Do self-help books really work? That is a question that everyone on the internet seems to be asking every few months. After years of reading and writing about self-development, I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs in the self-help industry. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say how important they’ve been to my professional and personal development. What a book does to you is determined by the reader, not the author. I’ve seen some incredible transformations in myself, but some of my friends who read the same books saw no change. Some books had no effect on me, while others did. The author can only tell you what you can do to make your dreams come true; he cannot accompany you on your journey.
Some people have read Think and Grow Rich, a best-selling personal development book about success mindset, but they have never followed the author’s advice. Instead of looking deeper, we blame the industry and the people who write them for jumping from one book to another, one genre to another. If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a list of books that inspired me to embark on this journey. These books are divided into two categories: mindset and motion. There are seven books in each category.
- Mindset Compilation – Books that helped me see things from a different perspective revealed a new reality. They focus primarily on why. I wouldn’t know how to see a different reality if it weren’t for these books. Witness the abundant world that is available to all of us. Here are some books that changed my perspective on business and life.
The Magic of Thinking Big – Growing up, I had no desires. I used to think a hundred times before asking for even the most basic of requests. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz taught me to always think/ask for things bigger than my expectations. This also resulted in a nice raise at work. Instead of reading cover to cover, read the summary to get the gist of this one, as the only idea is to dream big.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Many financial experts despise Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. They have their reasons, but the book can be a good place to start for newcomers. It exemplifies the distinction between people with an abundance mindset and wage earners. It helped me lay a foundation and make money early in life. I also stopped thinking about owning things and instead concentrated on creating assets.
The Power of your Subconscious Mind – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy is an excellent book for anyone who suffers from negative mental chatter. I never paid attention to my subconscious thoughts, which were running on autopilot throughout my life, until I realised how important they were. I used to believe that I was incapable of extraordinary feats, but I was mistaken. The lessons forced me to confront my negative belief system.
The Surrender Experiment- Michael A. Singer’s autobiography, The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection, is a spiritual teacher’s autobiography. As someone who has struggled with surrender, I needed to read this to let go of micromanaging my life. What happens when you go with the flow of life rather than against it? This book will show you how. “My formula for success was very simple: Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as if it were a gift from the universe, because it was.” Singer, Michael A.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – One of my favourite books on fighting dogma is Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It’s a philosophical story about Jonathan, a seagull who feels different because he doesn’t live like the other seagulls. He aspires to fly higher as an eagle, but his Seagull community encourages him to stay on the ground. His ambitions and dreams make him an outcast, but he knows exactly what he wants. “In any lifetime, your only obligation is to be true to yourself.” — Richard Bach You’ll enjoy this book if you’re forging your own path and taking the road less travelled.
Reasons to Stay Alive – Reasons to Stay Alive is an autobiography written by English author Matt Haig about his experience with chronic depression and anxiety. It’s as if you’ve entered a world of people dealing with mental health issues and their struggles. Matt’s journey through multiple suicidal and overemotional issues, and how he overcame them, demonstrates how we can fight with proper medication and patience. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone in having dark thoughts and that I could overcome them. “There is no such thing as a standard normal. Normal is a relative term. On this planet, there are seven billion different versions of normal.” Matt Haig’s
- The Motion Collection – The motion collection is the second collection. These books discuss how to develop new habits in order to create a new lifestyle. They have frameworks and blueprints to bring them to life. They fall into several categories, ranging from coaching to business and life. The following books inspired me to take action.
The Lemonade Life – Zack Friedman’s The Lemonade Life is about living life on your terms and reaching your full potential. The lemonade life is about creating the life you want to live and figuring out how to get there using the Prism concept.
P = Point of View
R = Risk
I stands for Independence.
S stands for Self-Awareness.
M = Movement
Many other frameworks for designing a successful professional and personal life are described by the author.
4-Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Work Week has received a lot of criticism. People believe that running a business for four hours a week with such delegation is impossible. It’s difficult to accept when we’ve been taught to work 50-60 hours per week. Tim demonstrates in this book how he manages his time and how effectively we can work with only 4 hours of time management tips. “Rather than being busy, concentrate on being productive.” Tim Ferriss.
What to Say When You Talk to Yourself – We grow up hearing my parents’ and teachers’ words, and these words become our reality long before we are aware of them. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself is a book written by psychologist Shad Helmstetter that explains how self-talk programmes our minds. It is an inner monologue that governs our lives, both professionally and personally. This book will make you think about how we speak to ourselves. “The brain believes what you tell it the most. And it will create based on what you tell it about yourself. It doesn’t have a choice.” Shad Helmstetter.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant – This is one of the books I’ve recommended more than a hundred times. Taking advice from people who have more power rarely works. We can’t miss seeing how an Indian American kid with nothing takes over business philosophy. As the best thing on the internet, Naval shares his philosophies in bite-sized tweets about becoming wealthy without luck. Aside from his tweets about wealth and happiness, this book includes a collection of his interviews on a variety of topics.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People – The most popular book on personal MBA is Stephen R. Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. It altered my perspective on how I interact with people. It forced me to adjust my tone and demonstrate that all of my presumptions about them were unfounded. It demonstrates practical applications for these habits and gets you moving towards becoming a productive leader and entrepreneur. “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are or, as we are conditioned to see it.” — Stephen R. Covey
The Bhagavad Gita – The Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu scripture based on the epic Mahabharata that describes Lord Krishna’s conversation with Arjuna. The Gita’s practicality appeals to me. A book written hundreds of thousands of years ago can answer our modern-day questions. It’s more about self-actualization than religion. It discusses how to live a fulfilled life by devoting yourself to your Karma, as well as methods to practise detachment and higher purpose. My perspective shifted after I challenged myself to read the Gita for 30 days.
Steal Like An Artist – Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is a blessing for creative people. The book assisted me in coming out of a creative rut. Kleon discusses the messy world of creativity and then demonstrates how we can navigate it. It includes a variety of activities and introspection for writers and artists. “You go make that stuff. “Do the work you want to see done, reads the manifesto. “Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, perform the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, develop the products you want to use.” Austin Kleon’s
Finally, self-help books are a great way to learn about ourselves and improve in any area we want to improve in. Read books as if you’re going to get the most out of them. If you read this post the same way you read those books, nothing will change. The key is for you to take action. Sometimes you just need one idea to get you going.
Hi, I’m Garima and I write about life experiences. I have several books available on Amazon. Check them out today! Any purchases or KDP reads will be greatly appreciated. If you like my books, do leave a review. Here’s my author page on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0BQDZXYNV
5 Comments Add yours
Really like your write up. Rich Dad Poor Dad, only book I have read twice and can read again. That book changed my mindset about owning everything but nothing. On the flip side it has also created many conflicts at home coz of me not wanting to buy when I can be totally comfortable without things!!
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Hahah I can relate to similar instances over the years where my family wouldn’t understand what the hell I am talking about.
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Sometimes it just takes one new thought to transform someone’s life.
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Oh yes, that moment is thrilling.
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