15 April, 2011

Personal Development Books

As a person deeply immersed in the personal development arena, I am one of the subscribers to the Finer Minds website. One of their recent Facebook blog was an article on their list of personal development books compiled by the employees, founder and subscribers to Finer Minds. Interestingly enough, a lot of those titles listed were focused on financial state of mind. The reasoning behind that is the consensus of many agree that financial success is the physical reflection of the growth within the person, especially if the person started out physically and financially impoverished. (And spiritually)

Here's a small list of my personal favorite books in no necessary order that I personally and highly recommend to anyone on the path of personal development:

W Timothy Gallwey-The Inner Game of Tennis- I can't say enough about this book. Almost 5 years ago I was discouraged and desperate in my acting endeavors. I asked my acting coach and mentor if there was anything he recommended for me to learn and/or read. He recommended that book, and initially I was convinced that he was telling me to pursue tennis and to give up on acting. It's a very straight-forward and simplistic approach to how to create a state of mind and focus during a challenging task and/or situation. I go back to that all the time. Its a great companion piece to read along with other recommendation on this list as well as...

Harold Guskin-How To Stop Acting- I recommend this book for the actor in pursuit of personal development. It has a lot of information on techniques in listening, being present, and allowing your inner authentic self showing up to the scene.

Keith Johnstone-Impro- This is considered to be the "Bible" for those studying the theatrical improvisational system called Theatersports. He has a lot of interesting takes on how to transform and he adds some commentary on the current state of education.

...speaking of Bibles...Get one. You don't have to goto any church to read one. I tend to get several types of translation to get a different or clearer context to what is being said. One of my favorite translation is da Jesus Book, a Hawaiian pidgin language translation.

Napoleon Hill-Think and Grow Rich-anyone pursuing financial wealth and personal development who doesn't read this book and/or own a copy would NOT be considered "serious" on their endeavor in pursuing wealth, and for good reason. If there was such a textbook on wealth mindset, this would be it.

Wallace Wattles-The Science of Getting Rich-This book resurfaced shortly after the release of The Secret. I don't know how this book was underutilized compared to Think and Grow because if I were to compare the two books to an operating system on a computer, Think and Grow is to PC as Science is to Mac. Since I'm using a Mac now, can you guess which of the two I prefer to go back to for reference?

Dale Carnegie-How to Win Friends and Influence People-I was very young when I first read this. Not young as in child, but young as in childish. To find out if what Carnegie said was true or not, I'd often did the complete opposite of what what said to my friends and family. I also alienated a lot of them in the process. Yes, reconciliation was the result of humility and applying the book as it was written...

Randy Pausch-The Last Lecture-Personally if you can find the full original copy of the "lecture" he gave, get it. This book is merely a transcription of the lecture he gave as well as some additional insight. The premise of the book as well as the lecture was that at Carnegie Melon University there was a series called "The Last Lecture" taught by the various professors there including Pausch. It was a hypothetical lecture asking if you the professor knew you were going to die and you had one lecture left to teach, what would you teach? In Randy's case, he WAS dying of cancer, and was a pioneer in both computer engineering and virtual reality. His lecture had NOTHING to do with any theories and/or research in those fields.

Dan Millman-Way of the Peaceful Warrior- I have a confession to make on this book: I saw a movie version before I actually read this. I share this because I regret going in that order. Read the book FIRST before seeing the movie version of it. Reading about Millman's mentor Socrates and visualizing Nick Nolte can affect the reading in an adverse manner. (I think part of it resonated with me because of his use of Berkeley and the East Bay Area as the backdrop.)

Dr. Seuss-Oh The Places We'll Go... -Yes, this is sold in the children's book section. I'm a stickler when it comes to foundational work. Stick to the basic fundamentals. Do what you can to master them. (No one can master them) That's why the majority of the books listed here are older titles than the current ones out there. The same goes for this book. Yes it IS a childrens' book or is it? I believe going back to read a book from childhood with the same wonderment and openness as when it was read the first time can do a lot.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X-This is on my personal list because reading this book changed my entire perspective on life. This did not cause me to get out of my box or think outside my box. This blew up the box completely. Though it does get into a "blame game" at times, this will expand perception regardless.

Expect this posting to continue to grow and change in the future. This is not the complete list by any means, and as long as I have breath, there are more books out there for me to read...

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