7 Self-Improvement Books That Actually Work

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Stuck in a rut and want to get more out of your day than sitting at a desk, punching keys and drinking lukewarm coffee? Hate reading those dull self-help books that are just a stream of 'do this thing and you'll be fulfilled'? Well, good news - we've lined up seven books that will help you get your crap together and take your career, personal life and leisure to the next LEVEL.

Here they are.

Where Good Ideas Come From

Image: BookDepository

Synopsis: Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation identifies key principles that are the driving force of creativity.

Why Should You Read It: Johnson does a really good job of blending entertaining writing with tangible ideas that will help you be more creative and innovative. Not as dry as some of the other texts on offer - just a really 'fun' style to read.

[Get it here.]

Tribe Of Mentors

Image: Penguin Books Australia

Synopsis: Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, shares the ultimate choose-your-own-adventure book - a compilation of tools, tactics, and habits from 130+ of the world's top performers.

Why Should You Read It: Ferriss is a well-known podcaster that often has intellectual and high-achieving guests, but this book continues only a fraction of their advice - he's reached out to over 130 different voices to find out what makes them tick, what makes them successful and what they do to stay on top.

Get it here.

The Captain Class

Image: Penguin Books Australia

Synopsis: The founding editor of The Wall Street Journal's sports section profiles the greatest teams in history and identifies the counterintuitive leadership qualities of the unconventional men and women who drove them to succeed.

Why Should You Read It: It's about sport - but it's not actually about sport at all. It details Walker's investigation of elite sports teams throughout the years and the reasons they were successful. The end result: Leaders are important - but what makes a great leader?

Get it here.

The Signal And The Noise

Image: Penguin Books Australia

Synopsis: In The Signal and the Noise, the New York Times political forecaster Nate Silver, who accurately predicted the results of every single state in the 2012 US election, reveals how we can all develop better foresight in an uncertain world.

Why Should You Read It: Silver does an exceptional job of making data and information seem like enthralling subjects. He details what makes a good forecaster and how this can help in life from predicting the economy to fighting against terrorism. A great piece if you're interested in improving how you think about the future.

Get it here.

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck

Image: HarperCollins

Synopsis: In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

Why Should You Read It: This book is nearly unavoidable at the moment (I seriously can't think of a book store where it's not on display in a prime position) and turns the idea of seeking happiness and what you should care about upside down. Manson, a blogger, details ways to just deal with your shit in a much better way. I didn't find a lot of nuggets of wisdom, but I can certainly see how it would help some people think differently.

Get it here.


Image: Goodreads

Synopsis: Dr Tasha Eurich shatters conventional assumptions about what it takes to truly know ourselves - like why introspection isn't a bullet train to insight, how experience is the enemy of self-knowledge, and just how far others will go to avoid telling us the truth about ourselves.

Why Should You Read It: Eurich examines self-awareness in this badass breakdown of how it contributes to positively realising a myriad of goals - professional and personal. Her methodology is difficult to put into practice because it takes a stunning amount of courage, but it stands out as a book that can entirely change your perception of who you are. Powerful.

Get it here.

Thinking, Fast And Slow

Image: FSG

Synopsis: Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking.

Why Should You Read It: This is one of those books that almost makes you reconfigure your entire day and helps you realise second-by-second, the decisions you make. If you think you're constantly making bad decisions, this is the book for you - it will help you understand the process behind those decisions and what steps you can take to make better ones. Essential. Never mind that it won a Nobel Prize.

Get it here.


    The books actually work? Really? I've never found a book that doesn't - that doesn't let me turn the pages and read it.

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