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21 Powerful Short Books To Change Your Mindset And Improve Your Life

21 Powerful Short Books To Change Your Mindset And Improve Your Life

Summer’s here, and what better time is there to grab some short self care books to read and improve your life? Get outside, even if it’s just to a park, and spend a little of each day getting a leg up.

Here is a collection of short books, meaning less than 200 pages, that you can consume within a few hours. Most of them go deep, and you’ll probably want to read them more than once.

1. Rich Habits

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    Thomas Corley interviewed his wealthy clients over many years and compared their personal finance habits with those of poorer people. Ten simple principles are given in a step-by-step format that will help you become successful in business and gain financial success.

    2. Who Moved My Cheese?

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      Spencer Johnson wrote this book to help people deal with the rapid rate of change in today’s world. He deals with attitudes we have about change. It takes the fear and anxiety we have about the future, providing simple ways to move ahead in life. Johnson takes two mice and two sprite-like people living in a maze and writes a parable about how they adjust when the cheese moves every day.

      “Cheese” has been on the bestseller lists for over a decade and is the follow-up to his co-authored book, The One Minute Manager.

      3. Eliminating Stress, Finding Inner Peace

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        In this book, Brian Weiss mentions how stress has magnified in our modern world with harmful mental and physical effects. The book gives simple relaxation techniques in the form of scripts to help you calm down and find peace.

        4. Tao Te Ching

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          Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Book of the Way, the classic manuscript by Lao Tzu, explains life’s three treasures: simplicity, patience and compassion. In alignment with the Tao, one effortlessly achieves wisdom in action. Your mindset will change upon reading of the basic problems of being alive and how to gain balance when flowing in the Way.

          5. As a Man Thinketh

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            James Allen’s work, written over a century ago, is still an inspirational guide. It helps readers to find direction and purpose in life. His main theme is that your mind controls your fate. You need to take responsibility for your life. From this comes empowerment and success. Once you stop complaining about the outer circumstances in your life and begin the inner search you will come upon the thoughts that bring you rapid progress and ultimate success.

            6. The Greatest Salesman in the World

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              Og Mandino’s story of an inspired camel boy who becomes “The Greatest Salesman in the World” includes 10 spiritual principles that describe how to not only succeed in business, but also in life. It shows how to be certain of one’s destiny and have perseverance until it is achieved.

              7. Life Was Never Meant To Be a Struggle

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                Wilde reminds us that animals do not struggle. They make some effort for sustenance, but do not get emotional or desperate the way humans do. We have many false assumptions that are programmed, like “struggle ennobles the soul.” Wilde examines these, and the common reasons for and aspects of struggle. Then he presents eight ways for you to dump struggle in your life and to transcend it.

                8. You Are a Gift

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                  Edwin Shaw gives you simple instructions on how to do your own talent management. Part of your nature is to be talented at something, and probably at many things. But you tend to be unaware of your full potential. Using this step-by-step guide you will acquire a new mindset that will change the way you think and act. You will advance quickly in your career to success levels attained only by a very small percentage of people.

                  9. The Curse of Blessings

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                    Mitchell Chefitz brings you tales that are very simple yet express life’s most complex truths. He does this by way of a old master instructing his apprentices about life. The apprentices and the reader will be enlightened if they are open to what the master has to say.

                    10. How To Keep a Journal For Beginners

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                      Sarah Miller has written this book to describe journal writing. She tells you what the benefits are and goes on to give techniques so that even if you are a beginner you can get started. Life is so fast-paced today that too many don’t take the time for refection and recording of experiences. This is to your benefit for making important life changes and not repeating past mistakes.

                      Follow this book’s instruction and you will lead a more fulfilled life.

                      11. Thirty Pages to Change Your Life

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                        Shel Shamus has taken a broad spectrum of spiritual traditions, from ancient to New Age wisdom, presenting it in only 30 pages. You will learn transcend your normal self to become more peaceful, happy and successful.

                        12. Abnormalities

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                          Joseph Solar shows you the stories of many people to illustrate how small chance events make life-shattering differences. After reading this short book, you won’t dismiss any of your life’s events as inconsequential.

                          13. Life Changing Workbook

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                            Kellie Jo Holly presents you with the question: what in your life needs changing? You know that something is not right, but what? This workbook helps you determine that by teaching you to ask the right questions.

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                            Your subconscious mind hold all of your beliefs, including ones that are detrimental. With this workbook you will have the opportunity to examine and change old beliefs to create a new and better life for yourself.

                            14. 5 Steps To Reprogramming Your Subconscious

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                              Pat Kammer has provided five steps to reprogram your subconscious. Your subconscious has been laid down when you were very young and governs your beliefs, including those that hold you back in all aspects of life. Use this method to remove limiting beliefs in areas of health, finances, relationships and happiness.

                              15. Do Big Things

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                                Tony Baker provides empowerment, in this series of little books, to attain your goals. Every book in the series gives you success definitions, inspiring narratives, questions and action steps to move you along your path. You need to get yourself motivated and have faith that you can achieve what you want. High self-esteem and intention help, too. This book series helps you recognize these qualities in yourself.

                                16. How to be Happy

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                                  Are you unhappy? Even if you’re happy, you can always be more happy. In this book, Carla Stein gives you simple tools to a happier life. She has gathered information from research, read many books on the topic and learned from her own life experience. Stein explains the causes of unhappiness and the mistakes you make when looking for it. You learn the false assumptions that hold you back, and how to let go of what’s holding you back. She provides 10 techniques to create real happiness by adding meaning and purpose to your life. You can begin right away to add happiness to your life on a daily basis.

                                  17. Getting It Done, Now!

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                                    Hiram Tolworth’s book gives you a simple five step approach to making things happen. You will determine your priorities and with specific action steps begin right away to create accomplishments. You can finish your to-do list by getting rid of procrastination and excuses. Make a habit of getting things done!

                                    18. Goal Getting

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                                      Coleen Cook begins her short book by telling you the distinction between a goal-setter and a goal-getter. Reading this will give you Cook’s insights towards intention and achievement. When you get perspective, you see what your specific strong points are and prioritize your goals so that what you do on a day-to-day basis builds towards your long term goals.

                                      19. Thoughts Become You

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                                        Are you ready to to awaken your full potential for personal growth and development?. Mack Buckley shows you how to eliminate negative beliefs and develop positive ones. Determine what is keeping you stuck and learn how to use positive thinking and gratitude as vehicles to change your life. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their life.

                                        20. Dare 2 Change

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                                          With Omar Jarvis’s book, you have the opportunity to take the most pressing area of your life and change it for the better by forming new habits. All areas of your life can be changed by implementing this challenge, but it’s best to work on only one per 30 day period. By always keeping your eye on the goal, even though you are taking small steps, you do not lose your steam in the overall process.

                                          Jarvis says that starting is the most difficult part of the process. He guides you to make small daily positive changes. You will be empowered with a set of techniques and skills to change your life in very positive ways that will surprise you.

                                          21. This Ain’t No Self-Help Book

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                                            Jack Terry tells his story of his realization one day that his life was way off track from where it should have been. He made a long voyage of return. In documenting his experiences he includes his many mistakes and affirms that they are to be welcomed as part of the journey. Terry acknowledges that he cannot directly help anyone, but if you pay attention to what he has to say during his return, you might benefit from what he has learned.

                                            Featured photo credit: 20140719-BatteryParkCityNY/Joe Zlomek via morguefile.com

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                                            Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                            The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                            Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                            Posture

                                            First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                            • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                            • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                            • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                            • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                            All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                            Facial Expressions

                                            Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                            • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                            • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                            • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                            If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                            1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                            A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                            The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                            This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                            2. Relax Your Face

                                            New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                            The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                            To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                            3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                            Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                            The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                            To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                            3. Smile More

                                            There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                            Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                            4. Hand Gestures

                                            Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                            It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                            5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                            In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                            “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                            It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                            6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                            As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                            Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                            Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                            Final Takeaways

                                            Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                            If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                            More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                            Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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