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15 Self Help Books To Make You Live A Greater Life

15 Self Help Books To Make You Live A Greater Life

“A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility what human nature is of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness.” Susan Sontag

To embark on a journey to live a great life is a courageous and life long journey. It is very difficult to do it alone and if you don’t have help, the chances of you reaching your goal to live a great life is virtually impossible.

Self Help books are the best way for you to get the knowledge, information, tools and strategies to guide and support you to achieving your goal to live a great life.

These 15 Self Help Books have changed millions of peoples lives and they can help you change your life too, so that you can live the life you desire.

1. Awaken The Giant Within – Anthony Robbins

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Anthony Robbins

    “in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know.” Anthony Robbins

    This book is the “bible for personal development”. The main message from the book is, that we have the power right now to control how we think, how we feel, and what we do. Anything we want or desire in our life, we have the power to achieve it.

    You hold within you the power and the energy force to achieve all of your dreams – hence the title of the book “Awaken the Giant Within”.

    2. Finding Your Own North Star – Martha Beck

    ““No one but you has the ability to find your own North Star and no one but you has the power to keep you from finding it. No one”

    Martha Beck

    North Star

      Your North Star is about you finding your passion and purpose in life. The tools and strategies are practical and uncomplicated. Martha Beck takes you through some very simple and effective processes  that will give you clarity and a better understanding of how to deal with internal conflict, internal dialogue and the feelings of unhappiness, discontent and dissatisfaction in your life.

      3. Mojo: How To Get It How To Keep It How To Get It Back If You Lose It – Marshall Goldsmith

      “Mojo” is, “That positive spirit toward what we are doing now, that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside”  Marshall Goldsmith

      Mojo

        I found my MOJO when I read this book. Marshall Goldsmith, for me, did exactly what the title says – he guided me through practical steps and provided me with tools and strategies that helped me get my mojo back.

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        Marshall Goldsmith defines Mojo as “the moment when we do something that’s purposeful, powerful and positive and rest of the world recognises it”.  A must read book that will change your life as it did mine.

        4. What Should I Do With My Life? – Po Bronson

        “I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause.It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice.”  Po Bronson

        Po Bronson

          This book is not going to give you the five steps to finding your Life Purpose or to living a greater life. It does not give you any tools or strategies to help you answer all those questions about life that are swirling around in your head.

          This book will provide you with a reality check as to how tough and complicated it can be when you decide to change your career and your life. It is an inspirational book as it is based on the true stories of ordinary people who made a decision and took action to answer the question “what should I do with my life?” There are no famous peoples’ stories in this book,  just ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

          5. The Magic of Thinking Big: Dr David J Schwartz PhD

          “Think you are weak, think you lack what it takes, think you will lose, think you are second class – think this way and you are doomed to mediocrity.”  Dr David J Schwartz

          Magic of Thinking BIg

            This book is an oldie and a classic. According to Dr Schwartz, to create change in your life and to attain all that you desire the key thing you need to do is, change your thinking and your attitude.

            The other key message from this book is, you must start preparing your mind and your thinking for the journey of personal change. If you are going to run a marathon, you need to train and get your body in shape. This is the same concept for taking on the challenge of personal change. If you want to chase your dreams you need to train your mind to dream big.

            6. The Art of Happiness A Handbook For Living – Dalai Lama

            “happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” Dalai Lama

            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 does not give you the answers you seek as to how you can live a happy and prosperous life. What the book does however do, is it introduces you to Buddhist teachings and the wisdom of the Dalai Lama, who lives a life that is content, happy, and spiritually fulfilled. There is no better way to learn about how to get happiness and fulfilment than from someone who is actually practising what they teach.

              The Art of Happiness is a book that will encourage you to self reflect and to look deeper into your inner self (your soul) so that you can truly clarify what happiness really means to you.

               7.   The Gifts of Imperfection Brené – Brown

              “Healthy striving is self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism is other-focused: What will they think? Perfectionism is a hustle.”

              Brené Brown

              Gift of Imperfection

                Renee Brown’s Book the Gift of Imperfection will show you how to find your courage, rediscover your self-belief and self worth.  For without these key essentials you wont be able to have a greater life. The Gift of Imperfection is about the lifelong journey.

                This book takes you from the place where you are asking the question: “What will people think?” to the place where you are making the statement “I am enough”.

                8. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life – Martin Seligman PhD 

                “Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.”  Martin Seligman

                Martin Seligman

                  Dr Martin Seligman is Dr Happiness! He is an expert on how one can live a happy and fulfilled life. In his book Martin Seligman talks about the power of being an optimist and uses scientific reasons as to why you should be living an Optimistic Life.

                  Seligman believes that Optimism and Pessimism are habits of thinking and these habits of thinking have been learned through out our lives. We just need to learn how to change these habits of thinking so that we can live happier more fulfilled lives. There is hope for you, if you have a pessimistic view of life, as Dr Seligman will teach you how to be an Optimist.

                  9. If Life Is A Game These Are Rules – Cherie Carter Scott

                  “Remind yourself often that self-esteem is ephemeral. You will have it, lose it, cultivate it, nurture it, and be forced to rebuild it over and over again.”  Cherie Carter Scott

                  .

                  If Life is Game there are Rules

                    Have you ever wondered what the heck is going on in your life or asked the question “ why does this happen to me?” If so, then you need to read this book by Cherie Carter Scott. Cherie Carter Scott presents a set of life rules that she calls “The 10 Rules of Being Human’.  This book is a reality check about how you should be living your life.  After you have read this book you will gain more clarity about  you, how to move in forward in your life and how play the game of life, which of course will result in you living a great life.

                    9. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – Steven R. Covey

                    “Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do).” Stephen R.Covey

                    The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

                      “Each of us guard a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside.”  Stephen R Covey

                      Have you ever wondered why it is that some people are very good at getting things done?  Do you go looking for excuses to be distracted rather than sit down and get those essential tasks completed? The road to living a great life takes a lot of effort, commitment and focus. Distraction and procrastination will not get you a life you love.

                      Stephen Covey will show you how to become more effective at completing those essential tasks that can change your life. The 7 Habits are the winning strategies you should implement in your life so that you can live the life you desire.

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                      10. The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz

                      “Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.”  Don Miguel Ruiz

                      Four  Agreements

                        Seeking the advice and knowledge of others, particularly those who had been on similar journeys. is essential to you staying strong and committed to living a great life.

                        Don Miguel Ruiz is one person I sought out – his depth of wisdom, his spirituality and knowledge about life is insightful and inspiring. 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 are seeking inspiration and knowledge to find your courage to follow your dreams – then read The Four Agreements. You will discover four life principles that will definitely help you reach your dreams and aspirations in life.

                        11. Switch How To Change Things When Change Is Hard – Chip Heath & Dan Heath

                        “So the question is this: How can you make your changes a matter of identity rather than a matter of consequences?” Chip & Dan Heath

                        Switch

                          To live a great life you have to make changes and they are big changes. If I had to recommend one book that showed you how to create and maintain lasting change in your life  – then it would be Switch.

                          The best way to create and sustain the change in your life according to the authors is when you:

                          Direct The Rider – by providing rules to follow, precise actions with small measurable goals

                          Motivate The Elephant – identify the motivation to change or an emotional rationale for change

                          Shape the Path – set the direction and shape the path to facilitate the journey of change

                          When you get these 3 elements aligned then creating and sustaining the change in your life is pretty much guaranteed,

                          12. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be – Jack Canfield

                          “You only have control over three things in your life—the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take (your behaviour).”  Jack Canfield

                          Jack 2

                            This book offers practical advice on how to change those attitudes and beliefs that are preventing you from achieving your success in life. It shows you how to harness the resources you have within you and around you so that you can achieve any of the goals you set.

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                            13. Life Was Never Meant To Be A Struggle – Stuart Wilde

                            “You’re the only one who can decide what’s best for you.” Stuart Wilde

                            Life was

                              Stuart Wilde believes that the struggles in life are “laced with emotion and desperation” and we were born to be free. To achieve that freedom we have to move from struggle to free FLOW.

                              This book will help you to identify the cause of struggle in your life and shows you how to eliminate it quickly through a concerted action plan so you can achieve flow in your life.

                              14. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

                              “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life”. Eckhart Tolle

                              power of now

                                “See if you can give more attention to the doing than to the results that you want to achieve through it. Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents” Eckhart Tolle

                                The Power of Now I call the 101 guide to spiritual growth and enlightenment.  This book has great tools and strategies for those of you who are interested in; mindfulness, awareness and the quest to achieving living a life you love in the now!

                                15. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

                                “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”  Napoleon Hill

                                thinkandgrowrich-21-219x300

                                  Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich to help people overcome the physiological barriers that kept them from wealth.

                                  According to Napoleon Hill money brings us stability, which brings relief to our life, which results in us feeling a sense of satisfaction and when we feel satisfied we have a sense of belonging –this does make us happy. When we are happy we are living a great life.

                                  Napoleon Hill believes that key requirements to create wealth in your life are; self-belief, self-awareness, the motivation to succeed, direction, focus and a positive healthy relationship with money.

                                  Reading these 15 Self Help books will not give you the one and only ultimate answer you may seek as to how you can make a great life. They will, however give you advise, wisdom, knowledge, and the tools and strategies that will support and guide you on your journey to living a great life.

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                                  Kathryn Sandford

                                  Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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                                  Last Updated on January 6, 2021

                                  14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                  14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

                                  Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

                                  In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

                                  For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

                                  For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

                                  Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

                                  Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

                                  Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

                                  How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

                                  Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

                                  1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

                                  Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

                                  For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

                                  2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

                                  Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

                                  Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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                                  Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

                                  3. Create a System

                                  Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

                                  This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

                                  You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

                                  Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

                                  Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

                                  4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

                                  We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

                                  If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

                                  Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

                                  Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

                                  5. Use a Ratings Scale

                                  Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

                                  Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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                                  It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

                                  6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

                                  This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

                                  You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

                                  You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

                                  7. Offer Feedback Forms

                                  Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

                                  First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

                                  Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

                                  You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                  8. Track Cost Effectiveness

                                  This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

                                  Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

                                  Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

                                  9. Use Self-Evaluations

                                  Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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                                  Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

                                  10. Monitor Time Management

                                  This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

                                  Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

                                    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

                                    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

                                    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

                                    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

                                    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

                                    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

                                    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

                                    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

                                    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

                                    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

                                    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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                                    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

                                    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

                                    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

                                    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

                                    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

                                    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

                                    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

                                    14. Use an External Evaluator

                                    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

                                    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

                                    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

                                    Final Thoughts

                                    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

                                    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

                                    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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                                    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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