During my studies, I became interested in self-help books. I was interested in any book dealing with motivation, inspiration, personal development, self-improvement, positive thinking, self-empowerment, success and achievement.
In the field of self-improvement and positive thinking, there are many gurus from whom one may choose to take advice and gain insight. These are my top five.
1. Norman Vincent Peale
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s most famous book is titledThe power of positive thinking. Although his book has a religious overtone, he offers practical ideas and strategies even for those who are not particularly religious. He believed in appreciating the positive things you have in your life, allowing you to see that things are not always as hopeless as you think. He believed that positive affirmations can have a powerful impact on one’s life. He believed in gratitude and appreciation. He believed that forgiveness is powerful and that you should also forgive those you don’t respect and love. He believed that there is something good in all people. He believed in visualization and a clear picture of what you want to achieve. He believed in the existence of clear goals. Knowing exactly what you want in life is better than having a vague idea of what you want. Above all, he believed in positive thinking, which is reflected in the title of his famous book. There is always hope.
2. Anthony (Tony) Robbins
I met Tony Robbins long before he started doing television commercials. I bought a copyUnlimited power In 1989, Tony Robbins introduced NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) to a wider audience than it had been exposed to before. Tony Robbins, like Norman Vincent Peale, also wrote about having clear goals in mind. He believes it’s important to know the outcome you want. Tony introduced me to NLP techniques such as modeling, mirroring, anchors and pattern breaks. He presented me with what he called The Ultimate Success Formula. The formula is a simple but effective strategy to achieve a successful outcome. Tony discusses how the “state” one is in has a huge impact on how a person feels and behaves. Our state is determined by our thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, mental images, physiology and other factors. Tony talks about seven success “lies” which are actually guidelines that usually encourage success. Tony places great importance on beliefs because they influence one’s emotions and behavior. He understands the importance that one’s values have in his or her life. And he also believes that one should always look for something positive in life.
3. Maxwell Maltz
dr. Maxwell Maltz is a bestselling author Psycho-cybernetics. He believed that man is a being that strives for a goal. What I found most intriguing about his book was his statement: “Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between imagined experience and ‘real’ experience.” Later in the book, he expresses this idea again slightly differently: “Our brains and nervous systems cannot distinguish between ‘real’ experience and what is vividly imagined.” Dr. Maltz knew how powerful imagination and visualization could be. Dr. Maltz, like Tony Robbins, believed that beliefs were a powerful determining factor in how one behaved and reacted to the world around him. Dr. Maltz understood how is powerful our imaginations are. Therefore he advocated visualization and mental rehearsal. Dr. Maltz believed that happiness is essential to good health and that pleasant thoughts have a great influence on one’s happiness. Above all, Dr. Maltz understood the importance of one’s image about himself in determining his or her success in life Too many people underestimate themselves.
4. Wayne Dyer
My parents had a Dr. Wayne Dyer book lying around the house during my youth so I was familiar with his name. During my studies I visited my aunt and found a copy Your wrong zones on her bookshelf and decided to take a look. dr. Dyer emphasizes two main themes in his book: taking responsibility for your emotions and life, and living in the present moment. He believes that thoughts precede emotions. Individuals can control their thoughts and therefore their emotions. He believes that happiness is important and that you are responsible for your own happiness based on your beliefs and thoughts. dr. Dyer believes in being open to new experiences. One should not be too rigid in one’s beliefs or activities and one should not always have a plan. Living in the moment and being spontaneous can have a positive impact on your life.
5. Paul Pearsall
dr. Paul Pearsall is the author of the book entitled Super immunity: master your emotions and improve your health. This book fascinated me. I learned how important our thoughts and feelings are in determining our health. dr. Pearsall understands the dangers of anger, sadness and other emotions. He understands how beliefs affect how one feels. Thoughts can be a danger to our health. For example, black and white thinking (rigid thinking) can contribute to illness. It’s much healthier to see the gray areas in life and not demand that everything be a certain way. Interestingly, Dr. Pearsall also wrote a book by the title The last self-help book you’ll ever need in which he actually confronts the self-help industry and questions some of its most common ideas and concepts. For example, Dr. Pearsall believes that the concept of self-esteem is overrated. He believes it’s good to be realistic and admit that you can’t necessarily be good at everything you want to be.
Some common themes seem to be present in the writings and teachings of these five self-help gurus. These five individuals all seem to understand the importance of goals, beliefs, thoughts, emotions, visualization, values, and personal responsibility. And, of course, everyone recognizes the importance of positive thinking.
Can we really have, do and be everything we want in life? I will be positive and say, “Yes!”