Self help books

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  • Self help books
  • MSP

    Are there any that are actually useful, that people have read, implemented the actions and become a better person?

    I was just thinking of “the chimp paradox” which was all the rage a couple of years ago. When I read it I found it oversimplified, patronising childish crap.

    I guess Allen Carrs stop smoking/drinking books have actually helped people. But are there any other examples of self help books that have improved peoples life, other than the authors.

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    I’ve found plenty helpful, if not life changing (requires real effort) eg Feel the Fear and do it Anyway, The Road less Travelled (until it got religious).


    I’ve used ‘Treat your own rotator cuff’ and now am reading ‘Bulletproof your Knee’, both byJim Johnson.

    The 59 Second book is good:

    Premier Icon bikebouy

    NLP was all the rage in the 90’s 🤣🥳

    Maybe we’re due for a resurgence 😳🃏

    Premier Icon DezB

    I’ve started a fair few, but never finish them.
    Last one was one, I think Chipps recommended, about de-cluttering. Someone bought it for me, but guess what…
    Is there a self help book on how to get through a self help book?

    I’ve tried to get through “Teach yourself to read for absolute beginners”

    Struggling with it if I’m honest

    Premier Icon Moe

    ‘Warriors, Settlers, Nomads’ is an illuminating read.

    perchy wins again

    “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tole is good and has been recommended by celebrities like Oprah, etc.


    It would only be a self help book if you wrote it yourself.

    Premier Icon Drac

    I ordered one from Waterstones but they expected me to collect it, seemed like too much hardwork.


    This book helped me a lot when my mind was all over the place.


    David Goggins Can’t Hurt Me Audio Book is better than the book both are brilliant.


    I’m having a go at ‘Freedom’ by Osho. It’s a bigger picture kind of thing.


    Feel the fear and do it anyway is excellent. To be honest you only have to read the cover, and you can do that for free.

    Likewise ‘Your bodies many cries for water’ Didn’t even open that one but it worked

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    Depends on the topic.

    I’m an engineer (and I suspect a little autistic) and really struggle to write in a way that engages people positively. I remember being taught how to write essays by my Geography teacher in order to get me through A-levels as my brain just seems to splurge information out in an apparently random fashion, so she showed me how to structure everything into 6 sentence paragraphs. Which was convenient as the exam board offered 7 marks for each point made and I’ve stuck with it ever since. For example this paragraph!

    Sum [Up]

    See, it works!

    But for simpler stuff, like giving someone an instruction via e-mail, I tend to come across as passive aggressive as a function of just being really dry. So I’ve read a few books on persuasion/assertiveness (that being the opposite of passive aggressive). But I still sit there staring at the message trying to re phrase it in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m calling the person who asked the question a totally incompetent idiot!

    Most books can be summed up with a couple of key ideas, the rest is just 200 pages of fluff to justify the £9.99 price tag before they end up in the 2for1 deal at an airport WHSmith.


    Catch-22, although I don’t think you’ll find it under “self help” in the library.

    Premier Icon Pz_Steve

    Years ago I decided that my ticket out of this hell-hole (i.e. slightly below averagely paid, perfectly comfortable existence) was to write a self-help bible, explaining exactly how readers could exchange their own mediocre-but-not-really-that-bad life for one of untold riches and comfort (and therefore happiness, obviously). All they’d have to do is write a best-selling self-help book.

    Simple. (It’s kinda pyramid selling to the easily manipulated).

    Of course I’ve done nothing about it, so I’m throwing it out there for someone with more get up and go than me (i.e. any) to run with. Only asking for 10% of sales.

    This refinement of my original plan will form the basis of the follow-up book.


    Depends what your after really.
    You could try the below. Easy to read, don’t be put off by the Title.

    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy For Dummies 2nd by Rhena.


    The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is one I’d really recommend. Very much focused on getting from where you are now (whether that’s personal or professional) to where you want to be, with lots of actionable steps at the end of each section and points where it encourages you to hold yourself accountable as to whether you’re implementing all the steps.

    Have a look here: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield

    Very much a “doing” not “feeling” book, probably why I liked it so much.

    Premier Icon rogermoore

    It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be and Whatever You Think Think the Opposite both by Paul Arden. Short, snappy and very left field but interesting.
    How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Read this when I was younger and it stuck a chord at the time (bar the religious stuff for me but YMMV?).

    Premier Icon slackalice

    It completely depends upon where you are in your journey / quest for some semblance of sanity to be honest OP. I tend towards books find us, rather than the other way, so suggestions may not work as well as you putting the leg work in and perusing the relevant section in your local book store, if one still exists where you are.

    Having said that, there are some good suggestions above, particularly The Power of Now and The Road Less Travelled, although both will explore one’s relationship with faith, which quite frankly is one of the cornerstones of inner peace IMHO.

    If you, like nearly everyone on here, has a problem understanding the difference between religious dogmas and personal faith, then the two books by Eckhart Tolle and M Scott Peck will test your powers of endurance. Alternatively, if you approach your journey and life with an open mind, you’ll no doubt find them beneficial.

    Another small tome I found, and still do, very useful is Heal Your Body by Louise Hay, this is a quick reference guide to the metaphysical causes of symptoms, which does actually make you think…

    Good luck with your journey and bear in mind that age and experience are two powerful factors if you’re so inclined.


    Read the art of War by Sun tzu.
    I’d recommend this version

    As it contains a lot of commentary and stuff.

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    “Procrastination for Financial Success, Better Health, and an Awesome Sex Life” by Epicyclo.

    I’ll get round to writing it one day…


    The time crunched cyclist. Nothing like a few serious turbo sessions to make you a better person.

    with faith, which quite frankly is one of the cornerstones of inner peace IMHO.

    There’s only one cornerstone, find something that’s yours and make an island for yourself.

    There’s no such thing as faith, there are observations – of which we can only be sure of through our human statistics. Your beliefs are all biases.

    As soon as you realise that, stupid stressful shit and peoples stupid **** beliefs don’t matter any longer.

    Premier Icon slackalice

    @mattyfez – thanks for that, been looking for a better edition, good read.

    @rbw – we all make our own world.

    Boba Fatt

    I read this, lots of good advice, but I still seem to give too much of a……

    Of course I’ve done nothing about it, so I’m throwing it out there for someone with more get up and go than me (i.e. any) to run with.

    I am assuming that this is the basis of your self help mantra/theory? Its exactly why you have a mediocre but ultimately comfortable existence.


    Touching the void, not strictly a self help book, but hard to moan about things as much when you think how much commitment he had to surviving. It changed the way I think about a lot of things.

    I also think “Thinking fast and slow” is a great book, it’s taking me ages to read and again, not self help related, but good to learn from.


    “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” (and its all small stuff…)

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