Here you will find a list of resources that I have found helpful in my journey of self improvement. Some of these are free and some are not. Where they are not, I have linked to the appropriate Amazon.com page. Be sure to check back here often as I will update it when I run across more items that I think might be of use.
- Mindfulness in Plain English – I do not personally subscribe to all of the ideas in this book, particularly the stated “end goals” of mindfulness, however, the methods can easily be used (and are currently in open practice in psychological circles – see John Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living, and in business circles – see Chade-Meng Tan, Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)). I discuss the basics of meditation and how it fits in to my philosophy of self-improvement in THIS blog post.
- Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice – This is another text that gets into the nuts and bolts of how to actually meditate. Valuable information for the beginner.
- Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation – This is a series of audio recordings that are guided meditations. The speaker is Gil Fronsdal, a teacher in Redwood City, CA at the Insight Meditation Center. When I first started learning to meditate, this what the first thing that I listened to. The way he explains things spoke to me in a way that was easy for me to understand. At the beginning of each recording is a portion where he explains the technique and what to do and what to expect. Then there is a guided meditation. At the end is a question and answer period with those that were present at the time of the recording. The questions that they ask are fairly common among beginning practitioners.
- Believing Christ – This is one of the best books I have ever read on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how to understand it in terms even a lowly engineer-turned-life-coach like me can understand. For anyone wanting to understand why Jesus did what they say he did in the New Testament and what exactly that means for you, this is the book for you.
- The Four Noble Truths – This is a treatise on a concept presented by the Buddha. The Four Noble Truths are the result of the Buddha’s investigation into the nature of suffering. We all suffer in this life. He wanted to know why and if anything could be done about it. As it turns out, there can. Again, as this is not my faith, I do not subscribe to everything in this book. With that being said, however, there is A LOT of truth here that can be applied to a wide variety of situations. I highly recommend giving it a read.
- How to Live Without Fear and Worry – This is a very pracitcal text written by a Buddhist monk on the benefits of living in the present moment and the effect it can have on our lives. I highly recommend it.
Life Designing Resources
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey – This book is, hands down, the most perception altering book on designing your life that I have ever read. This is not a book that teaches you to change the tricks you use in your life to get things done. This is a book that helps you realize what you REALLY value and then to structure your life around those values so that what you are doing is actually, personally meaningful to you. One of the core ideas in this book is that of a “Personal Mission Statement”. The personal equivalent of the Constitution of the United States, it is a written statement of who you really are, what you value, and what you’re about. The journey of writing one is quite possibly the most important journey you can take in your journey of life design. Covey’s company, Franklin Covey has a free online basic Personal Mission Statement builder to help you through the process with examples from other, notable individuals. That builder can be found HERE.