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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 May 21, 2019

                                          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                          How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                                          For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                                          If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                                          Example 1

                                          You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                                          You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                                          In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                                          Example 2

                                          You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                                          People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                                          You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                                          Example 3

                                          You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                                          The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                                          Example 4

                                          You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                                          Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                                          If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                                          Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                                          • Understand your own communication style
                                          • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                                          • Communicate with precision and care
                                          • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                                          1. Understand Your Communication Style

                                          To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                                          In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                                          Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                                          2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                                          Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                                          If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                                          “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                                          This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                                          To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                                          3. Exercise Precision and Care

                                          A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                                          On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                                          Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                                          I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                                          I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                                          In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                                          The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                                          Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                                          4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                                          Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                                          In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                                          “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                                          Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                                          Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                                          It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                                          It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                                          It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                                          Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                                          Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                                          I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                                          Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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