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9 Inspiring Books To Get You Back On Track When You’re Lost

9 Inspiring Books To Get You Back On Track When You’re Lost

There comes a point in all our lives when we are completely lost. No matter what we do or how hard we try, nothing seems to work. There is confusion everywhere and it seems like there is no way around it. This happens to all of us at some point, and it’s during these times that we need some outside intervention to shake us up and get us out of our state. If you are ever faced with such a situation, read any these nine evergreen self-help books to get yourself back on track.

1. The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau

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    “As a general rule, if you don’t know what to do at any given day, spend at least some of your time helping someone else.”

    In this book, the author challenges you to challenge the status quo and make your own decisions for life. He constantly emphasizes how dangerous it is to live the conventional life and urges you to build your own “army.” However, one thing Guillebeau has done exceptionally well is to pinpoint the two questions we should ask ourselves when we do anything: “Why should I do this?” And, “What will happen if I don’t?” Answering these will clarify many great responsibilities for you.

    2. High Expectations Are the Key to Everything, Michael Bergdahl

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      “If you are going to compete and you hope to win, always go into the competition expecting to win and the outcome can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

      If you are ever lost in life due to the high expectations of yourself and others, then this book has good news for you. The author says, “We are better people when we expect more of ourselves. And we help others become better when we expect more of them.” Think about it. The core idea of the book is to help you set higher expectations, dream big and make huge goals, because to reach to the top, you have to set high goals and expect more from yourself than anyone else.

      3. Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom

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        “The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it.”

        This book should be your top priority to find the answers to many questions in life. It has all the life lessons — from death, regret, and family, to emotions, fear, aging, money, love, marriage, culture, forgiveness, and many more. Morrie, the old professor with his great wisdom on life explains to Mitch, his lifelong student, about all life’s blissful and painful experiences when they meet every Tuesday.

        4. Warrior of the Light, Paulo Coelho

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          “Warriors of light often ask themselves what they are doing here. Often they find their lives meaningful.”

          You can’t go wrong if you consider this as the manual of your life. No matter which point of your life you may be stuck on, this book will clear all your doubts. Highly recommended for all the warriors of life.

          5. Who Will Cry When You Die, Robin Sharma

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            “Get up early. There is something very special about the first few hours of morning.”

            These wisdoms from “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” are the simple rules for reaching one’s true potential. These are the simple yet potent ideas for improving the quality of our life and how we can use simple daily rituals to stand apart from the crowd.

            6. The Magic, Rhonda Byrne

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              “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

              This is the book you need in times of absolute crisis. Often we forget to be grateful when everything is going to plan, but we are lost when everything goes wrong. And the main thing this author reminds us of is to be grateful for what we have. Those who are grateful for something will gain even more, but those who are not will find they lose even that they already have.

              7. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

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                “Start with the end in mind.”

                The above quote is just one of the seven habits described in the book but this habit alone is enough to take you from where you are to where you want to be. In life, at all stages, you’ll be lost, defeated and ridiculed. But when you have the end in mind, you will know that these stages are not permanent. These are just the tough times you have to pass in order to achieve the next milestone.

                8. Choose Yourself, James Altucher

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                  “Being honest at every level is really the most effective habit of all if you want to have massive success.”

                  Welcome to the “choose yourself era.” If you have ever stepped back because of fear of others or external validation, then this book will definitely help you take that first step forward before you even finish the final page. The author challenges authority at every stage and asks you to make your own path rather than depend on others for approval. He explains in great detail what it means to choose yourself: to not to keep waiting, fail fast, learn more, succeed like hell, break the rules and make it happen.

                  9. The Speed of Trust, Stephen R. Covey

                  The-Speed-of-Trust-Stephen-Covey

                    “Once you create trust — genuine character and competence based trust — almost everything else falls into place.”

                    Covey places emphasis here on one quality that makes all the difference: trust. He writes that when you go to work, your first responsibility should be to build trust. In everything you do, from relationships to the professional sphere, trust has its effect. And if you have ever stepped back, this might be one of the reasons. Working on building trust can really open many doors for you.

                    Featured photo credit: On the road via picjumbo.com

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                    Dhaval Gajera

                    Author and Speaker.

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                    Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                    I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                    I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                    Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                    How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                    Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                    Create a Positive Experience

                    Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                    When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                    What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                    Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                    As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                    Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                    Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                    Help Leadership Skills

                    It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                    Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                    As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                    Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                    If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                    Build Better Teams

                    Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                    In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                    If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                    When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                    Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                    How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                    There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                    Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                    1. Listen

                    Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                    Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                    People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                    Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                    Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                    2. Know Your Audience

                    Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                    Here is a good way to think about it:

                    Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                    You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                    3. Minimize

                    I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                    He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                    Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                    State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                    The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                    4. Over Communicate

                    So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                    What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                    Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                    Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                    Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                    There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                    5. Body Language

                    The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                    When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                    In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                    When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                    Conclusion

                    Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                    Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                    There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                    Now go communicate your way to success.

                    More Resources About Effective Communication

                    Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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