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5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

5 Must Read Books that Will Save You from Fighting in Your Relationship

What really causes you to fight with your partner?  Although the triggers are often superficial, the underlying answers are deeper – which is why most couples are stuck in endless loops where they keep fighting about the same things over and over again.

If you want to really understand the answer to this question, it’s paramount to take some time to understand the real reasons that ultimately cause our repeating patterns of conflict.

These 5 books will teach you new ways to understand both yourself and your partner, and what drives the patterns of behavior you both subconsciously follow every day.  They can shed light on many of your questions, backed by countless success stories from readers who have made breakthroughs in their relationships.

Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married By Gary D. Chapman

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    To most of us, getting married is just another “official” step forward from our current relationship. No one would think being prepared is necessary since going through a normal relationship already seems to be a prerequisite. However, there’s a huge gap between being in a relationship to actually building a life together. Gary Chapman has put together this practical book to teach readers how to build a healthy and loving marriage.

    “I’m a 30 year old male about to propose to my girlfriend. I picked up this book on a whim. I cannot overstate how much I have learned from this book. I started highlighting things that I thought were important to me or that really hit home or made sense. I wrote notes in the margin. I ordered a copy for my soon to be fiance and she is going to do the same thing with her copy. Then we’ll switch so we can both learn from each other. Anyone that wants to be a better partner, regardless of weather or not that includes marriage, should pick this book up and read it front to back. I really can’t say enough good things about this book.”- Ryan on Amazon Review

    Get Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married from Amazon at $ 8.69.

    The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts By Gary D. Chapman & Jocelyn Green

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      Joined with Joycelyn Green, Gary Chapman has published this book that decodes the secret of love. It’s one of the top selling relationship books on Amazon. Gary talks about what signals us as “love”, how partners can see the same action differently and brings out the importance of understanding your partner’s love language in order to aid better communication. The love language doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, it’s also equally applicable to building sustainable friendships and family relationships as well.

      Get The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts from Amazon at $ 10.99.

      Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs By Emerson Eggerichs

        Dr. Emerson Eggerichs provides advice from a psychological perspective on how to maintain a healthy and loving marriage. In his book, he cracks the relationship secret by teaching readers how to shift their focus from only their relationship to the whole family perspective. He also addresses some commonly experienced marriage problems such as dealing with affairs, how to regain the romantic spark, and how to protect and nurture mutual respect.

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        Get Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs from Amazon at $13.89.

        Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love By Sue Johnson

          Hold Me Tight is one of the most insightful books about human relationships that you’ll ever read, backed by solid empirical scientific proof and a ton of success cases.  In an engaging and easy-to-read style, Dr. Sue Johnson introduces psychological concepts that any lay person can instantly understand.  You’ll gain deep insights into every relationship that you’ve ever had, and understand the underlying forces behind how and why we communicate the way we do.  Filled with simple exercises for practicing better communication and understanding, this book is useful for anyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not.

          Get Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love from Amazon at $17.48.

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          Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love By Amir Levine & Rachel Heller

            Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller (a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, respectively) explain love through the latest scientific theories on attachment.  This book describes the three basic types of attachment that all people have.  These basic types affect relationships at all levels, from how you see intimacy, to communication style, to the types of things that satisfy you within a relationships.  The premise is that understanding the attachment type of you and your partner will help you navigate your relationship with more awareness, avoiding common pitfalls and being able to focus on the right things to nurture a relationship.

            Get Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love from Amazon at $10.84.

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            Lifehack Reads

            Lifehack Reads is the curated collection of our favorite books, carefully categorized and sorted by our Editorial Team.

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

            You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

            Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

            You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

            Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

            1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

            If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

            Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

            When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

            Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

            So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

            Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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            2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

            Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

            Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

            • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
            • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
            • Answer a few Superpower Questions

            Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

            3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

            Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

            The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

            You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

            Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

            Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

            4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

            The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

            Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

            To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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            This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

            5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

            Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

            Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

            • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
            • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
            • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

            The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

            Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

            6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

            I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

            To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

            Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

            A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

            Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

            Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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            7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

            Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

            Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

            What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

            Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

            8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

            Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

            Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

            What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

            These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

            9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

            Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

            This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

            Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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            “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

            10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

            Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

            Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

            You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

            You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

            Final Thoughts

            Eleanor Roosevelt said,

            “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

            Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

            By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

            If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

            This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

            Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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            Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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