We’ve all had moments when we’ve felt lost, negative, or like a slightly worse version of ourselves. The first step to improving how we feel is recognizing that we want to start somewhere, and one of the easiest ways is through self-help books.
Self-help books are written by those who want to give you advice on personal problems or issues. They are created with the intention of giving you instructions on certain topics in ways that you can easily follow and apply to your own life.
Why You Should Read Self-Help Books
There are lots of reasons for anyone to read a self-help book. As the genre covers a wide range of topics, you can surely find a book that will resonate with you. Whether you have a specific attribute you want to work on or just want to pass the time, you are guaranteed to find a self-help book that will pique your interest.
It’s for Everyone
Reading self-help books is becoming more and more popular these days as people are deciding to make an effort to improve themselves. It can be a straightforward guide to becoming your best self.
Having the desire to read a self-help book is absolutely normal. Do not think that your search for improvement means there is something wrong with you, as it’s actually the opposite. Those who read self-help books become more in tune with themselves and keep their minds broad.
Anyone can benefit from reading books on self-improvement. There are many kinds for any subject or topic. And you can easily find them in a bookstore or on the internet. It all depends on your taste.
There’s Always a Benefit
Reading self-help books allows you to learn new skills and possibly improve old ones. By choosing a book on a subject you believe you struggle with, you can find tips that will help you manage that aspect more easily. Some self-help books can also help you work on your assertiveness, cleanliness, and even problem-solving skills.
Deciding to take the time and read one helps you in more ways than you can imagine. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with the author, reading still provides you with a different point of view and an understanding of why people do certain things. Disagreeing also means your thought process is something you can defend. That’s a reward in its own right! Stand up for your own ideals.
Whether you’re searching for a book to increase your knowledge on a certain subject or other reasons, reading self-help books is always educational and a great way to spend your time.
Best Self Help Books for Men
You just might be interested in investing some time to read a self-help book but aren’t sure where to start. Here are a few we recommend of varying topics that might just capture your interest.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking By Oliver Burkeman
This self-help book written by Oliver Burkeman covers the themes of failure and uncertainty, all while keeping in mind the different paths to happiness. It teaches ways on how to have a positive outlook on matters like failure and death.
It’s considered a unique self-help book as it contains multiple points of view and considers alternate paths to happiness that come from a more negative perspective.
Burkeman speaks to different individuals about their views on life, from life coaches who plan everything to business executives who insist on not making plans at all.
The book doesn’t provide a step-by-step guide on how to improve your life. Instead, it’s considered more of a tool kit filled with ways to approach life more realistically. The author understands that you can’t be happy all the time, so he chooses to offer ways of finding happiness by looking at our lives in its entirety rather than in individual moments.
By sharing stories on how people faced different situations, this book gives ideas on how you can deal with yours. You’ll find this self-help book touching on concepts and ideas you hadn’t really thought of, which makes your take on living much more interesting.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Who knew a self-help book with an intriguing title could have such a massive response. Not only is the title an eye-catcher, but the book’s color also tends to grab people’s attention. Just as the appearance suggests, this is a no-nonsense book that gets straight to the point on how to effortlessly stop caring.
The amount of humor and sarcasm found in this light read is enough to make it a page-turner. Manson didn’t hold back with brutal honesty in calling out the false idea that you need to feel happy and comfortable at all times. He addressed how ruined society has become by creating a spoiled younger generation with participation medals and other easy awards handed out.
Mark Manson gives simple suggestions and tips you can incorporate into your life to create a balance between not caring and giving something the slightest bit of your attention. He pointed out that we’ve become too soft as a society, and we need to learn to accept the cruel reality even if it’s a hard pill to swallow.
This self-help book is considered an essential read for those who need a wake-up call and need to accept the things they can not change. Anyone who struggles with being too sensitive or soft should take advantage of the key pieces of advice found in this book.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven
If you’re looking for a book that will inspire you to make the best of your life, then look no further. This self-help book is a great step-by-step guide on how you can add good habits to your everyday routine.
This book by Navy SEAL Admiral William H. McRaven provides inspiration by telling his story in a tone of optimism and humility. It is written in a way that offers comprehensible knowledge and wisdom, inspiring his readers.
It’s a book that provides practical advice by breaking down the author’s experiences and encounters during his military service. After his speech for the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin in 2014 went viral, this author went on to expand his ideas into 10 helpful life principles.
Because it is written from personal experiences, this book is relatable and easy to follow. It is a timeless masterpiece that can be recommended to anyone who needs some additional motivation.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
This book by Viktor Frankl is a memoir written from his experience of living in multiple Nazi death camps. The first half of the book describes the horrors he experienced as a prisoner. He explains what he sees and how he interacts with others, and tries to understand the pain his fellow inmates have.
Viktor Frankl discusses ways to cope with suffering since it can’t be avoided. The second part of his memoir discusses the form of therapy he created called logotherapy. It is a method that focuses on finding meaning within suffering in order to cope.
The loss of his family and the pain he experienced helped him create a well-written guide on how life isn’t always a joy but a lesson of discovery and finding out what we really want. As someone who has lost so much, Frankl is able to relate his suffering through his book and explain how he decided to move forward.
To this day, this book is considered one of the most influential books in the United States. By the time Frankl passed away in 1997, his memoir had sold over 10 million copies, and translated into 24 languages. As the book ages, it received some criticism but is still considered a relevant novel that should be read by everyone.
Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop
By creating this self-help book, Gary John Bishop receives praise for making an easy read on the topic of self-empowerment. This self-help book goes in-depth on how you might actually be the reason why you’re not making the progress that you were expecting.
He uses an honest and straightforward way of writing that keeps you turning pages. The book is divided into different sections described as personal assertions. These points are then broken down further and explained in great detail, making sure you have a good grasp on their concepts before moving on to the next section.
“Unfu*k Yourself” is an excellent read if you’re looking to get yourself out of a rut. It’s a thorough and straightforward self-help book that can be expected as such by the blunt title. It even motivates those who struggle to get out of bed in the morning to get their jobs done.
This book differs from other self-help books because it doesn’t follow the usual notion of give and take. While most self-help books insist that you need to put good into the world to receive good in return, Bishop clearly states that if you put in no effort then you’ll receive no reward.
Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
This philosophical text written by Rene Descartes was first printed in Latin in 1641. It was then translated to French in 1947, signifying its increase in popularity. It grew to become a classic that is still currently referenced in different forms of media and education.
This text is written in segments for each of the six meditations describing how things can be sorted into what is certain and what is uncertain. The idea is that the Meditator, the one following the six segments, must remove all preconceptions of what is falsely considered as certain and discover what is actually certain.
It mostly dives deep into the concept of man as a conscious being and how he forms his beliefs. The book introduces the Meditator and his goal is to truly come to an understanding of meaning in the six meditations. In doing so, he is able to accept his own existence. The book then progresses into the forms of certainty. These forms of certainty provide information on how to improve ourselves.
This book is considered one of the most influential philosophical texts ever written. Although it is a very complex text, anyone in early adulthood would greatly appreciate the wisdom provided in it.
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
As an international bestseller, “Who Moved My Cheese?”, is a perfect read if you’re looking for motivation in dealing with change. It provides different methods and ideas on how to deal with transitions so you ultimately have a life with less stress and a healthy dose of success.
The book focuses on creating less stress in your work and home life by teaching you how to go with the flow, and accept change. Instead of providing a general subject to discuss, it can be used as a guide that gives concrete steps you can follow on a day-to-day basis.
It touches on forming better ways to manage your future and teaches you how to have a more positive outlook. It further explains how resisting shifts in the wind can lead to trouble or more stress.
“Who Moved My Cheese?” is the perfect self-help book for those who struggle with change or being a pushover. With the help of this book, you may gain the guts and gusto of a strong man ready to take on the world.
Bearing the Unbearable by Joanne Cacciatore
The novel by Joanne Cacciatore, “Bearing the Unbearable”, is a book on grief and how to manage it. It is an INDIES Award winner in the genre of self-help, and has won praises across the globe for its strong sense of understanding on grief, pain, and loss.
It expresses the firm belief that experiencing grief and loss is one of the strongest factors that make us human. It is guaranteed in life that eventually, we will come across it. Whether it’s losing a family member or a pet, knowing how to handle our grief is necessary to protect us from further falling into depression.
The book goes into the author’s personal experiences and also touches on the stories of others. It shows us how we can open our hearts in times of pain and loss, and also learn from people’s experiences.
Written in 52 concise chapters, “Bearing the Unbearable” is a perfect read for you or your loved ones experiencing loss. It is gentle in addressing your grief and how to manage it. And really, anyone can read this book at any point in their life to prepare them for coping with future sorrow.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
If you’re interested in learning about how the successful got to where they are, then this book is a must-read. “Outliers” talks about the rich and famous, how they are different and where they came from to achieve what they have today.
Gladwell believes that there is too much emphasis put on what someone is like, instead of the factors and steps they took to achieve success. From their culture to their family, he addressed all the influences present in someone’s environment that leveraged their odds of being ahead in life.
The author pushes the point that success can often be more of a fact of chance than hard work. But he does provide encouragement by giving us methods that the average person can take to be successful themselves. He believes that true success isn’t just from talent but of a combination of key elements such as ability and opportunity.
Gladwell explores how you can take the methods of the book and apply them to yourself. If you are looking for a self-help book that will give you steps to success, give “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell a shot.
The Master Key System by Charles Haanel
In case you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to achieve your goals in life, then Charles Haanel has you covered. In 24 lessons, he goes over different topics with varying objectives and problems and how to solve or realize them. He provides steps that can take just a few minutes of your day but have a long-lasting impact.
Starting from health and covering everything to wealth, it is an easy guide on how to become successful through a series of small changes to apply in your daily life. It focuses not on just feeling right, but also on thinking right and achieving that success mindset.
It was originally published as a course in 1912 and was later published into a self-help book in 1916. Because of this, it supplies easy-to-follow information from ideas stemming from New Thought philosophy, a spiritual movement derived from old forms of philosophy from ancient civilizations.
“The Master Key System” is ideal for those who are looking for a quick and simple fix that they can do every day. It is an easy and concise read that is appealing to all ages.
How to Read Self Help Books
Even if you want to get started, it might seem a little intimidating to do so considering that there is so much information packed into a small book.
As helpful as it is to read this genre, you need to keep in mind that the information needs to be absorbed and applied to your life for it to work. So, we made a list of helpful tips to help you enjoy reading the book and applying the lessons positively to your life.
Reading a whole novel dedicated to one subject is daunting. A huge chunk of text can be very discouraging at times, no matter how much motivation you have. By skimming through, you are able to take the key points of the book without giving up halfway out of boredom.
You can easily skim by looking at the titles of sections or chapters that divide the book. They tend to give you an idea about what the next section is about, and you can give or take away your focus based on how interested you are in that particular subject.
By skimming through and paying attention to keywords you choose to look for, you’ll be able to absorb the information you need and finish the book faster. Of course, some people do prefer reading the entirety of the book front to back. But if you’re the type to sleep in the middle of a book and then never finish it, don’t be afraid to skim!
Skimming makes what seems like an intimidating book more approachable. It’s an easier way to consume the information you’re looking for without having the pressure of reading the book in full.
Jotting down quick and simple notes while reading a self-help book is a common practice. It allows you to keep pieces of information you find important, and solidify them in your mind. There are a few different ways to keep notes but the most common ones are either on paper or on digital note taking apps.
Paper notes are great if you want a complete screen-free experience. Grab a notepad or notebook that is small enough to travel with you and write down anything that catches your attention while reading. The physical act of writing on paper can even help you remember the lessons even more!
Digital notes are considered the most convenient. Since you always have your phone, tablet, or laptop present. These notes are versatile, extremely portable, and also safely stored in the cloud. Once added to a device, they can even be accessed by others. Digital notes are small and compact, allowing for easy transport.
Writing notes creates a summary of the pieces in the book you find necessary to remember. This way even after you’ve finished reading, you will always have access to the important parts you wanted to retain.
Think and Reflect
Even if you want to finish a book quickly, it’s important to keep in mind that self-help books are flooded with information. Every once in a while, when you read something you consider helpful, it’s good to take a moment to think and reflect on what is being said.
By pausing and pondering when reading a self-help book, you can take the time to truly grasp what the author is trying to say. From there, you can form your own opinion and decide how it affects you personally. You can decide how you want to implement what they’re saying into your life.
Take It Slow
No one wants to read a huge amount of text in one sitting. All that information can be overwhelming. Sometimes a self-help book will start to come off more as a textbook than a book you’re reading for pleasure. If it comes to this, put the book down and take a break. Breaks are important to keep your interest in the book.
Whether you finish the book in a month or a year, don’t worry! The important thing is paying attention to what is being written and making sure the lessons are positively affecting your life.
Share with Others
Sometimes the easiest way to retain information is sharing it with others. By talking about what you’ve read or what you’re currently reading, you can share your newfound knowledge with your friends and family. This will also keep the information fresh in your mind and remind you about it.
While reading a self-help book, you might find yourself relating to it and feel inclined to slowly apply some tips in real life. If you’re reading about keeping organized, then talk about new cleaning or desk-arranging methods to your friends. Maybe you’re reading about paths to success, go ahead and share that information with your coworkers.
Sharing what you’re reading about can keep it interesting and motivate you to implement its suggestions more into your life. By keeping things interesting, you will be encouraged to keep reading not just your current book but even more in the future.
How To Apply Your Reading
Choosing to read a self-help book is the first step to improvement. However you need to realize that just reading a book doesn’t mean your life will immediately get better. The action of doing is just as important as taking the first step to read.
Practice Makes Perfect
It’s easy to feel discouraged when a self-help book seems to spew a million steps that you need to do to make your life exactly as you want it to be. Remember that you’re human and sometimes it takes a while. However, practice makes perfect. As long as you apply to your life what you can, then you’ve already made a good start.
Don’t give up when it seems like things are getting a little too tough. Having a goal can even be motivating but not accomplishing it can be just discouraging, so decide on a simple end goal that you wish to accomplish. You can start by taking things day by day. Once you get the hang of it, you can choose to do something a little bit harder to try next.
Keep practicing. Even if you fail one day, it doesn’t mean you’ll fail the next. The more you do it, the easier it will become. Whether it’s a goal like making your bed every morning or going to sleep earlier, constantly making sure to follow through will eventually turn it into a habit you won’t need to think about.
Break It Into Steps
A little step goes a long way. If you feel discouraged, try to do things one at a time. Choose the easiest and fastest improvements to accomplish first and make habits out of them. Once you’ve made those positive changes, start adding a few more. By going one step at a time, it’s easy to maintain your motivation without being overwhelmed.
Crossing off the habits and routines you’ve created on your list is a good way to practice how to handle the tasks in self-help books.
Don’t Avoid the Hard Stuff
A self-help book isn’t written for topics that are easy to confront. They are made to give you insight on things we struggle with. It might seem easier to avoid doing the things that are hard or time-consuming but that just defeats the purpose of reading them. Facing your issues and tackling them head-on is just one of the few things you have to do for these books to work in your favor.
You Might Not Always Agree
Once in a while, you might come across something the author says that you don’t agree with. You don’t need to follow absolutely everything you find in a self-help book. Taking things with a grain of salt always benefits you in one way or another.
You should be following the advice in a self-help book because you want to, not because you feel forced to do so. It’s always good to know where you stand, or better yet, ask yourself, why do I disagree with this? It opens up room for introspection and can help you relate to the book better.
It’s great to learn from different opinions. We all have varying perspectives so remember to keep an open mind. If you take the time to think about why you disagree with an author, then you are able to focus more on the things you actually want to improve.
Being able to view someone else’s point of view without prejudice makes it so that you can choose the parts you agree with and apply them to your life. Reading self-help books expands your perspective and allows you to make changes to your life on the things that really matter.
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-help Books for Men
How can these books help me?
The genre of self-help books is so vast that there are topics guaranteed to apply to you. As mentioned before, choosing to read is the first step towards improvement, and following through is the second. By finding a book that applies to your life and going through the effort to follow its advice, you can make the right changes and choices.
What are the things I can improve?
Finding motivation and the desire to make the changes you’re looking for is crucial. Things won’t progress unless you are the one to take charge and see it through. There is no one to hold you accountable for your choices, so you need to put in the work and do it yourself.
A Final Word From The Trending Man
Reading self-help books is a great way to get started in your journey for personal improvement. They can provide a step-by-step format or an insightful text on a variety of topics. Whether you’re looking to get your life together as a whole, learning how to be on time, finding better organizational skills, or searching for ways to handle your own emotions. Checking out self-help books can be the first step you take in a quest for self-improvement.