Personal Development Books

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Howard Donnelly
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Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:54 am

Can you recommend any good personal development books? A book, or books, that made you a better person?

Here are three that have helped me:
1. Enough, by Jack Bogle.
2. Worldwide Laws of Life, by John Templeton.
3. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:56 am

Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

Victoria
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abuss368
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by abuss368 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:14 pm

How about the huge collection of self help books from Donald Trump?
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Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:00 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

Victoria
Thank you, Victoria.

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JupiterJones
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:48 pm

Your Money or Your Life -- Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

A bit of cliche, but... it's tough to go wrong with anything by Dale Carnegie.

Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World -- Mark Williams and Danny Penman. (Or any other good book on mindfulness, such as those by Jon Kabat-Zinn, or Dan Harris's 10% Happier.)
Stay on target...

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VictoriaF
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:59 pm

JupiterJones wrote:Dan Harris's 10% Happier.
This book is recommended in a group I belong to. Thank you for the endorsement,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by 123 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:00 pm

The Bible has a lot of lifestyle models and anecdotes to learn from. Been a best-seller for quite awhile.
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Michread
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Michread » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:07 pm

These helped me to see the world differently:

The Road Less Traveled, Peck
Small Is Beautiful, Schumacher
The Prophet, Gibran
Deschooling Society, Illich
A Pattern Language, Alexander
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey

physicsgal
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by physicsgal » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:11 pm

Another shout out to 7 habits of highly effective people

The how of happiness
Leaned optimism

I still need to read victor frankl but his story alone is an inspiration to me. I should get that book.

Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:25 pm

Thank you for the suggestions.

epictetus
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by epictetus » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:55 pm

Anything by David K Reynolds. Would recommend starting with the book "Constructive Living."

Epictetus' "The Art of Living- A new interpretation"- by Sharon Lebell
Focus on what you can control

MoonOrb
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by MoonOrb » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:23 pm

Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" had an enormous effect on me, as did Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." I think about concepts laid out in those two books at least weekly.

This one will seem weird, but "Small Stakes Hold 'em," by Ed Miller also had a big impact on how I thought about life. It's a book about poker, but I find myself applying the core concept of expected value to all kinds of decisions and situations. Reading that book gave me a powerful analytical tool to think about life and making choices. But it is strictly a poker book. It is not a "life lessons from poker" book.

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Tycoon
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Tycoon » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:29 pm

The Prince, Machiavelli
Appeal to Pity:When pity is envoked to support a statement | Appeal to Popular Sentiment:Appealing to unrelated prejudices and attitudes | Hasty Generalization:Too little evidence to support the conclusion

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Barefootgirl » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:43 pm

I can also vouch for the power behind Frankl's classic book.

Also, anything written by James Hollis.

If there are specific areas of development, I can probably provide a longer list.

Best, BFG
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by asif408 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:56 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

Victoria
+1

I'd also recommend "Happiness Is a Serious Problem" by Dennis Prager. Don't necessarily share all of his political or religious views but found that the book definitely changed my way of thinking and has made me a better (and happier) person.

Compound
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Compound » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:33 pm

Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

renata
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by renata » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:20 am

asif408 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

Victoria
JupiterJones wrote:Your Money or Your Life -- Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

and another wonderful book:

A guide to the good life { the ancient art of stoic joy }, by William B. Irvine

Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:21 am

Thank you again for the suggestions. I'll read several of the books that have been recommended.
How about books by Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, etc.? Any comments on those, favorable or unfavorable?

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VictoriaF
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:11 am

renata wrote:A guide to the good life { the ancient art of stoic joy }, by William B. Irvine
Thank you, Renata,

The title was intriguing and I checked it out on Amazon.com. The book appears to use the ancient wisdom for emphasizing the enjoyment of life and minimizing regret. Is that accurate?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by renata » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:29 am

Victoria,

I am delighted you responded to my suggestion.

Yes it is about learning and applying ancient philosophy of life that allows you to decrease and control all negative emotions such as regret,fear,anxiety etc.
Reading this book was a life changing experience for me.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:31 am

Renata,

I am delighted in your endorsement of the book. I am going to read it.

Victoria {basking in the mutual delight}
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Peter Foley
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Peter Foley » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:54 am

Another vote for Learned Optimism (Martin Seligman). An understanding of motivation and behavior modification has implications for many facets of our lives. I'm not sure if it was Seligman himself that said this, but I am reminded of the statement "all real change comes from within".

Rupert
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:58 am

Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (his TED talk on the same topic is also worth watching)

mikefixac
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by mikefixac » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:33 pm

The Rational Optimist

Not exactly this genre, but in a round about way, yes.

kayanco
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by kayanco » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:05 pm

Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert. Excellent, excellent book!!

How to Win Friends by Dale Carnegie

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
(These two are not directly personal dev, but excellent is helping understanding our everyday cognitive illusions and fallacies, etc. Both highly recommended!)

Dreams from My Father - Obama

Don't sweat the small stuff - Richard Carlson

Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
Last edited by kayanco on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kayanco
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by kayanco » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:06 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl.

Victoria
I've heard a lot about this one. I need to get it too.

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by kayanco » Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:09 pm

Howard Donnelly wrote:Thank you again for the suggestions. I'll read several of the books that have been recommended.
How about books by Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, etc.? Any comments on those, favorable or unfavorable?
Dude! If you are interested in productivity, Brian Tracy is Excellent!! Check out his "Eat That Frog".

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by SailorJerry » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:57 pm

A New Earth - by Eckhart Tolle

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JupiterJones
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:17 pm

kayanco wrote: Don't sweat the small stuff - Richard Carlson
Great choice! I'm kicking myself for not including it on my list above, in fact.

It's tempting to dismiss that book as fluff, being as it was among that wave of small, often-corny, self-help books that were seemingly for sale next to every bookstore cash register in 1990s ("Life's Little Instruction Book", "Chicken Soup for Soul", etc.)

But it's actually really good stuff that has found genuine and frequent application in my life. Highly recommended.
Stay on target...

Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:44 pm

Here's my problem with Richard Carlson's "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." The full title is, "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff." Terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce... how can things like that be included in, "and it's all Small Stuff?"

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JupiterJones
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by JupiterJones » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:54 pm

Howard Donnelly wrote:Here's my problem with Richard Carlson's "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." The full title is, "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff." Terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce... how can things like that be included in, "and it's all Small Stuff?"
A good point. The book doesn't actually directly address those sorts of things in this book. (He did write a later one called "What About the Big Stuff? Finding Strength and Moving Forward When the Stakes are High", but I have not read it.)

My take on it (and it's just my interpretation) is that, while there are life events that are genuinely "big stuff", we benefit from reacting to them in the same why he recommends reacting to the "small stuff". That is, with a gentle attitude of controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest.

Not an always-passive acceptance that turns us into noodle people, but also not a constant resistance against the reality of what is, beyond the point where that resistance is useful (which is sort of the default mode for us humans, unfortunately). He's advocating a shift toward an aware and considered response to adversity over an uncontrolled reaction to it--an approach that we would nowadays call "mindfulness".
Stay on target...

Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:47 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Howard Donnelly wrote:Here's my problem with Richard Carlson's "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." The full title is, "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff." Terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce... how can things like that be included in, "and it's all Small Stuff?"
A good point. The book doesn't actually directly address those sorts of things in this book. (He did write a later one called "What About the Big Stuff? Finding Strength and Moving Forward When the Stakes are High", but I have not read it.)

My take on it (and it's just my interpretation) is that, while there are life events that are genuinely "big stuff", we benefit from reacting to them in the same why he recommends reacting to the "small stuff". That is, with a gentle attitude of controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest.

Not an always-passive acceptance that turns us into noodle people, but also not a constant resistance against the reality of what is, beyond the point where that resistance is useful (which is sort of the default mode for us humans, unfortunately). He's advocating a shift toward an aware and considered response to adversity over an uncontrolled reaction to it--an approach that we would nowadays call "mindfulness".
Thank you, Jupiter.

Howard Donnelly
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Howard Donnelly » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:23 pm

How about books on personal achievement? Here are three of those that have helped me:
1. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
2. Maximum Achievement, by Brian Tracy.
3. Self-Made in America, by John McCormack

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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Rexindex » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:44 pm

The Bible
Boundaries-cloud/Townsend
Purpose driven life-warren
Road less travelled- m. Scott peck
Mind over mood-Greenberger
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by robertalpert » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:59 pm

Kahlil Gibran

kayanco
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by kayanco » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:06 am

Howard Donnelly wrote:Here's my problem with Richard Carlson's "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff." The full title is, "Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff." Terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce... how can things like that be included in, "and it's all Small Stuff?"
Hello Howard,

I don't think we can (or should) count those things as "small stuff". When we can free ourselves from the actual small stuff, like the everyday noise and minutia, we can actually free up mental and physical resources to actually focus on or take care of the big/important things.

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abuss368
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by abuss368 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:42 pm

I am actually surprised no one has recommended any of Donald Trump's self help and development books! "The Donald" would not be pleased!
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:25 am

Man's Search for Meaning (V Frankl) is short but profound. His philosophy of logotherapy is rooted around the notion that humans pursue meaning, the pursuit of happiness in and of itself is fruitless. As a doctor who lost his whole family in Auschwitz (and himself barely survived) it's quite profound. It is about 'how to sweat the big stuff'. It helped me through a couple of personal tragedies.

Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is an irritating self help book. However it has a number of quite profound observations especially about time management (his 4 quadrant model).

My other favourite line which I try to remember every day is 'Marriage is a bank account. Deposit before you make withdrawals'

That he then became a super one man industry around his philosophies should not put us off the original book, which is well worth a read.

Good to Great by Jim Collins is a book about business but has some worthwhile insights I think

Joe Dominguez's book about Your Money or Your Life is itself quite helpful in terms of setting aside materialistic goals.

kayanco
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Re: Personal Development Books

Post by kayanco » Sun Jun 29, 2014 11:18 am

robertalpert wrote:Kahlil Gibran
I've heard about Kahlil Gibran...would you share some personal synopsis?

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