3 self help books that could change your life

It’s crazy to think that 3 years ago, I had hardly read any books in my life (apart from the occasional novel about bears or a mandatory school curriculum book). In 2021, I made the New Year’s resolution to read 1 book a month. Although I only ended up reading 7 books for the year (still a huge win for me!), this goal I created introduced me to a new world. A world of learning new words, concepts, ideas, and points of view. Let me introduce you to 3 life-changing self help books.

The Courage To Be Disliked – Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga

Not only is this book very insightful, it is also incredibly easy and fun to read (I finished it in a week and my reading skills are, at best, painfully slow and a little incompetent). It follows the story of a philosopher who teaches a young man about the theories of Alfred Adler – a big name in psychology in the 19th century. The main concept of this book is that one can change or find happiness if they wish, they just need the courage to choose to do so. An amazing quote from this book is “none of us live in an objective world, but instead a subjective world that we ourselves have given meaning to”. This ties in well to the next book.

Buddhism For Busy People – David Michie

After spending the longest time wondering about Buddhism, I finally decided to pick up a book and learn about it. There are 5 concepts that this book discusses that are important.

(1) Non-attachment: this one is my favourite. David says “it is one of life’s curious paradoxes that the goals to which we have greatest attachment are most likely to escape us, while those we don’t care so much about just fall into our laps”. Now look at your life and tell me that isn’t true. (2) Karma: cause and effect (everything you do – good or bad – has consequences). (3) Meditation: a practice that is encouraged for clarity of mind and ease of decision making. (4) Bodhichitta: the act of having compassion for others and an open & generous heart. (5) Dependent arising: the perception of the self that we create; Buddhists believe there is no ‘I’, only a stream of consciousness.

The Defining Decade – Meg Jay

I have so many thoughts on this book that I am dedicating a separate blog post to what I have learnt (coming soon). The defining decade – also known as your twenties – is a time when things happen and when, according to Meg, we should all be taking action. Thirty is not the new twenty. This book has three main parts: (1) work, (2) love, (3) the brain & the body. In each section, Meg dives into what we should be doing and why some of us avoid making important life decisions early on. In sticking to the theme, here’s another quote for you to write down – “when we make choices, we open ourselves up to hard work and failure and heartbreak, so sometimes it feels easier not to know, not to choose, and not to do”.

While all of these life-changing self help books could be used as a bible, it is important to take each piece of advice with a grain of salt and remember that you can still live how you choose. We decide how to live.


Kait x

Cover photo by ph.galtri