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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

      Tuesdays_with_Morrie_book_cover

        “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

              The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

                “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 January 15, 2021

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                    Posture

                    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                    Facial Expressions

                    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                    2. Relax Your Face

                    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                    3. Smile More

                    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                    4. Hand Gestures

                    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                    5. Enhance Your Handshake

                    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                    Final Takeaways

                    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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