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Self Improvement

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

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5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

Human beings have been communicating with each other with the use of language for the last 10,000 years. Without the use of language, humans would not have evolved the way they did. To succeed in today’s modern world, you are expected to be well versed in at least two languages.

I understand that along with verbal communication, non-verbal communication is equally important. In this post, I am sharing a list of best books on communication skills that taught me both verbal and non-verbal skills. They give you a whole new perspective on how to be a self-sufficient and social person.

1. How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

About the author:

Leil Lowndes is an American author of self-help books on communication skills, business, and relationships. She is one of the best authors in this niche. Her own insufficiencies inspired her to learn the subject of communication skills to an extent that she began to teach others as well. She suffered from “social anxiety disorder” not only in childhood but also during her college days.

About the book:

The name of this book may lead you to think that this book is only about verbal communication skills but it’s much more than that. Leil has touched subjects like body language and personality development too. In fact, she gives more importance to non-verbal communication skills more than any other form of communication skill.

This book is for you if :

You feel awkward and clueless while talking to strangers in parties and event. Meeting people is not a big deal. You can go to any night club and meet a hundred people there. But if you constantly find yourself running out of things to say, you should read and implement the concepts discussed in this book. Leil has helped thousands of people worldwide who were in the same situation as you.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

About the author:

Dale Carnegie is one of the pioneers of the self-help industry. His book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is not only the best book on communication skills but has also broken all sales records. \Dale was born in a poor family in a small American town called Maryville in Missouri. On growing up, he moved to Nebraska where he started his sales career. This is where his mind began to drift in areas like communication skills, persuasion, and self-improvement.

About the book:

Dale believes that you can change others behavior by changing our own behavior towards them. In this book, he has given step by step methods, anecdotes, and concepts that you can implement in your own life and finally become the popular and likable person that you always wanted to be. The content of this book is evergreen and timeless. This is what makes it one of the best books on communication skills.

This book is for you if :

This is a fantastic starter book if you want to begin your self-improvement journey today. As a beginner to the self-help world, you would be needing a book that explains the concepts and techniques with the help of real-life examples. This book is also ideal for people who work in sales and marketing. The first half of this book is about basic communication skills and how to get people to like you and the second part is more about leadership.

3. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets by Carmine Gallo

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

About the author:

Carmine Gallo is an American author and a key-note speaker based in California. Gallo gained popularity from his book “Talk like TED” which led to him getting featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Success Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek and on CNBC. He has written many other books on communication skills but this book stood out from the rest and made him popular in the entire world.

About the book:

Carmine Gallo explains the 9 public speaking secrets with the help of a host of TED talks. The great thing about TED talks is that you can head to YouTube and watch them anytime you want. He decodes the body language of the TED speakers and points out things that might go unnoticed to an untrained eye. While giving a speech, Carmine believes in communicating with passion and emotion. He has also given plenty of examples of how sharing stories in your speeches can have a hypnotic effect on your audience.

This book is for you if :

This book is for you if you own a business or work in a leadership position and are required to give speeches. This book also provides valuable insights for students who are preparing for a presentation in their college. The public-speaking secrets explained in this book are more beneficial for mass communication and not for one on one conversations.

4. Crucial Conversations by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

About the author:

Kerry Patterson is an American self-help writer. Kerry Patterson has written New York Times bestselling business books like Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, and Influencer. Currently, he is helping entrepreneurs and businessmen by teaching them advanced communication skills. He is a founder of VitalSmarts. At VitalSmarts, Kerry and his team conduct boot camps and seminars on communication skills.

About the book:

This book has turned out to be life-changing even for people who have a successful business or career. Crucial conversations are a part of our life and they cannot be avoided. Most people handle them poorly and if you fall in this category, reading this book is a must for you. This book is about learning how to have these crucial conversations which can shape your future.

This book is for you if:

This book is for you if you run away from social situations that make you uncomfortable. You haven’t yet addressed that fact that you are not articulate enough to lead the conversation when you are the center of attention. This book will provide all the tools and techniques you will need to influence other people.

5.  What Everybody is Saying by Joe Navarro

5 Great Books to Improve Your Communication Skills

About the author:

Joe Navarro is a former FBI agent who has shared the secrets he learned while investigating and solving difficult criminal cases. He is an expert in body language and has written this book to help civilians like you and me become better observers.

About the book:

There are nine chapters in this book, each describing every part of the body in detail. Joe Navarro has deciphered what every hand gesture, facial expression, and physical posture is actually signaling. One downside of this book is, it makes people so attuned to reading people that they start seeing how they have been lied to by people in their life. This creates emotional turmoil in them and they end up hating the people they once loved.  

This book is for you if :

This book is for you if you are oblivious to what people around you are thinking and feeling. Most people are already good with reading people just by observing how they move and talk. But most of us are not fortunate enough to have had opportunities where we were needed to do so. For instance, a retail salesperson has to read the body language of people who walk into the store.  

Closing thoughts

Communication skill is an interesting topic even for people who are naturally good with it. These are the best books on communication skill that I have come across. Moreover, they are also quite basic and approachable at the same time. So, understanding and implementing the concepts discussed in them won’t be too difficult for you.

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Habits

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

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9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Starting mornings the right way is essential to having a productive day – an overall fulfilling day is more like it. I always stress on waking up early, if you don’t already you can look for ways to help you wake up early or if it is not feasible to your schedule then you can still follow a routine that lets you have a wholesome day.

When deciding how to prepare for the day after waking up, the best option is to develop a morning routine. An activity that is constantly repeated on a daily basis, especially, in the mornings can turn out to be pretty effective at helping you be ready to meet the requirements of the day. And if you are unable to come up with any morning routine ideas that can turn out to be effective for you, here are a few suggestions to help you out.

1. Get Some Exercise

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

One of the most common morning routines is exercise. And if you are facing a pretty busy day ahead, then some exercise will definitely get you ready to see through the day successfully. You don’t need to do any heavy workouts. Instead, some pretty light stretching and jumping should get your muscles and joints relaxed. Else, you might end up feeling stiff all day. Going for a quick run can help you get the much-needed exercise too. Exercising will also make you fully awake and ensure that you don’t feel too sleepy in the office all day long.

2. Meditate

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Spending a few minutes meditating is also a very good idea for a morning routine. Usually, once a person is awake, the mind remains cloudy for some time. Doing some meditation early in the morning can help a person focus and have clarity of thought right away. Plus, meditation will also calm the mind, help you face the hustle and bustle of the working environment in a composed manner without feeling stressed out. 

Ideally, you should learn a few meditation techniques from a personal teacher rather than trying to learn it from the internet. This will ensure that you are able to mediate in a proper manner every morning because there are different types of meditations that focus on different things. I use the Headspace app for meditating daily.

3. Create a Schedule For the Day

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

If you are someone who has trouble managing your day-to-day tasks, then a good morning routine for you would be to plan out your schedule for the entire day. Just sit down for a few minutes, think about the activities you have to do for the day and the activities you want to do; make lists of the activities that need to be done along with the total time required for completing them. With proper time management, you can even squeeze in some of the activities that you want to do like going to a movie, visiting your friends, and so on.   

4. Read the News or Informative Articles

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Why not make the morning routine something enlightening? Turn on your laptop or tablet and read the major news of the day. This will get you up-to-date with all the current events that are happening around you. So, the next time someone at work talks about the incident at the football match, you will know what they are talking about and can chime in with your opinions too. 

5. Budgeting

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

If you are a money-minded person who is very careful about where you spend the money, then budgeting for the day will be a fun way to start off the morning. Think about the expenses you will be incurring for the day and write them down. 

Compare it to your monthly budget and make sure that the expense for the day is not too much that it pushes the monthly budget to the higher side. Preparing such a daily budget every morning will allow you to regulate your daily expenditure and ensure that you never spend more than what you earn.   

6. View Inspirational Videos

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

In case you work in an area where you need to constantly keep yourself motivated, then the best way to start the day will be by watching an inspirational video. This is in tune with starting your day with positive affirmations or inspirational thoughts.

Find out some short motivational videos on a weekly basis and assign them to the upcoming days. This way, all you have to do is to watch the video once you wake up. Watching such videos first thing in the morning should pump you up and help you power through your day.

7. Do Something Fun With Your Loved Ones

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Just search for some fun activities to do every morning and make sure to do them every day. And, if you haven’t been able to connect with your spouse because of work pressure, then this morning routine will definitely ease things between the two of you. If you have kids, you can also set aside some time in the morning to be with your children. 

8. Take a Walk

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Taking a walk in the morning is one of the oldest morning routines practiced in the world. Earlier, people used to walk to a nearby shop to get some vegetables and other grocery items for the day. You, too, can do the same and benefit from a morning walk. Or, if you have a park near to your home, then you can walk there and take in the freshness of the morning air. You can also go for a jog instead of a simple walk. This should flex out your muscles and help you get rid of the stiffness you feel when you wake up.

9. Drink Some Water

9 Morning Routines That Can Help You Have a Better Day

Finally, did you know that drinking water every morning is also a routine? Yep. Apparently, many people have made this activity their morning routine in a bid to start off their day on a healthy note. After all, your body will be dehydrated from the previous night’s sleep. 

So, if you try to do any physical activity without recharging yourself with water, you might feel immediate exhaustion. But, when you do drink a glass of water right after you wake up, you will have rehydrated your body and will be able to do any activity without feeling tired.  

Final Thoughts

Anything that motivates you to go about your day with positivity and a healthy feeling counts. It isn’t necessary to follow all the things that other people do. The important thing is to do things that make the most sense to you as an individual. Your routine can be as simple as not skipping breakfast even when you are running late or starting your day with a cold shower. Anything that helps you have a better day counts!

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Self Improvement

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

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Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

Though there are many qualities that contribute to a person’s success, one thing that stands out is that successful people are always hungry for new and deeper knowledge. And to this end, they will always make time to learn, whether it is a new skill, discovery, ideology, or anything that satiates their never-ending curiosity.

In contrast, unsuccessful people can be characterized by a general apathy towards knowledge. Such people essentially have no interest in learning new things or improving themselves. And if you are a dreamer who wants to succeed, then you should definitely consider spending about five hours a week to absorb new knowledge.  

Why Spend Five Hours Per Week Learning New Things?

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

You know what is common between Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet? In addition to being very successful, all three have a shared quality – they spend at least five hours per week to learn new things. So, why 5 hours a week?  

Firstly, everyone is busy with their lives and they hardly find enough time to sit and read. But 5 hours per week is something that is doable and practical. In fact, we can bet that most people will easily be able to assign 5 hours of their life each week to learning something new.

Secondly, 5 hours per week is considered sufficient enough for you to acquire knowledge and skills. In fact, Josh Kauffman, the author of the famous book ‘The Personal MBA’ estimates that it takes about 20 hours for an average person to learn something new

So, considering 5 hours per week for a month that consists of four weeks, you can theoretically learn a new skill every month. Not on the deep end, but certainly something workable.

Tips For Mastering New Knowledge and Achieving Success

Once you decide to implement the five hours per week learning plan, you can follow the below tips to make it effective and achieve the best possible result from your learning process.  

Plan The Timings

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

The first thing to do will be to plan out the learning schedule. Without setting a clear goal as to when you will learn, you are likely to fall prey to procrastination. As a result, you might keep postponing your learning, and may end up never making time for it. 

To avoid such possibilities you should set a clear time schedule. And the time you select must be the most appropriate of times when your mind is ready to absorb new ideas – knowing when your mind is at its sharpest is the key here.

For example, suppose that you are busy with work and are only free Saturday evenings and Sundays. You might think of cranking an hour a day from Monday to Friday as your learning time. 

But if you are always mentally exhausted from work, then the hour you spend on learning may not be effective since your mind may not absorb the new information completely. Do not do for the sake of doing. Focus, improve, and get it right.

As such, it is better to schedule a five-hour session on Saturday evening, or split it into two sessions for Saturday and Sunday. This will ensure you only learn new things when your mind is fresh and ready to absorb ideas. And if you are troubled with procrastination, make sure you get rid of that habit for good.  

If you have a tendency to put off things and not commit even though you wish you could, there is a tried-and-tested method to incorporate new habits. Suppose you want to start reading every day, then you need to combine this with an existing routine. Like, do this after a regular routine habit like breakfast or lunch or work – the first thing after an everyday activity. This way, it is difficult to forget about this, and you’ll be able to cultivate a new habit in no time. This is basically Habit Stacking.

Decide What To Learn

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

The next thing to do is to have a clear plan as to what it is you wish to learn. Ideally, it should relate to something that can help you acquire a new skill and develop your professional as well as personal life. However, you should not shy away from trying to learn things that are completely unrelated.

Draw up a list of subjects you wish to explore, find out the best sources of information for the subjects, and then come up with a learning plan that details how you will go about learning according to the time schedule.

For example, imagine you work as a sales consultant at a stock market trading company. For a particular month, you can focus on learning about human psychology – especially topics that cover a person’s psyche when evaluating a profitable opportunity.

Find good resources on the topic, arrange those resources, and divide them into weekly portions that you can finish in 5 hours each week. In addition, you can also throw in a two hour documentary about Japanese Jujitsu, if you find it interesting.    

Think About What You Learned

Once you have learned a subject matter, take a few hours to reflect on what you just learned. Just mugging up information won’t make you smart. Only when you understand what you learn can you truly claim to have learned about something. And a good way to do this will be to associate what you have learned to real-life situations.

For example, suppose that you spent your entire learning time for the week reading up on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, think about the possibilities of what you have learned. If you are a teacher, look at how the AI development is going to affect the future of education.

And while thinking about it, you might come to realize that children are currently taught in an inefficient way. And by using AI, the children can be taught the same subject matter in a way that makes them comprehend it much better.

Practice What You Learn

Once you have acquired knowledge and reflected upon it, it is time to put it into practice. Otherwise, the knowledge will be of no use to you (or others). If you wish to achieve success, then knowledge alone is insufficient. You will have to act on that knowledge at opportune times.  

Teach Others The Things You Learn 

Why You Should Spend Five Hours a Week Learning

Finally, don’t keep your knowledge to yourself. If anyone is interested in learning from you, consider teaching them everything you know. This has two benefits. Firstly, the people who learn from you will respect you. Secondly, the more you share your knowledge, the better your understanding of it will be.  

So, be sure to never remain cooped up in your own world. Instead, learn as much as you can about the things you find interesting. And slowly but surely, you will find that your life’s on a sure-shot path to success.  

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Self Improvement

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

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6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

When it comes to self-development for men, the word ‘alpha’ gets thrown around a lot. An alpha mostly refers to the top-most male in a group, the successful one. And becoming an alpha is essentially a process of transforming oneself into a state where you are naturally seen as the ‘best among men’. To help you out in your quest to become an alpha, I list below six simple tips.

1. Confidence, Not Arrogance

Many people tend to confuse being confident as being arrogant when it comes to the topic of alpha behavior. Though it is a false notion, it is understandable why people may think this way. The main reason is that being an alpha is equated with aggressiveness.

And someone who is aggressive also tends to be quite arrogant; always trying to dominate every person and treating others as if they are beneath them. While this can also be called alpha behavior, there is a big difference between an arrogant alpha and a confident alpha.

An arrogant alpha will never get respect from other people. And even if they manage to get any respect, it will fade away as people get fed up with their arrogant ways. In contrast, a confident alpha evokes respect from others. In fact, people will, out of their own free will, choose to follow a confident alpha. And it is this type of alpha that you must aim to become – the confident one, not the arrogant one.

2. Physical Appearance

First, let us be clear about one thing – alpha behavior is not directly linked to your physical appearance like being tall and well built. After all, some of the biggest conquerors in the world, like Alexander, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon, were all pretty average looking people with average or less than average height. Having said that, we must also face the reality that having a good physical appearance does help to cement in your alpha status.

Your height is not something you can improve, but your body is. So, if you have an average body with a slight potbelly, then it is time that you start working on it. Dedicate a few months to intense workouts and diet regimen, and you will be in the best of shape. As a result, you may find that you have a far easier time asserting your ‘alphaness’ than previously. Being in the best shape gives you the confidence to carry yourself with more poise because you feel good about yourself.

3. Body Language

If there is one thing that will scream an alpha attitude, it is your body language. The power of an alpha body language is such that you don’t even have to say a single word for people to perceive you as an alpha. You might even have come across such people in your life – men who just walk into a room and easily get everyone to talk to them with respect even though they themselves haven’t uttered a single word.

Unlike building a muscular body, developing an alpha body language is a far more difficult task. This is mostly because body language works on the subconscious level. Even if you try to fake an alpha body language, your real behavior and attitude will inevitably seep through at some point and reveal to others that you were only faking being an alpha. So, it is better to try and invest some time in developing an alpha body language. By doing so, all your actions will naturally have a sign of ‘alphaness’.

4. Must Have Vast Knowledge

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

There is a kind of alpha who gains immense respect – the one that knows everything. Such people are almost walking encyclopedias, knowing everything. If you ask them about quantum physics, the best way of cooking chicken, or the right way to install an Android update; they will always have an answer. And the people around them inevitably see them with a certain kind of respect.

So, if you are not the type of guy who likes to spend hours at the gym but is more interested in learning about new things, then this is perfect for you. Read on whatever topics interest you, research them fully, and develop a deep understanding of everything you wish to know. The knowledge you accumulate, over the years, will eventually become the key to being an alpha.  

5. Be Completely Self-Reliant

You must also learn to be self-reliant. This does not mean that you never seek out the help of another person. That is just ridiculously impossible in this world.  Being self-reliant essentially means that you are capable of handling most of your affairs by yourself. If you observe alpha people, you will see that they mostly never depend on other people to perform their tasks. Instead, those who are alpha do everything by themselves.

And by doing so, they project a kind of independence that people will admire. After all, people who are perceived as independent will inevitably gain more respect than those who are seen as dependent. As such, it is essential that you start becoming a more self-reliant human being rather than depending on other people.

6. Develop Leadership Skills

6 Tips to Help You Become an Alpha For Achieving Success

A big characteristic of being an alpha is leadership skills. This is why army generals, business CEOs, political leaders, etc. are always treated by people with a sense of respect. As such, it is imperative that you also develop your leadership skills. If you have been shying away from taking positions of power, then you must overcome that hurdle.

When the next opportunity of being a leader comes your way, accept it and try to do a good job. The first few times might be rough and you may even turn out to be inefficient. But slowly, with experience, you will start to see what it takes to lead and what qualities you must develop and exhibit in order to make people follow you.

When you have naturally entered into such a mindset, you will have developed a strong alpha attitude. You won’t be running away from leadership responsibilities anymore. Instead, you will search for them and naturally position yourself as an alpha.

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