Do you take “smartcuts” – efficient and effective patterns of behaviors that will move you towards success? In Simple is the New Smart: 26 Success Strategies to Build Confidence, Inspire Yourself, and Reach Your Ultimate Potential, Rob Fazio sets out a series of common challenges. For each problem, he proposes a simple solutions to overcome and improve in that area.
(Or, Why There Should Be More “Self” in Self-Help)
Welcome to my sporadic series of essays where I highlight my general concerns with self-help books as a genre, despite continuing to read a ton of them.
We’ve all heard the sayings. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” “It’s your attitude, not your circumstances, that determine how successful you are.” These attitudes can be summed up in a single phrase: you control your destiny. This belief is the foundation and promise of most self-help books in the “Success” genre; teach yourself to think and act correctly and you’ll achieve whatever you want.
Unfortunately, the same fatal flaw afflicts each of these often-quoted truisms: the message only usefully applies to yourself.
You can do better. Yes, you! And “better” doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a high-flying mogul or millionaire deal-maker. Better just means…You, Only Better. And in the eponymous book, Nicholas Bate proposes to show you how to go about getting better.
Have you ever found yourself flailing aimlessly, trying to figure out “what’s next” but not particularly hopeful of your chances, unsure of where to even begin? Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction aims to be the solution. The program guides the reader through a series of exercises, generating an answer to that eponymous question: “now what?”
We’ve all had a boss who seemed to suck the air out of the room. They made us feel both overworked and underutilized – busy carrying out their plans, not able to make the significant contributions we felt capable of. On the other hand, we’ve probably also all had great leaders who got more out of us than we even knew was possible.
Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter argues that the difference between a Multiplier leader and a Diminisher leader comes down to a handful of key assumptions and the behaviors that each mindset produces.
Do you dream of living your life your own way? Are you looking for a guide to fitting your dreams, your goals, and your day-to-day work together into a coherent and powerful path? In The Fire Starter Sessions, Danielle LaPorte promises this and much more.
Do you struggle with time management? Do you feel like you’re renting your 24 hours each day, rather than owning them? In Time Management Manifesto, Thomas Dowd proposes a series of principles and practices to dramatically improve your productivity as well as your work-life balance.
(sorry this review is a little late!)
Do you often feel rushed, stressed by deadlines, always wishing you had more time? The 9 Secrets of Time Mastery: How to Save At Least 1 Hour Every Day promises to, well, save you an hour a day! By following certain key principles, it suggests, you can cut out time-wasters and get more done.
Do you find yourself setting over-optimistic yearly goals, or setting goals and then falling behind on the work you need to accomplish them? In Twelve Week Year, Brian Moran and Michael Lennington argue that twelve months is not the best timeframe for goal-setting. They propose replacing this “annualized” thinking with short term goals, in which a “year” is only twelve weeks long.
What does it mean to have good character? And why does character matter? Lorne Rubis developed a theory of the “Character Triangle”, a trio of characteristics that not only strengthen your own character but allow you to influence others and make an impact.