Books

Wed, 20 Feb, 2019Joanita Wibowo

5 self-improvement books you should read

5 self-improvement books you should read

Starting the journey to self-improvement and personal development can be as simple as turning a page. Here are our recommendations for books that will take your career and personal life to the next level.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

For those looking to find existential relief, many have championed this book as a must-read for anyone looking to find meaning and purpose in life. In the 1946 book, Frankl shared his experiences as a prisoner in the Nazi concentration camp during the second World War.

Reflecting on his observations, Frankl argues that while suffering is unavoidable, individuals have the power to cope, find meaning in the struggle and move forward with a renewed purpose.

“I'm 77 and every time I re-read the book, I find new relevant meaning," a reviewer wrote.

The Organized Mind by Daniel Levitin

In the digital age, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the plethora of information and choices out there. Levitin, cognitive psychologist and musician, does not churn easily doled-out maxims to deal with this heavy flow of information – instead, he delves deep into neuroscience behind how the brain works, showing how readers can work with instead of against their mind in dealing with the challenges of daily life.

Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler

We make decisions everyday – what to eat, where to go, what to do, how to spend our money and more. But if you feel like you keep making more poor choices than the good ones, Nudge’s theory of "choice architecture" can help turn that around.

Nudge's main idea is that we are constantly influenced by bias and status quo (or the default option), which leads us to make terrible choices even when the better ones are within sight. By understanding how our brain works when we're making decisions, we can start overcoming ineffectual tendencies and "nudge" ourselves towards choices that benefit us and the world most.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Making friends and building new relationships can get more difficult as we grow older, but How to Win Friends offers time-tested wisdoms that can help you get back on your feet.

This all-time classic has become a global bestseller and a staple across the world. First published in 1936, the principles taught in this book have withstood the test of time and helped readers across generations such as billionaire Warren Buffett in building social skills and changing their mindset. Reviews have praised the book’s revealing insights into relationships as well as assumptions we make and blind spots we have when interacting with other people.

59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman

As one of Britain’s best-selling authors, Wiseman has written many books on psychology, luck and paranormality. In 59 Seconds, Wiseman brings together diverse scientific studies and experiments into actionable nuggets of advice that you can incorporate into your everyday life. Some of the practical tips include, "Next time you attend an important meeting, obtain a quick and easy psychological advantage by sitting in the middle of the group" and "The best way of getting someone to like you is not to do them a favour, but rather to get them to do you a small favour."

"It's like a Swiss Army knife for life and all the tips and hacks are condensed in a one minute principle," one reader wrote.

Have you read any of these books? Tell us about your favourite self-help book in the comments.

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