Clear language is imperative.
  • Clear language is imperative.

Post Title: Inner Simplicity

Post Date: January 13, 2014

As we seek to refresh and revitalize ourselves, getting to a place where our minds can experience calm and  quietness is vital, as it allows us to listen to our inner needs. While it can be a challenge to find your calm in all the busyness, here are a few tips taken from Inner Simplicity [a book by Elaine St. James] to help turn down the outer noise.

Tune out the news: Ignore televised news, newspapers, and gossip magazines more often. Missing out on the latest political argument or celebrity tabloid will free up your own internal energy.

Resist engaging in gossip or complaining: These activities are draining and provide noisy mental clutter.

Spend time in nature: Go for a walk outside, alone. Listen to quietness, the wind in the trees, deeply breathe in the fresh air, absorb some sunlight, experience the calm. Resist bringing your cell phone.

Slow down: Take a break from constant multi-tasking, stop going to places or out with people when you really don’t want to. Free up some of your time, and reduce the need to be in a rush.

Challenge: Spend one to two weeks following these tips. Once you gain more mental clarity, start thinking about what you don’t want in your life. What areas of your life need less attention? Are you satisfied with the way you spend your time? Are you able to identify ways to turn down the mental clutter? Begin tackling your priorities!

Post Title: How to Choose Your Next Self-Help Book

Post Date: March 9, 2014

Self-help books are common go-to sources of information, advice, and support. With hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year, it seems reasonable to say that we are dedicated to the idea of self-help. Yet, if these self-help books worked such wonders, we would likely see a lot more happy and content people.

There are two main reasons why our money spent on self-help books does not necessarily amount to money well-spent. The first issue is that many offer information that we can’t understand or apply to our real lives. They offer complicated perspectives that sound insightful and intriguing but show us nothing in the way of an actual process for change. Essentially, we get momentary hope and inspiration rather than instruction for real changes. The second issue is on us. We buy the book, feel inspired, and work the plan for a little while; then we get off that train without even realizing it.

When choosing your next self-help book, look for these five things.

1. Clear language — It can be difficult to utilize the information if you have to guess or decode the meaning of what is being said.

2. No promise of immediate change — Making psychological and behavioral changes is a process that requires sustained effort. Look for books that offer realistic expectations.

3. Mention of theoretical/research base — Information built upon research is more likely to be reliable and transferable to the reader’s situation.

4. Specific directions for behavior change — Books that only offer the authors’ insights or perspectives can be useful but is generally not sufficient in itself to create actual change. Look for self-help books that contain specific and detailed instruction on how the reader should change their behavior. This allows the reader to engage in concrete strategies and transfer the information to their own situations.

5. Focus on a targeted problem-area — A single self-help book is unlikely to resolve all the concerns in every area of a person’s life. Books that focus on a specific area of concern offer concentrated information on that topic and are more likely to be written by an author with expertise in that area.

No self-help book will ever change your life. A book can, however, offer insights and techniques that help you help yourself.

[Posts edited for length]

Title: Empowerment for Life | Address: empowermentforlife.org/blog

Author: Ava McKeehen | From: Chula Vista | Blogging since: December 2013

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