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20 Brilliant Self-Help Books You Need To Read

20 Brilliant Self-Help Books You Need To Read

Self-help books can be the key that opens your whole world up to new possibilities. These books can teach us a new skill or open our mind.

Feel like you don’t have time for these types of books? Set a goal to read one a month, or join a book club that focuses on reading and discussing self-help books. Or better yet, start your own book club and choose from this list to get started.

Listening to audiobooks is a great way to quickly and easily get through books you don’t think you have time to read. Listen during your daily commute or while out for a walk.

1. Mindset by Carol Dweck

Mindset by Carol Dweck

    Carol Dweck, the author of mindset, will open your eyes to new possibilities. Do you believe you were born with a certain talent or level of intelligence? Carol’s research shows that a shift in mindset from fixed to growth can open us up to a whole new world of opportunities. Do you recall when it was believed a human couldn’t run faster than a 4-minute mile? This was a fixed mindset. A lot of people held this belief. But at least one person did not, and they were able to break through that 4-minute barrier. Once it was done, many runners were able to beat the 4-minute mile. Why? Because they now believed it was possible. They had changed to a growth mindset. In this book, Carol shows leads us through the differences of a growth vs. fixed mindset. Her research is backed by many fascinating studies, which show how sports figures, kids, and more are impacted by their mindset. Open up the door when you read this book, and start changing your fixed mindsets to growth.

    2. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

    The 5 Love Languages

      Understanding The 5 Love Languages that Gary Chapman outlines will significantly aid you in your relationships. Do you sometimes feel that no matter what gift you get for your Mom or husband it is never the right one? Once you understand what their love language, is you can easily choose gifts that make them happy. Most likely, your spouse perceives love in a different way than you do. Yet we tend to show our love in the way we want to receive it. This means we rarely make our spouses feel as loved as they would like. This is because we don’t know their love language. Once you know the love language or your spouse or any other person, it is easier to appreciate them in a way that they can perceive and accept. The 5 Love Languages will explain to you what they are, and how to better appreciate others. You can also go to his website to take a quick quiz to learn your own love language. I highly recommend doing this!

      3. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

      Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

        Lean In is a great book for women in the workforce. It’s a good book for men to read as well, especially those who work for, with and under women so…everyone basically. While you may not agree with everything the author says (I certainly don’t), there is a lot to learn here.

        I think Sheryl Sandberg does a good job getting women to rethink how they approach their career, especially in the years leading up to starting a family.

        She also illustrates the importance of leading with how you can help colleagues before asking them to do something for you. This is great advice, and results in better working relationships for everyone.

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         4. Wisdom Of The Ages by Wayne Dyer

         

        Wisdom Of The Ages

          Wayne Dyer explores writings, poems and sayings of some of our greatest thinkers in Wisdom of The Ages. He helps us see how we can apply these enlightened thoughts to our own lives.

          Often, ancient wisdom is as relevant today as it was back when it was first conceived. Dyer helps us find practical applications for these wise thoughts.

          5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

          The Happiness Project

            In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin sets out to determine if you can become happier through deliberate intent. She creates a plan and tackles different aspects of her life each month.

            What I think is great about this book is the way she approaches her theory. She lays out her journey as it happens, and you get to discover, along with her, that making a deliberate effort can bring more happiness and positive changes about in your life.

            6. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

            Start With Why

              Start With Why is geared toward leaders and companies, and shows the value of passion of purpose in your day-to-day life. This book and Sinek’s TED talk are worthwhile for all people wanting a full, passion-filled life.

              7. The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris

              The 4 Hour Work Week
                The 4-Hour Work Week

                is a brilliant self-help book because it will make you think differently about your work. The concepts Timothy Ferriss outlines will be new to many who work a regular 9-5 job.

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                8. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

                Rich Dad Poor Dad

                  Most educational programs lack a solid financial foundation. In Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, he outlines how he received his financial education from his best friend’s father. This is an easy to read book that just might make you think a bit differently about what it takes to build wealth.

                  9. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                  How To Win Friends & Influence People

                    How To Win Friends & Influence People is the classic self-help book that everyone should read. This book will help you in learning to relate to and deal with others. The book focuses primarily on influence for business purposes. However, there are lessons to be learned and used in your personal life as well.

                    10. Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins

                    Awaken The Giant Within

                      Awaken The Giant Within has been a popular read (and re-read) of many since it’s publication 22 years ago. So many self-help books don’t stand the test of time, but this one does. Read to learn how to take better control over your life and reach your dreams.

                      11. You Can Heal Your Life by Louse Hay

                      You Can Heal Your Life

                        So often we think we are the victim of illness, disease and whatever health conditions we face. Louise Hay teaches us that we can heal our lives by changing our thoughts and doing the mental work we need.

                        Louise underwent some terrible circumstances in her life, and shares these and how she was able to turn her thoughts and her illnesses around. If you want to improve your health, this is a great read to open your mind to the possibilities of how our thinking (often as related to our past) is affecting us, and may be contributing or causing the health concerns we face.

                        What do you have to lose? Turning your thoughts around will not only make you happier, it can heal your life.

                        12. Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani

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                        Dying To Be Me

                          Dying To Be Me is one woman’s story of an amazing experience she had while doctor’s predicted she had only a day to live. The story is miraculous, but the message she received and relates to us is even more profound.

                          Anita Moorjani fully recovered from cancer. There are testaments by specialists that she should not have lived, but she returned and has a message to share. I’ve seen this woman speak live and listened to this book. Both were profound experiences, and I hope you get as much from her insight as I have.

                          13. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D.

                          Who Moved My Cheese

                            Change happens to all of us, and it seems to happen faster now than ever before. This short book helps you find the tools to better deal with change. A must-read for today’s busy world.

                            14. QBQ! The Question Behind The Question by John G. Miller

                            QBQ! The Question Behind The Question

                              QBQ helps us get past the complaining and blame game. Asking The Question Behind The Question, we can more quickly resolve a situation. This book is short and simple, but will change the way you approach an issue.

                              15. Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How To Say No To Take Control Of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

                              Boundaries

                                Many of us struggle with boundaries in some aspect of our life. It could be we can’t say no to our kids, spouse, friends, boss, or even yourself. This book helps you understand that it is OK – and even good – to have boundaries in your life.

                                This book is Christian-based, but it is still a good read for everyone. So many struggle with being burnt out by the abundance of expectations and commitments that surround their everyday life. Learning to set set boundaries can make you happier and avoid burnout.

                                16. The Secret by Rhonda Dyrne

                                The Secret

                                  The Secret will help give you the mental makeover you need to create the life you desire.

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                                  17. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdani, Ph.D.

                                  Influence
                                    Influence

                                    takes a scientific look at persuasion. This is a brilliant self-help book that allows you to understand how you are being influenced every day by others. You can also learn how to use this information to influence others yourself. You might just finally understand how to get that raise you’ve been wanting.

                                    18. The Definitive Book Of Body Language by Barbara Pease and Allan Pease

                                    The Definitive Book of Body Language

                                       

                                      Much of our language is silent; it happens through our bodies. Often we don’t even realize what we are communicating or know how to interpret the signals we are getting from others. The Definitive Book of Body Language will open your mind to a whole new world of communication that is happening right before your eyes.

                                      19. The War of Art: Break Through The Blocks and Wind Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

                                      The War of Art

                                        The War Of Art teaches us how to beat back the inner critic that is keeping us from unleashing our creativity.

                                        20. Lead With Your Heart: Creating A Life of Love, Compassion and Purpose by Regina Cates

                                        Lead With Your Heart

                                          Success can be meaningless if you’ve lost your purpose. In Lead With Your Heart, Regina Cates helps us reconnect and build and successful and meaningful life.

                                          Did I miss your favorite self-help book in this list? If so, please let me know what your favorite is in the comments below.

                                          Featured photo credit: Julien Sanine via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on August 6, 2020

                                          6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                                          6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

                                          We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

                                          “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

                                          Are we speaking the same language?

                                          My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

                                          When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

                                          Am I being lazy?

                                          When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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                                          Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

                                          Early in the relationship:

                                          “Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

                                          When the relationship is established:

                                          “Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

                                          It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

                                          Have I actually got anything to say?

                                          When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

                                          A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

                                          When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

                                          Am I painting an accurate picture?

                                          One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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                                          How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

                                          Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

                                          What words am I using?

                                          It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

                                          Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

                                          Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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                                          Is the map really the territory?

                                          Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

                                          A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

                                          I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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