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Books/philosophical readings that have made an impact on your life

I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life. This New Year's has been an introspective one for me, and has had me really contemplating my life's purpose - what I have accomplished thus far, and what I wish to accomplish from this point on. I've been doing some reading on the importance of finding and nurturing a purpose in one's life, which has certainly made a positive impact on my overall attitude and outlook. I want to discover more standouts from any genre - self-help, goal-setting, philosophical or otherwise - that have helped you, my fellow mefites, see the world and your respective circumstances in in a different, more positive light. [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Jan 1, 2014 - 27 answers

Become a buddhist monk to treat my depression?

I'm pretty depressed and want to become a monk temporarily to help me find myself again and be better person. Is this an unethical reason to be a monk? [more inside]
posted by defmute on Dec 22, 2013 - 34 answers

What's that book with the thing?

I'm trying to recall a business/self-help book. The main idea was that setting goals and pacing yourself is counterproductive, and that accomplishment happens by immersing one's self in a big idea. Steve Jobs, etc. I believe the cover was an illustration of a businessman opening a shirt to reveal a superhero costume. There may have been a critique of Tony Schwartz' energy management model inside. It was probably written in the last ten years. Can anyone name the book?
posted by michaelh on Dec 18, 2013 - 2 answers

How to be content again and pick myself up once more

During my studies I've dragged myself into some sort of downward spiral: falling behind multiple times but still managing to pick myself up, only to find myself struggling even more. I've now arrived at a point where I feel completely broken and depressed. I need to find a way to start off again without feeling overwhelmed by everything else that still needs to, or can be done. I seems the only way to regain control is if I could be as carefree as I was as a freshman. [more inside]
posted by csdfa on Dec 10, 2013 - 5 answers

What have you been wrong about, realized it, and it changed your life?

What have you been wrong about, realized it, and it changed your life? I remember reading Albert Ellis' wonderful self-help book A Guide to Rational Living where he gives a great list of irrational and self-defeating beliefs that people have. Among these beliefs was the importance people placed on other's opinion of them as well the emphasis people placed on being perfectionistic in their own lives. Much of this underlies Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but the effect is even more prevalent than that. We all have had beliefs that have held us back, and I'm curious as to what things you once believed that were holding you back in your personal or professional life. Anything will do. It can be anything from knowing the importance of making good first impressions to the need for keeping oneself physically fit even when one doesn't want to. I'm looking to see whether I share of any of these traits or not. So what are the beliefs that have held you back or others that you know?
posted by RapcityinBlue on Nov 19, 2013 - 60 answers

What's my next step in dealing with depression?

I have rapid and extreme mood swings and am generally empty and anxious. I've got all the time in the world. What should I try, medication, self-help or therapy wise to get better and find happiness? [more inside]
posted by awesomathon on Nov 10, 2013 - 18 answers

How does a 20 yr old healthyish student get back in shape without dying?

The fact I never liked the "traditional" forms of exercise never bothered me before. That is, until it recently dawned on me activities like going to the gym or running might be the only options I have left. But, with sensitive knees and shins from growing quickly and the residual effects of childhood asthma still occasionally inhibiting my ability to do cardio, these activities seem more foreign than ever. What can I do? [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool on Oct 27, 2013 - 26 answers

Does everyone in the world want to write, or is it only Americans?

Between the writers' conferences, workshops, organizations, academic degrees, web sites, online fora, regional groups, and how-to books that seem to fill this country, it appears that every third American more or less seriously wants to be a writer. (UK seems to have a bit of the fever as well.) Is the same obsession at play elsewhere, that is, in the non-English speaking world? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Sep 4, 2013 - 14 answers

Landmark/est equivalents?

What books/podcasts/videos have content similar to est/Landmark Forum? [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jul 30, 2013 - 2 answers

"Feeling Good", the handbook ... or something else?

My sweet baby sister is struggling with some depression and self-esteem issues. She's not interested in therapy at this point but she's open to doing some self-help/at-home work. What book shoud I get her? [more inside]
posted by nubianinthedesert on Jul 23, 2013 - 16 answers

IntertiaFilter

What $20 item will help me remember that I can make better use of my time than playing video games? Exciting snowflakes inside! [more inside]
posted by Tevin on Jul 12, 2013 - 14 answers

My life is a mess, and I feel paralyzed to fix it. Suggestions?

My life is a mess right now, and I can't seem to start taking the steps I need to take to dig myself out of the hole I'm in. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 12, 2013 - 17 answers

Perspective/emotions on a situation changed? Self, self-help, fiction?

Have you felt one way that was impotent or powerless, but now you feel calm and empowered? And the only thing that changed was you? [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Apr 3, 2013 - 16 answers

Resources for healing from domestic violence?

I am looking for books or websites that are for people after they have left their abusive partner. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Mar 25, 2013 - 3 answers

How to get over the fact that I just had a breakdown?

Two days ago I had some sort of emotional/mental breakdown. I got help in the immediate sense, but I'm not sure how to process and get over it. [more inside]
posted by trogdole on Mar 1, 2013 - 26 answers

How can I become more extroverted?

Have you successfully made an intentional transition from introversion (socialization = draining) to extroversion (socialization = sustaining)? If so, please step inside and share your insights with me. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Feb 9, 2013 - 24 answers

I don't want to watch my fingers anymore

Based on this thread, touch typing has changed people's lives. I have been watching my fingers type for more than forty years, so I may not be able to make the change, but I'm willing to put forth a good effort. What software-based training program is likely to be effective to help an adult fast finger-typist become a fast(er?) touch typist?
posted by cameradv on Dec 27, 2012 - 25 answers

Self-help for the cynic.

Please recommend some self-help books for those who hate self-help books. Humor, cynicism, and a firm basis in science/psychology is especially appreciated. [more inside]
posted by timory on Nov 25, 2012 - 15 answers

Girl needs therapy

Therapy hasn't helped in the past. But I need to do something, FFS. What else should I try? [more inside]
posted by indognito on Nov 2, 2012 - 13 answers

Workplace self-help book recommendation?

Has anyone read a good self-help book about dealing with stressful jobs/workplaces? [more inside]
posted by srs airbag on Oct 21, 2012 - 2 answers

But what if I can't live in the present tomorrow?

The times when I am most content and at peace are the times that I am most able to live in the present - unattached to outcomes, not falling into "what ifs", not "writing the script", etc. I've also been at my most successful when I've had that attitude. Unfortunately, it's also pretty rare that I'm able to get there. What books, recordings, techniques, anything else help you reach that "it is what it is and it's all ok" attitude?
posted by SampleSize on Oct 12, 2012 - 13 answers

Help me stop being mean.

I am unnecessarily and randomly critical of people. It is worse when I am stressed. This impacts my friendships, home life, and work. I need to stop. [more inside]
posted by domo on Sep 12, 2012 - 34 answers

Self-help without the corporate/consumerist propaganda

Self-help without all the cheesy capitalist, CEO-worship and consumerism... does it exist? [more inside]
posted by willie11 on Sep 11, 2012 - 9 answers

Recovering from child sexual abuse online

I'm finally processing the reality of being a victim of online enticement by a child predator. Besides therapy, are there any good resources for helping deal with the shame? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 21, 2012 - 12 answers

Do what makes you ___

"Do what makes you happy" - awful career advice? [more inside]
posted by naju on Jul 19, 2012 - 26 answers

I am not a psychologist; is there a book that lets me play one in the mirror?

It seems like a lot of what psychologists do is provide tools for processing troublesome beliefs, experiences, etc. in a healthy way. Are there books that the hive mind would recommend that teach some of these tools to non-psychologists for the purpose of being able to use these techniques in their own lives? I've envisioning something less dense than a college textbook but more rigorous than a walk through the self-help section at a bookstore. Recommendations are welcome for general techniques/tools as well as topically oriented works, such as books focused on techniques specific for relationships, money problems, or other common sources of stress and conflict.
posted by philosophygeek on Jun 22, 2012 - 11 answers

Questions about 12-step

I went to my first ever 12-step anonymous help group meeting. (For the moment, I won't say which, it's irrelevant.) I had a few questions I'm hoping those with experience can help me with. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 30, 2012 - 23 answers

Emotions Anonymous - Useful or Creepy?

Is Emotions Anonymous really as culty as it seems to be? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 27, 2012 - 17 answers

Am I a jerk?

Am I a jerk? If so, how do I stop being one? [more inside]
posted by joshwebb on Dec 27, 2011 - 87 answers

Top-notch personal development books?

Are there any personal development books that aren't a bunch of woo? [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Sep 7, 2011 - 25 answers

A book to tell me what to do with my life

I'm almost finished reading The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. Can you recommend any books that are similar in approach but deal with a wider focus, that is, setting medium- and long-term goals? [more inside]
posted by Busoni on Aug 2, 2011 - 3 answers

Books for the anxious gal?

I'm an anxious gal who finds that reading books about anxiety, self-compassion, mindfulness and meditation really helps me set a plan for what to do and how to get better. But there are so many of these books, I don't know where to start. What books would you recommend? [more inside]
posted by flibbertigibbet on Jun 26, 2011 - 20 answers

Scientifically verified ways to improve happiness and solve problems?

From the article in this post: "...there actually is some pretty good research on how to become happier and how to overcome personal difficulties that can be done relatively simply but which the self-help industry ignores." Well, I'm game. What simple, scientifically validated ways exist to become happier and overcome difficulties? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Jun 15, 2011 - 17 answers

I am looking for a service that will let me create messages that interrupt me at randomized intervals while I'm using my laptop.

Please help me find a service or tool that will let me create messages that interrupt me at randomized intervals while I'm using my laptop. Probably this would be classed as a productivity or self-help app, but I can't find anything relevant via Google or poking around sites like Lifehacker. [more inside]
posted by Susan PG on Jun 3, 2011 - 5 answers

I want to live a purposeful life

Self-actualization in a box: I'm searching for a book or journal or any other resource that has daily guided exercises to help you become a more creative/emotionally healthy/well-rounded individual. Sort of like "Purpose-Driven Life", but not *as* Christian-y (though I'm not entirely opposed to religious-based resources) [more inside]
posted by chara on Jun 2, 2011 - 10 answers

The Landmark Wives

My significant other is interested in attending a Landmark Education seminar. What should I know? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 19, 2011 - 53 answers

I really kinda thought I'd be a better person by now :(.

I've spent decades working on the same personal flaws, and despite clear goals and clever attack strategies, nothing ever seems to stick. Is it even possible to permanently "fix" specific aspects of one's character or personality? If so, how? and how long does it take? [more inside]
posted by gallusgallus on May 16, 2011 - 27 answers

Homewreckers

Please help me find descriptions of the psychology or "standard" process of women who approach and are willing to cheat with married men. [more inside]
posted by Acer_saccharum on Mar 24, 2011 - 8 answers

Can you give me a boost out of this depression?

I'm looking for personal experiences with self-treating mild-moderate depression. What have you found works for you when in a slump? [more inside]
posted by Carlotta Bananas on Mar 16, 2011 - 25 answers

Helping someone survive a break-up

Need book or other recommendations for dealing with unexpected break-up of a long-term relationship. [more inside]
posted by FormerMermaid on Sep 14, 2010 - 6 answers

How can I give myself a do-over on my cruddy childhood?

Can anyone recommend a self-help method for starting one's (emotional) life over again after coming to terms with childhood trauma? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 7, 2010 - 19 answers

What are some practical non-fiction books that touch on themes represented in The Alchemist?

What are some practical non-fiction books that touch on themes represented in The Alchemistw? [more inside]
posted by nitsuj on Jan 19, 2010 - 4 answers

Huh? Wha?

Help! I am incredibly absentminded. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 29, 2009 - 22 answers

What are some of your favorite self-help audio books available on MP3?

What are some of your favorite self-help audio books available on MP3?
posted by wordsmith on Dec 28, 2009 - 2 answers

Suggest books that push the envelope of "self-help"?

Can you suggest books that push the envelope of "self-help"? I record books for a library-owned radio station for the blind and visually impaired. One of our genres is Self-Help. We have no shortage of the usual sort of self-help book - I've been asked to come up with something a little wider-ranging or quirky. [more inside]
posted by tomboko on Oct 21, 2009 - 16 answers

Alternatives to Tony Robbins?

Recommendation for alternatives to Tony Robbins for people who find Tony Robbins a little eerie? [more inside]
posted by surenoproblem on Oct 13, 2009 - 10 answers

Tripping on Calvinist guilt

Help me stop myself from turning into my dad: how do I manage daily guilt? [more inside]
posted by brambory on Oct 13, 2009 - 10 answers

How to feel more secure saying no to opportunities

Need help avoiding a scarcity mentality and being too risk-averse. How can I gain more self-confidence and be willing to say no to things that aren't right for me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 10, 2009 - 10 answers

Help me become assertive, please

People-pleaser wants to transform, seeking self-help books and inspirational books/movies [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 14, 2009 - 9 answers

Is the science in "The Answer" brilliant or rubbish?

The book "The Answer" by John Assaraf and Murray Smith has a lot of neuroscience in it... but is it brilliant or rubbish? [more inside]
posted by monster max on Jun 10, 2009 - 13 answers

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