Everyone has a moment in their life when they need extra motivation. In fact, according to the University of Calgary, the majority of people read self help books during a transitional stage in their life, whether it’s related to their career, relationships, or well-being.
For many people right now, the coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty. The self-isolation has also been a time to deeply reflect on our lives and the changes we’ve recently gone through. While losing a job or fearing for the safety of loved ones can definitely be a constant source of fear, our newfound amount of time spent alone also makes it the perfect time to open a self help book for guidance.
Soul Carrier’s founder, Jenn Boonlorn, took some time to reflect on this and came up with a list of books that she is hoping will inspire you during these uncertain times.
Why read self-improvement books?
There are many benefits to reading self help books. More often than not, people turn to self help books in times of uncertainty. This is because they are often looking for guidance and strength from people who have gone through the situation themselves. It also helps to know that you’re not alone in your current struggles.
But even if you aren’t dealing with the death of a loved one, a failed marriage, or a gap between employment, you can benefit from self-improvement books in a variety of ways.
Learn a New Skill
According to one review of self help books, self help books are more effective at helping us learn new life skills, like assertiveness, problem-solving and even tidiness. There are self help books on a variety of topics, from improving your inner self and how you think to improving your cooking skills. There’s endless possibilities and endless self discoveries to be made. Let’s be honest: We’ve never had more time than now to learn how to knit or code.
Improve Your Attitude
A lot of times, people just want to be happier. Self help books often help with this by allowing you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many self help authors have gone through tough situations, but instead of feeling defeated, they powered through it and learned some lessons along the way. Even if you aren’t dealing with a life-changing event, the positive way they look at daily life is never hurtful to adapt into your own situation.
Open Your Eyes to New Possibilities
Sometimes we don’t even realize how limited our beliefs are. We might think there’s only one path to success or that there’s certain lifestyles we must adhere to. Self help books will help you open your mind to the different paths life can take you and even how some of these new journeys are out of our hands. You’ll become more accepting of others, their choices, and the life events that brought them to where they are today.
“So I've always felt that self-help books have helped grow me and mold me. It's like getting my MBA, but in the school of life, and that the cap on my own business, Soul Carrier, would always be limited by how much the cap was on Jen Boonlorn's growth,” said Soul Carrier founder, Jenn Boonlorn. “So being that we're finding ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic, I'm sitting on the living room floor of my condo and I'm going to go through some of the books that have greatly impacted my journey and how I feel that they could greatly impact yours.”
What are some great self-improvement books?
“Entrepreneur Roller Coaster,” by Darren Hardy
Available as both an audible book and physical copy, this is one book that Boonlorn swears by. It dives deep into aspects of being an entrepreneur that are often not talked about, like learning to say no and finding out how to focus. These are pieces of advice anyone can follow, even if you aren’t looking to start your own business. It’s still something to read if you want to feel empowered or look at work a different way.
“It's fabulous as a book and if books aren't your thing, it's great on audible. Darren Hardy narrates it.Darren has got a great voice, very fascinating. I've listened to it multiple times,” said Boonlorn.
“A New Earth,” by Eckhart Tolle
If you’re looking for a more spiritual self help book, Boonlorn recommends this personal favorite. In fact, thinking about it now, she thinks it may be time to read it again. In this self-improvement book, readers are encouraged to live their lives in the present. That’s how you find the “freedom and joy in life.”
“Rising Strong,” by Brene Brown
Readers have noted that this is a book that gives practical advice on dealing with uncomfortable emotions. Brown explores the “physics of vulnerability” on every page, from being brave enough to try something, to the heartbreak of failure. All of these steps help us “write a daring new ending.” Embrace your struggles as lessons, as inspiration for the future.
Boonlorn stated that she’s read every single one of Brown’s books: “If Brene’s talking about something, I am all for it.”
“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” by Greg McKeown
Boonlorn named one of her Soul Carrier collections after this book for a reason.
“So essentialism is pretty much getting us to focus so that we can make the greatest impact. Because it's so easy to be all over the place and do a little bit of this and a little of that and say yes to this and that,” she explained. “In this book, McKeown tells us, ‘Let's get still and quiet and focus on our really big goals, our really big vision, and then only do that and let go of all the non-essential things. Otherwise, we won't make the greatest impact that we're all meant to bring to the world.’ So, I absolutely love it.”
In this self help book, McKeown asks: Have you ever felt busy but not productive? A Silicon Valley CEO, McKeown wants people to challenge the assumption that you “have to do everything” and instead think about doing “the right things, the right way.” Be more selective about the projects you’re taking on. Don’t feel pressured to do it all. Focus instead on what you can do right.
“Stories That Stick,” by Kindra Hall
Take control of your business and your life with “Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business.” In this self help book, Hall discusses four stories that every business should have to help capture an audience and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
“This is about using the art of storytelling in your business and branding, and how every business should be sharing their why and their how and what they're doing through the use of stories. And she actually highlights Soul Carrier,” said Boonlorn. “So you're going to have to check it out to see how she talks about how I was and wasn't using the power of story. And then she helped guide me through that.”
Whether you’re trying to get ahead in a certain industry or just feel happier when you wake up in the morning, self help books are here to guide you. They can inspire you with stories of success or inform you with advice that works. It can simply help you feel less alone, and we can all use some of that during this lockdown.
“There's so much knowledge out there, so much wisdom. And these people can be our mentors. Even if we can't physically access them, other information is here in these books. So I hope you take some time to check it out, because I really believe that the cap on what we're able to bring to the world is really the cap on our own personal growth and how much we take the time to improve ourselves and to grow and learn,” Boonlorn said.
So if you want to finally pursue your dream career, don’t be afraid to get advice from someone who has done it — and succeeded. If you want to find out how you can believe in yourself more, reach for a self help book for support. If you want to know if you’ll ever be happy again after a breakup, grab a self help book to see how others didn’t just go through it, too, but came out stronger than ever before. You deserve this support. And you deserve to be inspired.
Find out more about Boonlorn’s story and about her journey founding Soul Carrier here for even more inspiration.