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What I Actually Use From 12 Classic Self-Help Books

Ideas that remain practical and beneficial.

Mate Molnar, Wikimedia. CC 3.0
Source: Mate Molnar, Wikimedia. CC 3.0

Self-help books offer countless takeaways. Most important are those we use ongoing. I have read each of these books long ago. Here are the takeaways that, for a number of my clients and me, have had staying power.

How to Win Friends and Influence People. While remaining ethical, make people feel good about themselves. Also, help people get what they want and your chances increase they’ll help you get what want. That was emphasized also in Zig Ziglar’s book, See You at the Top.

Think and Grow Rich. Revise your way to excellence. Promptly try something and then, as needed, revise.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Spend as much time as possible doing activities that further your foundational values. One of mine is helping high achievers live up to their potential.

Atomic Habits. Attach your desired new behavior to something you like. For example, if you want to exercise daily, don’t allow yourself to eat dinner until you have exercised.

Thinking Fast and Slow. Sometimes, it’s worth reacting immediately, but other times, it’s wise to reflect. When something is important and the solution or risks are unclear, I try, not always successfully, to make myself sleep on it and view it with fresh eyes in the morning.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. Face the worst and realize that you can deal with it. Then distract yourself by turning your attention to something constructive or pleasurable.

The Five Love Languages. Each of us communicates love mainly in one or two of five ways: tangible gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and acts of service. Even though I wish my wife showed her love differently, after some effort to encourage that, I’ve come to accept her for who she is.

The 48 Laws of Power: Many people appear nice but, when expedient, are far from nice, indeed may unfairly hurt you. Stay alert.

The Four-Hour Workweek. When your time could be better spent, outsource.

The Millionaire Next Door. Live beneath your means. You don’t derive sufficient benefit from big spending. Invest your money in yourself, your business, your financial security, and bang-for-the-buck charity.

The Fountainhead. This is a novel with self-help implications. Don’t let external explanations justify inaction or hiding behind other people. Focus on what you can control: You.

The Daily Stoic. Whatever the world throws at you, put one foot in front of the other. Ever forward.

Anything here you want to try?

I read this aloud on YouTube.

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