T Nation

Most Empowering Book You've Read...and Why?

I’ve been in a real rut lately that I feel I’m only recently beginning to come out of. I’ve seriously doubted myself for months and let my worries about joblessness overtake me and rob me of my power.

For a long time I’ve felt there was something powerful just underneath the surface, but I couldn’t change from the undisciplined lazy drifting person I am to that empowered individual. I am slowly gaining control, and I figure that learning some empowering books to read will help this transformation.

I know there are other book threads out there, but I didn’t see one dedicated specifically to this kind of book…

There are a lot of worthwhile empowering books out there, but what many don’t realize is that you actually have to make a significant effort to APPLY the principles or contents to your daily life. Passively reading a book, any book, won’t elicit any kind of change in your life.

I personally like the old standbys…Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and Dale Carnegies “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. These are both incredible books, but applying the principles every day is where the challenge lies. To his credit, Covey stresses this point over and over in his books…“simply reading this will do nothing for you, go out and live it”.

Never cared too much for Napolean Hill.

“How to Win Friends and Influence People”

not empowering in a way that gets you motivated to conquer a country, but a great tool in giving you ways to deal with situations and people you encounter and that helps with smoothing out frustration.

Wild at Heart.

It isn’t your typical ‘empowering’ book but it really gets you thinking about how males have really been suppressed of the last many years. It really makes me wanna go out and bowhunt an elk or lift heavy weights for hours on end.

Into the Wild by John Krakauer

Should help get you motivated, open your eyes to the potential that this world has to offer, and the fact that you should take advantage of it each and every second that you are alive.

The Quarter Lift Crisis of Jack Lancaster by Ian Hollingshead, The Fighter by Craig Davidson and Right Away Monday by Joel Thomas Hynes. All fiction, awesome books, read them quickly though, they’re intense reads in the middle and may fuck you up more before they help you.

“The Spirituality of Imperfection” by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham.

“The Precious Present” by Spencer Johnson

Better Homes and Garden Cookbook

[quote]OctoberGirl wrote:

“How to Win Friends and Influence People”

not empowering in a way that gets you motivated to conquer a country, but a great tool in giving you ways to deal with situations and people you encounter and that helps with smoothing out frustration. [/quote]

qft. everyone should give it a read

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. You may not agree with a lot of it, but Nietzsche had a lot to say about overcoming oneself, being better than merely man, etc.

Atomic Dog… Seriously.

And in a less direct manner, “Scar Tissue” by Anthony Keides.

im surpised no one has suggested this:
the power of now, echart tolli or however spell it i have no clue but it has really helped this year. Its the premise that our mind likes to create a story of the past and future to control our self. If you can recognize this and lize for the present, focusing on enjoying right now, not when youre going to have fun down the line you will live a very satisfying life. I have put these practices into play, going out more, taking more risks for the present thrill and these past three months have been the best of my life.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It’s ridiculously long, but that’s a small price to pay. Why is it empowering? There are hundreds of characters, and while a majority of it is fictitious, each of these guys is awesome and inspiring in some way.

living in a world in crisis by Jiddu Krishnamurti

I would suggest a good book on meditation or buddhist psychology. Not so much for the religious stuff, but for the practical application of meditation, maybe some breathing practice, and the ability to become aware of your mental/emotional state, passively observe it, then eventually to control it or at least keep it from affecting your actions or to persevere when you would rather do otherwise.

“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” comes to mind and there is a lot of good material in there on practices, buddhist psychology, but there is also big religious tone to it as well.

Think and Grow Rich

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I had wanted to pursue a career in academia but had become disillusioned with all the idiocy that was spouted as profound thought. I left uni, was jobless, no clue what to do and I read a book about a man who struggles to achieve his dream.

The first time I read the book I considered the main character wooden and soulless. What really captured my attention though was the idiots and bullshit this character had to struggle through. In it I recognised everything that was wrong with the world but I could never name.

Once I finished reading the book I sat stunned for a whole hour just thinking about what I wanted to from life and how to achieve it.

Each time I read the book I begin to identify with a different character. Originally I thought the protagonist was one dimensional, but now that I focus on chasing my dreams and enjoying my life I see in the protagnist a love for life that all the bullshit artists and hypocrits cannot understand.

[quote]xylitol wrote:
I’ve been in a real rut lately that I feel I’m only recently beginning to come out of. I’ve seriously doubted myself for months and let my worries about joblessness overtake me and rob me of my power.

For a long time I’ve felt there was something powerful just underneath the surface, but I couldn’t change from the undisciplined lazy drifting person I am to that empowered individual. I am slowly gaining control, and I figure that learning some empowering books to read will help this transformation.

I know there are other book threads out there, but I didn’t see one dedicated specifically to this kind of book… [/quote]

well, i read a lot of different stuff, but “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill is good for politics.

one of my military fav’s is “About Face” by COL David Hackworth

for the fella that’s pissed at the world, i’d suggest “Without Remorse” by Tom Clancy.

otherwise, i tend not to read most “self-help” o philosphy type books…

I’ve only read parts of it, but Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is supposed to have helped many people. It’s about a Jew who learned to find happiness in Auschwitz. If he could do it, anyone can. Btw, it’s a true account of what he went through.