Sometimes, inner strength feels like a moving target: you have it, then you don’t, then you do again. Here, stories from people who, more often than not, have it figured out, sharing their absolute best techniques and advice.
Read 55 Self-Help Success Stories here, and subscribe to the right for more.
Self-help reading isn’t just self-help books. Nonfiction of all kinds contributes to a person’s physical, intellectual, emotional, financial, spiritual, and relational well-being. For this reason, I’ve made use of my obsession with all kinds of nonfiction (and love of note-taking) to compile a comprehensive-as-possible recommended reading list for people looking to achieve their own feats of great strength. This list includes books on business, finance, psychology, sociology, history, spirituality and more. For each book listed, I provide a brief content summary, then offer practical takeaways from a self-help lens.
It’s cognitive therapy with a spiritual twist. That’s how I think of the negativity-purging methods of popular teacher and author Byron Katie. And considering my feelings about both CBT and spirituality, it’s not surprising that I love it. Katie’s approach to challenging unhelpful beliefs has much in common with widely-used evidence-based counseling therapies, giving it credibility, while her unique techniques bring it a dynamic quality that’s a bit hard to describe. In My Byron Katie Detox, I relate my year of purging my unhelpful thoughts using her method.
I love a good goal–especially a New Year’s resolution. And especially a self-improvement one. In You’re Getting Closer, I write about my year-long attempt to meditate daily and develop closer relationships. It was one of my first books that I didn’t completely hate after a few years, and yet, I still don’t think it is quite good enough to submit to my current publisher. (I also unpublished it on Amazon, since I no longer self-publish except on this blog.) Read You’re Getting Closer: One Year of Finding God and a Few Good Friends here.
In 2011, I experienced the death of my newborn daughter, who we named Jane. This is the story that came of my grief.
Oprah-approved alternative spirituality books like The Power of Now and Eat Pray Love offer some serious promises. We can improve our relationships. We can make the world a better place. Most important, we can crack the code for inner peace.
Fortunately for us, some of them deliver. Not always as completely as promised, but let’s not be too picky. Most of us have a healthy number of issues to figure out. It’s a bit much for any one teacher to deal with.
Which is why many of us spiritual types read every good book on the subject we can find. Some give us practical techniques. Some shake up our entire perspective. Others simply offer a bit of hope.
In these pieces, I offer my Inner Peace Greatest Hits–the spiritual-but-not-religious books that over the years have actually helped me become a happier, more fulfilled person. Each top-level entry links to a full article on the book that includes a personal anecdote and notes on the book.
About ten years ago, I gathered a bunch of law of attraction success stories from my readers and created this series. At the time, I was reading all the spirituality books I could get my hands on, and noticing a lot of interesting changes for the better in my own life. I wanted to keep the positive stuff coming.
Since my law of attraction phase, my perspective on the concept has shifted a bit. I don’t know how much God or the universe or quantum mechanics has to do with our tendency to manifest what we visualize. These days, it seems to me that the law of attraction works because of the power of our minds. We know what we’re capable of, and what opportunities might come our way. Then we imagine the best of those things and seek out ways to bring them to us.
Sure, it sometimes seems like magic, or God, or the larger intentions of the universe–and maybe sometimes it is. But I tend to believe we create our own magic by getting in touch with our intuition, which is based on innumerable observations and experiences and contains more data than any supercomputer ever built.
Or maybe it’s just subatomic particles. Who knows?
Every once in a while, I experiment with fiction writing, mostly for a young adult or new adult audience. Clearly, I have a long way to go before writing the next great young adult novel, but well, I’m trying. More to come. Read some of my short stories here.