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I'm at a point right now, where i wanna take myself up to the next level.I don't currently have a job, but i have a lot of things i wanna do.Ive been invited to go spend some time with my Uncle and grandad over at there place in Las Vagas this year, i wanna also go Ibiza to explore my favorite music more and write some tracks, and buy come studio equipment for my flat.The situation I'm in now thou, i feel like i can't make any clear decisions, my head feels kinda of limited, confused and anxious.I know i need to take action to get my life moving forward, thou.

I feel like going back to self-help material, that i used to be heavily into, but there is so much out there its so hard to chose what i need to be focusing on right now, its like, improve this, improve that, change your habits, change your attitude, etc, so so confusing, which one do you focus on first when you don't know what needs changing/improving? I feel this is why self help can make you worse maybe

The tablets I'm currently on, really ain't helping me either, they are draining the life out of me, so I'm going to try and see the doctor tomorrow and come down to 10mg, i'm sleeping for over 12 hours and a lot of that is in the daytime too.

So i really wanna improve my situation/life, i have a passion of music production, and i wanna take it somewhere, ive been told i have talent in it, its just money situation, and the energy problem that is letting me down.

I guess i need to start small, start by getting a early night tonight.Anyone else have any advice?
 

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I started study self-help about 20 years ago. I have many concerns with the self-help industry. I find a lot of the stuff gimmicky.

If you read enough self-help, just like if you read enough fantasy, you see they all say the same thing. In fantasy it's heroes journey, young orphan kid learns to use magical powers to save the world (Star Wars, Harry Potter, David Eddings Belgariad series, Robert Jordan's Wheel of time). Self-help is the same where the overall themes of personal responsibility, gratitude, locus of control, etc are all the same but written in a different way.

The trick is to find something that speaks to you in the way you can find meaningful to you.

I'm more into the "why" of things. Why are we unhappy? Why do we have relationships in the first place? My wife is more into the books that says here's how to fix stuff.

Of the self-help books we haven't given away over the years, here's a couple we keep going back to:

The Tao of Abundance: Eight Ancient Principles for Abundant Living by Laurence Boldt
The Power of How: Simple Techniques to Vaporize Your Ego and Your Pain-Body by Tom Stone
 

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Other people's stories have always been my major source of inspiration. Knowing how others are thinking can make me have thoughts on what I should really do. Try to read books about people you admire. I like watching Youtube videos made by people discussing different issues too. And it is only you who could find the true value deep down your heart, so other people's opinions are just source of inspiration, at least this is me.
 

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I like ones that are written by qualified people, rather than the new age self help books that I don't feel contain reliable information. I read a book by a PhD psychologist called "invisible men", which was about male emotions and how lots of men aren't in touch with them. I found it a useful and interesting book.
 

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BIG NAMES BIG NAMES
Tony Robbins' flagship product is an audio set called Personal Power II. It's very hard edged NT sort of speak (IMO Robbins is an ENTJ), but a lot of people need that, and emotions are definitely hugely addressed.

Eckhart Tolle is well known for The Power of Now, and A New Earth. A bit too spiritual and head up in the clouds for me though. Very very heavily feely. Personally, I found the guy long winded as fuck.
 

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Conversations With God is a series that changed my life. And if I would act on it more, than I would probably be in a better situation now. It's spiritually inclined, but it has a beautiful and yet clear, easy way of explaining things. I first read the original trilogy from ages 10-12, and I still have the books today.

For more traditional self-help topics like @infpblog mentioned, I find that Tony Robbins has an excellent way of covering them too in his books, though I've only read them online and never got to finish them. I know of 'Unlimited Power' and 'Awakening the Giant Within'.
 

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What I've grown to dislike about the self-help field is the underlying gist that to be happy and successful we have to change. Like you mentioned, there's so many different ideas on how you should improve, but not nearly enough emphasis on the fact that you are already essentially, fundamentally a wonderful, beautiful individual. You are fine. I believe that the answer to our problems isn't to change ourselves but to radically accept, love and respect who we are now. The message of self-love, (which includes acceptance, respect, patience, generosity, forgiveness, and compassion towards ourselves) "Involves deciding to connect with your dreams and then supporting yourself with encouraging thoughts and empowering self-supportive actions". Doesn't that sound awesome? Self-love plus a healthy diet, regular exercise, and meditation is probably what I would prescribe to you. And as an aside, this is one of the favorite cartoons. Good luck :)
 

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I find that Tony Robbins has an excellent way of covering them too in his books, though I've only read them online and never got to finish them. I know of 'Unlimited Power' and 'Awakening the Giant Within'.
As much as I love Tony Robbins, I don't recommend him as a starting point for INFPs. This is coming from someone who started with Tony Robbins, have read all his books, owns the Personal Power 20-CD set and other programs. I consider Tony Robbins programs one of those things that changed my life, but he's very extroverted and can be off-putting to INFPs. I recommend his Time Of Your Life CDs where he started going away from goal attainment self-help and moving towards outcome management.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
What I've grown to dislike about the self-help field is the underlying gist that to be happy and successful we have to change. Like you mentioned, there's so many different ideas on how you should improve, but not nearly enough emphasis on the fact that you are already essentially, fundamentally a wonderful, beautiful individual. You are fine. I believe that the answer to our problems isn't to change ourselves but to radically accept, love and respect who we are now. The message of self-love, (which includes acceptance, respect, patience, generosity, forgiveness, and compassion towards ourselves) "Involves deciding to connect with your dreams and then supporting yourself with encouraging thoughts and empowering self-supportive actions". Doesn't that sound awesome? Self-love plus a healthy diet, regular exercise, and meditation is probably what I would prescribe to you. And as an aside, this is one of the favorite cartoons. Good luck :)
I just think that with everyone's situation being different at different times, you could be looking at the completely wrong type of self help and get nowhere with it which can make you feel worse.Better, would be a personal coach, who can accurately access your current situation, and give you the right tools you need
 

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Also, self-help comes in 2 flavors: change how you feel or change how you behave

That's the only two things we ever really want to change: how we feel and how we behave.

I feel bad, unhappy, something negative, and I want to feel something different. In this arena, you have the accept-that-your-perfect-just-the-way-your are. There's Intregral and shadow work. There's ego separation. There's emotional state management. Just to name a few.

Or

I smoke and I want to stop. I want to get a girlfriend but I'm shy and reclusive. I want X but my behavior is not letting me achieve that outcome. In this arena, you have numerous ways of goal-setting. Intention based living while detaching from result. Power of Now stuff. Subject specific stuff related to finance, or relationships or whatever. And much much more.

Now here's the kicker. What's right for you really depends on your values. If happiness isn't your highest expression of being, then any of the state manage stuff that's taught will be completely meaningless to you. You'll see it as fluff. If achieving goals isn't important to you then all the result oriented self-help will seem superficial.

Most of what's out there is methodology based. Some methods work better for some value systems than others. That's why there's so many self-help books. Lots of people writing from their value system trying to connect to others with similar value systems.
 

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I'll go ahead and recommend you read Eckhart Tolle's; The Power of Now. After reading that book, it changed my life literally. I learned so much about what ego is, and how we have 2 basic modes of thinking. Conscious or Unconscious; in the context of your presence. The more in control the ego is, we become unconscious and unaware of it. I don't think this book is very spiritual at all, its more informative, eye opening, and gives you a different/advantageous point of view on day to day life. Eckhart Tolle also takes bits and pieces of eastern philosophy/spirituality, and makes it easier for us to understand in western culture.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Now-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577311523

You can get it used for under $5.
 

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Well I thought the Tao of being Badass or something had some nice points. You can find it around torrents sites and if not gimme a pm. Don't expect your whole life to change but it's a starting point.

Or general philosophy books.
 

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I'll go ahead and recommend you read Eckhart Tolle's; The Power of Now. After reading that book, it changed my life literally. I learned so much about what ego is, and how we have 2 basic modes of thinking. Conscious or Unconscious; in the context of your presence. The more in control the ego is, we become unconscious and unaware of it. I don't think this book is very spiritual at all, its more informative, eye opening, and gives you a different/advantageous point of view on day to day life. Eckhart Tolle also takes bits and pieces of eastern philosophy/spirituality, and makes it easier for us to understand in western culture.

Amazon.com: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (9781577311522): Eckhart Tolle: Books

You can get it used for under $5.
Ive read that, good book, need to give it another read thou to soak it in better
 

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Hmmm, I could say, I have very similar urge. I am stucked and going from miserable to bearable for all my life. I always loved psychology and thinking about many topics. Therefore i read plenty of books that are supposed to "make you feel better." My problem is, that i love deep things. And by deep i really dont mean eckhart toole or similar stuff. :) I found out, that many of great philosophers that we considered "old and rusty" could be much better guide to live than those present self-help books. Today, everything is about quick sucess, about happines, about power and money. About "right" attitude and thinking. . . .

I am not saying that this couldnt work. I just have one big issue with it. Todays world is not great. And even when many troubles or problems that we have are not "from the world," it doesnt mean that the world itself doesnt need to change. And there is the point, when most of those books fail for me. They teach you how to live better in this world instead of at least admit, that not only you could be wrong. So, if you want to know how to live sucesfull in this world, you can read almost anything from self-help books. There are pretty much alike. If you want do go deeper, you will have to go on your own journey.

I can give you some names that helped me, but those are just people that helped me. We all have many issues that are just our own and no book can sort them all. So, dont worry to dig up deep if you want to live fully. But it will be hard to get a hint by someone, who doesnt know you.

So, I think I am not much of a help here. :) I like plenty of books, that make me feel better. But i dont know, what could help you. Non of the book can. ;) Its one thing to read and one thing to live. I know it so well . . .

But if I have to say at least something, there are some books that i am able to read even when I am in my lowest point. They will not "help" you, because they are not self-help books. They dont do technics or teach you new way of thinking. They just can teach you a strange thing. That it is sometimes all right to not feel fine and great and sunny. . . . . .

If I should recomend just one book, that i always cherish in bad times, it would be this:

Amazon.com: Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals (9781592401338): Thomas Moore: Books

Not hard to read, yet quit deep and interesting. At least for me. ;) But its just one of many. If you are interested, I can write you more books to "study." But as i said, its about what is your goal. To go deep or to be sucesfull. You cant have both.

And please, skip CBT books. I am sick how popular this sort of therapy is. If we really dont need something in our complicated times, its CBT. But its just my opinion. ;)

Good luck.
 

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I think the thing about self-help material is that you think that it has changed your life but it'll always just lasts about two to three days. Or am I the only one with that experience?

Something I found still quite helpful are:
-trying to eat healthy
-spend time outside and do sports
-listening to Jon Kabat Zinn's speeches on Youtube (found it to be more impressive than his books)
-Enneagram


I think that some person on this forum recommended him to me ^.^
I find his speeches better than his books (like you get more out of it).
I like how lots of things are actually founded on scientific research and linked to real-life in a practical way.
 

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Read this. I was recommended it to me by an old therapist and i've seen quite a few therapists own it as well. Its based on mindfulness and ACT(acceptance commitment therapy). Its great for self acceptance and being more in the moment. There's plenty of exercises/techniques to do and runs at a nice pace.

The Happiness Trap | Stop Struggling Start Living by Dr Russ Harris
 

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Read this. I was recommended it to me by an old therapist and i've seen quite a few therapists own it as well. Its based on mindfulness and ACT(acceptance commitment therapy). Its great for self acceptance and being more in the moment. There's plenty of exercises/techniques to do and runs at a nice pace.

The Happiness Trap | Stop Struggling Start Living by Dr Russ Harris
ACT! Ah, I've been looking for that. Had come across this, via Wikipedia, but forgot the name. And then I couldn't find it anymore.
I've bookmarked it now, thanks!

I think it's very much related, or similar to parts of Vipassanā meditation. But, without practicing (deep) meditation, I guess.
 

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I have read a few self-help books but none really changed my life or made an impact on me more than just researching into the MBTI and accepting my destiny as an INFP. But I guess you already tried that... :)

@cloudcompeller's suggestion about reading biographies or autobiographies on people you admire worked the best for me as far as inspirational, life changing books. I read the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath a few years ago and hands down, that book was the most influential book I have ever read. She sparked something in me that inspired me to be a better person, more creative, more disciplined. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have had the motivation to lose the 40 extra pounds I had gained over the years. It sounds weird, but true. It was only one line she wrote, too, that made me want to lose weight. i think it was because I thought so highly of her and I truly loved her as a person that I wanted to be as close to her as I could. But that's just me...

Other great books of personal triumph have inspired me, too. Like even reading the biography of John Merrick, the Elephant Man, and seeing what he had to go through is a truly humbling experience. Reading about people who have suffered and survived or even people who suffered and did not survive can inspire me to be grateful for the things I have and feel more at peace with my life.

Just some alternative ideas for ya. Good luck!
 

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@ethylester I really glad that you agree with my approach :) It seems that not all people appreciate this because that might appear to be less direct and subjective at times, it really depends on how good people imply stuff. Do you know Aung San Suu Kyi? She's the woman I respect most.
 
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