Best Self Development Books Of 2011

Yes indeed, although I’m pretty sure last December only happened a month or so ago, the end of 2011 is almost upon us.

As such here is my yearly round up of what I think are the best Life Coaching and  self development books to hit the streets so you can rush out and buy them all, or risk living a meaningless existence.

Ok, that maybe a slight over-exaggeration, but they are all very good, honest.

Unlike previous years I’m not going to try and order them because it was causing me all sorts of mental distress over the weekend and I kept changing my mind.

I do have an over all winner though, and it may surprise you what it is.

The titles are all links in case you want to buy them, and if previous years are anything to go by I could earn a tidy little packet in commission.

Last year I think I raked in almost $12, so make me rich as you enjoy The Best Self Development Books Of 2011.

Best Book On Core Values & Getting Unstuck

Aligning With Your Core Values by Tim Brownson

Look, cut me some slack won’t you? It is my website and self-indulgence is good, Ghandi said so, or maybe it was Charlie Sheen, I forget now.

Ok, so if I’m being totally honest it is the only book I know of that came out this last year on values.

But that doesn’t mean to say it can’t get you unstuck and on the path to work, social, and relationship bliss or your money back, because it can.

Well it can if you can be arsed to do the work required that is, because this baby aint for light weights that think meaningful change is a walk in the park.

Best Book On Marriage & Relationships

Project Happily Ever After by Alisa Bowman

Have you ever wanted to kill your partner? Go on you’re only human, you know you have you little scamp, and your amongst friends here so you can admit it.

Alisa Bowman may not have wanted to actually kill her husband, but she sure fantasized about his death without any shame. Her marriage was in tatters, she was deeply unhappy and pretty much blamed her husband for her desperate situation.

Rather than commit homicide or merely get a divorce though, and at the behest of a friend, she decided to give it one last go and dove headlong into resurrecting her marriage.

This book is her story as she plowed through book after book and unturned every stone possible looking for the secret to saving a relationship.

Did she do it? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Best Book For High School Kids & College Students

Life’s What you Make It by Peter Buffett

I didn’t even really want to read this book because (rather arrogantly) I wasn’t sure what Warren Buffetts son could teach my about self development. Fortunately, I forgot the other books I was meant to be taking on vacation with me and so did so nonetheless.

How fortunate because ‘Life’s What You Make It’ is a real gem and packed with wisdom from a guy that didn’t take the easy route in life.

Being the son of one of the worlds wealthiest people would have been sure to have opened a lot of doors for Buffett if he’d have followed in his fathers footsteps.

But he didn’t, he listened to his gut instinct that told him a career on Wall Street would have sucked the life out of him. Instead he followed his heart by pursuing a calling to write music.

And make no mistake, he wasn’t bankrolled by his family, he did it the hard way and with very little money.

I say this is a book for students and it is, but it’s also a great book for parents that may be tempted to ‘guide’ their offspring toward a career that they want for them, rather than what the kid may want for themselves

Note: I did a Skype interview with Peter Buffet after I has read the book, and he confirmed my suspicions as being a real nice down-to-earth guy.

Best Self Development Book With Humor

How To Get A Grip by Matthew Kimberley

I said in my original review of ‘How To Get A Grip’ that I thought it was not only the funniest book on self development I’d ever read, but one of the funniest books I’ve read of any genre.

Fortunately for you lovely Americans, HTBAG has since been published in the US so now you have no excuse not to go and grab a copy.

If you like my style of writing you will love Kimberley’s because he is even more into smashing scared cows and not pulling any punches than I am.

Be warned though, his wit is very English and the book has lots of English slang and cultural references that may occasionally have you wondering wtf he’s talking about? Then again you probably often think that about me, so no worries!

Best Spiritual Book

How To Train A Wild Elephant by Jan Chozen Bays

Let’s face it mindfulness can be overwhelming to many people.

The theory that we only have this moment and there’s precious little point spending our lives thinking about the past, worrying about the future and thus missing the now, is an easy one to grasp.

Implementing it however, is a whole different ball game and people can spend a life time trying to do so.

If you truly want to get yourself in the moment and extract more from life, Chozen Bays shows you a really clever way of doing so.

The book contains 53 exercises on mindfulness for the reader to work on one week at a time thus removing the feeling of overwhelm and moving you ever nearer to enlightenment…..probably

Note: Don’t ask me why there are 53 and not 52, maybe she wrote the book in a leap year or something and got all confused. And don’t get your panties in the twist like the idiot commentator on Amazon, the title is merely a metaphor and no elephants were harmed in the writing of this book.

Best Book On NLP

The Big Book Of NLP Techniques by Shlomo Vaknin

In August of 2010 I bought a book called The Big Book of NLP Techniques. It was indeed a big book and it did indeed contain a lot of techniques, some even that I’d never heard of.

Unfortunately though, I bought it as a reference book and as it contained no index it was close to being useless. At almost 700 pages long finding what I wanted was a time-consuming and frustrating process.

A few weeks ago I was approached by the author and asked if I’d review the new trimmed down version complete with an index and I naturally agreed.

As far as I’m concerned it is now my go to guide for NLP and is an amazing resource for anybody serious about NLP.

Containing over 200 patterns all clearly explained and easy to understand it is a must have for both newly qualified and experienced NLP Practitioners.

I’m not sure if it’s the best starting point for people that have no idea what NLP is, simply because it may seem overwhelming.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person that likes to throw yourself into a topic head first, then it could very well work for you.

Note: I will be sharing a FREE link to the audio version of this book with my newsletter readers this month, so get signed up.

Best Book To Test Your Open-Mindedness

What If? by Eldon Taylor

I really struggled to review this book when I read it early on this year simply because it’s kinda weird.

Weird in a good way though because Taylor bombards the readers with a succession or moral dilemmas and questions likely to test the most open-minded individual.

If I tell you my father-in-law who is in his late seventies read this book whilst here on vacation and then changed his viewpoint on abortion, you’ll maybe understand how powerful and thought provoking some of the material is.

Note: Even though this book is on open-mindedness I’m not sure that is anything the author practices. He does try and lead the reader in certain directions and his own opinions do shine through, but if you can get past that then you’ll be ok.

Best Book Combining Entrepreneurship and Self Development

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields

‘Uncertainty’ sure isn’t Career Renegade 2 (Fields first book), but it is none the worse for that. It takes things to a whole new level for people that are really serious about being successful in a modern flourishing business, both on, and off line.

If you are a creative type and think that you have to slog along alone, Uncertainty is for you. If you are an entrepreneur or solopreneur that hasn’t quite broken through to where you want to be, ‘Uncertainty’ will help you harness all your internal and external forces to do so.

And if you just want to know how ordinary people do extraordinary things in business, ‘Uncertainty’ will tell you.

It will also help you by not only giving you the ideas and skills you need, but also by giving you real life examples of people that we can all relate to.

Examples of ‘normal’ business people that have pushed through and even embraced and used their uncertainty and fear to great effect. You certainly won’t be left feeling, “Well yeh that’s alright for them, but I could never achieve that” You will be left thinking “I can do that, and I can do it now!”

And then about two thirds of the way through the book Uncertainty will shoot off on a direction that you, or at least I , wasn’t at all expecting. It’s here that Fields starts to show you that not only can you be more creative and push through and utilize fear and uncertainty. But more importantly, how you can do so.

Best Self Development Book Overall – Probably

Tiny Buddha by Lori Deschene

Full disclosure: Lori was a client of mine a while back and I have known her for some time. But I can say in no way shape or form did that influence my decision about this book and my praise isn’t for hire

Ting Buddha is everything I hoped it would be and, I have to admit, nothing like I expected it to be.

On Twitter, Lori using the nickname of Tiny Buddha has gathered a huge following and she tweets quotes of wisdom on a daily basis.

She decided to throw some of lifes bigger questions to her followers and see what they came back with.

Questions like, “Why is there suffering in the world?”, “Can people change, and how?” and “What does it take to be happy?”

I was expecting a book full on twee tweets pulled together by some commentary from Lori herself.

Jeez was I wrong!

Tiny Buddha is one part gut-wrenchingly honest auto-biography, one part on-the-money self development, and one part easily accessible common-sense spirituality.

And those parts make up a delightful whole.

Lori holds nothing back about her past and her previous self-loathing and I’m sure more than a few people will shed a tear when they read about some of the difficult times she has overcome.

But none of it is contrived or self-absorbed and she’s quite obviously not looking for the readers sympathy., but trying to help them understand they’re not alone.

As well as being brutally open about her past, she is also honest about the questions she asks. Acknowledging the fact that for the most part we just don’t know the answers to the really big stuff, no matter how much we’d like to think differently.

And as for the tweets that she uses to bind everything together. Well let’s just say she has some wise followers.

Technically it doesn’t come out until January 2012, but as I have an advance copy and it’s still 2011 I wanted to give you the heads up to pre-order it.

Let me know what you think and please feel free to scold me mercilessly for missing out your favorite.

Oh and by the way I owe some free Life Coaching to Kirri White. Although Lord knows how we’re going to arrange that with the time zones!