Happy Cyber Monday, everyone! According to major news outlets everywhere, you are supposed to be doing online Christmas shopping today instead of working. There are many, many places that you can find great deals on all kinds of stuff that no one needs. If time permits, I definitely encourage you to take an hour or five out of your busy work day to browse. However, if you need to get down to business and actually purchase some presents that people will enjoy, I decided to put together a guide to help you choose a gift for the personal development junkie in your life.
If you know a personal development junkie, you know that they can’t ever learn enough, do enough, or improve enough. I have read/listened to/used all of these products myself over the years and found them extremely helpful in my own journey. I hope that they are helpful to you and your loved ones as well.
There are literally thousands of self-help and self improvement books in print right now. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the choices, especially when so many of them are pretty low quality. Lucky for you, I have suffered through a lot of the craptacular stuff to find the good offerings in the market. Here are a few that I have found especially good.
The Art of Happiness. When the Dalai Lama decided to write a book, I usually pay attention. This one, which was actually written by Howard Cutler based on a series of interviews with His Holiness, contains many valuable insights on achieving greater happiness in your life. What I like most about it are the really practical meditations and other exercises designed to increase the happiness you feel on a daily basis. Also available as an audio book.
A Complaint Free World. This book challenges you to change your language and eliminate complaining. I tried the challenge for a weekend (listen to my before and after posts), and found out that I really need this book! Chances are, you need it too! Also available as an audio book.
Change Without Pain. Change management is a broad and varied topic, and I’ve read tons of books about it. This is one of the best. Author Eric Abrahamson uses real world examples from his work with actual companies to discover ways that companies (and individuals) can make major changes with the smallest possible disruptions and pain. If you or your organization are in a transition right now, this is a great read.
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. We all want to be able to get more done with less effort and enjoy ourselves in the process. Flow is a great book for helping you discover the conditions under which you can achieve peak states, where you feel the most creative, get the most work done, and enjoy yourself the most. It’s a concept I’ve been experimenting with lately and I’m finding it extremely helpful in doing all of the writing that I put out here and in other places.
The Mind Map Book. Author Tony Buzan is widely credited with being the father of mind-mapping, a powerful tool for brainstorming, organizing ideas, and even doing a weekly review. This book is the bible of mind mapping, teaching you how to use simple paper and pencil to explore the visual side of your brain and tap into previously unknown levels of creativity.
The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life. Martha Beck may have sold out to Oprah, and she’s probably a bit too touchy-feely for some of you, but I have to admit that I *love* this book. The Joy Diet is a really simple series of practices that will help you take a deep breath, focus in yourself for a few minutes a day, de-stress, and ultimately become a better friend, partner, parent, and worker. I highly recommend it for people who are feeling overwhelmed by life right now. Also available as an audio book.
Let’s say you’re a bit of a procrastinator and you’re not reading this guide until 11:59 on December 24. Or perhaps your the eco-friendly type and you don’t want to give out a bunch of dead trees and plastic. If so, there are many great electronic resources available for self improvement. In fact, there are so many that it’s pretty hard to figure out what is garbage (most of it, frankly) and what is genuinely helpful. For the most part, I try to stick with trusted names from either the blogosphere or the self development space in general when choosing products. Here is a sampling of items that I have found most helpful.
I know that money is tight for many people this holiday season, but that doesn’t have to get in the way of giving meaningful gifts to people who want to improve themselves. With so many excellent free resources available, it’s very simple to download some high quality free ebooks, print them out on some nice paper and put them into a binder. Or, you can download some podcasts and burn them to a CD. Here are a few high quality, free ebooks that you or your loved ones might appreciate. Note that some of these require a newsletter sign-up. Don’t sign anyone up without their permission, but I am subscribed to all of these newsletters and I love them, so don’t hesitate to sign yourself up.
If there are other resources (especially free ones!) you can recommend as high quality personal development gifts, please share them below in the comments! Happy shopping, everyone.
Full Disclosure: This post is blatantly self promotional and designed to make a little extra holiday cash for Never the Same River Twice. I earn a (very) small amount of money per sale for most of these items. However, I never promote anything on this site that I haven’t used myself and don’t stand behind completely. If you have a bad experience with any of these products, send an email to maria (at) neverthesamerivertwice (dot) com explaining the problem and I’ll reconsider my endorsement.If you would like to support this blog, why not buy me a coffee? $1 for regular brew, $5 for a vanilla latte.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.