Self improvement books actually worth reading

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by leafeon34, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. leafeon34
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    leafeon34 GBAtemp Fan

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    So I'm in my early 20's and have no job nor do I engage in formal study. Sure its easy leaching off my dad and I get a comfortable amount of money from him and doing odd jobs he finds me like mowing people's lawn. I think its time I actually got a life - it was my new year's resolution after all. Theres more self improvement books than I care to know, but filtering out the good from the rest is another story. Theres a lot of smart and successful young people on this forum so I figure this is a good place to ask.

    Books I have read

    - How to win friends and Influence people
    - What every BODY is saying - An ex FBI agent's guide to speed reading people

    Books I am currently reading

    - The enterpreter's guide to getting your shit together
    - Triple your reading speed <- This one is REALLY challenging to me
    - The memory book: The classic guide to improving your memory at work school and play
    - The charisma myth
    - How to instantly connect with anyone

    So if you have any book recommendations or other tips in general please leave a comment.
     
  2. ComeTurismO
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  3. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

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    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    Never read more than one self-improvement book in a row. You need to push yourself in the pool now.

    and lol at CT being your first reply XD
     
  4. yuyuyup
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  5. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    Starting Strength.

    Gains are your God and Mark Rippetoe is your prophet.
     
  6. leafeon34
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  7. Densetsu

    Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    +1 for Starting Strength.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  8. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    Let's take a look at my bookshelf...

    Men are from Mars, women are from Venus - John Gray. Helped me understand women better than I'd like to admit. I understand it has some enemies due to popularity, but IMHO they're attacking things that they THINK they've read (and I sometimes suspect those enemies never actually read the book in the first place)
    NLP for dummies - Romilla Ready, Kate Burton. NLP is a pretty interesting thing about getting to know the human psyche. Not everything it says may be true, but it's more whether it works or not. There's quite some literature to be found by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, but in Dutch (which is my main language), this is about the only book I can actually understand.
    The lessons of Don Carlos - Victor Sanchez. If Carlos Castaneda rings a bell and you want to know more about shamanism, this is the book for you. It's more or less a summary of all Castaneda's books, and less...in Dutch we'd say "zweverig" ("floaty"). Basically, it's less naive than the average new age book.
    Six thinking hats - Edward De Bono. Describes six ways of looking at a given situation. While it is sort of written for board meetings, it can apply in most situations where thinking is involved.

    and most of all:

    Who moved my cheese? - Spencer Johnson. A little story about mice and men in a maze looking for cheese. And the lessons they learn within. If you have to read ONE book, this should be that one.


    I know it's a joke, but still: no. No. NO!!!!!!!!! :hateit:

    Seriously, if you want to know more about BDSM, check out the works of Dossie Easton & Janet Hardy. The new bottoming book and The new topping book are good reads if you want to know more about it yourself, and "When someone you know is kinky" is apparently a good book if you want to know why that friend of yours does what he/she does.
     
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If Densetsu is allowed to suggest art of war and book of 5 rings then I will also add hagakure. Going completely off beat then confessions of a sociopath.

    By and large self improvement books I find to be hippy bullshit. If you must then cut to the chase and go advertising psychology or developmental psychology, later stage if you want but it is better not to skip the early stuff.

    Alternatively gain a skill, improve one you want to do. Society does seem to value bits of paper but if you really then there are still many trades that do not value such things, or at least ones that do not require you to have such things before dismissing them.

    All this said I am probably one of the least... actually I don't know -- I find myself self taught in fields that many seem to advise not going in for the self teaching part in, I can only conclude it is because I do not lack motivation. However getting a family and career, something many seem to aspire to, just seems like a shortcut to a drinking problem and a load of hassle and all for no great gain, or at least one of those biological imperatives similar to the one that tells me that salted sugar butter is something worth nibbling upon all day long -- useful on the savannah 10000 years ago, less useful when we live in a world where 7 different people spread over basically all the time zones in the world can afford to have a throwaway conversation like this, for free.
     
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  10. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

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    Any book from Richard Bach will make you reconsider your own life. In a good way, obviously. I love the man.
     
  11. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

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    I gotta say that in this case, I'm one of them. I sometimes attempt to read a bit of the art of war, but it's all anecdotes and stories of advice on how to wage war (which is kind of obvious, considering the title). I can see how it is relevant and useful in military and business practices, but in self improvement? Pretty much nil (kind of the same as listening to soundbites from the 'Godfather' movies).
     
  12. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Ignoring the life as business/war philosophy I would say that book of five rings covers quite a bit of philosophy, as does the hagakure book I mentioned, and art of war is usually something people would read at the same time.
     
  13. Smuff
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  14. zeello

    zeello The reason we can't have nice things.

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    Will Storr's book The Unpersuadables (formerly titled The Heretics) is worth reading.
     
  15. Densetsu

    Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    Book of Five Rings isn't a self-help book, but it's more of a philosophy and attitude to live by.
    I suspected this would be the general attitude most people on this forum would have toward books like these. Believe me, I used to be the same.

    I like to ask people what kinds of books they read because it's a quick way to get a feel for how they think (not foolproof, but it paints a good picture). I noticed that the most successful people I know tend to read books like these. I used to dismiss their taste in books as crap.

    It wasn't until someone very close to me went to prison for 2 years and got back out that I started changing my mind. While locked up, he'd seen up-close some of the vilest acts men can commit toward other men, and he was traumatized (he was in for possession of narcotics with intent to sell, otherwise he was never a violent person). As a convicted felon, he lost his license for his original career that he worked his ass off for, he couldn't get a job, couldn't go back to school, a lot of his self-righteous friends had turned their backs on him, his self-esteem was low and he felt his future had been destroyed. I was really worried for him. But I saw him go from suicidal to living the life that most people would only dream of having within a year. I asked him what he did to bounce back, and he showed me his bookshelf and offered to let me borrow some of his favorite books. So I kept an open mind, shrugged my shoulders and gave it a try. They certainly helped me out. I really think there's wisdom to be gained from these kinds of books.

    But I'm not here to convert anyone. Some people feel they can accomplish everything they want in life without any help or they feel they have nothing to gain from self-help books--good for them. I'm just suggesting some books that I've read (or plan on reading) because it's what the OP requested.
     
  16. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Not that it is any less considerable, all too often the main recourse for those that have had a brush with the law is to do it again (criminality is a pretty good example of a meritocracy in action, see also my earlier comments on pieces of paper), but one with enough drive to do something in the first place, enough to have to have something to lose, will tend to still retain that. It is the whole bolt of inspiration/crystallising moment vs the actual small steps it probably took thing again, mind you I have nothing especially against totems, magic feathers, focuses, safety blankets, reminders and the like.

    Of course I will probably once more have to end with the disclaimer that I probably would not suggest my attitude towards things as one to emulate, mainly as I am told I am exceptionally infuriating to a lot of people.
     
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  20. Densetsu

    Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    Keep the posts on topic. This is not the EoF.
     
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  24. leafeon34
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    leafeon34 GBAtemp Fan

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    Well thanks for the recommendations guys, especially Densetsu. Normally if something I'm reading strikes me as new age I'll close it and leave it at that, but this time I'll open my mind up a little. I've zapped myself to Sweden and... obtained a few of the books mentioned, only the ones I actually intend to read.
     
  25. yuyuyup

    yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Okay, maybe there is a way I can convey my thoughts in a way that won't result in my comment being nuked off the face of the earth and a banning. What I was trying to say was, I read your message and I admire your desire to improve yourself despite comfortable living arrangement. My experiences working in what many consider a "bad job" actually did give me much insight into the way my mind works; am I standing up for myself when needed ? Are others meeting the standard that I set, and if not, am I being recognized as the strongest link ? These are a few examples of how I was able to come to terms with some of my cognitive issues.

    ATTENTION MODS: I RE-VIOLATED THIS TOPIC, PLEASE REBAN ME, I'M SORRY
     
  26. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Irish ex captain

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    Hopefully one day you will come to terms with and be able to conquer your victims complex too.