We can’t be our most successful if we aren’t constantly trying to learn new things and improve ourselves. “Learning” and “self improvement” are two sides of the same coin, after all! You need to learn new skills if you’re hoping to improve yourself.
Although today’s technology has provided us an infinite number of ways to find new information, there is still much to be learned from the timeless resource that is a well-crafted book. Today, I’m going to go over five of my favorite books focused on self improvement!
#1: Atomic Habits – James Clear
Even though this is a book I’ve discovered more recently, it has quickly become a favorite of mine.
Many books focus on the “What should I change” aspect of self improvement, whereas Atomic Habits focuses more heavily on “HOW do I make these changes”. This book breaks down the science and methodology behind creating new habits and breaking old ones. This is a pretty important skill to have, since many studies show that over 90% of what we do is controlled by our subconscious minds.
The tips and tools in this book can have an immediate benefit on your productivity and personal growth. If you have a have a hard time sticking to a new routine or have a tendency to fall back into old habits, this is a must-read book!
#2: Chatter – Ethan Kross
“Chatter” is a book that takes a deep dive into how to deal with the person we talk to the most; ourselves.
In terms of self improvement, you will get in your own way more than anyone else will. Maybe your the type who has a lot of negative self-talk, or maybe you’re someone who can easily convince themselves to avoid something difficult or important? Maybe you’re like me and are a master procrastinator?
In any case, this book goes into detail about effective means of dealing with our inner dialogue and channeling it to be more productive. A definite recommendation for anyone who feels they spend too much time dealing with internal dialogue. If you can conquer yourself, then you can conquer anything!
#3: The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
This is a book I first read as a teenager, and then read again later as a young adult. Now, it’s something I read 2-3 times a year just because I think it’s that important to remind myself of the lessons inside.
While “The Four Agreements” does tend to be a bit more spiritual than what I would normally read, I think there’s some major benefits to reading it if you can focus on the agreements themselves.
Most people who are trying to better themselves have a tendency to unintentionally complicate almost everything (to our own frustration, might I add?) The agreements outlined in this book are short, sweet and do wonders for helping us maintain perspective and keep our stress levels just a teeny bit lower.
If you’re someone who gets bogged down in the grind and needs some help zooming out and re-centering yourself, then this is a quick read that I would recommend. It’s ability to help you re-focus on what’s important cannot be overstated.
#4: Quiet – Susan Cain
Shoutout to my fellow introverts!
For a very long time, I felt that my quiet and to-myself nature was a disadvantage. Even though I don’t believe that anymore, I 100% understand how people could feel that there is an advantage to being an extrovert in today’s world.
This book helps with realizing something which I think is crucial when it comes to being an introvert. Introversion isn’t a disadvantage at all. We’re just never really told how to best leverage our introverted nature to work for us instead of against us.
“Quiet” talks in-detail about different useful skills that tend to be easier for introverts; listening, social efficiency, focus in isolation, etc. These are skills that, when applied correctly, can really help improve your life and your goal achievement. If you’ve found that being a quieter, introverted person has held you back in certain areas than I would recommend picking this up!
#5: The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason
Money may not necessarily buy happiness, but it certainly can help reduce stress.
This is a bit of an older book, but it is a quick read and helps the reader understand some basic financial skills that are incredibly useful for any adult to know. On top of this, it presents the information through some rather interesting tales and stories, rather than some other finance books which tend to have a more boring presentation.
If you want to learn a bit more about managing money and setting your future up for more freedom and success, then this is a must-read. Even if you think you already know everything it’s going to say, it’s a short read and well worth the time investment.
Any one of these books will provide you some great insight on changes you can make to work on self improvement and better your current life. After thoroughly reading through all five of these, I can say that my viewpoint on things and my personal drive for productivity would not be the same. I believe people can really benefit from these books, so much so that we have begun including them as required reading in our adult program for those at a more advanced level.
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