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10 Books That Will Change Your Life

10 Books That Will Change Your Life

Are you looking for books that will change your life?    Are you wanting to get leverage on yourself, and make real changes, but you’d love a guide to assist you?

These 10 books absolutely fit that criteria.  Read them, but more importantly, do what they tell you.  It is your acting not just your reading that will get you the best results.  These books however will give you the framework that you need to take action:

war of art

    The War of Art

    by Steven Pressfield

    The most important book I’ve ever read, and the book that has helped me most to build successful businesses, write a book and create an authentic and fulfilling career.  It has allowed me to break through my inner resistance and create my authentic life, and live my authentic self.  Critical if you are an entrepreneur, writer, artist, or any form of “creator”.

    Print | eBook | Audiobook


    Turning Pro

      Turning Pro

      by Steven Pressfield

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      The follow up to the War of Art.  In the War of Art Pressfield identifies the enemy to living an authentic life – resistance.  In Turning Pro, Pressfield teaches you how to defeat it.

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      Flow

        Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience

        by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

        What are the optimal experiences in our life?  The vacations?  Laying on the beach?  No.  World renowned psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his landmark book proves that optimal experience is actually the moments in our life when we are giving our very best in pursuit of self-directed meaningful goals.  Through this book learn how to channel flow, and your life will forever change.

        Print | eBook | Audiobook


        as a man thinketh

          As a Man Thinket

          by James Allen

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          Thoughts are things. We are what we repeatedly think about.  Learn to first create in your mind the life that you want, then manifest its reality through your hard work and actions.  A classic – short simple and powerful.

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          mastery

            Mastery

            by Robert Greene

            Mastery teaches you to take the long run, and seek a higher form of success, one that very few people every achieve – the level of mastery.  Learn from case studies of some of the worlds’s greatest masters and absorb practical advice on how you can apply it.

            Print | eBook | Audiobook


            alchemist

              The Alchemist

              by Paulo Coelho

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              An easy to read, highly descriptive, story that teaches a powerful metaphor – how to pursue your dreams.  Learn the obstacles that will arise, and learn how to channel your courage on the path of what you value most.

              Print | eBook | Audiobook


              awaken giant

                Awaken The Giant

                by Anthony Robbins

                Don’t let the TV infomercials fool you – this book has high quality strategies that are immediately applicable to get control of your emotional self.  When you can control the inner, then the outer follows.  Get leverage on yourself by reading this book and applying the strategies you learn.

                Print | eBook | Audiobook


                the game

                  The Game

                  by Neil Strauss

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                  A fascinating read – my advice – read it from a cultural psychology perspective.  You will see that there are certain patterns of behaviour and influence what work with people.  Learn how people think and what attracts them, and what repels them.  You will need to be a master of influence in order to achieve any dream that involves other people.

                  Print | eBook | Audiobook


                  way of superior

                    The Way Of The Superior Man

                    by David Deida

                    This book is more applicable for men, but worth reading by anyone. Get leverage over yourself.  This book helps you to understand various emotional challenges that many men experience and how to gain mastery over one of the most difficult opponents: yourself.

                    Print | eBook | Audiobook


                    7 habits

                      7 Habits Of Highly Effective People

                      by Stephen R. Covey

                      A practical masterpiece with easy to follow instructions and guides.  Useful for both businesses and individuals.  Learn to “put first things first” and “begin with the end in mind”.  This book is a classic in management and leadership literature, and should be mandatory reading for anyone who is in a position of influence.

                      Print | eBook | Audiobook


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                      Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                      What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                      What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                      When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                      Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                      It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                      While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                      Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                      What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                      How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                      It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                      People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                      “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                      In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                      Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                      As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                      When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                      It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                      What are Interpersonal Skills?

                      Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                      In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                      From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                      For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                      Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                      How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                      There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                      There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                      Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                      I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                      Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                      “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                      Don’t overlook introspection.

                      While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                      Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                      When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                      Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                      “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                      The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                      The Bottom Line

                      You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                      Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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