Whether you refer to it as “Self-Help” or the “I hope no one sees me here” section, the “personal development” shelves in your local bookstore or library can have a lot of value in helping you learn the ropes of the professional world, boost your personal life, and just increase your own confidence. No man is without need of a mentor (or several) who can teach, relate, commend, direct, and encourage along the path of manhood.
Not everyone has a grandfather though who was hard enough to bareknuckle box, smart enough to recite Wordsworth, old world enough to drink single malt in doubles, kind enough to anonymously leave gifts for orphans at Christmas, or wise enough to attend church at least once a month. For those who don’t there are books.
The following books may or may not be popular on any vendors list or in the NY Times. These are ones I am willing to shake on. They have helped me and inspired me. Their words resonate in my life on a daily basis.
How to Win Friends & Influence People In The Digital Age. An update to the classic by Dale Carnegie and Associates, this version shows you how to be a great listener and conversationalist, as well as capitalize on a solid network, increase your ability to get things done, and optimize the power of digital and social media.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change Another classic, this book by Steven Covey methodically lays out the core principles of how to set yourself up for greater success. If we want to make a change in our lives, we should probably first focus on our personal attitudes and behaviors. He applies different examples via family, business, and society in general. This book’s focal point is on an approach to obtain personal and interpersonal effectiveness and it does so with great aplomb.
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life A landmark read from blogger extraordinaire Leo Babauta The Power of Less hones in on that place where less is really more. It teaches to boost productivity while boosting your personal values as well.
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich Forget the old concept of retirement and the rest of the deferred-life plan–there is no need to wait and every reason not to, especially in unpredictable economic times. Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. (review source)
As a Man Thinketh Even though this book is both a hundred years old and a rather short read it is an epic in its own right. It breaks the human condition down into bite size nuggets and proves that manhood, professionalism, and success are timeless.