I always read self-help books on various subjects – it can be about careers, business, relationships, fitness or just living a better life, it is always a good source to get ideas and influence for self-improvement goals.
There are a lot of crap books, lots of good ones and then there are those that change how you approach your life. Here are 3 insightful reads:
Into the Wild
I was surrounded by nearly 4,000,00 square mile (thanks Wikipedia) of land, most of it wildness and was eager to get lost from the approaching pressures of life. Sometimes it is fate you find these things or perhaps it just that the hostel owner had met plenty of young kids in Canada out to ‘find themselves’ and knew a good book to influence how they think.
Into the Wild tells the real life story of Christopher McCandless and his tragic death. It is written by outdoor magazine writer – Jon Krakauer.
And he produced a very impactful read – you can shake your head and say how silly Christopher McCandless was to go into the wilderness of North America.
But you have to appreciate how he viewed life – he thought there was something else out there apart from corporate life and mindless consumerism – so he choose to wander, breaking through societies restrictions.
When I read this I was lost – I realised I couldn’t just go spend time in the wild, but at the same time I saw how short life was. We should love the simple things such as nature, spend time with family and not waste our potential.
Last year, I was lamenting over my lack of romantic or, just sexual opportunities. My life had stagnated – I had the same friend network, I worked in a job with no young single women my age and had no opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex. So I refered to the Internet for advice.
Bang was a popular read amongst the ‘pick-up artist’ community, in what had become an over saturated market where everyone claims to be an ‘alpha’. But the author Roosh, seemed like the real deal.
His author style is best described as being like advice from an older brother about women.
The purpose of the book, as suggested by the title is to open up as many possibilities with women to have sex with. My confidence had been crushed by a terrible relationships for two years, so I decided I would follow the advice of this and sequel book Day Bang, to live the life of a bachelor.
Ranging from conquering approach anxiety to being obsessed with one girl, the ideas and advice presented, gave me a senso of hope and empowerment for my future relationships.
In the end I did not follow the advice down completely. I did not become another pick-up artist because soon I found a great girl who I did not want to let go of. Even so, this book created new opportunities for me where I was rewarded with a new relationship.
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big
This book by Scott Adams (the author of Dilbert) is a fantastic read on self-improvement and goal making. Adams favours having a system over goals – as his logic is that with goals once they are completed you stop and may revert to how you were before (such as aiming to lose 4kg then putting it all back on).
Despite this I still stick with goals, but am mindful of his thoughts as I always find ways of refreshing old goals, so that they keep developing to the next level.
I purchased this book soon after learning about the concept of Self-Improvement and this part self-help guide, part biography was influential in how I approach my beliefs.
Adams doesn’t just talk about how great he is and goes over all his failures in a chapter. I loved the idea of doing this practice and wrote down all my failures and what I have learnt from them.
Overall this book, influenced how I set my objectives and ensure that there is some sustainability in my goal setting.
What are your influential self-improvement/lifestyle reads?