Answer- You should read personal development books. They are inspiring, fun, practical, and are chock full of great advice. Great advice that will help you achieve a better personal and professional life. For ease I’ll refer to them as “PD books”. I attribute a great deal of my current personal and professional success to the information and mindset I received from PD books. Before you dive into reading a pile of PD books or before the haters out there swear PD books off entirely, there are some insights I’ve gained after reading so many of these books I wanted to share:
- I’ve found PD books to be extremely helpful. I originally assumed PD books are only for those with issues, either personal or professional, that need fixing. This is not the case. The majority of PD books focus on how to improve yourself if you’re a normal person now attempting to achieve something better. In other words if you want your life/work to stay the same it is now, don’t read PD books; if you want it to change/improve, pick up a book lazy-bones.
- Some PD books suck. Whatever you plan on improving or looking to learn more about, focus on the top selling/rated PD books. Look on Amazon for this. The very best rated books are sure to be thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring.
- There are parts of every PD book that I flat out don’t agree with or laugh at because the author assumes “perfect world” scenarios. Some books I stopped reading because I disagreed with it so adamantly. This should not deter you from reading PD books. Having differing opinions than the author or agreeing with him/her will help solidify your values and beliefs in life and work. Having this clearly established helps you make decisions more easily.
- Skip anything you don’t want to read. Although I don’t do this frequently, I’ll skip entire chapters if I don’t think it will help me. Unlike plot-developing fiction novels, many chapters don’t necessarily contribute to the overall gain of the book, so skip a few if you want. PD books are a tool you use to improve and you’re in complete control of what’s important or not.
- Be able to take advice and take action. One of the most important abilities I have been able to develop is being able to take advice from others and turn it into actionable steps to better myself. Most people ignore advice entirely, override it with their past viewpoints or do not go the next step of defining actions to take. Be the exception. I attack PD books with the mindset that these authors are more successful than me in the area I want to learn about so I will actually implement some of their teachings. That being said…
- You are the expert of you. No one has the same past experiences, read the same books or learned the same things in their working lives. Do not get discouraged when reading about the successes of the author or others. It is fine to maintain your opinions despite a more “successful” persons is telling you to think differently. You are the expert of you and you ultimately will know what is best to help you achieve something better. You’re only using PD books as a tool to help your decision process.
- Have fun. PD books are inspiring and peak your optimism. Enjoy your reads and have fun with it. Talk about it with friends; you’ll quickly realize which ones are really determined to achieve something better.
Have a great holiday week everyone!