Self improvement books have been around for thousands of years. Despite their success, they have been lauded and hated for just as long. They form their roots in the Ancient Egyptian genre called “Sebayt,” an instructional literature manual on life.
Despite the skepticism, many have turned to these silent guides seeking answers and revelations on making their lives better. These books are part of an ever-growing self-betterment industry that is showing no signs of slowing down. They are as popular now as they were several decades ago, inspiring us through their timeless wisdom.
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Self improvement is one of the bestselling genres of our time. With so many books out there in the market, it might be difficult to select one that is the right one for you. This buying guide will assist you in deciding the right book according to your needs.
There are several integrations to the self improvement genre. To better explain, under a single genre, you will find books catering to multiple needs. You can find books on money management, depression, meditation, and more. In the end, it all boils down to what your soul is craving at the moment.
Are you in the middle of a financial crisis? Then, you must give the book Think and Grow Rich a serious read. The first word of the title, “Think,” tells us that growing rich is mainly about developing a mindset. The book is centered around the thirteen steps to riches that the author, Napolean Hill, claims to be the secret to building wealth.
Or are you having a hard time finding your self-esteem? Then, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown should be your go-to. In the book, the author says that shame is an integral part of our lives. It subconsciously dictates our every action. But we avoid talking about it at all costs. She urges us to accept our lives' shameful secrets as vulnerability is vital to engaging and inspiring others.
For self improvement, experts say that self improvement books recreate the relationship that can form between you and your therapist. However, there are important things to consider here. For example: Is the book easy to read? How well the author resolves your doubts? Is the author's advice worth following?
There are many self improvement books out there in the market. But there are only a few that can cater to your immediate needs. Here, essential to note is the relationship the author forms with you. Figure out how confident his/her advice makes you feel. Understand how responsive the author’s words are to your thoughts and actions.
Considering the intangible aspects, this isn't easy. However, if you truly feel that the author can create an authentic relationship with you, then the book might be worth reading.
It is important to look for a book that has a realistic structure to it. The information should not be vague. It should be written so that you can take important pointers on skills that you are looking to upskill. It should not make you feel lost. Instead, it should give you a positive vibe or the confidence that you are currently seeking.
Some books in the self improvement category can be pricey. However, there are cheaper electronic versions available in Kindle. Do not forget to check them out when you do your research.
Although it is important to look into the author’s credentials, do not always think that their advice will be unworthy because they do not have the acronyms after their name, or years of experience in the field they are writing about.
On the other hand, you must pay attention to the question of whether the author’s work lives up to your standards and ideals. For example, the book should not just have obvious information, in terms of knowledge that you have already gained. Instead, it should teach you something new, be it a new perspective on life or a skill that you know nothing about.
Does the author hold authority on the subject matter? Does he have the right experience level? How relevant is this book to your new world problems? One way to seek answers to these questions is to look into the author’s background. You can Google the author and look into his credentials or read reviews on his past works.
Choosing the right book in a time when you seek self improvement can be difficult. Online sources like Goodreads can give you several authentic reviews of any book. Use these sources extensively to zero down to the book that will change your life.
You do not have to listen to everyone. But do not forget to check whether the author has the right authority over the subject matter? Or whether the book has been effective for others? If so, how? Reading the reviews will help you decide better.
Sure, there will be some reviews that are fluff. However, concentrate on the ones that are long and critical. They will be the ones helping you make up your mind.
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R. Stephen Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Get to Know About These Life Changing Habits
Robert T. Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Learn How to Make Money From the Rich Dad
Think and Grow Rich
Best Book to Understand the Law of Attraction
B. Alan Wallace
The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
An Indispensable Guide for Anyone Who Attempts to Meditate
Daniel J. Siegel
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
A Unique Synthesis Between Meditation and Neuroscience
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Upgrade Your Social Skills
David D Burns M.D.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Understanding Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Become Aware of Conscious and Unconscious Thinking
Risk Everything to Follow Your Dreams
Vulnerability Is Your Power
Author R Stephen Covey shares with us seven habits one should adopt to become truly effective in whatever one would like to achieve. In this masterpiece, he explains that bringing a change in how we see the world can change our positive mental attitude and humanize our social relations.
This book is habit-forming and should be read with extreme concentration to grasp the true extent of the habits as said by the author. The book comes with several personal accounts to teach us lessons in integrity, service, and self-actualization, to realize the great potential that lies within each one of us.
If you have been waiting to read a book that stimulates you towards action, then you have arrived at the right place. This one is all about taking responsibilities and initiatives to create a life that you have only imagined so far. This is the best book for someone who is struggling to find control in his/her life.
Written by acclaimed author Robert T. Kiyosaki, this book is a financial classic. It provides sound, realistic guidelines to live a healthy life in terms of financial security. The book uses contrasting characters, the Rich Dad and the Poor Dad, to create a situation that explains the following:
The poor dad remains poor because he works hard all his life to earn money but does not know how to make money work for him. On the other hand, the Rich dad amasses wealth throughout his life and knows how to make money work for him. This is just a short overview.
It covers several financial mistakes that one can make in his/her lifetime. Whether you are a novice or an expert with money, this book has some timeless lessons that can teach you a thing or two on developing the right financial habits. You can learn how to acquire assets, manage investments, and develop the right mindset to become rich.
Published in 1937, during the Great Depression in the United States, this book explains relevant guidelines on how to utilize the power of the subconscious mind to give yourself the life of your dreams.
The author, Napoleon Hill studied the lives of successful people and wrote this book taking examples from their lives. Throughout the book, he urges us to use the full potential of our mind to materialize everything that we dreamt of.
Moreover, theories on persistence and the Law of Attraction have been explained in detail. So if you wish to expand your knowledge on the same, this book is the one for you!
Our world is dominated by powerful technologies that are working to keep our attention scattered. In this powerful self-elevating book, author Alan Wallace urges us to practice Shamatha, a Buddhist meditation technique that keeps the mind away from all distractions.
The author says that by dissociating, which is to separate ourselves from this material world, we can free ourselves from worldly needs like the need for social distractions, feelings of hatred, and anger.
This book is best for someone interested in meditation. The practices explained will help to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts, worry, anxiety, and frustrations.
In this book, author Daniel J. Siegel has created a unique synthesis between meditation, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience. This book focuses on several case studies to give advice.
The author uses real-life clinical examples to provide insight with a remarkable depth of empathy and humanity. If you are in the dilemma that there is more to you than what you seem now- then this book is for you.
This book will get you to think about the many aspects of your life in new and ancient ways. It is full of techniques and insights to help you reprogram your brain and use it optimally.
Another interesting read, this book by acclaimed writer, Dale Carnegie will teach you how to improve your social relations. It teaches you to become agreeable to everyone, develop integrity, and act like a people pleaser at all times. Ideal for people in the sales and marketing profession.
It will surely help you develop better social skills and win over that client you have been working hard to get on board for the last 6 months. One of the key takeaways from this book is to do something, however small or big, for another person to bring them a little parcel of happiness now and then.
This book by David D. Burns is ideal for you if you are suffering from depression or mood-related mental disorders. The author explains in detail the merits of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which consists of identifying thought patterns that have a detrimental effect on your self-image and moods.
He further shares ways of deconstructing these negative thoughts in order to break out of these destructive cycles. At present, CBT is the most effective therapy used by psychologists. This book is packed with scientific research, exercises, and examples to help you guide through your dilemma.
If you want to know how CBT 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.
Another masterpiece, Thinking, Fast and Slow takes a unique look at human rationality and irrationality. Written by the winner of the Nobel Prize for economics, Daniel Kahneman pours in a lifetime of research into an encyclopedic journey of explaining the surprising miracles and mistakes of our conscious and unconscious thinking.
He achieves an even greater miracle by weaving his insights into an engaging narrative that is compulsively readable from beginning to end. This book paints the most engaging collections of insights into the human mind.
It is a must-read if you are someone who is interested in how people think and how the mind works. Ideal for corporate brand strategists, it also explains how certain constructs in our society make us biased even before we realize what we are doing.
Wondering what fiction is doing in a self-improvement book list? Written by revered author, Paulo Coelho, Alchemist tells the story of a small boy from Andalusia and his adventures through the African desert to find treasures hidden in the Pyramids of Egypt.
Though it is a work of fiction, one can relate easily to a small boy’s story, who risks everything to follow his dreams. The beauty of this book lies in the author’s belief: And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
Once you start reading this book, it will be difficult to put it down. And when you are done reading it, you will start believing in miracles that can help you achieve your dreams.
Daring Greatly is not like any other self-improvement books. It will not give you new insights, research, or blow your mind. The book’s greatness lies in making you come face-to-face with the emotions you have kept hidden deep inside or know they exist.
This book will force you to have an honest conversation with yourself; it might not have done in a long time. Throughout, she mentions that vulnerability is not a weakness but courage. This book is for anyone who has struggled with judgment, destructive criticism, and fear of ridicule.
All successful people are readers. Reading opens your mind to new experiences and gives your imagination wings. Here are some links to more such books that can answer your many questions of life and teach you ways to better control your life.
The path to self-improvement is enlightening. It is a journey of self-discovery and love. One important piece of advice to remember is, to never give up on the way, no matter how hard the ride becomes later on.
Although there are thousands of self-improvement books out there in the market, do not get overwhelmed. You must carefully analyze what it is you are looking for before picking up a book. We hope this article made your decision easier. Happy reading!
Author - Aishwariya
No. 1: R. Stephen Covey｜The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
No. 2: Robert T. Kiyosaki｜Rich Dad Poor Dad
No. 3: Napoleon Hill ｜Think and Grow Rich
No. 4: B. Alan Wallace ｜The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind
No. 5: Daniel J. Siegel｜Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
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