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15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

15 Best Autobiographies Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

An autobiography is a first hand experiences of the authors written by the authors, thus, making them interesting to the readers and enabling them to understand the “other,” unseen side of the authors.

Autobiographies are mainly written by famous persons. They teach us different stories, the authors’ struggles in life, the emotions they went through, making the autobiographers more human. Here are 15 of the best autobiographies in no qualitative order.

1. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

franklin

    Written from 1771 to 1790, this book contains the life history of one of America’s founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography will tell you how a lower-middle classed youth raised up into one of the most admired men in the world.

    It will also tell you how Mr. Franklin believed in the American Dream, and indicated the possibilities of life in the New World. He proved to the world that hard works paid off, and that undistinguished persons could become of great importance in America.

    Another reason why this is a classic is due to the historical factors. It reveals how life was in the 18th Century, the idealism, the intellectualism and optimistic beliefs are very well expressed. This autobiography contains four parts and is totally worth a read!

    Get the book here!

    2. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

    mandela

      Nelson Mandela’s autobiography contains every elements of knowledge you want to know about this legendary leader. Starting from his childhood, growing up in to a freedom fighter, to his twenty seven years in prison, and his significant role in molding up a new, democratic South Africa, this book has it all.

      It also contains in depth analysis of Mandela’s perception of the anti-apartheid struggle of the South Africans. In simple words, this book is Mandela’s long walk to freedom!

      Get the book here!

      3. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi

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      gandhi

        Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography is a frank and humble account that highlights the moral and spiritual side of an extraordinary leader. This book is firmly rooted in the historical background of the forty years he spent in India. It has every detail of Gandhi’s life, historical and political incidents, and his personal philosophy on life. It is a beautiful book, not to be missed at all!

        Get the book here!

        4. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

        annefrank

          This diary is very unlike your usual autobiography. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl, who, along with her family and few friends, went into hiding during World War II. This beautiful piece describes everything that a thirteen year old girl would experience: typical girlhood consciousness, friendships with other girls, her crushes on boys, and her academic performances.

          It also states how her life was while in hiding, her emotional roller coasters, her opinions on other people’s behavior, and her loneliness. Her diary ends shortly after her fifteenth birthday.

          Get the book here!

          5. Chronicles, Vol 1 by Bob Dylan

          dylan

            Bob Dylan needs no introduction. This is the first volume of his autobiography and it contains three chapters. Here he talks about his life in New York in 1961, his experiences while recording his first album and his devotion towards two of his lesser albums.

            This is something all the music lovers will enjoy, especially those who adore him. He is planning to write two more chronicles, thanks to the immense success of his volume one.

            Get the book here!

            6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

            maya

              This autobiography is the first of Maya’s seven autobiographies, but this has claimed fame for her. This book tells a wonderful, emotional journey of a struggling Black American, who went through bitter experiences in the course of her first seventeen years.

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              It starts from how her life changed after her parents’ divorce, how she was raped by her mother’s live-in boyfriend, how she overcame her trauma, and all the events that interlocked in between. This beautiful piece of literature teaches us the hardships of life and the extreme racism the Black Americans used to face at one time.

              Get the book here!

              7. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

              malcolm

                This particular book is a solid example of the underside of 20th Century American life. Malcolm X poured out the details of his life, from the poverty of his childhood, to his criminal teen, and then his emergence as a national figure and world leader.

                The readers are never allowed to forget that converting to Islam was the major turning point in Malcolm X’s life. This is considered a spiritual classic.

                Get the book here!

                8. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

                agatha

                  This autobiography can be considered as the unraveling of one of the best mysteries, Agatha Christie herself. She bespeaks of the delight of her happy childhood, her affectionate acquaintance with her mother, the tragic episodes that touched her, her mother’s death and her first husband’s adultery, marrying her second husband, and most importantly, about her works.

                  Get the book here!

                  9. Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

                  agassi

                    During the early 1990s and mid 2000s, this dashing man had dominated the tennis court by not only his charm and fashion, but also with his talent in the game. This former world number one wrote about his life account, confessing to controversies, his love life, and his “hate” for the game. This memoir is darkly funny and is regarded to be one of the National Best sellers of that time!

                    Get the book here!

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                    10. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

                    sking

                      This memoir is crafted exceptionally well and does not contain the slightest hint of horror in it (unlike King’s other books!). After reading this, you will have learned about King’s personal life, experiences, his struggles during pre-fame and post-fame, and what makes him such a popular horror novelist. The style contains good humor and good dexterity. Each part (there are three parts) is equally informative and enthralling.

                      Get the book here!

                      11. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

                      ernest

                        A Moveable Feast is a story of innocence lost. It tells the life events of the great American author and journalist, how he was shaped into becoming an author, his love interests, and his perspectives on things. Though the events are scattered, the book is still interesting in its own way.

                        Get the book here!

                        12. Autobiography of Mark Twain by Mark Twain

                        twain

                          In this first volume of Mark Twain’s memoirs, we see a colorful presentation of this great author’s long life. The book is a classic itself, and every element, like style, scope, imagination, laughter and tragedy, prove it all. It also manifests the different roles he had in life – a family man, an author, a son, a brother, and a friend.

                          Get the book here!

                          13. I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne

                          ozzy

                            The vocal of Black Sabbath may be not have a good reputation, but, at the end of the day, he is a human being too. And this is exactly what he tells us here. There are many things to learn from this man’s experiences. This is a book written in details and humor.

                            Get the book here!

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                            14. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

                            hitler

                              To understand Hitler, you must read this autobiography. If you start reading this book, you will be able to comprehend the “other side” of this tyrant and mass murderer. Mein Kampf is a German phrase meaning My Struggle. This book depicts his childhood, early aspirations, his conflict with his father, his rise to the politics, and his hatred of the Jews. The chronicles are poised frankly.

                              Get the book here!

                              15. Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama

                              obama

                                This is a rendition of the struggles, of the relationships between families, of the racisms faced, and of the love affair of the current most powerful man in the world. Obama’s writing style shows class and exclusiveness as he reflects on his personal experiences on the racial relationships in the USA.

                                The knowledge one acquires from reading one autobiography is more than that acquire from reading a few novels. The readers can blend into the characters and witness the history from first-hand experience. Besides, why wouldn’t you learn from successful people who have experienced all the ups and downs before they succeeded?

                                Get the book here!

                                I believe that people who love reading MUST have one at least one of these books in their collection. And if you’re looking for more books to help you improve and get closer to success, these are must-reads:

                                35 Books on Productivity and Organizational Skills for an Effective Life

                                Top 25 Books to Unleash Your Creative Potential

                                15 Best Leadership Books Every Young Leader Needs To Read

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

                                Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

                                You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

                                This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

                                What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

                                According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

                                Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

                                There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

                                How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

                                When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

                                Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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                                1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

                                One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

                                The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

                                Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

                                2. Be Honest

                                A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

                                If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

                                On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

                                Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

                                3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

                                Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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                                If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

                                4. Succeed at Something

                                When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

                                Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

                                5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

                                Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

                                Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

                                If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

                                If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

                                Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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                                6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

                                Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

                                You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

                                On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

                                You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

                                7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

                                Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

                                Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

                                Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

                                When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

                                Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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                                In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

                                Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

                                It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

                                Final Thoughts

                                When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

                                The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

                                Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

                                Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

                                Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

                                More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

                                Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

                                Reference

                                [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
                                [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
                                [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
                                [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
                                [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
                                [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
                                [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
                                [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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