Want to know what all the greatest self-help books say…in just a few minutes?

Want to know what all the greatest self-help books say…in just a few minutes?

There are many great (and not so great) self-help or self-development books on the market; and many of them say the same thing (including most of mine)! 

And here at The Happiness Institute we're big fans of simplifying what can often seem too complicated. 

Which is why we love this Forbes article that sums up the key messages, for happiness and success, from pretty much any and all of the books that would, if you read them all, take you years and years…and you can get these lessons in just a few minutes. So read on, soak it up and then put it all into practice : ) 

by Kathy Caprino

As a writer, I’m fortunate to connect with authors and experts all over the globe who have vitally important messages to share. While each of these experts sees the world in his or her own very unique way, and shares a special filter or perspective on life, progress and success, when you peel the onion on these messages, there are many recurring themes and threads.

Interested in seeing how these strands of concepts are threaded together over many different books from different times, I was excited to connect with Sebastian Klein, co-founder of Blinkist, a Berlin-based startup that feeds curious minds key insights from non-fiction books that have made a mark. As Blinkist’s Editor-in-Chief, Sebastian specializes in distilling complex concepts from great books into memorable, easily accessible language.

I asked Sebastian this key question: What are you seeing as the key common threads between all the great personal development non-fiction that Blinkist has covered from the past decades?

Here’s Sebastian’s take:

“There are thousands of books out there brimming with ways to radically improve your life. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll find that while each author may take a different approach, the advice they’re giving isn’t as different as you might think.

At Blinkist, we distill the key insights from outstanding nonfiction books and put them into a format that lets people learn more in less time. In our journey through the last decades’ most popular self-help books, we noticed certain similarities emerge and thought, hey, why not condense them and see what we get? The result of that experiment is the following 7 pieces of advice given to everyone striving to lead a more productive, happier life.

1. The big picture: Find the “why” that drives you.

A common refrain is to identify early what you want in the long term: find your mission, or “why,” and allow the “what” and “how” to flow from there. And if the why you identify comes from a place of intrinsic meaning, all the better! In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink references an experiment in which psychologists asked university students about their aims in life. Some named extrinsic profit targets, like wealth, while others specified more intrinsic goals, such as personal development or helping others. Years later, the students with profit goals were no closer to contentment, but those with intrinsic goals were happier. So start looking for your why now – once you find it, it will help you organize your tasks, meet meaningful goals, and even feel happier.

2. Mastery: To succeed, practice your craft and learn from others.

Knowing what you want to achieve is the first step. Next? Actually getting things done. But be advised – if you want to stand out, you’ll have to do quite a lot of things. Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and Robert Sutton’s Weird Ideas that Work show that most people who are considered geniuses today actually spent a great deal of time acquiring their skills. The “10,000 Hour Rule,” a key concept from Gladwell’s book, dictates that mastery requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. For a historical example, take Mozart: forced to practice instruments from the tender age of three, adult Mozart was a virtuoso. In childhood he’d accrued those 10,000 hours of practice, and by the time he was 20, banked roughly 50,000. As Robert Greene says in Mastery, Your main goal in a new field should not be immediate success or money, but to learn as much as possible. One of the ways to maximize the time you spend on honing your skills is to find someone in your field to learn from. Attempting to go it solo, we make preventable mistakes, but a mentor can show you how to use your resources most effectively…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE