Everything You Need To Know About Self Improvement And Self Help

17 min read

What is Self Help or Self Improvement ?

 

It simply means to help yourself by making yourself better in specific areas.

A couple of centuries ago, when children were born, they would be brought up by their parents for some years only. After that, they would send their children to special teachers (mentors) who used to educate these students by different methods.

Ancient Monk

They would train them emotionally and mentally according to that time. This was a widespread practice and helped in forming better individuals who were mentally and physically strong.

Gradually, as the time passed, parents preferred to send their children to schools rather than to these mentors.

Modern schools don’t have these influential mentors, and hardly they teach any extra skills which can be helpful anywhere apart from academic.

Therefore, a child has insufficient people to learn from, i.e., parents, friends, schoolmates, neighbor, relatives and some other people he comes in contact with.

He learns whatever he sees and listens these people around him reflecting. He takes advice from these people who themselves might have limited knowledge of handling a particular problem and providing solutions.

When these children grow up to become individuals, they face many problems like anxiety, sour relationships, financial issues, communication, dealing with situations and many such matters. All of these remain unsolved due to the lack of good advice and guidance from a good source.

Why I told you this story?

This probably is the story of many people.

People feel disconnected, though they are connected on many social platforms! They feel alone even when there are so many people in this world.

We all face so many ups and downs in our life, but, the real problem isn’t that we meet ups and downs, it is that we don’t have quality people around us who can lift us up when we are struggling. People, who can provide us with better solutions or show us the path.

 

So ‘Self-Help’ becomes really important because not everyone, every time is lucky enough to get the support from the right people.

 

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Why self help?

why self help

When you struggle in some aspects of your life, your parents and even someone you are close to tries to help by providing their advice, whether they faced the same problem which you are facing or not.

But how useful is that advice? Will that really help you solve the problem?

Well! I’m not saying that all the pieces of advice given by these people are totally wrong or they aren’t of any help to you.

Take it this way:

Imagine and think whose advice can be valuable practically.

Instance 1:

You have a stomach ache, and you are vomiting. Would you instead go to see a doctor or ask your neighbor (not from the medical background) about what has happened to you?

 

Instance 2:

You want to invest in stocks and earn money. Would you ask a professional for the advice or a typical friend?

 

I have given above scenarios to clear that not every one is expert in everything. When we prefer to go to specialists for any of our needs, then why don’t we seek advice  also from experts?

 

Though there are different ways for self help,  let’s talk about the most common form of self-help i.e., self-help books.

 

Self help books are mostly written by the people who have expertise in their fields.

 

I say: ‘expertise’ because writing a good book isn’t easy, for that one needs years and years of experience to provide real-life examples and in-depth knowledge of the subject. Therefore, pearls of wisdom offered in these books are valuable.

 

 

Let’s see why should you be reading self help books:

 

1. Self help is the right choice:

self help is right choice

You learn from the best mentors in the form of their books who themselves have been so successful in the field. Experience is the mother of wisdom.

For example:

Dale Carnegie

He was a writer and a lecturer. He used to teach public speaking and building confidence in his era. If you want to learn these skills, he is the best person to teach you that as he has got expertise. Check out his book: How To Win Friends And Influence People.

Warren Buffet

Though he wasn’t a success in his young age, he managed to rule the stock market. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US$84 billion as of June 3, 2018, making him the third wealthiest person in the world. If you want to learn about investing, he is the right person to teach you that.

Check out his book: The Intelligent Investor.

 

2. Self development makes you a positive person:

self help makes you a positive person

Reading positive ideas and stories daily, which you usually get in self help content and self improvement books, make you filled with positive thoughts. When you read positive, learn positive, you become positive.

 

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”

— Buddha

 

3. Self help is Motivating:

self help is motivating

Developing a self help habit gives the control of your destiny in your own hands. You can decide what you want to have and plan for it. You can even choose how much effort you want to put, how to put and when to put to get the desired results.

 

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”

— Lyndon B. Johnson

4. Self help makes you feel good about yourself:

Self improvement makes you feel good about yourself

When you know what you want, and you get the ideas of how you can get what you want, you feel good! Also, when you work on your plans, it reflects in you and people tend to notice the positive changes. Getting to know that what you are trying is actually working, makes you happy in return.

 

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

— Willie Nelson

 

5. Self help makes you a role model:

Self development makes you a role model

When you start becoming better at something, people approach to you for your advice as they consider it precious. And when people want to be like you at something, you indeed, become a role model!

 

6. Self help makes you a wiser person:

self help makes you a wiser person

Gradually when you increase your self-awareness, you start solving most of your problems by yourself. You also begin resolving future issues which you might face. In the long run, you will find yourself becoming the best advisor for yourself!

 

7. Self help is inexpensive:

self help is cheap

Self help hardly costs you much. All it requires is your will to implement the ideas which you get.

You can start from anywhere and reach somewhere!

 

Do You Know?

You will hardly find a successful personality, who doesn’t say, “I read books.”

According to one survey, 94% of millennials reported making personal improvement commitments and said they’d be willing to spend nearly $300 a month on self-improvement.

 

Tools You Need To Do Self Improvement:

Self help is easy to get! All you need is to find the pearls of wisdom; content which will provide you the knowledge you want to acquire.

There are many sources for it.

What are these sources?

  • Self-Help Books

    self improvement books

The cheapest source for acquiring the knowledge is the book. You can visit the nearest book store or order your favorite book online. Always remember to do some research and read reviews about a particular book before buying. See my article on reading to know more.

When it comes to self help books, there are also sub-categories to choose from.

 

Most of the self help books are on:

 

Relationships:

self help books on relationships

Self improvement books based on this category often enrich you with ideas to be better at building and maintaining relationships.

Some good books on relationships you can check out are:

The 5 love languages

The road less traveled

Queen of your own life

 

Communication:

self help books on communication

In the age of competition, it is vital to master the art of conversation.

Some great author has said, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

These books give some different advice to be better at communication. Be it personal or professional life.

 

I like this category a lot , and some of my favorite books are:

How to win friends and influence people

Quick and easy way to effective speaking

Seven Habits of Highly effective people.

 

Health:

Self Improvement books on health

“Health is Wealth”

Imagine, if you could give your whole health to someone in the exchange with all the money of this world. Would you do that?

‘I won’t.’ And I believe, you also love your health more than money.

It’s essential to stay fit and eat healthily. These books enhance your knowledge and let you stay focused on your health goal.

 

Some books which you can try are:

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness

 The story  of the human body: evolution, health, and disease

Forks over knives: The Plant-based way to health

 

Finance:

self help books on finance

‘Money isn’t everything, but you need money to buy things.’ Though we study Economics at school, we are never taught to apply it in our real life. Money matters, there is no doubt. Books based on finance help you in taking the wise decision, knowing more about investments and strategies.

Some good self help books on Finance are :

Lords of Finance: The banker who broke the world,

The Alchemy of Finance

Personal Finance For Dummies

 

Anxiety:

Self hlep books on anxiety

These books help you in overcoming nervousness, worry, and fear.

Some books you may want to try are:

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety

The Wisdom of Insecurity: A message for an age of anxiety

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.

 

Management:

Self Help books on management

Life is too busy. We all have to do a lot of things or get a lot of things done in a day. Whether it’s your personal life or professional, management is the key to doing all the stuff in time.

These books teach great tested techniques which makes you better at management.

Some wonderful books, I’d suggest you to try are:

The Personal MBA: Master The Art Of Business

One Minute Manager

Eat That Frog

 

You can find many other categories too, but the ones as mentioned earlier are prevalent categories.

Books are fine! But, do you know that books are not the only source of self improvement.

What are some other sources for self improvement?

Let’s figure out!

 

Podcasts and Audiobooks:

self help podcast

Not everyone has got time to read, so what about listening rather than reading?

What’s a Podcast?

Podcasts are downloadable audio files on the internet which one can download and listen anytime, anywhere as per his/her preference.

There are even apps available to listen to them. Just go to your Apple Store/ Play Store and search for ‘Podcast.’

 

Name of Some of the best Podcasts on Self Improvement according to Mindvalley:

  • The Mindvalley Podcast
  • School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
  • The Robin Sharma Mastery Sessions
  • London Real
  • The Good Life Project
  • Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu
  • Kwik Brain Podcast
  • Tony Robbins Podcast
  • Happier
  • Optimal Living Daily

All of these Podcasts are run by some of the best mentors and hosts.

Just search these podcast names in the app or in google, and you are ready to do self-improvement.

 

What’s Audiobook?

Audiobooks are the books in the form of audios. You can buy them and listen while you are traveling. It’s the best way when one doesn’t have enough time to sit and read. Audiobooks come handy while you are traveling or waiting.

Click the link below to get 2 audiobooks absolutely free!

 

Self Improvement Articles:

self improvement articles

Due to the booming technology, it’s a lot easier to get any information at our finger’s touch.

Do you know many websites and bloggers write self help c0ntent! One such example is Mantavya.

You get a lot of self improvement content on Mantavya. There are many other bloggers too who write in the same niche. You can just google and read the articles on the topic of your choice. You can also like our page on Facebook to never miss such valuable articles.

Articles are way to shorter than the books, so you can finish one article every day and get many ideas at the same time.

 

Videos?

self improvement videos

We spend a lot of time on YouTube, but do you know apart from entertainment and music videos, there are some self-improvement channels too. These YouTubers post self improvement content every week. Watching a video for only 10 minutes is not a big deal.

You can check out some channels: One Percent Better,  Actualized, SeeKen.

You can also search for some online courses on self-help! These course are often paid, but it’s worth every single penny of yours.

 

Workshops:

self development workshops

Workshops are specially designed sessions where people who want to learn a specific skill come and learn it by meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas, and doing some practical tasks together. Also, these workshops have trainers/mentors who help participants in acquiring the desired skills.

This is a fun way of learning and getting more out of self improvement.

These workshops often cost some money, and you need to book your seat in advance.

Just google for the workshops near your location and go for the one you are interested in.

 

Mentors:

how to find mentor

Remember when we were kids, we would often tell in our introduction: “My ideals person is my father/mother/grandfather/grandmother.”

Once we grow up, we forget why we considered them ideal then.

Mentors are the real people whom we consider as our ideal. These are the people who have some skills which we also want to acquire. Having a mentor is no less than a boon. In fact, a real mentor is far better than any book, podcast or article.

You can approach them when you are in trouble or are seeking advice.

Not just that, a real mentor can provide you with feedback on your progress and the learning. He walks with you during your ups and downs in the journey.

A mentor is invaluable!

 

How to find a mentor?

Look for the people around, whom you admire, who have specific skills you want to acquire. The person who encourages you gives you the advice which brings fruitful results. It can be your Uncle who is very successful in business. Or it can be your elder brother or sister who is very good in his/her field. Well, it can also be someone who is not in your circle but is very successful. Meet this person and get your questions answered by this mentor. Study this person and get confirmed whether this is the person you want to be like or not? Is this person leading by the example or not? Does the advice given by this person work or not?

When you are sure, start meeting this person often, and build your relationship with him gradually.

Always remember, a mentor is hard to find, but it’s ok to invest some time in finding the right one instead of choosing anyone randomly.

 

How to take most out of Self Improvement?

You know how self development works, why is it important and what are the resources you can use to get it.

Now, let’s see how to make the best out of it.

It’s easier to get into the habit of reading and learning from different resources, but what’s hard, I believe, is to apply what you learn.

 

Do you know there is also a negative side of self improvement if not done correctly?

One millennial author claims self-improvement has an “addictive” nature that keeps us in a state of consumerism, all the while providing an excuse for inaction.

“When you get to that last page, suddenly there’s a sickly feeling inside. While you’re reading a self help book, you’re telling yourself you’re being productive. The problem is when you finish, you’ve got to take responsibility, and instead you just go onto the next book, and the cycle continues,” he says.

Source: (Forbes)

To get the most out of it, you need to have the willingness, a source and step by step planing to achieve your goals.

Instead of reading more and more content, watching more and more videos, take less content, but implement the ideas and track the result. For this, you need to write your goals on a piece of paper and work on one goal at a time. Once you jot it down, implement what you learn from self-improvement content. Set some milestones for yourself, and tick on the paper whenever you reach there.

 

Conclusion:

In this 2800 words (approx.), I covered each, and every critical expect of self improvement and self help. You learned why self-help is essential and what other sources are available apart from books to take benefit from. You also learned about the negative side of self-help and how to make best out of self help.

Please add anything, you would like to add and share how are you taking benefits from self-help in the comment section below.

 

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