8 Self-Help Books That Changed My Life
Alright, let me tell you, I’ve dived into a ton of self-help books over the years. Some were downright fantastic, while others, well, not so much. A few couldn’t hold my attention past the opening lines, but others had me utterly hooked.
Today, we’re gonna chat about those game-changing reads—the self-help books that truly transformed my life. So, I made a conscious effort to pick an eclectic mix of books that have influenced various aspects of my life. We’ll be touching on topics like business, money, and health. Let’s dive in!
1) No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh
Let’s chat about something light-hearted, shall we? Death. Kicking off with Book 1 – No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh, this gem serves as a wake-up call for anyone whose life has been ruled by worry, fear, and anxiety. Thich Nhat Hanh takes us on a journey to explore death, impermanence, and our constant quest for happiness, all through the lens of his Buddhist wisdom.
In the book, he pens, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” So, picture me reading this during my final college year, which was a pretty thrilling time in my life.
I was filled with hopes and dreams for what my future could hold, but at the same time, I was utterly petrified about what lay ahead. What if I never land a job? How will I pay the bills? Will I be drowning in debt until I hit my 40s or 50s? Thich Nhat Hanh’s words were a guiding light, helping me realize that true happiness and contentment weren’t waiting for me on the other side of those questions. Instead, I needed to find them in the here and now by shaking off regret, fear, anxiety, and doubt.
2) The Definitive Book of Body Language by Barbara and Allan Pease
Dive into this captivating read where Barbara and Allan Pease unravel the mysteries of body language, shining a light on how our emotions manifest in our physical gestures. Picture this: your date gives you a hug, but with a pat on the back, signaling some unease.
Or maybe you’re chatting with a client whose feet are pointed at the door, indicating a hasty escape plan. And let’s not forget your partner, arms crossed, possibly ticked off at you. However, decoding body language isn’t as straightforward as just interpreting a single gesture.
As the Peases reveal, body language is akin to any other form of communication. Only when you see the bigger picture, like words in a sentence, can you truly grasp its significance? So, perhaps your partner isn’t mad, but just chilly from leaving their jacket behind. But who are we kidding? They’re probably miffed.
After delving into this book, I found myself acutely aware of my own body language. Nail-biting when anxious, pacing when frustrated, and furrowing my eyebrows when angry. Despite trying to conceal my feelings, I was inadvertently broadcasting them loud and clear.
From high-stakes presentations to the daunting world of dating, the insights I’ve gained on body language have been nothing short of transformative.
3) The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday’s “The Obstacle Is the Way” – As someone who truly appreciates Ryan Holiday’s knack for translating age-old wisdom into relatable lessons for our modern lives, I can’t help but sing the praises of his work. “The Obstacle Is the Way” is a brilliant mashup of Stoicism, teaching us the art of embracing virtue, skill, and self-discipline for a more fulfilling life.
At the core of this book lies the idea that life’s hurdles are inescapable. You know, like drowning in student loans post-graduation, being rejected from your fantasy gig, or experiencing a never-ending string of romantic letdowns – yup, I’ve been through all of that.
The magic happens when you accept these obstacles as a part of life’s package deal, fostering a healthier mindset toward the issues that come your way. As Ryan puts it, the obstacle blocking our path essentially becomes the path itself. Don’t let that nugget of wisdom slip away.
Hidden within every obstacle lies the potential to elevate our circumstances. Reading this book will totally revamp how you perceive both personal and professional roadblocks, and hey, it might even nudge you to quit the pity party. Trust me, we’ll all be grateful.
4) Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weeks
Chanced upon Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weeks through a heartfelt article suggestion from one of our regular readers. Amidst the outpouring of love and encouragement, this gem of a recommendation caught my eye.
So, I snagged a copy and dove in. What a game-changer it turned out to be! Claire delves into the art of gently exposing oneself to stressors, gradually building resilience. She muses, “Strength isn’t born from strength. It emerges from weakness.” Embrace your flaws, for they’re the seeds of your might.
The most impactful lesson? Learning to “float” amidst my anxiety, rather than wrestle with my emotional waves. It’s about letting the unease roll over you until it subsides.
This inspiring and hopeful read is a must for anyone either battling anxiety or supporting a loved one who is. If you relate, make sure to add this to your book collection.
5) Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins
Unleashing the Inner Colossus with Tony Robbins – With a title like that, you’ve gotta bring the gusto, right? Maybe it’s not all about Tony Robbins, though. His book, Unleashing the Inner Colossus, was my first foray into self-help while I was chilling in my folks’ basement after college.
Sure, the book was a tad cheesy and I felt a smidge self-conscious reading it, but it gifted me a treasure trove of helpful tricks and insights as I hustled to grow into a full-fledged adult and ace filmmaker. One gem I’ll never forget from the book is the mighty power of decisions. You gotta know that a single choice, at any moment, can flip your life’s script forever.
A lot of us get stuck in decision limbo. We postpone big choices because we’re scared of picking the wrong one. But, we can only sharpen our decision-making skills by taking plenty of swings.
And one of the raddest choices I ever made was to chuck other people’s opinions and dive into cheesy self-help books that just might rock my world.
6) I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sadie
At its core, I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sadie serves as a handy playbook for constructing personal affluence. This nifty guide delves into all aspects of financial well-being, from earning and stashing away cash to budgeting, investing, and even automating your monetary matters. But don’t expect a one-size-fits-all blueprint here.
Ramit’s philosophy meshes smoothly with a minimalist mindset, encouraging us to splurge on what makes our hearts sing and ruthlessly slash expenses on what doesn’t. So, say adios to the Insta-fueled FOMO and must-haves.
When deciding how to allocate your dough, it’s crucial to discover what truly matters to you. In Ramit’s words, envision what “living the dream” means for you. Spoiler alert: it probably won’t involve fancy rides, multiple abodes, or a colossal closet that rivals my entire living space.
Building a fortune isn’t an overnight task, nor will it magically happen by the time you flip through a 200-page tome. That’s why I advocate for reading a personal finance book each year. If you’re yet to delve into one this year, let Ramit’s masterpiece be your starting point.
7) Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Diving into Deep Work: Mastering Focus in a World of Distractions by Cal Newport – This must-read gem is perfect for ambitious creators seeking room to breathe life into their most significant projects.
Cal cleverly points out that the knack for deep work is becoming a scarce commodity just as it grows more valuable in today’s economy. The lucky few who harness this power and make it the heart of their professional lives are destined to flourish. By methodically learning to shut out distractions and curb our tech addiction, we can unlock our most fruitful moments.
Deep Work offers priceless insights to help you mold your environment into a distraction-free zone while also crafting rituals that nurture your creativity. I wasted no time putting these lessons to the test in the first two courses I ever created. The result? I freed up precious time and became more deliberate in tackling two of the most detailed and time-consuming projects of my life. My work’s impact grew, and the final product was all the better for it.
Looking back, I can’t imagine how I would’ve managed this feat without the conscious practice of deep work.
8) Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
This gem of a book, Man’s Search for Meaning, has captured the hearts of countless readers, and it’s no wonder why. Penned by Holocaust survivor and psychologist Viktor Frankl, the inspiration for this moving piece stems from his harrowing days as a concentration camp captive during WWII.
Frankel made a fascinating observation while grappling with the grim reality of camp life: it wasn’t always the brawniest who made it out alive. Rather, those with a rock-solid sense of purpose had a better shot at enduring the unimaginable. These survivors were fueled by a greater reason to live, something more meaningful than just scraping by.
This revelation laid the groundwork for Viktor Frankl’s theory: our quest for meaning is the ultimate driving force behind human existence, and it’s the key to unlocking our resilience during the darkest of times. He asserts, “Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing—the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” The book delves into the depths of life, death, and the vast spectrum in between.
In my humble opinion, this book is an absolute must-read and one that I find myself revisiting time and time again.
Alright, before you take off, lend me a hand real quick. Cruise on down to the comment section and share a life-altering book that shook up your world.
You see, one of the gems I dropped in this article sprouted from your suggestions, so I’m looking to grow my literary garden a bit more. Plus, we could spark some inspiration for fellow readers in our community too.
Written by Johnathan Abram