In my latest Journal update, you’ll have seen that I’ve been cranking up my wordage outputtery. I’ve not had time left over to get much reading done to achieve my writing goal.
I’ve had a lot of comments about my productivity and my self-discipline when it comes to writing. Well, it wasn’t always this way. I used to wish I was the version of me I had in my head. You know, the version that gets it done?
So, this week, I thought I’d share the two books that helped me turn my productivity fantasies into reality (well, close enough to it).
I didn’t set out to read these books in an effort to get over my world-beating procrastination. I did, however, want to understand how in the light of my goals, I couldn’t stick to the routine required to achieve them.
I got them to help “fix” myself. Over the years, I’d gone from fairly happy to a spiralling mass of doubt and downerdom. I knew what to do. I’ve always been a big believer in self-help. My dad set me on that path at a very young age. He’d take me to the library, where I’d pretend the books were cars while he read.
He’d read books on philosophy, world religions, and self-help. Always searching for the answers to his problems. As I got older, I stopped playing with the books and read them with him. By the time I was an adult, we were swapping Tony Robbins books and CDs. Every so often, catching a glimpse of the answers, we sought to understand ourselves better, but that was it. My dad never found his answers by the time he died. But his thirst and drive to “fix” himself lived on in me.
One day, a few years ago, I finally found my answers. I found them with the help of the two books I wish my dad had found. So, if you need help in becoming the fantasy you or want to stop sabotaging yourself, I whole-heartedly recommend checking these books out.
Now, these books aren’t going to transform your life instantly–I wish it worked like that–but if you work at it each day, do the exercises, I promise you’ll thank yourself for taking the time and investing in yourself.
The Chimp Paradox
The first book I recommend is one I’ve mentioned many times, both on the site and in personal emails and messages. The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters examines why we do the stupid shit that screws ourselves over. He goes into the parts of the brain, focusing on three main areas he calls the Chimp, the Human, and the Computer.
I learn best when I know the mechanics of things, and learning the ‘why’ behind self-sabotage, my procrastination, and why certain things drive me nuts is no different.
His book introduced me to my inner chimp. I gave her the most annoying name I could think of at the time, Janine, mainly because I hated my chimp. Once I’d finished the book, I’d grown to love her and gave her the nickname of Neenee.
The main thing I’d gained from the book was a solid understanding of what made Neenee do the things she did and how I could work with her to have a better relationship. But, it wasn’t enough. I needed that something more. That push over the edge to a better me.
I Am Enough
I Am Enough on Kindle £7.99
I Am Enough on Kobo £7.99
That push was more of a shove in the form of I Am Enough by Marisa Peer. I Am Enough helped me break through the negative crap that had built up over the years and come out far happier than I used to be.
This book has some difficult exercises–think emotionally challenging-but they are worth doing.
Now, I have a couple of things I’d like to point out that I don’t like about this book, but I do understand why they’re there/like that.
First, the writing sometimes comes across as juvenile and repetitious. This is due to hypnotic writing. But when it occurred, it annoyed me to the core–don’t let it put you off!
Secondly, the people Peer holds up as great examples are abhorrent to me. Yes, Richard Branson is a billionaire–I have zero time for greed. He may be a rich man, but he’s also the man who sued the English National Health Service for £2M in taxpayer money because they didn’t award him a contract. You can Google his track record for more.
I understand that she was trying to give examples of what people can do. But there are far better individuals who could perform that role.
FYI: I Am Enough comes with a link to the hypnosis audio companion for the book. The hypnosis is worth the price of the book on its own!
My Recommended Reading Order
Now with the caveats out of the way, I’d recommend that if you need the mechanical knowledge before fully understanding something, go with Chimp first and follow it up with Enough.
But, if you don’t need that kind of knowledge or only want to rebuild your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence, I recommend reading I Am Enough by Marissa Peer.
What self-help books changed your life? Or fiction, for that matter?