7 Books that will change your life...
Every now and again, I pick up a book that has an immediate and lasting impact on my life. It shapes the way I see the world, the way I interact with others, and the way I choose to live my life. These books helped me grow as a person at various stages of my life.
Most of the books I read are almost personal development books, although sometimes they cross the realm into semi-fiction narratives of self-discovery and adventure. Because, let's face it - who doesn't love a good tale of self-discovery and adventure?
Making time for Personal Development
Before we go further to the list, we need to understand about the importance of personal development. There are many ideas surrounding personal development, one of which is Abraham Maslow's process of self-actualisation.
Maslow (1970) suggests that all individual have an in-built need for personal development which occurs through a process called self-actualisation.
The extent to which people are able to develop depends on certain needs being met and these needs form a hierarchy - (Read: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs)
Maslow (1970, p.383) says that all individuals have the need to see themselves as competent and autonomous, also that every person has limitless room for growth.
Maslow, A. H. (1970), Motivation and Personality, (2nd Edition), Harper & Row, New York.
So, in this sense, Self-actualisation refers to the desire that everybody has ‘to become everything that they are capable of becoming’. In other words, it refers to self-fulfilment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being.
For Maslow, the path to self-actualisation involves being in touch with your feelings, experiencing life fully and with total concentration.
As fo me, by reading some self-help books or personal development books help me to improve and maintain my skills to achieve goals I set. Personal Development is a lifelong process.
I keep topping off my 'cup' so that I can always 'pour' a little more into the lives of others. One of the things that brings me the most rewarding in life is to inspire and help others. I can't expect to do that if I'm not constantly learning and improving myself, right?
So, this is one of the reasons I like focusing reading on personal development books. (apart from undertaking CPDs or training, - of course).
1. Brain Power by Karl Albrecht
Brain Power introduces the 6 functional thinking abilities you need to become an adaptive, innovative thinker. As you develop your ability to think on your feet, to isolate and arrange facts, and to avoid logical pitfalls you will see how to use creative problem solving strategies, both in business and in private life. With practical exercises to improve your full range of mental capabilities from concentration to intuition, management consultant Karl Albrecht answers all your questions on becoming a more efficient and effective thinking.
I was given this book by an old friend many years ago. In fact, this book is my first self development book I ever own, and I still have it. I re-read this book few months ago, and I discovered many tips and practical way of improving my thinking.
I'm using the information in chapter 12 to work on changing some habits.
" Habit is habit, and not to be thrown out the window by any may, but rather, coaxed down the stairs one step at a time" - Mark Twain
2. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do And How To Change by Charles Dugihh
Although this book is full of science and research, it is also sprinkled with stories and examples that bring the science to life.
Habits are difficult to change. Charles Duhigg describes how habits are formed, what the parts of the habit loop are, and what to focus on in order to change your habits.
According to his research, a habit is comprised of 3 components — “This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which behavior to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is the reward . . .”
While reading about the habit loop that the author describes, I found myself agreeing with him - nodding along. Mainly because my most recent habits change (shopping and being late) were so fresh in my mind, that I was able to recognise the correlations and see that the reason I was able to stop this is that I did exactly what the book suggests. I changed up my routine.
The Habit Loop is comprised of three elements:
3. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
This book is not really a personal development book, but definitely a book that had a huge impact on my life! It teaches me courage and bravery. Anne's story teaches me that all people have the right to live in freedom. This book shows that just because people may be a different religion or race, doesn't mean that they should be treated differently.
The writing style in this book is easy and it is interesting because it is a real diary of a 13-years old girl, Anne Frank who were hiding with her family during the War World II. She starts off being happy because she does not know what's really happening.
Anne's diary also shows that how every day the people in hiding worried about maybe being found and punished.
4. Lion: A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
This book is a moving, poignant, and inspiring original true story of survival and triumph against incredible odds. It is a story of a lost five-yeal old boy who found his way home twenty-five years later.
This book teaches me the importance of never give-up of what drives the human spirits: Hope and Determination.
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" - Proverbs 17:22 (Holy Bible)
5. Letting Go: The Pathway Of Surrender by Dr David R Hawkins
This book describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to enlightenment and become free of negativity. It is seriously powerful manual on how to forgive. We all have people we need to forgive for our better health.
Some of us probably want to know why you still experience negative emotions, even though you have been on a spiritual path for many years.
In this book, there is a common illusion that spiritually evolved, loving people never have any negativity, as though they are perfect like an angel!. They get annoyed that they still have negative feelings, and then it’s compounded by their guilt and self-frustration.
They have to realise that feelings are transitory, whereas their intention to evolve remains constant. Let go of feeling guilty that you are still just an ordinary human being, despite your angelic ambitions! Having compassion towards your innate humanness, its nervous system, and the brain function that goes with it allows for greater calmness.
Heavenly ambitions do not necessarily make us angels!”
6. The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem: The Definitive Work On Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden
This book is essential reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in self-esteem. The book demonstrates compellingly why self-esteem is basic to psychological health, achievement, personal happiness and positive relationships.
This book breaks down into the six practices of living consciously for daily living that provide the foundation for self-esteem: self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully and personal integrity, and explores the central importance of self-esteem in five areas: the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture.
The work provides concrete guidelines for teachers, parents, managers, and therapists who are responsible for developing the self-esteem of others. And it shows why-in today's chaotic and competitive world-self-esteem is fundamental to our personal and professional power.
“Forgiveness is not a feeling; it is a commitment.” - Gary Chapman
7. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love that Last by Gary D Chapman
One of my dear friends mentioned this book to me when I saw her last. I completely forgot that I have this book which was given by someone to me few years ago. I started to read it again.
Everyone should read this book. Even if you are married!
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love - that is the challenge! How can you keep your relationship fresh and growing amid the demands, conflicts, and just plain boredom of everyday life?
This book will change the way you love, and the way that you communicate your own needs about how to be loved. It is powerful knowledge to improve all your relationships with others.
Hi - I'm Misma. I'm married and live in Exeter, Devon. Originally I came from Indonesia and moved to live in England in 2005. I can say I travel well and I love seeing people and their cultures, their beliefs and values. I am a Christian. I try to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain healthy wellbeing. For more detail of my professional work - please click below.