10 Important Lessons From Self-Help Books

Updated on May 22, 2018
Priya Barua profile image

Pursuing a rather tedious subject called law, Priya Barua still tries to find time to follow her passion for blogging.

I have read more than a few dozen self-help books that hash and rehash the same thing over and over again, but that does not mean they are wrong. In fact, all self-help books provide important lessons. In this article, I've crunched down the 10 most important lessons that self-help books seek to teach.

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1. Law of Attraction

You attract what you think and how you feel. You’re like a magnet, and the universal law of like attracts like and unlike attract unlike is true, they say, even for us. Law of Attraction is a concept which is always mathematically accurate. There is no variation—the law works perfectly every time. I have a penchant for reading self-help books and the biggest takeaway from all these books is the sheer belief in the existence of the unfailing law of attraction, though the same concept has been phrased in numerous different ways. With the law of attraction, you can bend the universe and manifest anything and everything that your mind can possibly conceive. If you are religious, then, there is a quote about this in the Bible also.

2. Visualization

Visualization is a technique used in consonance with the Law of Attraction. How do you attract your wants and desires? You do so by visualizing them. You sit in a quiet place, and you imagine the car you wanted. You visualize everything—its colour, shape, and size—you feel your hand touching the hood of the car, imagining how you would feel once you have the car of your dreams. Make the image as vivid as possible. It seems like you can do the same with anything you want from money to a particular purse. Try it. You may have surprising results.

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3. Positive Thinking

Positive thinking has been scientifically proven to be useful in altering the way you look at a situation. Self-help books are big on this concept, and they urge the reader to really practise this thinking. Some suggest it requires sheer determination and dedication to think positively until it becomes a practice while others believe that a set of positive affirmations would aid the brain to take in new thoughts of positivity.

4. Affirmations

Affirmations are a set of tools that help the person take in new thoughts, beliefs, and ideas about oneself, or anything, as a matter of fact. They are considered to be powerful if used regularly, as the brain starts believing whatever it hears the most. So, as a quick example, if you keep telling yourself you are stupid, your brain will start believing you are stupid. Similarly, if you keep telling yourself you are the best, your brain will start believing you are the best.

5. Think Big

If you are thinking positive and spouting affirmations in front of the mirror, you might as well think big. Don’t settle for the small ice-cream, go for the big ice-cream. Joking. Okay, jokes apart, think about all the things you ever wanted and think big. Learn to expand your mind. Sometimes you might scoff at your dreams (push negative thinking aside), but soon, your newly programmed mind will get comfortable with the idea of achieving that big goal.

6. Self-Talk

You know that little voice inside you telling you that you're tired and would just like to crash tonight? That is your inner voice, the incessant chattering that sometimes gets the better of you. That is self-talk. And you need to change your self-talk and reprogram your mind so that you can you can live the life you always wanted. Self-talk can be conscious or subconscious and is reflected in the way you talk about yourself and in many other ways. You need to catch yourself whenever you are about to say something negative and turn that into something positive. For example, change "I can’t do this job, it’s too difficult" into "I am a capable person and this is a challenge I can accomplish." This makes a major life difference, they say.

7. Gratitude List

A gratitude list is an important component in your journey of self-improvement. You can start or end your day by listing down 3–5 things you are grateful for. It is important because it makes you aware of the things that you already have and the things you desire in the future. Now, this concept of a gratitude list is something I truly believe in. I have been doing this for the past 5–6 months and sometimes it can be challenging to find even three things you are grateful for. But you learn to be more grateful, happier and more aware of your blessings. Give this a try. You will be grateful…catch the pun?

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8. Exercise and Eat Healthy

Clearly, the lesson here is to stay fit so that you can be the best performer in your life's story. Otherwise, it would be a sad story of the protagonist always inside a room, sniffing and grumbling under the sheets. Most books recommend a good 30–40 minutes of cardio every day and some deep meditation for 10 minutes to clear your brain. Eat healthily, drink a glass of water when you wake up at 6:00 am sharp and eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. That’s what they say; now it’s up to you to tailor these requirements to fit your needs and schedule. Good luck!

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9. Make Goals

I'm sure you already know this, but here’s the big takeaway. Most of the aforementioned points may not be effective for you unless you know what you want. I repeat unless you know what you want! You need to think long-term and not just about that ice-cream that you want to eat. Consistently meditating and working on your goals will give you a sense of purpose and clarity.

10. Self-Refection

Self-refection is a must if you want to succeed in life. Take out a few minutes every day to journal on the happenings of the day. Write down what you did, how you handled things and how you could have done it differently. Often, the technique of bullet journaling is used for this. Sum up your entire day in bullets and then in a week’s time, check your feelings and equilibrium. It’s almost like keeping a diary, but with more focus on your targets and goals.

Which of the above do you believe in?

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