The 50 Best Self-Help Books of All-Time | Best Counseling …

Posted: October 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm


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Todays fast-paced and high-stress culture has spawned thousands of self-help books, each promising to be the key to living a happier and more successful life. With so much choice, it is easy for quality titles to get lost among the shelves. The following 50 books are some of the most influential self-help books of all time.

This book, published in 1980, is responsible for bringing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to the forefront of psychoanalytic theory. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a treatment strategy for depression that involves conscious restructuring of harmful thought and behavior patterns under the care of a trained psychotherapist. Burns best-seller is responsible for bringing this theory out of academia and to the average reader.

Over the last 35 years, Feeling Good has become one of the most recommended books by psychologists to help depression patients understand their destructive thought patterns. It was one of the cornerstones in popularizing bibliotherapy, as research has shown depression patients who read Feeling Good as a supplement to regular check-ins with a mental health professional see sustained improvements in mood.

Burns theories in Feeling Good have revolutionized the field of Psychology, which has solidified its place among the most significant self-help books ever published.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

Outliers, the third book from Malcolm Gladwell, discusses the collection of factors that go into high levels of success. Gladwell uses his training in Psychology and experience as a journalist to analyze complex social theories and present them in a way that is easy to digest.

Gladwell uses real-world examples like Bill Gates and The Beatles to illustrate the journey from obscurity to mainstream success and how it is possible for anyone who executes the right strategies. One example of such strategy is the 10,000 hour rule, which states any skill can be acquired by anybody willing to put in 10,000 hours worth of practice.

Gladwells ability to break down some of the greatest success stories of modern pop culture into actionable steps for the regular reader makes Outliers a motivational read.

Outliers: The Story of Success

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people has been helping people become more efficient for over 25 years. Originally published in 1989, Covey boils down the common habits of the most successful people into 7 easy to implement habits for the reader to incorporate into his or her everyday life.

The 7 habits outlined in the book are:

-Be Proactive-Begin with the end in mind-Put first things first-Think win-win-Seek first to understand, then to be understood-Synergize-Sharpen the Saw

These 7 habits give readers the skills needed to achieve self-mastery, and then use those skills to become highly efficient in working well with others. Coveys classic is a must-read for those on the journey of personal development.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Last Lecture is a lengthened version of the Final lecture professor Randy Pausch gave before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, entitled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. The book focuses on core principles for his children to embody as part of their everyday lives. It highlights the importance of a mentor, as well as paying it forward by being a mentor towards others.

The content is broken down into 3 subjects. The first is the importance of having dreams. Giving oneself the permission to dream is essential in turning abstract dreams into concrete goals. The second subject is enabling the dreams of others. This focuses on Pauschs idea that the best way to learn something is to think you are learning something else. The final subject is Pausch summarizing the various life-lessons he learned throughout his life.

The Last Lecture is an emotional and motivational read that highlights the role of student-professor relationship in personal development.

The Last Lecture

This book is the culmination of years of research by Stanford professor Carol Dweck on the theory of mindsets. Her basic theory is that our mindsets towards our skills and behaviors are the determining factors in achieving our goals.

Dweck breaks down her theory into fixed mindsets and growth mindsets. Someone with a fixed mindset towards their skills and intelligence believes these traits are inherited and cannot be improved. Those with a growth mindset towards these traits believe that anything can be improved with hard work and dedication. The book focuses on teaching the reader how to progress from the prison of fixed mindsets to the freedom offered by growth mindsets.

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

The Purpose-Driven Life has sold over 30 million copies and has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. Warren has called his book the anti self-help book because it focuses not on improving the self but instead focuses on discovering and following Gods plan for a fulfilled life.

The book is structured around 5 core purposes for following ones life purpose, which are worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission. It is divided into 40 chapters with the authors intention of the reader reading 1 chapter each day. Each chapter is filled with timeless nuggets of wisdom from the Bible, which provide readers with guidelines on how to live the ideal Christian life.

The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?

With over 100 million copies sold in over 40 languages since its 1923 publication, The Prophet is one of the best selling personal development books of all time. The plot is structured around a prophet named Almustafa who has conversations with townspeople on a variety of topics while waiting to board a ship. The information is delivered in 26 separate prose poetry essays, blending the world of poetry and self-help.

The topics covered in The Prophet include good and evil, religion, love, marriage, crime and punishment, laws and pain. These are only a few of the wide spectrum of topics that are covered. The Prophet has served as a handbook of life for readers for 90 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

The Prophet (A Borzoi Book)

Pema Chodron dispenses ancient Tibetan philosophies on life in Getting Unstuck. This book serves as a great introduction into the core Eastern philosophy of mindfulness. Chodron discusses how most of our anxiety and procrastination comes from living in our heads.

Getting Unstuck helps readers get rid of their vices and bad habits by discussing how attachment to these behaviors is a mental prison. It gives readers tips on how to address these behaviors by being comfortable with ones uneasiness. It is being uncomfortable in ones skin that fuels all addictive behaviors and Chodron provides essential actions for remaining grounded in the present.

Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality

The Power of Habit looks at the psychological processes behind the habits that form our daily routines. It discusses how our daily habits become unconsciously engrained by our brains to free up processing power for more important tasks. This is why it is so hard to break habits like smoking. Duhigg breaks down each habit we form into three steps, which is called the habit loop. The three steps are the cue, the routine, and the reward.

The Power of Habit gives the reader a road map to put the habit loop theory into practice and start consciously observing which routines are triggered by which cues, and the rewards for these routines. Establishing new habits is just a matter of consciously assigning a cue and reward to each routine you wish to establish.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Now has been assisting readers on their journey to spiritual enlightenment since its publication in 1997. This book blends psychology and spirituality in a quest to teach the reader how to see through the illusions created by the false self.

The false self, or ego, is the main subject of the Power of Now. The ego is a collection of everything we think we know about ourselves. The Power of Now shows the reader how the ego is the source of all fear and anxiety, and that releasing attachment to the ego relieves these tensions. Critics have dubbed the Power of Now as traditional Zen philosophy with a New-Age spin.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2011 Nobel prize in economics, wrote Thinking, Fast and Slow as a culmination of a lifetime of research in areas such as cognitive bias and happiness.

The main theme of the book revolves around the different systems of thought. System 1 is instinctive and reactive, or fast. System 2 is more deliberate and logical, or slow. The book progresses through the benefits and pitfalls of each system. It takes an academic approach to the self-help genre and backs up every claim with numerous academic theories. Thinking, Fast and Slow is a great read for those looking to dive into communication and psychological theory while simultaneously improving their lives.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

This self-help book focuses on the characteristics that take a business from mediocrity to high levels of success. It has sold 4 million copies and has principles that apply to everyday life as well as the business world.

The core of Collins bestseller centers around 7 common characteristics that took average companies and made them outstanding. These characteristics are:

-Level 5 Leadership-First Who, Then What-Confront the Brutal Facts: The Stockdale Paradox-Hedgehog Concept: The Three Overlapping Circles-Culture of Discipline-The Flywheel

These 7 concepts cover everything from the importance of leadership to assembling the right team members. It also covers setting lofty goals and working as a team to develop a disciplined approach to sustain success.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the LeapAnd Others Dont

The Art of Happiness embodies the foundational concepts of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy towards life. The main focus is on the idea of happiness as a state of mind. Tibetan Buddhism teaches how to surrender the feeling of attachment towards ideas and objects.

This attachment permits external objects or situations to dictate our internal emotional state.

The Art of Happiness teaches readers how to achieve inner happiness, which is happiness not attached to any external forces. It is a mind state that can be achieved to eliminate stress and anxiety in any situation. This timeless advice from a spiritual guru has cemented the Art of Happiness place among the best self-help books of all time.

The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living

This book differs from most self-help books on the market in that it does not promote any quick-fix formula for growth. Instead, Peck promotes self-discipline as the foundation of sustainable personal and spiritual development.

The Road Less Traveled preaches acceptance of the tribulations of life, and focuses on how to exist peacefully with these realities. The main strategies Peck employs are delayed gratification and acceptance of responsibility. By accepting responsibility for every action of our daily lives, no matter how mundane, we eliminate the bad habits and limiting beliefs holding us back from unlocking our potential.

The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

Predictably Irrational dives into the factors that make up our decision-making process. Ariely begins by defining rational thought and how what we think of as rational thoughts are often irrational. The first chapter sets up the rest of the theories by discussing how humans use relatively to make their decisions. The negative side of this thought process causes us to feel inferior because we constantly compare our lives to others.Ariely continues to illustrate how we as consumers assign value to objects based on desirability, availability, and quality; and how all three of these qualities are completely arbitrary.

Ariely teaches readers how to be conscious of this predictably irrational thought in order to make the changes needed to live a more efficient life. The values of self-control and self-awareness are what makes Predictably Irrational a self-help classic.

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

The Power of Positive Thinking paved the way for the self-help book centered on the theory of positive thinking as the sole determining factor in what we get out of life. It set the groundwork for books such as The Secret, which deals with the Law of Attraction.

The Power of Positive Thinking teaches readers how to break the habit of worrying about things outside of their control. It gives practical exercises designed to get the reader to focus their negative energy into positive energy directed towards achieving their goals. These exercises show readers how to embrace their inner power and realize they deserve to receive even their wildest dreams if only they align themselves with the energy of positive thought.

The Power of Positive Thinking

This 1984 self-help classic has sold over 35 million copies worldwide in over 30 languages. You Can Heal Your Life teaches readers how to re-think their view of disease. She teaches her readers that most physical disease is a manifestation of emotional and spiritual unwellness.

Disease is a dis-ease caused by our reactions to external forces. Hay shows how to heal disease by healing the mind and spirit. The primary strategy for healing our thoughts is through affirmations. These are positive messages that the reader writes down or reads aloud every day to reinforce mental and spiritual strength. This simple strategy is why Hays You Can Heal Your Life is still among the top selling self-help books after 30 years.

You Can Heal Your Life

This 1994 book from Deepak Chopra embodies core Hindu beliefs and gives readers the tools to apply these spiritual laws to their daily lives. There are seven laws that structure the book, and they are:

-The Law of Pure Potentiality-The Law of Giving-The Law of Karma-The Law of Least Effort-The Law of Intention and Desire-The Law of Detachment-The Law of Dharma

Each law is coupled with several strategies and anecdotes to help readers incorporate these laws into their attitude towards life. A reoccurring theme throughout each law is the idea that the world is like a boomerang; whatever you throw out into the world will come back to you. This book is a great compliment for those who live the fast-paced western lifestyle.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living has stood the test of time as one of the most popular self-help books on the market over 60 years after its first publication. Carnegies book defined how a generation of readers faced the worry controlling every aspect of their lives.

The book is divided into the following 8 sections:-Fundamental Facts You Should Know About Worry-Basic Techniques in Analyzing Worry-How to Break the Worry Habit Before it Breaks You-Seven Ways to Cultivate A Mental Attitude That Will Bring You Peace and Happiness-The Perfect Way to Conquer Worry-How to Keep from Worrying About Criticism-Six Ways to Prevent Fatigue and Worry and Keep Your Energies and Spirits High-How I Conquered Worry

The first 7 sections outline Carnegies simple philosophies on how to handle worry in various aspects of our lives, such as decision-making and how we are perceived by others. The 8th section provides various stories, from all types of people, which show how they used these strategies to conquer worry and live a fulfilled life.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

This book highlights the role storytelling plays in the development of the human psyche. It is a companion to the 1988, six-part documentary series on PBS, in which Campbell discusses the role of myth throughout human history.

The main premise throughout the six interviews is the stories we tell are a mirror of the human psyche and are humanitys way of interpreting the world around them. He discusses how we can use these myths to interpret our own internal struggles.

He surmises that we are all on the heros journey of our own life and our lives take the general trajectory of the heros journey in the worlds myths.

The Power of Myth

The Magic of Thinking Big was first published in 1959 and its philosophies on setting goals still hold true. The books most important philosophy is thinking highly of oneself. It preaches the importance of setting lofty goals and embracing the power of positive thought to achieve these goals.

Another core concept is the power of visualization. Schwartz provides strategies for visualizing yourself achieving your goals and channeling that feeling for motivation. As these visualizations start manifesting themselves, the next step is to spread the good news. Broadcasting good news sends out gratitude to the universe and keeps the positive cycle flowing.

The Magic of Thinking Big

The Seat of the Soul provides a unique take on life that blends science, philosophy, and spirituality. The main message Zukav stresses is the idea of humans going through a psychological and spiritual evolution.

This evolution involves a shift from external power to internal power. Zukav defines external power as power acquired and defined by our 5 senses. This power is false power since it can be taken away by external forces. Internal power is authentic power since it is completely generated by the individual.

The purpose of the book is to teach the reader how to cultivate this inner power to deal with lifes hardships.

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The 50 Best Self-Help Books of All-Time | Best Counseling ...

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October 2nd, 2017 at 7:54 pm

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