Sometimes Understanding Human Nature Will Change Your Life: 6 Books to Help You

Humans are complex.

Several lifetimes of study on human nature will still fall short.

And, yet, sometimes the simplest insight will change the trajectory of our lives.  Once we know something we can’t unknow it.

Insight isn’t everything, of course.  There’s application.  Discipline.  Sharing what you know.

But, sometimes, just understanding is enough to make a change.

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The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron

What’s all the buzz about the enneagram?  Why is there such a following for an ancient system of personality typing that seems to have no research behind it?

I put it in the same category as The 5 Love Languages.  It gains a following because it rings true.

Of course.  I should have seen it all along.  But, of course, we didn’t.  But now it seems so obvious when it’s all laid out.

Yes.  That is what I’m like.  That’s how my friends and family tick.  It all makes sense now.  I get it.  And because it rings true, it gains a following and creates a buzz.

Buy now from Amazon

Do It Scared by Ruth Soukup

Ruth is breaking new ground by introducing the 7 fear archetypes. This is a different way to understand yourself: based on your natural fear tendencies.

In spite of good information and insight in this book, I have a feeling it will not be embraced like some of her others. I’m guessing there’s a smaller percentage of the population that really wants to face their fears. Most of us would rather hide.

Ruth shares compelling stories from her own life and inspirational stories from others.  If you listen to her podcast or follow her online, you will have heard them before.  But, they’re still good.

Buy now from Amazon

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Heads up for language.

If you’ve ever wondered what the life of a shrink looks like, here’s your chance for a behind the scenes deep dive.

Lori pulls back the curtain on the intersection of personal life and professional life.  Real human drama.  How to become a therapist, how to survive as a therapist, how to see a therapist.

One of our deepest human needs is connection with other humans.  And, yet, sometimes we shoot ourself in the foot.  The reality is, though, that you really don’t have to have it all together in your life before you can help someone else.

Lori shares the stories of her patients as well as the stories of being on the couch herself.  For sure, no man is an island. Intriguing.  Compelling.

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Reading People by Anne Bogel

Reading People is a good way to get a quick overview of some of the personality frameworks. Some I was familiar with, some I wasn’t. I find personality fascinating.

It’s easy to see the practical applications and helpfulness of the different frameworks when Anne shares personal stories of how they have helped her.

I’m recommending this book to young people because it’s so important to know yourself. Having a vocabulary and reference points is so helpful for teams, co-workers, spouses and family members.

Highly recommended.

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Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy

“If you’re relying on willpower alone to help you lose weight, improve your relationships, or achieve more at work, you’re doomed to fail. The environment around us is far too powerful, stimulating, addicting, and stressful to overcome by white knuckling. The only way to stop just surviving and learn to truly thrive in today’s world is to proactively shape your environment.”–from GoodReads

I heard Ben speak at Tribe Conference last year.  It’s amazing the following he’s gained on Medium.  He writes good stuff, too. Helpful stuff.

Well-written. Great message.

Buy now from Amazon

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy is a quick read.  It is a compilation of wisdom from many gurus of time management, self-management and motivation.  The subtitle is “21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.”

If I have one beef with the book, it’s that he doesn’t attribute his ideas to the original authors.  But, the content is gold.

Simple and profound.  So why isn’t everyone doing it?  Because it’s hard.  At least, it’s hard to start.

He does tackle the psychological side of motivating yourself to do difficult things.

It is a book full of action points, laced with a few stories to illustrate the effectiveness of the principles he advocates.

The whole “eat the frog” analogy comes from Mark Twain who said that “if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

Talking ourselves into doing difficult things instead of avoiding them gets us ahead.

Buy now from Amazon

What have you read lately that has changed your life? 

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