to channel the energy into reality, utter faith and absolute belief are required. However, the mantras most definitely prove themselves useless if we just keep chanting positive mantras but fail to put into action the message that the mantra is supposed to convey.

                      As a consequence, we might be caught off guard by negative vibes and feel highly frustrated because our mind will immediately conjure up many negative thoughts.

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                      For instance, if you believe that a perfect body is the one with well-toned abs and biceps, and you keep on insisting that you have a perfect body, then your mind will start searching for the so-called negatives in your body. You will be insecure about the little bit of belly protruding out, your waistline, and even your arms. This will make you more insecure about your body and will depress you even more.

                      3. Production of Delusional Thinking

                      A fact is a fact; it won’t change irrespective of the situations and time and won’t change even when you utter positive mantras your whole life. For example, if you are a little short on money, you aren’t going to miraculously solve your financial problems just because you utter positive mantras a million times. It will be much better if you accept the reality and work towards dealing with it.

                      For example, if you have loan problems, you should work on personal budgeting instead of living with a false sense of security. This will make you happier in the long run.

                      Let’s take another scenario as an example. You have an exam tomorrow, and you are not prepared well. You’re time would be better spent studying the information you’re lacking rather than repeating a positive mantra to convince yourself that you will be fine. Ultimately, the positive thinking will help you feel more confident on the answers you already know, but it won’t conjure up information you didn’t study for. Conjuring fantasies to wrap up reality is no way to answer any question in the real world.

                      Hard work is key to success in our life. If you have worked hard, then despite all the negative thoughts that might surround your head instinctively, you are going to perform better. However, if you haven’t put in enough work, then no matter how many times you say that you are going to be successful, it won’t be enough.

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                      4. Increase Low Self-Esteem

                      A study has also shown that positive thinking works well if you have very high self-esteem. However, if you have low self-esteem and utter positive mantras, it will only strengthen your negative mindset when there are met by set-backs[3]. This will result in many negative feelings.

                      For example, if a good football player believes that he is going to be the best, then it will act as a buffer to help him perform to his potential. However, if a player with low self-esteem thinks that he is going to be the best player in the world, he will get discouraged when he realizes he isn’t doing as well as he hoped.

                      Alternative to Positive Mantras

                      If you are a believer in positive mantras, and you are beginning to doubt its functionality, what will you do? Don’t fret, because there is another theory called value affirmation that might help you.

                      What is Value Affirmation?

                      First of all, values are the beliefs which we think are desirable and ideal. Our values are dynamic as they are changing and reshaping as we experience new things in our life. Therefore, it is necessary that we update our values constantly so our objective in life resembles the values we believe in.

                      If we are aware of our values, it will help to maintain balance in our life. If there is an imbalance between our value and aim, it will undermine our motivation to do things. Hence, value affirmation is recognizing and defining the values we believe in rather than repeatedly saying positive sentences that may or may not hold significance for us.

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                      Do Value Affirmations Work?

                      In a recent survey[4], students in one of the universities were chosen randomly to write about their values. Those students who were selected performed very nicely in their college years in comparison to those students who had not taken part. This was repeated again with the same success in the Hispanic community and African-American community.

                      Therefore, the next time you find yourself chanting mantras to assure you that everything is going to be fine, stop. Instead, try to recognize your deeply rooted values and check whether your values are in balance with your actions and goals.

                      The Bottom Line

                      Positive mantras can be a great addition to a regular meditation practice or a good technique to use if you are secure in your self confidence and direction in life. However, if you’re feeling lost or having trouble tracking down your motivation, value affirmations may do more to help you as they’ll force you to take a good look at what really matters in your life.

                      More Tips on Values

                      Featured photo credit: Kazi Mizan via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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