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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.

                                  More by this author

                                  Kathryn Sandford

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

                                  10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever If You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life, Read These 5 Strategies How to Stop Being Sad and Start Feeling Happy How to Always Choose Happiness Even During Tough Times Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It

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                                  1 How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas 2 Habits and Motivation: Master Both for Big Results 3 How to Improve Concentration and Sharpen Your Attention at Work 4 10 Reasons Why You’re Demotivated and How to Overcome It 5 How to Prevent Inaction from Leading to Regret

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                                  Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                                  How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                  How to Be More Creative and Come up with Incredible Ideas

                                  Regardless of how creative you already consider yourself to be, there’s a good chance you would like to level up your creative abilities.

                                  You might want to write a better song, think of better solutions to problems at work or around the home or maybe paint a picture.

                                  In any case, the good news is that creativity is not born: it’s made, and each one of us has the potential to be more creative and come up with incredible ideas.

                                  “Creativity is any act, idea, or product that changes an existing domain, or that transforms an existing domain into a new one.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                                  The definition of creativity is broad, and reminds us that creativity is not limited to artists or musicians. It does however require that we have some kind of impact on the domain in which we create.

                                  Creativity also emphasizes values.

                                  “The process of having original ideas that have value” — Ken Robinson

                                  This makes up for what Csikszentmihalyi misses out. For instance, we can make a change in the world without adding significant value. Any destructive act, like smashing a window, creates change, but it doesn’t necessarily create valuable change.

                                  In short, there isn’t one single definition of creativity It’s up to us to find a definition that feels true and useful. When you know what your standard is, It’s much easier to embrace creativity and start to cultivate it.

                                  And in this article, you will learn how to be more creative and take a good look at what goes into the creative skill:

                                  1. Cultivate Focus

                                  In order to create, there needs to be a focus on creating something, whether it’s a song, a theory, a product, or a sculpture.

                                  You could also call this “drive” – it’s the initial spark that drives the solution to a problem, or the will to get on your laptop and start typing.

                                  However, it’s worth noting there are different stages to the creative process: the divergent stage and the convergent stage.

                                  In the divergent stage, we want a broad focus – we want to be willing to let in lots of different inputs, ideas and insights. This is the time for brainstorming all possible ideas and solutions.

                                  In the convergent stage, we start to narrow our focus, like a camera lens. At this stage, we start to drill down to a handful of ideas or solutions, discriminating throughout the process.

                                  How to cultivate focus?

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                                  Take a 20 Minute Walk

                                  Walking away and getting your heart rate up is the best free tool you have in regaining your focus.

                                  I know it might seem counterintuitive to take a break right when you’re at your busiest, and especially when you’re drowning in your massive to do list, but the effects it will have on your clarity and ability to focus are undeniable.

                                  Walking is physiologically proven to release stress, and clear your mind. In fact, most of my most brilliant ideas (and some pretty terrible ones too) have occurred on my daily walks.

                                  If you give this technique a try, what you’ll find is that you’re much more productive than you were before you took a breather.

                                  Over time, if you do these walks daily, you’ll quickly find that your to-do list starts to feel a lot less significant, and a lot more doable. It’s all about keeping razor focused, and that’s what short daily walks will gift you.

                                  2. Build a Structure

                                  When I wake up in the morning, I start the day with a structure in mind. I know that 15 minutes will be dedicated to meditation, 30 minutes to coffee and reading, 20 minutes to yoga and so on.

                                  The structure of this morning routine might be boring, but the act of each task in itself has the potential to be, on some level, “creative.”

                                  The point of structure is that it gives you the space to make time for something you want to do. It helps you carve out the time to do your creative work. Once you begin that thing in itself, you are free to go about it however you’d like.

                                  Without structure, we can lose focus and can feel overwhelmed with possibility. If you’ve ever looked at a blank page and felt too overwhelmed with possibility to make a mark on it, you’ll know what I mean. How much easier it gets when you are given some guidelines or a deadline?

                                  The trick is finding the right amount of structure for you and your creative needs. Too little structure and we feel overwhelmed. Too much structure, and we risk feeling limited and stifled.

                                  Again, it’s worth thinking about creating in those two stages: divergent (less structure) and convergent (more structure.)

                                  How to build a structure?

                                  Create a Morning Routine

                                  Your morning routine doesn’t have to be rigid or so arduous you dread waking up. In fact, it should feel like the opposite. When you get a routine that works for you, you’ll look forward to starting the day.

                                  We all have different needs and preferences which can shape our ideal routine. In the book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, you can be inspired over 160 different creators’ daily routines, from Charles Darwin to Pablo Picasso.

                                  Experiment with any that take your fancy, and see how you feel with a bit more structure to start your day.

                                  You can also take a look at this article about morning routine for inspirations: The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                                  3. Find Motivation

                                  There is a theory that suggests: people will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself — not by external pressures. This is also known as intrinsic motivation; a drive that comes from within.

                                  Think of a time when you did some of your best work — chances are you were totally absorbed in what you were doing, to the exclusion of everything else. You were completely focused on the work itself, barely noticing time flying by.

                                  Now think of a time when you felt under pressure to perform. Maybe it was an exam, or a commission for an important client, or maybe your boss had told you “there’s a lot riding on this.”

                                  Notice the difference? In the first memory, you were driven by intrinsic motivation, which made it relatively easy, even enjoyable, to be highly creative.

                                  In the second memory however, extrinsic motivation was breathing down your neck, distracting you by whispering about the rewards for success and the horrible consequences of failure: likely making it harder to focus on the task at hand.

                                  For this reason, intrinsic motivation, if you can find it, is what separates the good from great creative work.

                                  This isn’t to say only internal motivators help. I personally get motivated by luring myself to work with a good cappuccino at my favourite cafe. That will get me ready to write or edit or whatever I’ve been avoiding.

                                  How to find motivation?

                                  Connect to Your “Why”

                                  Your “Why” is your fuel: the thing that drives you forward, that gives you a reason to do what you’re doing.

                                  ‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ — Friedrich Nietzche

                                  When you have a reason to do something, a purpose or a goal that matters to you, you can connect your daily actions to it. Then, each act becomes infused with meaning and you find that intrinsic motivation comes naturally.

                                  The trick is to remember your “why” and connect with it on a regular basis.

                                  Think about how you want to feel on a daily basis. What would you like to accomplish in the next year? What would you like for yourself in the next five years? How about in your lifetime?

                                  Ultimately, the tasks you face on a daily basis, or at least some of them, will connect to a greater purpose if you follow this path and you will find you feel more motivated to create and less resistance.

                                  If you aren’t sure where to start looking for motivation, this will help: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

                                  4. Be an Expert in a Chosen Domain

                                  Research has shown that just as expertise in one domain does not predict expertise in other unrelated domains; creativity in one domain does not predict creativity in other unrelated domains.[1]

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                                  So just because you can paint a pretty picture, doesn’t mean you can creatively solve a mathematical problem.

                                  If you’ve taken one of those tests like the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which will ask you to think of a bazillion uses for a pencil, and scored well, unfortunately this is only an indicator of divergent thinking skills. It is not a predictor for creativity all round.

                                  The good news is, you can train your creativity in your chosen domain. Much like a muscle, you can isolate exercises to strengthen it.

                                  Of course you can still do a total body workout – or atotal creativity workout – but it means your creativity-training exercises need to come from a wide variety of domains; not just thinking up uses for a pencil.

                                  How to become an expert?

                                  Make a Mastery Training Plan

                                  Following our physical workout analogy, it’s worth applying the habits of great athletes to your chosen creative domain. For example:

                                  1. Decide what area/s you want to work on

                                  Much like a tennis player who decides they need to improve their serving technique, you can decide what area within your creative domain you want to improve at. Get specific.

                                  2. Decide how much time you can dedicate

                                  Most of us don’t have all day to train like a pro tennis player might, but you can likely squeeze 20 to 30 minutes in a day, if you want to. Whatever the time you can allow is, decide to dedicate yourself to it.

                                  3. Review your progress

                                  Finally, in order to check your progress, you can take regular reviews. Decide what your metrics are, and take time each week to check in with yourself.

                                  How many days did you practice? How did you compare to the previous week? This kind of review can help you stay on track, and actually creates more intrinsic motivation as you see yourself develop.

                                  5. Create a Conducive Environment

                                  A psychologist in 1943 proposed that behaviour is:[2]

                                  “a function of both the person as well as the physical environment they are in.”

                                  I would suggest that the act of creating is a behaviour and that, even though it begins as an internal process, it’s very much affected by and even dependent on the environment we are in.

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                                  I started noticing how environment affects me when I worked in an office. Over time, I realized that the more people who were in or who were talking, the more distracted I was. If I got to the office early before my coworkers arrived, I was twice as effective.

                                  I was even more effective if I was at home. Now that I work from home, I know I’m even more effective when in certain coffee shops. Ideally, places that have high ceilings, gentle lighting, some barely noticeable background music – and excellent coffee.

                                  It’s these little variations in our environment that can really shape our creative output.

                                  If you’re an introvert, you probably do your best work alone. If you’re an extrovert, you probably do your best work in the company of others.

                                  This isn’t to say you should find one way of doing things and stick to it: in fact, varying your environment from time to time is a great way to stoke the creative fire too, which we’ll touch on more later.

                                  How to create a conducive environment?

                                  Add or Subtract Stimuli

                                  Novelty in our environment has been shown to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases our desire to seek out reward.[3]

                                  If you’re looking for creative motivation, adding some novelty into your environment can be just what you need.

                                  On the other hand, some people are highly sensitive and when it comes to having too much stimulation in their environment, they find it difficult to focus.

                                  Experiment with working in different environments. Note how you feel. Note whether you do better creative work or have more interesting ideas when you’re alone or with others.

                                  Try listening to music, people chatting or try being in complete silence. Try a dimly lit room, try working in bright sunlight.

                                  In each case, note how you feel before, during and afterwards and rate the quality of your work.

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Creativity is not one particular skill or talent one can have. It comes in as many broad and unique flavors as there are people on this earth.

                                  To be more creative, take little steps each day. Acknowledge where and when you feel most inspired, motivated and original and spend more energy in those areas.

                                  More Articles About Creativity

                                  Featured photo credit: Sticker Mule via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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