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A Guide to Self-Help Books

by Angela Xu

Recently, self help books have become more and more popular, and for good reason! They can help you feel more empowered, inspire you to make positive decisions, change your attitude, break through obstacles, and learn new skills.

To find the most useful self help book for you, think about the areas that you want to improve on. These could be budgeting, healthy lifestyle, patience, positivity— basically anything! Even if you aren’t actively looking for ways to improve yourself, it’s always great to broaden the types of books you read. Here are a few suggestions for self help books that can be incredibly insightful for all teens!

7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The 7 Habits is a self-improvement book written by Stephen R. Covey. This book is based on Covey’s belief that in order to change our actions, we need to change the way we perceive the world around us. Like the title suggests, this book explains 7 steps for how to be a more “effective” person. These seven habits focus on themes like interdependence, teamwork, and continuous growth. You can purchase this book at any major shopping center, such as Amazon, Walmart, or Barnes & Noble. If you would like a quick summary, you can read this article by Anum Hussain from Hubspot: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People [Summary & Takeways]

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Written by Dale Carnegie, this self-help book is endorsed by many incredibly successful people, such as Warren Buffet. Carnegie shares several principles that are applicable in any situation, professional or personal. Here are a couple of the tips that the author shares in the book:

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain
  • Be generous with praise
  • Remember people’s names
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
  • Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  • And a lot more!

You can purchase this book on Amazon by clicking here.

The 6 Most Important Decisions You Will Ever Make, A Guide for Teens

This is a self-help book written by Sean Covey. (Fun fact, Sean Covey is actually Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habit‘s son!) Today, teens are facing more challenges than ever, including academic stress, peer pressure, mental health, and living in during a pandemic! Sean Covey wrote this book to give teens the strong advice they need to make informed and wise decisions through a collection of true stories about teens around the world, with a fun twist of hand drawn cartoons!

You can buy this book yourself on Barnes & Noble by clicking here.

If you are interested in more of Sean Covey’s works, he also wrote 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, a version of his father’s 7 Habirs of Highly Effective People that is specialized for teenagers!

How to get the most benefits from self-help books

Now that we’ve went over the benefits of self-help books as well as a few reccommendations, let’s go over how best to read them so that you can get the most value and knowledge from them!

  • take notes: if you have your own copy, feel free to highlight or write down a few sentences, you can even journal to write down your thoughts about the book!
  • read with your own life in mind: remember these books are meant to help you, when reading think about how you can apply the tips the book is sharing to your personal situation
  • take it slow: make sure you fully understand the message the author is trying to convey
  • be patient
  • decide your purpose: find your reason for reading (can be self-improvement, better time-management, learning new skills, etc.) Establishing a purpose shows what kind of results you expect from reading the book

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