Books Random Thoughts

10 Self-Development Books – Including Some Arab Authors

have selected some books which I believe can be a good read if you are looking to make some changes in your life, I have to say some are not new, but the twist I made is adding Arab authors who write about how to add value to your life, one noticeable thing about these writers is that they discuss how to uplift and come out from disappointment and discouragement, their writings respond to the situation and sometimes feelings of despair more often felt by many young youths in the Arab world.

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

This book is a classic among the world of Self-development books, first published in 1959, a renewed version was printed in 1987 but still, you can relate to the stories and advice you read in this book. What I found interesting is that it tends to offer a solution on the mind level regarding how to develop your thinking and does not neglect to offer practical advice on how to deal with the physical world around you.

Quote: “Remember That The Ability To Think Is Of Much Greater Value Than The Ability To Memorize Facts: Use Your Mind To Create And Develop Ideas, To Find New And Better Ways To Do Things.”

The Compound Effect by Daren Hardy

This book is good for anyone looking to make major lifestyle changes. It has a very straightforward message which is; the road to creating achievements starts with small steps and the things you do will make a difference over a period of time. Its worth to mention that the author Darren Hardy in his introduction talks about himself where at the age of eighteen he was making six-figure income in his own business, by the age of 20 he owned his own home in an upscale neighborhood, by the age of twenty four his income grew to more than $1 Million a year and by the age of twenty-seven he was officially a self-made millionaire, well, I guess, this proves he knows what he is talking about.

Quote:”You Can’t Manage Or Improve Something Until You Measure It”.

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Through this book I would like to challenge your sensibilities, more often we are taught early on that the only philosophy we should learn is through our own faith, well, I am not asking you to change your faith nor I think this book can succeed in doing so, what I am suggesting is to open-up to the Other. You will find the text in this book includes 81 brief poem-like chapters. It’s a very old text some dates back to 4th century B.C.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

I recently bought this book and it’s currently on my books shelf on my Kindle. The book touches on very important habits that we do and most often go unnoticed which hinders us from achieving, that is; our own resistance to take action. What I liked about this book is that it offers its advice without a condensed text. If you are a fast reader you can finish reading it in 3 hours.

Quotes: “Resistance Obstructs Movement Only From A Lower Sphere To A Higher. It Kicks In When We Seek To Pursue A Calling In The Arts, Launch An Innovative Enterprise, Or Evolve To A Higher Station Morally, Ethically, Or Spiritually”.

Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life by Judith Orloff

This book is a good read for people who are stressed out or feel discouraged. The author Judith Orloff takes the readers on a journey of happiness and serenity by helping them to train them on how to deal with the negativity that one faces in daily life. You have the ability to free yourself from depression, fear, and anger. Orloff uses neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychology, and subtle energy techniques to explain her suggested methods in her book.

The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and  Take Command of Your Life By Bernard Roth

The author of this book, Bernard Roth, is the co-founder of the at Stanford University. The book leads the reader through a series of discussions, stories, and recommendations to help you create a different experience. Roth has been teaching for more than forty years, he watched how many smart students he taught never move ahead and do the things they really want to do in their lives or establish the companies they wish to lead, so he designed a course that asks students to design their dream or whatever project they wish to achieve, the project itself is not as important nor it is graded, what students are evaluated for is their ability to achieve their goal they set to do at the end of the course.
Here are some of the topics included in this book:
• Don’t try—DO;
• Excuses are self-defeating;
• Believe you are a doer and achiever and you’ll become one;
• Build resiliency by reinforcing what you do rather than what you accomplish;
• Learn to ignore distractions that prevent you from achieving your goals;
• Become open to learning from your own experience and from those around you

Mind Maps for Business: Using the ultimate thinking tool to revolutionise how you work By Tony Buzan and Chris Griffith

Tony Buzan is a distinguished author and educational consultant, best known for popularizing the idea of ‘Mind Mapping’. In this book, the authors suggest techniques to organize your brain which can help business professionals to manage the way they think and practice their work. Mind maps can help you tremendously:

  • Make meetings, discussions, and forums productive
  • Increasing your productivity.
  • Make new possibilities for growth.
  • Talk, negotiate, and consult more effectively.
  • Unleash your creative capabilities.
  • Be more organized, more focused.

Now, moving to Arab writers and what they have to say on issues of Self-Development and Self-Actualization. I would like to highlight, when trying to find some Arab authors who wrote in the area of Self-Development, I could not help but to notice the divide between the Arab and the Western thinkers, our Arab authors when it comes to their thesis, almost all except for some exceptions, is contrived from religion, so while trying to find the most neutral ones whom I can say are not affiliated to any religious school of thought, I realized I might end up finding ‘non’. However, in an upcoming article, I intend to highlight some Arab writers who wrote in various fields other than Self-Development. Unfortunately, I was unable to find one online source so you can buy their books from, even the Arabian online bookstore ‘Jamalon’ did not offer them.

Contemplations in Gods World by Mustafa Mahmoud

If you are looking for some food for thought kind of reading, Mustafa Mahmoud’s books might deliver it to you, the Egyptian author and philosopher had left his mark for generations to come. His worldly experiences during his lifetime provide a rich source of meaning and lessons to learn from especially if you knew he was an atheist turned to a believer. He is mostly known for his essays where he taps on sensitive issues in the Arab societies.

In this book, while seeking to pinpoint the sources of troubles in our lives he might come as a critic of the contemporary lifestyle, however, if you read closely the message he is trying to convey you might find some truth in it.

Till they Change Themselves by Amr Khaled

This book tackles issues of the ego and individuality by shifting the focus to the collective community. It also shows how to deal with troubles in your life and what you can do about them. Amr Khaled, the author of this book, is a well- known Egyptian preacher, for years he has a TV show that tackles current issues facing young youth in the Middle East from an Islamic perspective.

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