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Useful self-development books

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  • Useful self-development books

    I'm looking for self-development book recommendations, titles that have really worked for you.

    Here are some that I've enjoyed:

    Getting Things Done & Making It All Work by David Allen, 'self-help' books that actually stick (ok technically I think these are considered business books). Super practical advice on both getting the nitty gritty done, and working towards higher goals.

    This Year I Will by M.J. Ryan - full of useful and realistic advice about making difficult changes in your life. This one really works for me.

    Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz - took about a 100 pages to get going, but then bowled me over with an illuminating look at creativity in the broadest sense of the word.

    50 Classics Series by Tom Butler-Bowdon - I listen to one of these titles (shout out to - God I love this service) every late December to pump me up for the new year. The summaries of these classics of personal development are perceptive, accurate, well-written, and inspiring and they always give me momentum heading into the New Year.

    100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler - Chandler has a way of teaching that is wise, simple, and inspiring.

    The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - the most persistent exposition of "now" thinking I've ever read. The Q&A format works well and the book anticipates and addresses head-on many tough questions about living without regret for the past or fear for the future.

    The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron - Chodron is an American Buddhist nun living in Canada. She's a very accessible spiritual teacher, unafraid of exposing her own flaws.

    Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn - mindfulness meditation practice using a more secular approach.

    The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss - if you can get past some of the morally wonky parts (e.g. mild manipulation to get what you want) this offers a very useful look at what true "productivity" is.

    I could go on and on. Any suggestions from your own libraries?

  • #2
    How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne. A Handbook for Personal Liberty.

    Body by Science. A Blueprint for health and fitness truth.


    • #3
      Originally posted by mackiest View Post
      I'm looking for self-development book recommendations, titles that have really worked for you. .....
      Any suggestions from your own libraries?
      I have all 3 of David Allen's Books and I do consider them very valuable but I assume you want others as well.

      The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon - Inspiration, self help and a decent blueprint for running a small farm all in one. I re-read it for the inspirational parts a lot.

      The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko - Good for getting you off the debt track.

      Confessions of an Organized Housewife - Denise Schofield - Lots of neat tips and tricks for running a house.

      Strategic Selling - Robert Miller and Stephen Heiman - Good for anyone in the business of selling.

      Startship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein - OK so you might not think this is a self help book but it's inspirational, a good discussion of the obligations of a citizen and a darned good read. Ignore the movies, they were not the same as the book.

      It's hard for me to separate self-help from business from inspirational books because I use them all that way. These are all books I re-read regularly or refer to fairly often.


      • #4
        "Linchpin" and "Ignore Everybody".


        "Linchpin" by Seth Godin


        "Ignore Everybody" by Hugh MacLeod


        • #5
          Lou Tice

          I was lucky enough to do the wonderful Investment in Excellence development course by the Pacific Institute, a real life changing course. Much of the materials is found in a book by the guy that bought it, called "Personal Coaching for Results: How to Mentor and Inspire Others to Amazing Growth" - cheesy title, cheesy cover also, but its a really inspirational set of material, focussing essentially on the way our minds work and the barriers we have to moving on in our lives. In particular it focusses on the power of optimism, goal setting, visualising success and high self-esteem. Well worth the effort.


          • #6
            7 Habits by Stephen Covey is an inspiring book, but takes even more self motivation than GTD to implement.


            • #7
              There is a book called "How to Read a Book"

              It really has taught me techniques for reading (one of the most frequent activities we perform in today's world) that I never thought of before. Check it out on amazon.

              Not a speed-reading book -- just a collection of wisdom bits on getting the most of your reading. Very comprehensive.


              • #8
                most of my favorites are already listed but here are a few more:

                David Allen's tweener book, Ready for Anything, makes for very handy reading as each chapter is 2-3 pages long... perfect for a morning pick-me-up.

                I was pleasantly surprised to see Body By Science listed... this is one of those "if you only read one book on the subject, this is the one" books. It is THE book to recommend for exercise. (Sadly, for diet and nutrition, no such book exists yet).

                The following books are life-changers that will produce more fruit every time you revisit them. I have found some of their most profound messages after reading them six times or more... and oh, boy! What lessons!

                1) Getting Things Done - I applaud its practical, hands-on advice to getting under control and relieving stress.
                2) The Four Hour Workweek - draws from several other of the books on this list and shows just how powerful they are to change your life
                3) 80/20 Principle - Oft-cited and more often overlooked, I'm afraid. This one changes it all. One of book #2's cornerstones.
                4) Think and Grow Rich - far more abstract than GTD, for example, but its message--coupled with Allen's reticular filter comments--are about all you need as far as a top-down approach.
                5) Magic of Thinking Big - a simple but profound concept. One of book #2's cornerstones.
                6) Emyth Revisited - another classic, of most (apparent) application to small business owners.
                7) Making It All Work - a masterpiece. Presents GTD concepts (briefly) again on its way to tying them into a more thorough, refined, and mature understanding of the whole.

                I haven't yet found a knot that these books wouldn't help me untie. I can't recommend them enough.



                • #9
                  Thanks for the responses. Getting stronger is a top-three goal for me this year, so I will for sure check out Body by Science. I was in the middle of Linchpin by Seth Godin when I made the original post. I've finished it and while it's still early to tell, I think it's on my must-read list as well - an inspiring manifesto on work-as-art (no matter what your job is).
                  Last edited by mackiest; 02-22-2010, 04:38 AM. Reason: typo


                  • #10
                    Good to hear, Mackiest. it is an amazing book. And yes, it works : )

                    Reading Body by Science saved me sooo much time. The health and exercise industry is full of BS and has most people blinded. But this book is all you need.

                    Well, and "Primal Blueprint" for the dieting side of things.

                    Good luck on your journey.