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50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus

Book Description

In 50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life, Tom Butler-Bowdon has sorted through the bewildering array of self-help books to bring together fifty of the most important works on personal development and self-motivation. Representing the very best of the genre and appreciating that each of us is inspired by different underlying philosophies, Butler-Bowdon summarizes each writer’s background, the book’s primary concepts, and who benefits by reading it. Time-strapped readers can easily compare ideas to enrich their understanding of self-awareness and self-improvement with the likes of: Marcus Aurelius; The Bhagavad-Gita; The Bible; Robert Bly; Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers; Deepak Chopra; Paulo Coelho; Stephen Covey; The Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler; Ralph Waldo Emerson; Viktor Frankl; Benjamin Franklin; Thomas Moore; M. Scott Peck; Ayn Rand; Henry David Thoreau.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Title Page
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. The self-help phenomenon
    2. The books
    3. The Power of Thought
    4. Change your thoughts, change your life
    5. Following Your Dream
    6. Achievement and goal setting
    7. Secrets of Happiness
    8. Doing what you love, doing what works
    9. The Bigger Picture
    10. Keeping it in perspective
    11. Soul and mystery
    12. Appreciating your depth
    13. Making a Difference
    14. Transforming yourself, transforming the world
    15. Over to you
    16. The future of self-help
  7. Chapter 1 James Allen
    1. We are the sum of our thoughts
    2. Our circumstances are us
    3. Change your world by changing your mind
    4. Tranquillity = success
    5. Final comments
    6. James Allen
  8. Chapter 2 Steve Andreas & Charles Faulkner (NLP Comprehensive Team)
    1. NLP: the beginning
    2. A new technology of achievement
    3. NLP principles
    4. Final comments
    5. Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner
  9. Chapter 3 Marcus Aurelius
    1. Final comments
    2. Marcus Aurelius
  10. Chapter 4 Martha Beck
    1. The essential self and the social self
    2. Bringing out the essential self
    3. Making the leap
    4. Final comments
    5. Martha Beck
  11. Chapter 5 The Bhagavad-Gita
    1. The meaning of Arjuna’s predicament
    2. Reason
    3. Work
    4. The steady self
    5. Final comments
  12. Chapter 6 The Bible
    1. Progress
    2. The power of love
    3. Faith
    4. The Bible and individuality
    5. Final comments
  13. Chapter 7 Robert Bly
    1. The modern man
    2. The story
    3. Who or what is a wild man?
    4. Re-awakening the warrior
    5. Coming to ground
    6. A hunger for the masculine
    7. Colors of a life
    8. Final comments
    9. Robert Bly
  14. Chapter 8 Boethius
    1. The wheel of Fortune
    2. Fate and Providence
    3. Meaning from misery
    4. Impact of The Consolation
    5. Final comments
  15. Chapter 9 Alain de Botton
    1. The purposes of pain
    2. How to win friends… and still keep your place in history
    3. How to get a life (that is not like anyone else’s)
    4. Time
    5. Final comments
    6. Alain de Botton
  16. Chapter 10 William Bridges
    1. The way of transition
    2. The only constant is change
    3. Endings
    4. The neutral zone
    5. New beginnings
    6. Final comments
    7. William Bridges
  17. Chapter 11 David D. Burns
    1. The Feeling Good story
    2. Demystifying depression
    3. Feelings are not facts
    4. How to develop a low IQ (“Irritability Quotient”)
    5. Rest of the book
    6. Final comments
    7. David D. Burns
  18. Chapter 12 Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers
    1. The power of myth
    2. Following your bliss
    3. The hero’s journey
    4. Final comments
    5. Joseph Campbell
  19. Chapter 13 Richard Carlson
    1. The way of perspective
    2. Become an early riser
    3. Let go of the idea that gentle, relaxed people can’t be superachievers
    4. Don’t interrupt others or finish their sentences
    5. Learn to live in the present moment
    6. Ask yourself the question, “Will this matter a year from now?”
    7. Allow yourself to be bored
    8. Imagine yourself at your own funeral
    9. Imagine the people in your life as tiny infants or as 100 years old
    10. Redefine a meaningful accomplishment
    11. Be open to “what is”
    12. Final comments
    13. Richard Carlson
  20. Chapter 14 Dale Carnegie
    1. Reasons to read and like Carnegie
    2. The How To Win Friends phenomenon
    3. The message: Education, not manipulation
    4. Carnegie’s principles
    5. Final comments
    6. Dale Carnegie
  21. Chapter 15 Deepak Chopra
    1. The law of pure potentiality
    2. The law of giving
    3. The law of least effort
    4. The law of intention and desire
    5. The law of detachment
    6. Final comments
    7. Deepak Chopra
  22. Chapter 16 Paulo Coelho
    1. Following the dream
    2. Love
    3. Final comments
    4. Paulo Coelho
  23. Chapter 17 Stephen Covey
    1. Inside-out success
    2. A business plan for personal life
    3. Habits: The building blocks of change
    4. Effective vs. efficient
    5. The habit of responsibility
    6. Final comments
    7. Stephen Covey
  24. Chapter 18 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    1. Happiness and flow
    2. Flow: Complexity and meaning
    3. A flow-centered culture?
    4. Final comments
    5. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  25. Chapter 19 The Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler
    1. The nature and sources of happiness
    2. Compassion and connection
    3. Final comments
  26. Chapter 20 The Dhammapada (Buddha’s teachings)
    1. Who Buddha was
    2. Why Buddha succeeded
    3. What The Dhammapada says
    4. Happiness
    5. Non-attachment
    6. Self-mastery
    7. Enlightenment
    8. Retribution and its avoidance
    9. Accept criticism as a fact of life
    10. The Path
    11. Final comments
  27. Chapter 21 Wayne Dyer
    1. What is real magic?
    2. Enlightenment through purpose
    3. Creating a miracle mindset
    4. Purpose and relationships
    5. Purpose and the prospering self
    6. Who am I meant to be?
    7. Final comments
    8. Wayne Dyer
  28. Chapter 22 Ralph Waldo Emerson
    1. Unique and free
    2. Clarity and knowledge
    3. Inner treasure
    4. Final comments
    5. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  29. Chapter 23 Clarissa Pinkola Estés
    1. The seal woman
    2. The skeleton woman
    3. Final comments
    4. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
  30. Chapter 24 Viktor Frankl
    1. Redefining human achievement
    2. The book’s impact
    3. The will to meaning and logotherapy
    4. Sources of meaning
    5. Final comments
    6. Viktor Frankl
  31. Chapter 25 Benjamin Franklin
    1. The book
    2. Creating the best possible self
    3. Franklin’s law of constant self-improvement
    4. Franklin and the self-help ethic
    5. The secret of influence
    6. Final comments
    7. Benjamin Franklin
  32. Chapter 26 Shakti Gawain
    1. The technique
    2. The science of creative visualization
    3. Final comments
    4. Shakti Gawain
  33. Chapter 27 Daniel Goleman
    1. Civilizing the brain
    2. Using emotional intelligence
    3. Emotion and morality
    4. Emotional intelligence makes a winner
    5. The world of work
    6. Teaching EQ
    7. Final comments
    8. Daniel Goleman
  34. Chapter 28 John Gray
    1. Gray under the microscope
    2. Men Are from Mars in brief
    3. The broader message
    4. In Gray’s defense
    5. Final comments
    6. John Gray
  35. Chapter 29 Louise Hay
    1. Hay’s story
    2. The book
    3. Final comments
    4. Louise Hay
  36. Chapter 30 James Hillman
    1. We are a story, not a result
    2. Who are our parents?
    3. “I must have you”
    4. The bad seed
    5. The soul mystery
    6. Final comments
    7. James Hillman
  37. Chapter 31 Susan Jeffers
    1. Handling fear
    2. Saying “yes” to your universe
    3. Why positive thinking works
    4. Program the subconscious
    5. Other points
    6. Final comments
    7. Susan Jeffers
  38. Chapter 32 Richard Koch
    1. The 50:50 belief vs. the 80:20 rule
    2. Becoming a time revolutionary
    3. It’s OK to be lazy if you are intelligent about it
    4. Final comments
    5. Richard Koch
  39. Chapter 33 Ellen J. Langer
    1. New categories
    2. New information
    3. Perspective and context
    4. Process orientation
    5. Intuition
    6. Final comments
    7. Ellen Langer
  40. Chapter 34 Lao Tzu
    1. Tao leadership
    2. Tao success
    3. Final comments
  41. Chapter 35 Maxwell Maltz
    1. What is cybernetics?
    2. Guided missile technology applied to humans
    3. The importance of the self-image
    4. How it works
    5. Living out the image
    6. Final comments
    7. Maxwell Maltz
  42. Chapter 36 Abraham Maslow
    1. The key concepts: Hierarchy of needs and self-actualization
    2. Final comments
    3. Abraham Maslow
  43. Chapter 37 Philip C. McGraw
    1. Dr. Phil and Oprah
    2. The message
    3. The life laws
    4. You either get it or you don’t
    5. You create your own experience
    6. People do what works
    7. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge
    8. Life rewards action
    9. There is no reality, only perception
    10. Final comments
    11. Phil McGraw
  44. Chapter 38 Thomas Moore
    1. What is care of the soul?
    2. Enjoying our depth and complexity
    3. No one has a soul like ours
    4. Love
    5. Jealousy
    6. Power
    7. Violence
    8. Depression
    9. Final comments
    10. Thomas Moore
  45. Chapter 39 Joseph Murphy
    1. How the subconscious works and what it can do
    2. Relaxed faith = Results
    3. Believing it to be so
    4. Health and prosperity
    5. Why prayers are usually in vain
    6. Final comments
    7. Joseph Murphy
  46. Chapter 40 Norman Vincent Peale
    1. The perception
    2. The reality
    3. The source of positive thinking
    4. “How to have constant energy”
    5. “Try prayer power”
    6. “Expect the best and get it”
    7. “New thoughts can remake you”
    8. Final comments
    9. Norman Vincent Peale
  47. Chapter 41 Carol S. Pearson
    1. What is an archetype?
    2. The archetypes in a nutshell
    3. The Orphan
    4. The Wanderer
    5. The Warrior
    6. The Altruist
    7. The Innocent
    8. The Magician
    9. Final comments
    10. Carol Pearson
  48. Chapter 42 M. Scott Peck
    1. Discipline
    2. The road and its rewards
    3. Love is a decision
    4. Final comments
    5. M. Scott Peck
  49. Chapter 43 Ayn Rand
    1. What is Atlas Shrugged?
    2. Reason (or the responsibility to live according to a purpose)
    3. The nobility of making money
    4. Atlas Shrugged and the individual
    5. Final comments
    6. Ayn Rand
  50. Chapter 44 Anthony Robbins
    1. Robbins and NLP
    2. Some points from Awaken the Giant Within
    3. Pain and pleasure
    4. The power of belief
    5. The power of questions
    6. The power of words
    7. Clarity is power
    8. Raise your standards, change your rules
    9. A closer look…
    10. In Robbins’ defense
    11. Final comments
    12. Anthony Robbins
  51. Chapter 45 Florence Scovell Shinn
    1. The divine design
    2. Divine right and selection
    3. Non-resistance
    4. Faith over fear
    5. Real love
    6. The power of words
    7. “God is my supply”
    8. Final comments
    9. Florence Scovell Shinn
  52. Chapter 46 Martin Seligman
    1. Positive explanatory style
    2. Optimism and success
    3. The value of pessimism
    4. Most depression results from thinking badly
    5. Habitual optimism
    6. Final comments
    7. Martin Seligman
  53. Chapter 47 Samuel Smiles
    1. Hard work and genius
    2. Character
    3. Final comments
    4. Samuel Smiles
  54. Chapter 48 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
    1. The evolution of us
    2. Humankind as phenomenon
    3. Personality = evolution
    4. The noosphere and Omega point
    5. Final comments
    6. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
  55. Chapter 49 Henry David Thoreau
    1. The Walden life and attitude
    2. The impact of Walden
    3. Progress and prosperity
    4. Final comments
    5. Henry David Thoreau
  56. Chapter 50 Marianne Williamson
    1. Sweet surrender
    2. Relationships
    3. Work and achievement
    4. Miracles
    5. Final comments
    6. Marianne Williamson
  57. 50 More Classics
  58. Credits