To Self Help or Not Self Help – Recent Picks from Personal Development arrivals

This month, take a look at different ways of thinking and managing your life, explore the importance of habits and find simple exercises for building new routines. Find ways to manage stress and anxiety with a focus on positive thinking, kindness, generosity and fun! Then perhaps consider this advice for self-improvement from an entirely different angle, rejecting the urge for self improvement by urging self acceptance.

Syndetics book cover365 ways to live generously : simple habits for a life that’s good for you and for others / Sharon Lipinski.
365 Ways to Live Generously features lessons each day that focus on one of the seven generosity habits: Physical health, Mindfulness, Relationships, Connecting with yourself, Gratitude, Simplicity and Philanthropy. Each habit appears once a week, giving you a year to practice and make them all a part of your daily life. Learn why the habits are important, discover tips based on the latest research about making positive change, and explore simple exercises for building new routines.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStand firm : resisting the self-improvement craze / Svend Brinkman ; translated by Tam McTurk.
“How can we resist today’s obsession with introspection and self-improvement?In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and “stand firm”. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner-self but in coming to terms with yourself. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this insightful anti-self-help guide offers a sobering and realistic alternative to life-coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say yes!” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverMaybe it’s you : cut the crap, face your fears, love your life / Lauren Handel Zander, with Marnie Handel Nir.
Maybe It’s You picks up where You Are a Badass leaves off–it’s a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEyes wide open : overcoming obstacles and recognizing opportunities in a world that can’t see clearly / by Isaac Lidsky.
“When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his success and hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and live with open hearts and minds.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWillpower : discover it, use it and get what you want / Ros Taylor.
“Willpower is the heartbeat of a successful, fulfilling work and personal life. But you either have willpower or you don’t, right? Regardless of what you want to achieve and where you’re starting from, Willpower shows you how to: practice the scientifically-proven skill set for enhancing you willpower; make progress immediately and have new, positive habits in just three weeks.The difference between those who get what they want and those who don’t comes down to self-control, Willpower is the way you master it and use it for personal and professional success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNotes from the sick room / Steve Finbow.
“Incapacity provides time for contemplation and creativity yet pain and discomfort detract from inspiration. Serious illness confronts the individual with the reality of death, the complacency of being is jolted by the shock of non-being. Notes from the Sick Room is an investigation into the connections between physical illness and creativity, concentrating on physical illness – cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and disabilities caused by accidents. ” (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe success intersection : what happens when your talent meets your passion / Pat Williams with Jim Denney.
“From the age of seven, Pat Williams’s greatest passion was baseball. However, after two years in the minors, he had to admit it was not his greatest talent. But a phenomenally successful career in sports was just beginning and when he combined his passion for sports with his greatest talents-leadership, salesmanship, and promotion, he found his success intersection. Williams shows readers how to a) identify their greatest talent b) pursue their greatest passion and c) multiply their efforts through teamwork. Readers will discover how to maximize their natural gifting, focus their enthusiasm, and leverage their talent and passion into a lifetime of success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife after loss : a practical guide to renewing your life after experiencing major loss / Bob Deits.
“One of the classics in the field of crisis intervention” (Dr. Earl Grollman), Life after Loss is the go-to resource for anyone who has suffered a significant life change. Loss can be overwhelming, and recovery often seems daunting, if not impossible. With great compassion and insight, Deits provides practical exercises for navigating the uncertain terrain of loss and grief, helping readers find positive ways to put together a life that is necessarily different, but equally meaningful. (adapted from Amazon)

 

Coping, Surviving and Thriving

Whether it’s dealing with the challenges of guilt, how to find solutions, or becoming resilient, here are a few of our latest books that offer a positive way through the big and the everyday things in our lives.

Syndetics book coverBlind spot : why we fail to see the solution right in front of us : how finding a solution to one of the world’s greatest mysteries with the verifier method changes the way we approach success / Gordon Rugg with Joseph D’Agnese.
“What can chess masters teach us about how humans become experts?Why can’t race car drivers explain decisions they’ve made behind the wheel? What does predicting the winner of a soccer match say about our ability to make the right choice?When we talk about experts, we typically have bought into the idea that they have all the answers. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Gordon Rugg exposes the surprising ways in which all people tend to make the same sorts of mistakes, regardless of what field they are in, how smart they are, or even their level of expertise. Focusing on why and how we make decisions, Rugg offers insight into what motivates us, how we fail to find the answers we are looking for, how we can learn to ask the essential questions, and more.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverCoping with guilt / Windy Dryden.
“Do you sometimes wish you could turn back the clock and undo mistakes you might have made in the past? Do you feel it’s your responsibility to make others happy? Are you more worried about hurting others than living your own life? Whether you think you’ve failed to do the right thing or caused harm to someone else, Coping with Guilt will help you to move on. Topics include – differentiating between healthy remorse and destructive guilt; how to deal with episodes of guilt; coping with blame and manipulation; how to accept and value yourself; how to practice healthy self-care. You don’t always have to live up to expectations of yourself that are unrealistically high – tackling the unhelpful beliefs that perpetuate guilt will help you to end the guilt trip now.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverA complaint-free world : the 21-day challenge that will change your life / Will Bowen.
“Have you ever noticed how much we complain about things? Moaning and letting off steam – not only is this a waste of time, it also has a harmful effect on the way you live. So how can you focus on the positive, happy things in life instead? Will Bowen shares the simple, innovative philosophy of staying ‘complaint free’ and reveals how it can change your life. He explains what constitutes a complaint (and what doesn’t), why we complain, what benefits we think we receive from complaining, how complaining is destructive and we can all stop complaining and start thinking and acting in positive ways. With this book’s powerful yet simple message, and a little determination, you too can achieve a positive attitude and improve your life for good.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverResilience / Anne Deveson.
“How is it that some people can be resilient in adversity while others become overwhelmed? Anne Deveson’s distinguished career with the media and social justice organisations grants her rare insight into spirited people who have faced suffering – ordeals of family breakdown, mental illness, human rights abuse, disaster or war. What is it, she wonders that enables individuals, or communities, to rise out of despair? Anne’s exploration into the nature of resilience weaves together research, memoir and reflection into a thought-provoking intellectual and personal story, salted with gritty humour. This book will be an inspiration to victim’s of life’s ‘slings and arrows’, as well as to all who hope to help them.” (Book cover)

Surviving suicide : a mother’s story / [Heather Hapeta].
“This small book addresses the author’s son’s motorbike accident, his suicide and her responses to it all. It also has advice and examples about how to survive the death of someone by suicide – gleaned from personal and counselling experiences. There is a need for this book: here in New Zealand there are about 450 suicides annually, each affecting 6 to 10 people. This means there are over four thousand kiwis who need this information – and that’s just in the first year – these numbers are cumulative and some people may only seek help many years later. Written for the survivor’s of someone’s suicide, and in the hope that their friends will also read it so they can be of help too, this book will also benefit counsellors and social workers.” (from Book Introduction)

New self-help books

Whether it’s helping yourself or helping others close to you, take ideas and inspiration from these new items this month.

Syndetics book coverTransforming negative self-talk : practical, effective exercises / Steve Andreas.
“Hearing critical or disapproving internal chatter is a common frustration. It can follow us around daily, calling into question our self-confidence, making us anxious or obsessive, and generally wreaking havoc on our sense of balance and well-being. In this user-friendly guide, an experienced clinician presents an array of original, take-charge exercises, which don’t suggest simply ignoring your ruminations. On the contrary, by learning how to change the way the words are spoken, the location of the voice, its tempo, tone, and volume, and stamp out generalizations, evaluations, and presuppositions, we can gain control of the downbeat voices and use them to our advantage.” – (adapted from Book cover summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond words : grieving when your child has died / by Andrew Thompson and Tricia Irving Hendry.
“The death of a child is a heartfelt experience like no other.It is a deep grief experience that goes beyond words.The loss affects bereaved parents emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. It makes more demands on them than most others ever realise. Many bereaved parents say that the only people who can ever genuinely begin to understand what it’s like for them are other bereaved parents. Hearing from others who have ‘been there’ can make all the difference. For this reason, Beyond Words is a handbook that features the honest words, perspectives and suggestions of many bereaved parents. It also offers useful information about managing grief, support options and ideas that may be helpful on the grief journey. It is comforting, encouraging, informative and practical. It will also provide understanding and insights to professionals and others seeking to effectively support bereaved parents.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe guide to compassionate assertiveness : how to express your needs & deal with conflict while keeping a kind heart / Sherrie M. Vavrichek.
“Many people who struggle with assertiveness are paralyzed by worries that they’ll seem mean, petty, or that they will hurt the other person’s feelings. Even though they want to speak up, they may keep their true needs and opinions to themselves because of these fears – eventually building stress, resentment, and alienation. The Guide to Compassionate Assertiveness does not require that readers ignore the needs of others and focus solely on their own desires. Rather, this unique blend of cognitive behavioral therapy-based assertiveness training and Buddhist psychology helps readers practice assertiveness skills while caring deeply about the welfare of others. This book helps readers develop a form of assertiveness that emphasizes collaboration, negotiation, and compromise. It focuses on speaking up for the benefit of others and speaking up for the relationship, not just one’s own needs. In this way, readers learn to assert their needs in ways that match their compassionate value systems. This book is the ideal assertiveness guide for those who are afraid of rejection, have a deep concern for how others perceive them, often feel judged by others, or have difficulty expressing their feelings and needs. Readers learn to apply assertiveness skills in all domains of their lives, including in romantic relationships, as parents, at work, and in social settings.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe parent’s guide to self-harm : what parents need to know / Jane Smith.
“Written by parents for parents, this handy guide book shows both how to deal with and help when a child is engaging in self-harm. An ever-increasing number of young people are turning to self-harm in order to cope with the pressures of modern living, and this poses a huge problem for parents and others who care for them. This book provides the answers needed to the pressing questions these parents struggle with daily, and shows that there is hope in these distressing situations. Questions addressed include: How do I know for sure whether my child is self-harming? How should I approach my child? What help and treatment is available to us? What can I do to help my child? and How have other parents coped? Full of the real-life experiences of parents who have been there, this is a practical book that will both inform and equip parents to help their children and themselves get through this difficult time.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)

Syndetics book coverThe diviner : the inspiring true story of a man with uncanny insight and the ability to heal / Joe Cassidy.
“Though many of us suspect that there is more to the physical world than meets the eye, reading diviner Joe Cassidy’s story, simply called The Diviner, is still both amazing and inspiring In The Diviner, Joe explains the ancient art he practices. He describes how he discovered his gift and why he resisted it for many years, suffering the consequences in stress and ill-health. Over a decade ago he realised he had to accept his destiny and despite having a young family, he began working as a diviner. Since then he has worked on over five thousand cases. Joe does not advertise but somehow people find him. Everyone from housewives and lorry drivers, to lawyers and record company executives, turns up at his door. What they each sense is that Joe’s timeless insights can help with a problem that appears insoluble.The Diviner is a story of listening, divining and healing that throws a light on a side of life that is both ancient and still very much part of modern life. And it is a fascinating and uplifting story of a life less ordinary.” – (adapted from Global Books in Print summary)