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7 Scientific Self-Help Books That Will Transform Your Life

7 Scientific Self-Help Books That Will Transform Your Life

I’m one of those weirdos that prefers reading non-fiction books over fiction books any day of the week — especially when it comes to books about leadership, success and self-help. It’s just my thing. My library is filled with books on how to build and sustain the habits necessary to live the happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest way of life I’m capable of living. And I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that reading these self-help books over the years has definitely transformed my life for the better… But you know what? Every now and then, I’d find myself in the middle of reading one of these books only to realize that it’s filled with nothing more than a bunch of pseudo-science mumbo jumbo disguised as the truth.

And quite frankly, I found this incredibly disturbing. Which is why I decided to put together this list of the 7 scientific self-help books that you can use to transform your life without worrying about whether what you’re reading is fact or fiction. Every book on this list contains information that is researched extensively and exhaustively beyond that of most every other book in the self-help genre. So, are you ready? Let’s dive in.

#1. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

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psycho-cybernetics

    The original scientific self-help book, written by a plastic surgeon who decided that he wanted to go deeper than aesthetics — he wanted to change people’s lives from the inside-out. Pick this one up for a primer on self-image psychology. Buy the book here.

    #2. Waking Up by Sam Harris

    samharris_wakingup

      If you’re curious about spirituality, but prefer not to attach your identity to any specific set of religious beliefs, then the scientific approach to spirituality set forth by neuroscientist Sam Harris in Waking Up could be just what you’ve been looking for. Buy the book here.

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      #3. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

      the-power-of-full-engagement

        The big idea behind this book is that our approach to stress management is all wrong — it’s not about managing our time — it’s about managing our energy. Once we can do that, we can begin finding the balance we seek both at work and at home. Buy the book here.

        #4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

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        The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

          No list self-improvement books of any kind is complete without The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. If you had to choose just one single book to dramatically shift your personal development, this is the one you need to go with. Period. Buy the book here.

          #5. The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

          The One Thing Cover

            The ONE Thing is a book for anyone who needs crystal clear clarity on how to set and get goals. This book tells us that simplicity is the real secret to success, and it’s got the science to back it up. Buy the book here.

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            #6. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

            flow-cover

              This is a book about the science and psychology of “optimal experience” (translation: how to live the happiest, most enjoyable and fulfilling life possible). If you’re interested in learning about how it feels to use your greatest gifts, skills, and passions in a way that only YOU are capable of using them — then read this book.

              #7. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

              the-power-of-habit-book-summary

                In The Power of Habit, you’ll learn the in’s and out’s of habit-formation. In the book, author Charles Duhigg has sifted through the science and busted many commonly-held myths about habit-formation so that all you’re left with are actionable frameworks that you can put to use immediately to help you build lasting habits, and break bad ones. Buy the book here.

                Which book will you read first?

                Now that you’ve got this list of 7 scientific self-help books — there’s only one question left… Which one do you read first? Should you go out and get all of them immediately? Should you read them all at once? So many options. So little time. Ultimately, it’s totally your decision what you do with this list and how you apply it to your life and career. But if I may, here’s what I would suggest you consider as you get started:

                • Subscribe to a book summary site, like FlashNotes Book Summaries to get the key-takeaways from the books on this list.
                • If you’d prefer to read an entire book, I would highly suggest that you read just ONE book at a time. Sometimes, when we see something new and exciting, we have tendency to want to do/learn/read it all at once… and as we all know, this is nearly impossible to do without stressing ourselves out. So, choose a book. And then commit to reading it from start to finish.
                • If you’re in a rush, try Audio books, or Audible Book Summaries.
                • Finally, if you’re in a super rush, checkout some YouTube video book summaries, like this one.

                More by this author

                Dean Bokhari

                Author, Entrepreneur, Podcast & TV Host

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                Last Updated on July 27, 2020

                7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

                7 Ways to Make Life Changing Decisions

                Most people don’t know the profound effects of making life decisions. Often times, we go through life oblivious to what thoughts we are thinking and what actions we are taking. Every single decision we make in our days shapes our current reality. It shapes who we are as a person because we habitually follow through with the decisions we make without even realizing it.

                If you’re unhappy with the results in your life right now, making the effort to changing your decisions starting today will be the key to creating the person you want to be and the life you want to have in the future.

                Let’s talk about the 7 ways you can go about making life changing decisions.

                1. Realize the Power of Decision Making

                Before you start making a decision, you have to understand what a decision does.

                Any decision that you make causes a chain of events to happen. When you decide to pick up a cigarette to smoke it, that decision might result in you picking up another one later on to get that same high feeling. After a day, you may have gone through a pack without knowing it. But if you decide not to smoke that first cigarette and make a decision every five minutes to focus your attention somewhere else when you get that craving, after doing this for a week, your cravings will eventually subside and you will become smoke-free.

                But it comes down to making that very first decision of deciding whether or not to pick up that cigarette.

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                2. Go with Your Gut

                Often times, we take too much time to make a decision because we’re afraid of what’s going to happen. As a result of this, we go through things like careful planning, deep analysis, and pros and cons before deciding. This is a very time consuming process.

                Instead, learn to trust your gut instinct. For the most part, your first instinct is usually the one that is correct or the one that you truly wanted to go with.

                Even if you end up making a mistake, going with your gut still makes you a more confident decision maker compared to someone who takes all day to decide.

                3. Carry Your Decision Out

                When you make a decision, act on it. Commit to making a real decision.

                What’s a real decision? It’s when you decide on something, and that decision is carried out through action. It’s pointless to make a decision and have it played out in your head, but not doing anything about it. That’s the same as not making a decision at all.

                If you want to make real changes in life, you have to make it a habit to apply action with your decision until it’s completed. By going through this so many times, you will feel more confident with accomplishing the next decision that you have in mind.

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                4. Tell Others About Your Decisions

                There’s something about telling other people what we’re going to do that makes us follow through.

                For example, for the longest time, I’ve been trying to become an early riser. Whenever I tried to use my own willpower, waking up early without falling back asleep felt impossible. So what I did was I went to a forum and made the decision to tell people that I would wake up at 6 AM and stay up. Within two days, I was able to accomplish doing this because I felt a moral obligation to follow through with my words even though I failed the first time.

                Did people care? Probably not, but just the fact that there might be someone else out there seeing if you’re telling the truth will give you enough motivation to following through with your decision.

                5. Learn from Your Past Decisions

                Even after I failed to follow through my decision the first time when I told people I was going to wake up early and stay up, I didn’t give up. I basically asked myself, “What can I do this time to make it work tomorrow?”

                The truth is, you are going to mess up at times when it comes to making decisions. Instead of beating yourself up over it, learn something from it.

                Ask yourself, what was good about the decision I made? What was bad about it? What can I learn from it so I can make a better decision next time?

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                Remember, don’t put so much emphasis focusing on short term effects; instead focus on the long term effects.

                6. Maintain a Flexible Approach

                I know this might sound counter-intuitive, but making a decision doesn’t mean that you can’t be open to other options.

                For example, let’s say you made the decision to lose ten pounds by next month through cardio. If something comes up, you don’t have to just do cardio. You can be open to losing weight through different methods of dieting as long as it helps you reach your goal in the end.

                Don’t be stubborn to seek out only one way of making a decision. Embrace any new knowledge that brings you closer to accomplishing your initial decision.

                7. Have Fun Making Decisions

                Finally, enjoy the process. I know decision-making might not be the most fun thing world to do, but when you do it often, it becomes a game of opportunity.

                You’ll learn a lot about yourself on the way, you’ll feel and become a lot more confident when you’re with yourself and around others, and making decisions will just become a lot easier after you do it so often that you won’t even think about it.

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                Anything you decide to do from this point on can have a profound effect later on. Opportunities are always waiting for you. Examine the decisions that you currently have in the day.

                Are there any that can be changed to improve your life in some way? Are there any decisions that you can make today that can create a better tomorrow?

                Final Thoughts

                Some decisions in life are harder to make, but with these 7 pieces of advice, you can trust yourself more even when you’re making some of the most important decisions.

                Making a decision is the only way to move forward. So remember, any decision is better than none at all.

                More Tips for Making Better Decisions

                Featured photo credit: Justin Luebke via unsplash.com

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