Book Reviews – Part One

Self Development Book Blog

If you have read our “About Us”, you’ll recall that I started on my self-awareness (development/improvement?) journey back in 2016 completely by accident. What I thought was a fitness challenge actually introduced me to Audible and books that would change my life.

I wanted to share the first three books I listened to that set me off on this wonderful path of learning:

You are a Badass – Jen Sincero 

I’m so pleased this was the first book I listened to as it covered a lot of topics, without going in to so much detail that I was overwhelmed. 

Jen has a way of making you look honestly at yourself and your attitude towards sensitive subjects such as blame, forgiveness, ambition, money and relationships. Other participants on the challenge had more experience in self-awareness and some did not like her humourous approach (Jen does like the odd swear word as well!), but for me it was light-hearted enough not to intimidate, funny enough that I would be laughing out loud on my power walks, and effective enough that I made some changes and wanted to know more.

In particular, this book helped me to understand self-sabotaging beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “cured”, but having an understanding of where they come from helps me recognise them for what they are and, more often than not, quieten those negative thoughts.

I personally think this book is a must read for someone looking for an all-round boost in confidence and self-awareness.

The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman

When I first started listening to this, I thought it seemed really outdated. The stories at the beginning didn’t seem to be relevant to modern day relationships, but as the book went on I realised I was wrong. 

Gary believes we all have our own “love languages”, one primary and one secondary. By understanding our own love language and that of our partners (or even friends and children), we see how different people express and feel love in different ways.

However, if we speak a different love language to someone we are in a relationship with, this can cause a clash. 

For example, someone whose love language is “words of affirmation”, may constantly say “I love you” to their loved one, and need to hear it back. If their partner is someone whose love language is “giving gifts”, their partner may always buy them little tokens, but rarely say I love you. The person “giving gifts” may feel they are not loved as their partner never buys them anything. The person saying I love you, may feel they are not loved because their partner never says these words. But both are in love with the other and both are showing their love in best way they know, but neither is understanding the other’s way of communicating this love.

It’s an interesting book and can be applied to most relationships, not just romantic.

The 10X Rule – Grant Cardone

Well, when I first pressed play I thought, “This is not for me.”  Grant is loud, straight to the point, and very fast talking. He seems to have little time for those who are happy plodding along in their jobs or lifestyle, but then I guess this book isn’t aimed at that audience.

After a chapter or two, I got used to his style and started to feel motivated by it. The book is really focused on people who want to progress their career or start and build their own business and goes into great depth on how working 10 x harder and being 10 x more dedicated and motivated is what will make you move forward. He does mention how the 10X Rule can be applied to fitness, self-development and relationships, but, in my opinion, these are more like token gestures and this is definitely a business book. 

A lot of what he says makes sense and there are some useful points I took out of this book, but I did find it quite repetitive at times. It’s still worth a read or listen to, I think, if you are wanting to go up the career ladder or grow your business, as it can certainly give you a kick up the bum!