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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
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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 July 20, 2021

                                            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                            How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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                                            You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                            Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                            Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                            Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                            1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                            According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                            “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                            Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                            Warming up

                                            If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                            If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                            Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                                            1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                            2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                            3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                            Stay hydrated

                                            Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                            To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                            Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                            Meditate

                                            Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                            Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                            Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                            Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                            2. Focus on your goal

                                            One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                            Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                            Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                                            Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                            If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                            3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                            There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                            ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                            It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                            Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                            Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                            Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                            4. Understand your content

                                            Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                                            However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                            “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                            Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                            Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                            One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                            5. Practice makes perfect

                                            Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                            In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                            Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                            6. Be authentic

                                            There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                            Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                                            Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                            To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                            With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                            Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                            7. Post speech evaluation

                                            Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                            Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                            We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                            You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                            Improve your next speech

                                            As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                            Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                                            • How did I do?
                                            • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                            • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                            • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                            • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                            • How was the flow of the speech?

                                            Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                            If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                            Reference

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