Podcasts & Books

9 Books That Will Make Your Life Instantly Better

By Esté Swanepoel - 24 Jun 2018

9 Books To Make Your Life Instantly Better

While there’s no quick fix to turning your life into a Disney movie, there’s something to be said for a good self-help book. Whether you’re struggling with money, motivation, relationships or just keeping your room tidy, here are some of our favourite books to help instantly make your life better: 

To Help You Sort Your Shit Out

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising by Marie Kondo 

If you’re anything like us, your desk is covered by a foot-high pile of papers, there are coffee cups strewn around your living room and last night’s dishes are still in the sink. Your cupboard is stuffed to the brim with clothes you haven’t worn in two years and your Tupperware drawer is slowly taking over your kitchen. You dream of being Zen but you just don’t know how to get there. Well, Marie Kondo is here to help! As a Japanese cleaning consultant, she takes tidying to the next level. With her revolutionary category-by-category system, Kondo provides detailed guidelines for deciding which items in your home “spark joy” and which need to go. This book will help you clear your clutter and harness the peace of mind a tidy home can provide. 

To Help You Get Your House Deposit

Your Money Or Your life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

Touted as one of the best books on money out there, this one’s not just a catchy title. If you struggle with saving money (who doesn’t?), this is the book for you. Turns out, most of your savings problems have to do with your relationship to money and this book will help you fix it. With nine simple steps to show you how to achieve this, personal finance pioneers Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin will help you re-examine your job, your priorities and the way you think about money. It focuses on the idea that you exchange your time for money and suggests you let that decide whether or not you buy something. This book will help you establish the habits you need to build wealth, so you’ll be nine steps closer to achieving your dreams of eating avocado toast in the house you just bought. 

To Help You Climb The Career Ladder

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

After decades of research, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck discovered a simple but groundbreaking truth: the power of mindset. In this book, Dweck shows that success in pretty much every area of life can be shaped by how we think abour our talents and capabilities. To achieve success, Dweck believes we need a growth mindset—to believe our abilities are not fixed and can be developed. This book shows how individuals can put this idea into practice to achieve everything they want and more.  Bill Gates loves this book, so you can feel confident you’re in good company.

To Help You Stop Being An Emotional Wreck

Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence by Michael Cornwall 

Emotional Intelligence has been a bit of a buzzword in recent years and after reading Michael Cornwall’s book it’s easy to see why. Emotional Intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and make sense of your emotions. Many of our emotional responses, no matter how strong we feel they are, can be brought down and reshaped. Cornwall’s book teaches you to reinvent the way you think to reinvent the way you feel. It unpacks where your emotions come from and discusses the impact of self talk. Reading Go Suck A Lemon will leave you more informed, more capable and more emotionally self reliant—in other words, a more stable, functioning human, so you should probably read this. 

To Help You Actually Become The Genius You Think You Are

The Intellectual Tool Kit of Geniuses: 40 Principles That Will Make You Smarter And Teach You To Think Like A Genius by I. C. Robledo

Ever wondered how it would feel to think like Einstein, Da Vinci, Edison or any of the greats? Well, you’re in luck—Robledo’s book The Intellectual Tool Kit of Geniuses might just teach you how.With Robledo’s help, you’ll learn to think outside the box, solve any problem, no matter how challenging, and to follow the common principles the people we regard as geniuses tend to follow. These are things like learning from multiple formats, knowing the difference between mistakes and failure and pay attention to patterns. Apply these and who knows? You might be the next Newton. 

To Help You Get What You Want 

The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How To Be One by Peter B. Kyne

Unlike the other books on this list, The Go-Getter is a story rather than a work of non-fiction. It tells the tale of William Peck, a war veteran and amputee who refuses to settle for less than his dreams. He not only fights to find a job but again and again proves himself competent for the challenging tasks that come his way. A quick and enjoyable read, this one will get your A into G sharpish. 

To Help You Give and Receive Love Like a Grown Up

The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman

This book by Dr. Gary Chapman is the answer to all your relationship prayers. Whether applied to friends, family or your special someone, it’ll help you communicate in a new and improved way. We all speak different love languages—whether it’s Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service or Physical Touch. Chapman shows how we each have unique needs that must be met for healthy relationships. Having differing love languages means that sometimes, while you may feel like you’re lavishing love on your boo, what is meaningful to you is not valued by them. This book will help you figure out your love language and that of the people around you and show you how to use this to create a closer connection. It has questionnaires and activities throughout the book to help you apply it to your life even more easily, so you’ll be swapping gifts and dropping words of affirmation in no time. 

To Help You Impress People With Your General Knowledge

A Short History Of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson 

Bill Bryson takes on some pretty tough topics in his book A Short History of Nearly Everything, attempting to understand and answer so of our biggest, oldest questions about ourselves and the universe. Covering everything from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization, Bryson examines how we moved from nothingness to where we are today. He’s picked the brains of the world’s most advanced scholars to hear their findings and has compiled this in a record of his quest. Putting high-brow science into language we plebs can understand, Bryson’s books gives you pretty much everything you need to know about everything. 

To Help You Believe You’re A Boss 

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

Refreshing, entertaining and funny as hell,You Are A Badass is the ultimate self-help book for people trying to improve their lives. Success coach Jen Sincero serves up hilarious and inspiring stories alongside pearls of wisdom, exercises to apply the information to your own life and the occasional cuss word. It’ll help you get rid of your self-sabotaging beliefs, inspire you to get what you want and create a life you actually love. By the end of this book, you’ll get why you are how you are, how to accept and love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love and, most of all, how to kick some serious ass. 

Image Credit: Yes Man

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