Somebody asked me recently (and I apologize because I forget who it was now) to share more of the information and resources that have influenced me as a Life Coach.
So today I am going to share with you the 15 books/audios that have had the most impact on me as a Life Coach and also prior to becoming a Life Coach full time in 2005.
These may not necessarily be the best 15 non-fiction books I’ve ever read, nor am I saying they are must reads for everybody,.
But I am saying they all in some way influenced me positively and helped me get to be where I am today.
And unlike my 20 Of The Greatest Self Development Posts Ever Written, this time I will order them and give you the book that has had the most dramatic effect on me and why.
All links are Amazon affiliate links by the way, so please make me rich by buying multiple copies of all of them.
I only read this book about 4 or 5 years ago, but immediately realized why it was such a classic.
I was familiar with the field of positive psychology prior to reading Learned Optimism, but I have to confess I didn’t fully understand the difference between optimism and positive thinking, and more importantly, why the former is far more powerful.
The bad news is people learn how to be helpless and pessimistic.
Tthe good news is they can largely unlearn that behavior by adopting Seligman’s approach.
Probably the first book I ever read on marketing the better part of 15 years ago.
I love Beckwith’s simple and logical approach to creating win/win situations and the easy style in which the information is delivered in bite sized chunks.
if you’re a Life Coach or even an entrepreneur and have no real experience with marketing, read this book and then implement the advice.
Then read it again.
I was given the audio version of this book by a client shortly after moving to the US in 2006 and was stunned by its simplicity and its brilliance.
There is no rocket science in this book, but there is a shit load of wisdom and I have returned to it again and again to use with clients.
Just in case you’re wondering the four agreements are:
- Always do your best
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t make assumptions
- Don’t take anything personally
But don’t let knowing what the agreements are stop you from reading the book because it’s awesome!
I have read a lot of book on sales and nothing comes close this Tony Robbins CD series on the topic.
And I mean nothing!
He nails every aspect of sales from initial rapport building to understanding your customers needs and creating win/win solutions.
It’s nothing short of genius for anybody that wants to be a better sales person, or just better at selling their ideas more successfully (and that’s mots people by the way).
The version I have is now deleted, but there’s an updated version. It’s expensive, but worth every single penny.
Simply put, this delightful book inspired me to write my first book, Don’t Ask Stupid Questions – There Are no Stupid Questions.
Whilst reading Carlson’s collection of 100 short stories designed to help people put life in perspective, I suddenly realized that I didn’t need to be overwhelmed at the thought of writing a self development book as half the material was already written in blog form.
By the way, the name for the book came after Carlson’s publishers ‘accidentally’ used a Wayne Dyer testimonial for one of Carlson’s previous book on a new publication.
Carlson was mortified and wrote and apologized to Wayne Dyer who responded in his usually dignified manner by saying:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff Richard. And it’s all small stuff”
This was the first book ever written on NLP and it’s not for everybody. However it is a brilliant introduction the the language element of NLP and in particular something called the Meta Model of Language.
Bandler and Grinder spent hundreds of hours studying the three leading therapists of the time, Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson and noticed that one of the things that separated these greats from the also-rans was their use of language.
Not a book I’d recommend to a casual self development reader, but a must read for Life Coaches and therapists looking to maximize their skills and help their clients.
This was the book that first had me thinking, “Hmm, I wonder if I could do that?” after it was recommended to me by a client when I was still in sales.
Although I had no idea at the time, on reflection I think this book sowed the seeds of change for me and for that I’ll always be grateful to Tony Robbins.
It’s also a great introduction to the power of NLP.
This was another book I purchased before becoming a Life Coach. I bought it in San Francisco back in 2004 as and audio program and then inflicted it upon my wife again and again for the next two week as we drove down to San Diego and then out to Phoenix and back to San Francisco.
If you have any interest in rapid cognition or gut instincts (and you definitely should if you’re a Life Coach) and want to hear great stories of it in action, then this is the book for you.
I must have listened to this book in it’s entirety at least 6 or 7 times and I regularly recite some of the examples when I’m talking about gut instincts and their value with clients.
The Primal Blueprint is sometimes called the Caveman Diet and is very similar to the Paleo Diet.
Mark Sissons and a growing band of medical doctors and researchers believe that our body has not evolved at the same speed as technology and agriculture and as such we are putting things in our body that it just cannot deal with healthily or even efficiently.
In short, the human body is not equipped to deal with gluten, lactose, highly refined foods and crap like high fructose corn syrup.
I really don’t want to go into detail here because I have already run numerous posts on the Primal lifestyle, but needless to say it’s definitely something I believe in wholeheartedly.
If you want to know more check out my post “What if Everything You Know About Nutrition is Wrong” an interview with Mark Sisson.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d already started on my path to becoming a Life Coach when I bought the audio version of How To Be Brilliant in late 2004.
Along with a friend we immediately implemented Michael’s idea to respond to every “How are you doing?” question from colleagues” with “I’m doing brilliant!” and then smiling broadly.
We had so much fun with this. Some people were highly suspicious of our motives, others used it as an excuse to be brilliant themselves, whereas others just shock their heads and wondered off muttering to themselves about our sanity.
Do we live in such cynical times that telling people you’re feeling brilliant can generate so many negative responses?
Apparently, but it’s really worth doing for the big smiles you also get!
I bought this audio program when I was doing my NLP Practitioner training in 2005.
Every day involved a 2 hour drive each way and I was looking for anything to keep me awake and stop me dying of boredom.
The Maverick Mindset certainly did that and a whole lot more.
Eliot’s take on confidence is somewhat unusual (he believes that confidence comes before competence), but as the former Director of Sport Management and Performance Enhancement at Rice University he obviously knows what he’s talking about.
One of the really great things about this audio is the sheer amount of brilliant stories (many first hand accounts) Eliot calls on to make his point.
A word of warning, if you hates sports, it probably won’t be for you although the dancing toll booth attendant story is worth the cost alone.
Holy crap, if you haven’t heard me going on about this book for the last 2 or 3 months, then you are either new around here or you’re not paying attention.
I don’t think Buddha’s Brain has made me change my approach to coaching, but it has done something a lot more than that.
It has helped me explain the benefits of meditation to clients by using hard science which can be huge when I’m dealing with more academic left brained people.
It’s a truly brilliant book!
If I was awarding a prize for the book that has given me more blog post ideas than any other, it would be a toss up between this and The Maverick Mindset.
Your Brain At Work had the bigger effect on me though because all of a sudden I was able to explain processes that I knew worked such as reframing, scientifically.
Prior to that I had loads of anecdotal evidence, but not a fat lot else. Awesome, awesome, awesome, book.
I bought this CD about 3 years ago and in the intervening time I am privileged to say Bodhipaksa has become a friend and is also my meditation teacher.
I’ve no idea how many times I’ve used the meditations on this CD, but it’s comfortably in the hundreds and I still use it at least 2 or 3 times a week.
Guided meditations are very much about finding what is right for you and I lucked out with this CD.
At the time I was struggling to find anything that I could connect with and was getting dispirited.
I think it’s fair to say I may have quit meditation altogether if it hadn’t been for Bodhipaksa.
If you are remotely interested in trying out meditation rather than just reading about the theory, then I suggest you check out this first.
This was the first book I ever read on Life Coaching and as such was the catalyst not just for me wanting to become a Life Coach, but also for me wanting to train with Curly Martin.
Looking back and realizing with hindsight how many crap training companies there are out there, I’m very glad I stumbled upon this book and then Curly herself.
It’s not the best self development book I have ever read. It’s not even the best book on Life Coaching I’ve ever read (that would probably be Coaching With The Brain In mind by David Rock), but it’s the book that quite literally changed my life.
It doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
So I’m interested to know, what book has changed your life?
I’m not necessarily interested in what is the best book you’ve read, but the one that provoked most change.