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45 Essential Dog Care Hacks That Will Make Their Owner’s Life Easier

45 Essential Dog Care Hacks That Will Make Their Owner’s Life Easier

Pet parents know that their pup is worth every hair tumbleweed and chewed shoe that they must deal with to have the precious pooch in their lives. However, who wouldn’t want an even smoother interaction with man’s best friend? Below are 45 dog-care hacks to prove once and for all that owning a dog in this era of genius ideas and gadgets has never been easier.

1. Dog Crates to Improve Pet and People Sanity

Crates, when used correctly, can be an extremely important tool. They can help you with potty training, keeping your pup from chewing power cords and other dangerous things when you can’t watch them, and can give your dog a safe place to go to take a break from too much activity. Teach your young children to leave the dog alone if he retreats to his crate. Crates are also great to take with you to give your dog a point of reference if you travel, as they will feel safer in a car, plane, or hotel room if they already see the crate as their familiar den. It’s easy to train a dog to love his crate; especially if you feed him in it. Make it comfortable with soft bedding and keep it open in a quiet area of the house, so the dog can utilize it when needed.

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    Image Credit: Petco

    2. DIY Pet Treats and Pill Pockets

    There are plenty of DIY dog treat recipes out there for those who like to show their pooch a little lovin from the oven! But, if you have a pet that needs daily medication, and you don’t want to spend money on store-bought pill pockets, you can make your own with this simple pill-pocket recipe. Depending on the size of your pill, you can also use frozen blackberries or blueberries if you want to give your pet another healthy anti-oxidant-rich alternative. Just run the berry under water to thaw, and push the pill in! Remember, not all berries are good for your dog to eat!

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      Image Credit: Muttnut

      3. Smart Pet Doors Let in Only Furry Family

      Do you ever feel like a doorman for your pet? Have you thought about a pet door, but are worried that a ravaging racoon may wander in at night? Then get a pet door that only unlocks for your fur kid. These wondrous passageways are only unlocked by a signal from your pet’s collar. This way, your pooch has full access to your house and yard, and you have peace of mind knowing that no masked bandits are entering your home.

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        Image Credit: PetSafe

        4. Use a Dremel for a Puppy Pedi

        Trimming back your four-legged friend’s nails is an essential part of dog care. Some dogs hate the feeling of regular nail clippers, as they can put pressure on the nail quick and cause discomfort. With a bit of patience, you can train many dogs to accept a Dremel. The Dremel bit does not put pressure on the nail quick like regular dog clippers. Many dogs, once trained to accept the sound and feel of the Dremel, prefer it to regular clippers. Just remember to trim back longer hair that is around the paws so that it doesn’t get caught in the tool. Also, use the sanding drum and constantly put your finger on it to check it when it’s not moving to make sure it’s not building up too much heat, like in this instructional video. This toe tool can then help you create a spa day with your best friend, and easily sand your dog’s nails down for the perfect pedi.

        Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 7.39.21 PM
          Image Credit: Dog Grooming Tips Revealed

          5. Chicken and Rice Works Wonders for the Upset Puppy Tummy

          Vets have recommended it for years. If your dog suffers from digestive troubles, and you’ve cleared him of the more serious health issues with your vet, you can help soothe his tummy with a base chicken and rice home-cooked meal.

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            6. DIY Pet Beds From Old Furniture

            Ever wondered what to do with that old T.V. cabinet or vintage dresser? Well, wonder no more! Make it a trendy pad for your pooch with these great ideas!

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              Image Credit: Hometalk

              7. Does Your Dog Wolf Down His Food?

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                Image Credit: LifeTricks

                8. Put an Extra Collar Around Your Leash Handle to Make It Hands-Free

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                  Image Credit: Imgur

                  9. Bitter Apple for Problem Chewers

                  If your dog is chewing you out of house and home, Bitter Apple is a safe alternative to deter your pet from taking that next bite. It tastes pretty potent to dogs, but it’s also perfectly safe for them to ingest – unlike your power cord.

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                    Image Credit: Petco

                    10. Pet Evac Kit for Emergencies

                    No one wants to think about disasters, but it’s always good to have a plan in case they happen. It could save your dog’s life!

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                      Image Credit: ASPCA

                      11. DIY Pet Shampoo

                      You can save money by making your own shampoo from common household items like Dawn, baking soda, and vinegar. Get the recipe here.

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                        12. Baking Soda and Vinegar Remove Urine Smell

                        Soak up the urine with a paper towel, spray the stain with a mixture of half vinegar and half baking soda solution, and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, absorb the excess moisture with a paper towel, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, and let it dry. Just keep pets away, as baking soda is toxic to dogs. Once dry, vacuum it up. Remember, dogs will eliminate where they smell their previous markings, so it’s very important to deodorize as well as clean to prevent repeat accidents.

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                          Image Credit: Vetwest

                          13. Know Dog CPR

                          Knowing dog CPR could save your pet’s life. Keep instructions in an easily-accessible place, in case you need to access them quickly.

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                            Image Credit: Imgur

                            14. Re-purpose Old Clothes into Pet Clothes

                            You can use sweater sleeves, socks, and tee shirts to create adorable outfits and trendy clothes for Fido.

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                              Image Credit: Romp Rescue

                              15. Crib Mattress with Fitted Sheets for Pet Bed

                              Unlike regular pet beds, you can easily wash the sheets!

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                                Image Credit: Most Amazing Photography

                                16. Did Your Sunglasses Break? Make DIY Sunglasses For Fido

                                Bright sun can be tough on doggie eyes too! Make some trendy DIY pet shades here.

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                                  Image Credit: Dollar Store Crafts

                                  17. DIY Refill Water Bowl

                                  Tired of filling up your dog’s bowl? Make this cute contraption to make sure your pup stays hydrated.

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                                    Image Credit: Instructables

                                    18. Freeze Attachable Water Bowls in Crate When Traveling So Your Pet Won’t Spill

                                    If you fly with your dog in a crate under the plane, make sure to fill the attachable water bowl with water and put it in the freezer the night before your flight. Take it out right before you leave. The water will slowly melt, and not spill in transit. This way, the water won’t splash out during the hassle of getting on the plane and wet their bedding. Your pet will also have plenty to drink on the long flight, and the ice will keep them cooler in case the temperature is a bit warm on your travel day.

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                                      Image Credit: Petco

                                      19. Keep pet paws clean

                                      Easily wash dogs paws when coming in with the Paw Wash. You can also keep baby wipes handy to make sure your pet doesn’t track in dirt from the great outdoors.

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                                        Image Credit: The Paw Wash

                                        20) Stop Houdini Hounds

                                        If your dog is small enough to squeeze through your gate, buy this ingenious little harness. Your dog can move freely, but will be slightly less squeezable when it comes to fences. Make sure your harness still lets your pet come in through your pet door.

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                                          Image Credit: Hammacher Schlemmer

                                          21. Have a Fail-Safe Word That Brings Your Dog Back Every Time

                                          Does your dog run come barreling to you at the word “cookie?” If you haven’t trained your dog to come to you, and you should for their safety, make sure you at least have a word that they recognize, like “treat,” that you can use if they get loose.

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                                            22. If You Don’t Have a Recall Word, Try Drama

                                            If your dog gets loose, and they haven’t learned a word that brings them back to you, they may still respond to some clever acting. Whatever you do, don’t chase after them. They are probably faster than you. However, if you fall down and pretend to be hurt, they may run back to check on you. You can also run away from them calling happily in an excited voice. Dogs naturally chase things that run away from them. Then, when they “catch you,” you’ve actually caught them.

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                                              23. Cargo Pants Convert to Dog Cooling Vest

                                              Does your dog get hot easily? You can create this cute cooling vest by cutting up old cargo pants.

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                                                Image Credit: Instructables

                                                24. For Puppy-Kissable Breath

                                                If you dog suffers from bad breath, but doesn’t enjoy the tooth-brushing experience, you can put dog toothpaste on a lint brush and have your dog lick it off. Much of the bacteria that causes that foul smell is on the tongue. Another trick is to add parsley to their food. It’s full of good vitamins and naturally eliminates stinky breath.

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                                                  Image Credit: Leopold’s Crate

                                                  25. Everyone Loves Pool Time

                                                  You can create hours of entertainment for your pet, and also help them stay cool by buying a kiddy plastic pool. Just fill it with water and enjoy your puppy playtime show.

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                                                    Image Credit: Pinterest

                                                    26. Turmeric Can Help with Pain And Other Ailments

                                                    Turmeric has shown, in recent studies, to help fight cancer, detoxify the body, reduce anti-inflammatory issues, and lower or even eliminate pain. All of the benefits seen in humans are also found to be true in our four-legged furry friends. However, Turmeric also is a blood thinner, and may react with medications. So always check with your vet before adding it to your pet’s diet. You can normally feed 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.

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                                                      Image Credit: Munch Zone

                                                      27. Vaseline on Paws Protect Puppy Pads From Snow

                                                      Snow can scrape up sensitive paws. A little Vaseline on your pup’s pads before a snowball fight goes a long way to making sure the game stays fun for everyone.

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                                                        Image Credit: Sarah Hansen

                                                        28. The Vacuum Isn’t the Enemy

                                                        Many dogs hate the vacuum, but with a bit of positive training, you can teach your dog that the vacuum only brings good things – like praise and treats. Then, you can use grooming tools like the Dyson Grooming Tool or other vacuum attachments to suck up your dog’s dander and hair before it ever hits the floor.

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                                                          Image Credit: K9 Magazine

                                                          29. DIY Frozen Dog Toys

                                                          Is your pet the coolest kid on the block? To help him keep him in that status, freeze some of his toys and treats in water or chicken broth, and watch him go to town. He will be occupied for hours getting to all of the hidden treasures, and will be too busy to get into other mischief.

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                                                            Image Credit: Pinterest

                                                            30. Use a Dryer Sheet to Calm a Dog During a Storm

                                                            Many times, it’s the electric charge in the air and not the actual storm that upsets dogs during bad weather. Some dogs just don’t like the noise, but if your dog just hates the electricity in the air, take a dryer sheet and rub it over him to make him feel better.

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                                                              Image Credit: Mashable

                                                              31. Remove Pet Hair with a Wet Rubber Glove

                                                              If you don’t have access to a lint roller, take a wet rubber glove and rub your hand over furry furniture. You can easily pick up the hair.

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                                                                Image Credit: Super Cool Pets

                                                                32. Soften Dry Kibble in Warm Water

                                                                If you have a finicky eater or an older dog, add warm water or chicken broth, and let the kibble soften for about 15 minutes. You may notice a renewed interest in their appetite. This also helps your dog stay hydrated.

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                                                                  Image Credit: Happy Bark Days

                                                                  33. Know Your Dog’s Body Language

                                                                  Dog’s can’t talk like humans. If you know how to read their body language, they can communicate very effectively to you how they are feeling. Many dog bites happen from humans not tuning into the signals the dog is screaming through their body posture. Most dogs bite when that’s the only recourse left to get their point across.

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                                                                    Image Credit: Pet Lovers

                                                                    34. Use Classical Music to Calm

                                                                    You may enjoy relaxing to a good Bach concerto, but did you know that studies also show that classical music soothes your pet too?

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                                                                      Image Credit: Amazon

                                                                      35. Tire Out Your Energizer Bunny

                                                                      If you have a high-energy dog, have them wear a vest and carry water, waste bags, and other supplies on walks. It gives them a job to do that challenges them mentally and physically, you don’t have to carry anything, and you also don’t have to run a marathon with them to tire them out.

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                                                                        Image Credit: CesarsWay

                                                                        36. Beat the Street Heat

                                                                        Remember, if you can’t walk barefoot on the pavement without it burning, then neither should your dog. Always walk them early in the morning or later in the evening if they have to walk on pavement to prevent burned paws.

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                                                                          Image Credit: Adopt a Pet

                                                                          37. For Cleaning Those Puppy Pearly Whites

                                                                          Some dogs don’t tolerate people brushing their teeth. If your pup is a bit reluctant to do his dental diligence, squeeze some doggie toothpaste onto a Nylabone or rope toy. They can happily chew on it, while unknowingly brushing their teeth.

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                                                                            Image Credit: Hammock’s House of Hounds

                                                                            38. DIY Pet Paw Ornaments

                                                                            These cute ornaments will give you a lasting memory of your pet, and let them contribute to the Christmas decorations. Learn how to make them here!

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                                                                              Image Credit: Sew Doggy Style

                                                                              39. Lost Dog Tip

                                                                              First, you should exhaust all other options to find your dog, such as putting up posters, posting adds online and in the paper, checking animals shelters, and personally searching. However, if you have some idea where your dog was last seen, leave something that smells like you, such as a used article of clothing, with some food and water.  Leave a note asking people not to take the items. Leave your phone number on the note so that people can call you if they see your dog staying in that spot. Then, keep checking that location. If your dog is still nearby, he will be drawn to your scent, as well as the food and water.

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                                                                                Image Credit: Three Village Veterinary Hospital

                                                                                40. Microchip and Register your Pet

                                                                                A registered microchip on your dog could save his life if he ends up in a high-kill animal shelter. Keep your records current with the microchip company and your vet.  There are so many stories of families who would have never been reunited with their pets, except for their decision to microchip.

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                                                                                  Image Credit: High Desert Animal Hospital

                                                                                  41. Pet Credit Card for Emergencies

                                                                                  If you choose not to carry Pet Insurance, having a pet credit card like Care Credit will allow you to make payments interest free for a year on big veterinary expenses.

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                                                                                    Image Credit: Credit Cards

                                                                                    42. Car Insurance That Covers Your Entire Family

                                                                                    Some car insurance companies, such as Progressive, offer to pay medical bills for your pet in the event of an accident.

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                                                                                      Image Credit: Aol Autos

                                                                                      43. Travel in Style

                                                                                      You don’t have to leave your pet with a sitter. Utilize free travel sites that show what hotels welcome your furry family. For example, the hotel chain La Quinta doesn’t charge a pet fee for your dog to join you in your room.

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                                                                                        Image Credit: Goodnight Lucky

                                                                                        44. Keep Your Dog Trim and Get More Time!

                                                                                        Feeding dogs extra treats may make them extra happy, but it shortens their life if they become obese. In fact, dogs at a healthy weight lived almost two years longer in a recent study. That’s a big number to a dog! Keeping your pet lean can also help them live a more active lifestyle by reducing their risk for joint problems and diabetes.

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                                                                                          Image Credit: Examiner

                                                                                          45) Never, Ever Leave Pets in Your Hot Car

                                                                                          The temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes according to a recent study! Cracking your windows makes little difference in the power of the sun to turn your car into a death oven. Take your pets with you or leave them at home, but don’t lock them in your car!

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                                                                                            Image Credit: Abcoics

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                                                                                            Sarah Hansen

                                                                                            A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                                                                                            Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                                                                                            25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                                                            25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are

                                                                                            I remember the first time I got my hands on a self-improvement book. I was baffled. At that moment, I realized my fate was not set in stone. I could become my own drill master and coach. The books I read would set out the training course for me to overcome. All I had to do was listen to that voice that aspired to climb higher and higher.

                                                                                            Every time I committed to a new challenge, I knew it was going to be outside of my comfort zone. But after enough iterations, I also knew it will not just be part of my repertoire, it will be part of me.

                                                                                            Not all self-improvement books are made equal. Some help start you out on your journey, others give you a boost when you’ve achieved experience in certain areas.

                                                                                            Here are the best ones that I recommend to read no matter how old you are:

                                                                                            1. Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck? And Other Provocations

                                                                                            by Seth Godin

                                                                                              This book is a masterpiece, and unlike most self-improvement books, this one targets an infinite array of areas in which you can, and ultimately must, improve.

                                                                                              With its ruthless honesty and genuine inspiration, Godin makes you ponder the difficult questions you wouldn’t ever dare to ask yourself. The result is a completely new perspective of the world- a fresher, more vibrant perspective, packed with new and bold possibilities.

                                                                                              If you need a friend who understands you, a boss that forces you to venture deep in your non-comfort zone, a wise guru that tells you what needs to be left behind and a sage that proclaims the coming of a new age, then look no further; you will find these shrewd voices all tied together in this magnificent book. Make sure to get this one.

                                                                                              Print | eBook

                                                                                              2. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

                                                                                              by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

                                                                                                Perhaps it is the fact that randomness played such a significant role in my years as a poker player that I find this book utterly important.

                                                                                                We often attribute skill where there is only luck; we confuse correlation with causation and we underestimate the incredible effect small changes can have.

                                                                                                This book gave me a perspective that I unfortunately rarely encounter in others: you can do everything right and still lose, or do everything wrong and still win. It is thus not about the outcome; it is about your actions that have lead you there.

                                                                                                This important message is central to many of my decisions I make in my life. This book by Taleb helps you develop such a perspective so you will be able to live in a world one cannot fully understand, where the results are not always clear markers of performance and where chance seems to play games with our fates. Stop being fooled by randomness!

                                                                                                Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                3. The 48 Laws of Power

                                                                                                by Robert Greene

                                                                                                  I read this book in a time where I thought power was something I should attain. Power for power’s sake. And while I disagree with my former self on this point, the fact remains that power is very real, it forms the invisible scepter of all hierarchical relations around us.

                                                                                                  I still recommend this book. I believe it is important to know how people use power for their own benefit and what to do to protect yourself from certain abuses of power.

                                                                                                  Besides the fact that all stories in this book gravitate around power. It contains many life lessons, amazing historical anecdotes. If read in a certain light, the ability to use power for good.

                                                                                                  From Caesar to Goethe, Sun-Tzu to Machiavelli, this eye opening book spans a wide range of human development. If you, like me, would rather be interested in something less egotistical, perhaps Greene’s latest book Mastery will suffice (I haven’t read that one myself).

                                                                                                  Another great book in the same style, but this time around; covering a wider scope, and perhaps, something that will make the world make a better place.

                                                                                                  Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                  4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

                                                                                                  by Stephen. R. Covey

                                                                                                    The title of this book doesn’t capture it all. Covey shares with us seven habits one should adapt to become truly effective in whatever you would like to achieve.

                                                                                                    Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. He stresses the fact that we need to go through a paradigm shift – a fundamental change in how we perceive the world and ourselves.

                                                                                                    This book can be read as a guide, with practices and everything, to go through the stages in order to make such a shift happen. Part shock-therapy, part ageless spiritual wisdom, Covey’s book is packed with wisdom that actually makes a difference.

                                                                                                    And as I mentioned, don’t let the title of the book fool you; it is about much more than just becoming more effective. It is about becoming a whole integer person who not only seeks the best in oneself, but also in the people around her.

                                                                                                    A must read for anyone who feels there is always something left to learn.

                                                                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                    5. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

                                                                                                    by James Fadiman

                                                                                                      While finding a book on psychedelics in this list of books on self-improvement might come as a surprise, I believe any metaphysical distinction between tools such as books, meditation or molecules hold no ground. They should all be solely judged on their merits. And the merits of certain chemical keys, used in a constructive way, are perhaps bigger than any book in this list.

                                                                                                      The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide will teach you how to prepare yourself and your surroundings, what and how much to take, and what do do when something goes wrong. So you can safely enhance your thinking, creativity, introspection and emotional balance.

                                                                                                      This book contains everything you need to know about using psychedelics as a tool for self-improvement while drawing on extensive scientific literature and personal wisdom. A must have for the beginning and experienced psychonaut alike.

                                                                                                      Print | eBook

                                                                                                      6.  Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

                                                                                                      by Brian Tracy

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                                                                                                        We all know how that destructive downward spiral feels.

                                                                                                        We have to do some big tasks of which the thought alone triggers resistance. We aren’t sure how and where to begin and feeling overwhelmed before we even start. We get easily distracted to get rid of that feeling, only to suddenly realize that hours went by- precious hours- and then find ourselves in the same position as before, still not knowing where and how to begin, but now, feeling guilty on top of it which expresses itself in more craving for distraction.

                                                                                                        Ad infinitum

                                                                                                        To break this spell of procrastination before it paralyzes us, Tracy advises us to Eat That Frog: to set our priorities straight, deconstruct larger tasks into smaller ones, learn when to tackle the big frog first or to start out with something else.

                                                                                                        Tracy is truly a motivational writer. While I wished he had gone a bit deeper into the psychological reasons why people procrastinate, it is still a must have for anyone who wants to break the spell and get shit done.

                                                                                                        Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                        7. Think and Grow Rich: The Original 1937 Unedited Edition

                                                                                                        by Napoleon Hill

                                                                                                          A from 1937, this book by Hill is a masterpiece. Don’t bother with the edited versions since they all omit important and controversial information: some historical, and some pertaining to the goal of the book, which is to think and grow rich.

                                                                                                          The word rich might imply that this book is all about material gain, and while it certainly covers that area, it is about much more than that.

                                                                                                          This is perhaps the first explicit mention of positive thinking on how to care not just about the cash in your pocket, but also the thoughts in your head.

                                                                                                          This book has been able to withstand the destruction of time. It covers all the basics from planning, decision making and persistence, to the more advanced techniques as auto-suggestion, transmutation and what we can learn from fear.

                                                                                                          This is not a grow rich book, but a timeless guide to find out what actually matters. As it says clearly in the beginning ‘Riches can’t always be measured in money!’

                                                                                                          Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                          8. The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind

                                                                                                          by Alan Wallace

                                                                                                            In a world that is dominated by ever stronger technologies designed to grab your attention, a way to empower yourself is to bring that attention back to where you want it to shine. This book offers just that.

                                                                                                            In The Attention Revolution, Wallace describes the path to attaining Shamatha, a buddhist meditation state of mind that is free from any flickering of distraction. It is a hard and long path, probably not possible for us to reach in this lifetime. However, even getting to stage two or three will make everything in life easier.

                                                                                                            A wonderful introduction to meditation, The Attention Revolution will inspire you to take on the challenge and see what training your mind can actually achieve.

                                                                                                            Once you have achieved such level of focus, you can put it to use to open your heart with the practice of The Four Immeasurables or deepen the practice with this wonderful commentary by Dudjom Lingpa, both by Alan B. Wallace.

                                                                                                            Before you read this book, you may want to take a look at this guide so you get a better idea on how to prioritize your life:

                                                                                                            The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                                                                                                            Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                            9. The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

                                                                                                            by John Durant

                                                                                                              In the last 10,000 years or so, it seems we have been propelled into an ever faster paced world forged by our own hands and minds. Only recently have we been able to reconstruct our journey and reflect back upon our humble origins.

                                                                                                              This amazing book is such a reflection. It goes back to the paleolithic searching for answers to health and longevity.

                                                                                                              Between science and his personal experiments, Durant weaves a mind blowing story that will convey the importance of an evolutionary perspective on how to live well.

                                                                                                              It covers everything from nutrition to exercise, from sleep to fasting, from ancient practices to modern biohacking and even has an outline for a vision of the future where depression and obesity have become obsolete.

                                                                                                              If you only have room for a couple of books on this list, make sure this one is included.

                                                                                                              Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                              10. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

                                                                                                              by Daniel J. Siegel

                                                                                                                As my Burmese meditation teacher often proclaimed, ‘Mindfulness alone is not enough!’ Siegel seems to have taken this to heart and made an unique synthesis between meditation, psychoanalysis and neuroscience which he calls ‘Mindsight‘. As he says himself, a potent combination between emotional and social intelligence.

                                                                                                                All of us deal with one disorder or another, something that seems to disturb the very core of our being at ease; and while it might not always be the best strategy to want to get rid of it, it certainly helps to understand and have compassion for that little aspect that upsets that perfect image of ourselves.

                                                                                                                Brimming with techniques, insights and epiphanies, this book contains everything you need to know to reprogram your brain and to optimally use its capacity of neuroplasticity. A great book for spiritual seekers and scientists alike.

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                                                                                                                11. How to Win Friends & Influence People

                                                                                                                by Dale Carnegie

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                                                                                                                  This is the first self-improvement book I have ever read and it is also probably one of the oldest in this category.

                                                                                                                  Written in 1937, mainly for the door to door salesman of that era, this book by Carnegie can truly be called a classic. It shows what we all intuitively know:

                                                                                                                  It doesn’t matter what your line of work is or what you want to achieve. If you are doing business of any kind, you need to make it about the other person.

                                                                                                                  Being nice helps, a lot. And while I might not fully defend the premise of this book because it doesn’t distinguish between genuine interest and faking it to get what you want; it still contains a treasure chest full of timeless wisdom.

                                                                                                                  Everybody wants to feel appreciated, and rightfully so. Learning to take a small effort to make someone’s day will make the world better no matter what your goal is.

                                                                                                                  I still spontaneously remember some of his guidance, and perhaps this quality is the reason why this book still draws millions of readers to this day.

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                                                                                                                  12. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

                                                                                                                  by David D. Burns

                                                                                                                    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most effective therapy used by psychologists today. It consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and mood; and deconstructing these in order to break out of these destructive cycles.

                                                                                                                    If you want to know how this works, which moods are central in your life, what thought patterns are causing your depression, how to overcome self-judgment and guilt, how to defeat approval and love addiction and how your self-perfectionism is hindering you, then don’t look further.

                                                                                                                    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has helped millions of people and it can help you, and this is the best book for the job. Packed with scientific research, exercises and examples, this is the best improvement your self is going to get.

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                                                                                                                    13. Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life

                                                                                                                    by Maxwell Maltz

                                                                                                                      What can a plastic surgeon tell us about happiness?

                                                                                                                      By dealing with his patients, Dr. Maxwell Maltz experienced firsthand that having your expectations come true doesn’t automatically result into a more positive life experience. Their outward appearances did indeed change but their inner insecurity remained.

                                                                                                                      This caused him to find other means to help his patients, resulting in visualization techniques. He found a person’s outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally.

                                                                                                                      This book carries a very honest and humbling story, loaded with fundamental truths about our psychology and how our own philosophy affects us. This is all told by a very compassionate writer.

                                                                                                                      Of some books it can be said that it will be valuable for years to come, and I am absolutely positive that this is one of them.

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                                                                                                                      14. Thinking, Fast and Slow

                                                                                                                      by Daniel Kahneman

                                                                                                                        This brilliant book by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman is a lucid account of all the amazing research he has done over the years. He is the founder of behavioral economics – the way our psychology affects our decisions – and explains in simple prose how our thinking is divided in two systems: one fast and one slow. (Here’s an explanation on how these two systems work.)

                                                                                                                        The fast one is almost instant; it consists of the hardwired instincts that govern emotions, a remnant of an evolutionary past, an unconscious irrational machine.

                                                                                                                        The slow one is deliberate, self-reflexive and logical, but can easily be distracted and takes a lot of effort.

                                                                                                                        Both play a large role in our lives and Kahneman explores when the fast system fails and why the slow system is often not utilized.

                                                                                                                        Packed with mind blowing examples and sharp analyses, this book teaches you how to learn to make sound judgments, and use the best of both systems.

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                                                                                                                        15. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything

                                                                                                                        by Chris Hadfield

                                                                                                                          A few extraordinary people journey to the edge of our world and come back with a unique story to tell. Colonel Hadfield is such a person, and his story is perhaps the most important one in this list.

                                                                                                                          While the other books in this list teach you to be independent, visualize your future and dream big, this astronaut’s guide turns these all upside down.

                                                                                                                          A truly remarkable book, overflowing with mind-blowing stories that illustrate the life lessons he learned as one of the most accomplished astronauts that ever lived.

                                                                                                                          Full of compassion, warmth and genuine self-reflexive humor, he conveys to us to be prepared for the worst and never let yourself be swayed from enjoying every moment.

                                                                                                                          Part action story, part no-nonsense hard truth and part timeless spiritual wisdom, this book makes you feel like you stepped onto a rocket ship and experienced what he did while learning these most valuable lessons on the way.

                                                                                                                          eBook

                                                                                                                          16. Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat

                                                                                                                          by Paul Jaminet & Shou-Ching Jaminet

                                                                                                                            No self-improvement list is complete without a nutrition book and the Perfect Health Diet is arguably the best diet book on the market now.

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                                                                                                                            If you are overweight or not, feel sick, or just looking for an extra boost in health (and keep it this way), then look no further.

                                                                                                                            From reading decades of studies the authors construct the optimal way to eat, destroying popular food fads in the process. They explain in sufficient details the optimal macro-ratios of which starches are safe, which vitamins and supplements to take and what foods, or what they call toxins, to avoid.

                                                                                                                            This book is a great supplement to the Paleo Manifesto as it shares its basic evolutionary perspective; we were evolved to eat non-toxic, high fat, moderate protein and carbohydrates.

                                                                                                                            And sometimes, going around with no food at all, can be a very healthy thing. If your body is not in optimal health, then it is almost no use to read the other books. Make this your priority number one.

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                                                                                                                            17. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success

                                                                                                                            by John C. Maxwell

                                                                                                                              At one time or another, we will all fail. What matters most is how you deal with it once you do.

                                                                                                                              Will you give up? Or will you use it as a stepping stone for success?

                                                                                                                              I recently read an article about new start-ups in silicon valley. Its hypothesis was the more you had failed in the past, the more likely you were going to get funding.

                                                                                                                              Why?

                                                                                                                              Because failing teaches you invaluable lessons, and if you decide to continue after you hit the pavement, the more you have it in you to deliver.

                                                                                                                              Now, this is not in anyway our instinctual reaction to failing. Most of us dread it, avoid it or refuse to fail at all costs. All three are by far sub-optimal. It is far better to accept failure where it arises, to accept responsibility and use it as a way to learn about yourself and your weaknesses.

                                                                                                                              Only when you are absolute honest with yourself with respect to failure can you hope to grow. This wonderful book will teach you how to do exactly this. A honest book for everyone searching for a clean mirror.

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                                                                                                                              18. The Power of Now

                                                                                                                              by Eckhart Tolle

                                                                                                                                The Power of Now hardly needs any introduction. It is perhaps the book that has had the most impact on our collective consciousness in recent years.

                                                                                                                                It inspired millions of people all over the world to live a more fulfilling and compassionate life, all through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness consists of moment to moment non-judgmental awareness. 

                                                                                                                                It is a technique that alleviates depression, increases emotional intelligence and develops compassion. And only recently has come to the west, which remained weary and skeptical until science had validated a wide array of its claims.

                                                                                                                                The brain can be trained. The Power of Now teaches you how to release your attachment to certain thoughts and states of mind, thereby clearing the mind to fully embrace the present moment.

                                                                                                                                If you already have read this book and are looking for deeper understanding, readWherever You Go, There You Are.

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                                                                                                                                19. The Last Lecture

                                                                                                                                by Randy Pausch

                                                                                                                                  At some point or another, almost all of us has come across The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. (If you haven’t, watch this powerful message here.)

                                                                                                                                  What would you say when you only have a few months left to live? This was probably Pausch’s question he posed to himself when he had to deliver his lecture a week later.

                                                                                                                                  But being confined to an academic setting and short time frame, he felt he had more to share, thus marking the birth of this book.

                                                                                                                                  Filled with stories about his childhood, it is a very down to earth exploration of what it means to chase your dreams, to be a good person and live a life that gives value to others.

                                                                                                                                  A beautiful mixture of humor and optimism, his tender voice will be a source of inspiration for everyone who will take the time to listen, something he tried to impart on his readers.

                                                                                                                                  A very lovely read. And don’t forget, ‘It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.’
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                                                                                                                                  20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

                                                                                                                                  by Brené Brown

                                                                                                                                    I love Brené Brown’s books. She writes about an insight that I have found to be scary but true at the same time.

                                                                                                                                    Vulnerability, unlike we have been taught, is not a weakness, but a power to be tapped. Growing up with the idea that we have to hide certain parts of ourselves, to look strong and persevere at all costs always seemed a facade to me. And now she has the research to back that up.

                                                                                                                                    From that place of vulnerability comes a sense of worthiness, which for most of us, needs to be cultivated every day. Only if we get in touch with that tender spot of our hearts can we connect with others and develop genuine compassion, which are prerequisites, Brown tells us, for living a ‘wholehearted life.’

                                                                                                                                    The reality, however, is that we often close down, feel neglected and misunderstood, and rather want the vulnerability and perhaps even ourselves to disappear.

                                                                                                                                    This book is an amazing antidote for that common instinct. Want to be truly convinced? Check out her amazing ted talk here.

                                                                                                                                    Print | eBook | Audiobook

                                                                                                                                    21. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

                                                                                                                                    by Carl Sagan

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                                                                                                                                      We all find UFO’s fascinating. We all really want to believe in magic or visiting aliens. (Surely the crop circles are conclusive proof!) And some of us believe the government is poisoning us with chemtrails.

                                                                                                                                      At the same time we are fascinated by the progress made by science, by all the new technology and medicines and the fascinating discoveries being

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                                                                                                                                      22. Philosophy for Life

                                                                                                                                      by Jules Evans

                                                                                                                                        As philosopher Sloterdijk puts it; ‘philosophy is a beautiful child of an ugly mother.’

                                                                                                                                        Philosophy first arose when the old Greek polis states were at the brink of destruction. Philosophy, according to Sloterdijk, was not just a way to make sense of the world, to come to knowledge or truth, but to serve as a psychological immune system.

                                                                                                                                        This book is an amazing expression of this perspective. From the stoics to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Jules Evans writes about some of the amazing philosophical techniques we can use to train and improve our cognitive immune systems.

                                                                                                                                        He weaves ancient stories with modern applications, from heroism to cosmic contemplation. Philosophy for Life is a beautifully written book that makes it easy to understand the practical nature of philosophy.

                                                                                                                                        Perhaps the book would have been better if he would have gone deeper into the subject matter, but nonetheless he captures the essence of what philosophy can mean for the modern person. A must read.

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                                                                                                                                        23. Man’s Search For Meaning

                                                                                                                                        by Victor. E. Frankl

                                                                                                                                          If I had to pick one book from this list for mandatory reading, I would choose this one.

                                                                                                                                          For three years, Viktor Frankl labored in four different Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He tells us about his experience and that of his fellow prisoners.

                                                                                                                                          Both chilling and uplifting, confronted with the idea that they would be trapped there for the rest of their lives; he gives us an account of those who found meaning and those who succumbed to nihilism.

                                                                                                                                          A blend between a memoir, a psychological investigation and a self-help book, Frankl delivers a powerful message:

                                                                                                                                          Finding meaning lies at the core of being human.

                                                                                                                                          From his own experience as a psychiatrist, combined with anecdotes from his time in the concentration camps, he tells us how important it is to find meaning in our own lives and what we can become if we don’t.

                                                                                                                                          Suffering, he conveys to us, is inevitable. But as to how we cope with it is dependent on ourselves. If we can find meaning, even in the worst acts our species have ever inflicted upon their fellow men, we will be able to move forward with renewed purpose.

                                                                                                                                          I also recommend you to check out this article to help you find out your purpose and passion that will motivate you to live in a meaningful way: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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                                                                                                                                          24. Simplify

                                                                                                                                          by Joshua Becker

                                                                                                                                            This is a fun little book written by Joshua Becker, a big proponent of minimalist living. We all know that quote from Fightclub: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” 

                                                                                                                                            Well, this is ending.

                                                                                                                                            Slowly we are outgrowing an era where the unquestioned mantra ‘more is always better’ dictates our behavior. Rather, we now find ourselves, our lives and our homes cluttered with too much information, too much stuff and just too much shit we don’t need.

                                                                                                                                            This simple book helps you become aware of the freedom gained from living with less. It is a small book, easily read under an hour, but it carries a persuasive punch to start living live in a very different way.

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                                                                                                                                            25. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

                                                                                                                                            by Kamal Ravikant

                                                                                                                                              The fundamental ground upon which all true self improvement is build is called self-love. Because in the end, no matter which way you turn, if you don’t love yourself, you will sabotage yourself at one point. You will think that, for some reason or another, you are not worthy. And if you think that, why would you truly want to achieve anything?

                                                                                                                                              And this is not just about achievement. This is about how you approach yourself every day; this is what you see when you look in the mirror.

                                                                                                                                              We make so many snap-judgments about ourselves- often without being conscious of them- that are filled with negativity, haltering us before we can even begin to heal. This powerful book shows you the antidote.

                                                                                                                                              Self love. Not to be confused with creating some narcissistic image of ourselves that some previous books in this list implicitly endorse, but self love, that inner gratefulness that no external condition can take away.

                                                                                                                                              Self love, that infinite source you can share with others.

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                                                                                                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                                                                                                              Now that you’ve got a list of the most inspirational books to improve your life, what should you do next? Read them all?

                                                                                                                                              It’s of course best to read them all, but we only have so much brain energy to take all this knowledge. What if I tell you there’s a way to boost your brain power? Here it is:

                                                                                                                                              How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

                                                                                                                                              More Books for Your Inspiration

                                                                                                                                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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