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New Year, New Me? Top Books for Becoming Your Best Self This Year

Two people holding sparklers for New Year's

I am always grateful for the start of a new year. A chance to sit back and reflect on the accomplishments and the shortcomings of the previous year. A chance to say, "I did a good job!" there or, "Yeah, I didn't know enough to handle that situation better at the time. But now I would've handled it this way!" here.

It's a chance for ultimate self-reflection...and the chance to tell the next twelve months who's boss!

In my personal reflection, I perceive myself as having accomplished a lot. I got a new job. I (almost!) finished a new book. And I feel more confident as a person than I did even three months ago - not to mention a year ago.

So, let me share with you some books that have changed me or some titles that I've come across that I think could help us all improve our lives so that we can get the most out of our next all-too-fast spin around the sun.

Without further ado, here is my list! =)

How to Win Friends and Influence People Book Cover

Written in the 1930's, this book still inspires today! Dale Carnegie is basically the basis for every motivational speaker of our time, from Tony Robbins to Robert Kiyosaki to Stephen Covey. Now, if your first instinct with this book is repulsion or apprehension at the very least, then you share what mine was upon my first reading. But, I'm glad I gave it a go....

In a civil society and a capitalist economy, you cannot force people to do what you want them to do (and thank goodness!). You do have to listen to them. You do have to see what they want first. And, sometimes you win them, and sometimes you don't. That's the basic law of the matter. So, if you're wanting a basic manipulation book, this isn't it. Let others pervert it. But, if you want to genuinely lead people and get them to think your way, then this is a good place to start.

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living book cover

Up next is also a classic from Carnegie but lesser known. Bubbling up from his classes that he used to teach to adults was a collection of strategies and mindsets that won the day in the arena of battling worry. His students would test out different methods that they themselves would create and applied them in their own individual contexts. Although it doesn't directly go to the heart of leadership and winning debates, it indirectly does so by going directly to you and how to conquer worry (what we can call "anxiety and depression") which steals joy and blocks us from living life to its fullest potential.

The Power of Now book cover

A more philosophical book than "motivational" in the obnoxious sense of the term, The Power of Now reads almost like a Stoic manuscript preserved from the Greco-Roman era of thought. In sum, if you can come to terms with the fact that you cannot live in the future and you cannot change the past, then you stand a chance to unlock a lot of potential for realizing your dreams and moving on from hurt and missed opportunity. A lot of power is in now. Are you ready to unlock it?

Getting It Done When You're Depressed book cover

I dislike this title because it boxes in those who read it to one category rather than the categories which the book actually addresses. "Depression" can be a lack of energy, emotional gridlock or over-thinking. Either way, "depression" gets in the way of a lot of what we try to do and accomplish in our fast-paced, media-saturated lives; and this contribution by Drs. Fast and Preston seek to disrupt the disruptive energies in our lives, the cloudiness in our minds, and the "boot" that is attached to the "vehicle" of our ambitions.

Motivation doesn't win the day all the time. Sometimes you can be very motivated yet still struggle to find the energy or the strategy to get the job done. Sometimes analysis of paralysis, over-thinking the tasks that get us to our goals, or lacking the skills to self-talk without becoming abusive can lead to mental setbacks that ultimately set our goals back. Get your life back in action and achieve the potential that you see for yourself by reading this book!

What are some books that help you win the day?

Leave them in the comments below, and Happy New Year!

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