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The 1 Page Summary of 1,000 Top Self-Help Books

There are over 210,000 self-help books on Amazon. Probably 1,000 are top self-help books. Just a guesstimate.

Each author has not written a ground-breaker. I think you can summarize 75% of all the books onto 1 page. You could say this post is a cliffs notes version of 158,000 books. Give yourself the lazy education of reading such an impossible number of words.

The 12 lessons are tips from the top self-help books covering topics from women, depression, relationships, and psychology. I have yet to read a popular self-help book that makes no mention of the below lessons. You may be surprised as you realize how frequently you hear the echoed advice.

1. You decide how you feel

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.Abraham Lincoln

You are the one who can turn that frown upside down. No one else can do it for you. If you feel like trash right now because your dog bit you, you can make yourself feel great. But if you feel trashy a day after your dog bite, you might want to get checked for rabies…

2. Model the successful

Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating… too often fathers neglect it because they get so caught up in making a living they forget to make a life.John Wooden

Simple and effective. It just makes sense that by modelling a person’s actions you become like them. The self-help lesson became big in the 80s by Tony Robbins when he brought NLP to the common man. NLP breaks down what a successful leader in any field does into traits and steps for a layman to adopt.

3. Like attracts like

Our life is what our thoughts make it.Marcus Aurelius

If you want something, become what you want. Similarly, the law of attraction says we attract what we think about. Visualize your desired reality to bring it to fruition. The popular self-improvement tip has been around for centuries in various forms and books like Think and Grow Rich!.

4. Be present

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.Oprah Winfrey

Move your focus out of the past to stop worry and out of the future to stop anxiety. With presence comes a calm collection of thoughts and feelings. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is the authority piece on presence.

5. Leave your comfort zone

The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.Confucius

…some lessons we need to hear over and over again.

Any lesson on fear, anxiety, growth, and human evolution teaches you to expand your comfort zone. I like to use my feelings of discomfort as a flag of growth. Do the same. Know that by stepping outside your zone as you become uncomfortable, you will not be who you were. Get good insight into fear by reading the 5 truths of fear.

6. Don’t procrastinate

You may delay, but time will not.Benjamin Franklin

So procrastination is bad. Hmm, really? Bet you never heard that before. Set goals, create a to-do list, skip activities that add no value, then work on what matters to get what you want.

7. Be responsible

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!Jonathan Winters

When you step up in your life by taking responsibility for what you potentially influence, great things happen. You are responsible for sitting at home on your computer wallowing in self-pity. You are the reason for not making that nervous-inducing phone call to get the job.

Some take responsibility too far always seeking to assign blame. A woman can be made to feel responsible, guilty, and ashamed for being raped. Dangerous. Take responsibility for what you can affect.

8. You are unique

Always remember you’re unique, just like everyone else.Alison Boulter

You are special. Sounds corny to me. I prefer to hear about pixies and unicorns. What I teach that you may find more helpful is to create self-to-self comparisons rather than self-to-other comparisons. This means compare who you are now to who you were. As a result you stop feeling worthless from not being that muscle head with millions in his pocket and babes hanging off his arms.

Your beginnings are too different to pit yourself against everyone. An inferiority complex happens when you compare yourself to others.

9. Enjoy yourself

Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.Epicurus

Take a break, have fun. I don’t know how books can be written on this idea alone. I’ve said enough.

10. Appreciate life

He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.Socrates

The self-help tip is also taught as being grateful for what you have. In every problem is an opportunity. When there is a crest, nearby is a peak. I doubt you can attribute that quote to me, but you’re welcome to.

11. Use positive self-talk

Self-suggestion makes you master of yourself.W. Clement Stone

Replace negative self-talk with chat that benefits you. Change “I can’t do this” to “I can do this”. Action then good feelings flow from empowering self-talk. I like Theodore Bryant’s take on positive self-talk in his book Self-Discipline in 10 Days. He calls them “Vitaminds” – vitamins for the mind. To benefit from vitaminds you need to take them regularly in conjunction with other useful tips revealed in this article.

12. Visualize what you want

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.Jonathan Swift

Visualization is a commonly recommended technique with positive self-talk. It is becoming increasingly popular in therapy as psychologists use imagery to not only work through problems, but change behavior. The basic aim is to see in your mind what you want. Advanced visualization incorporates sight with taste, smell, touch, and sound of having achieved your goal.

4 Warnings Before You Read Another Article

You now know what you’d remember from reading 158,000 self-help books. Should you never read one again?

Consider this: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last.” said the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. “Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Not only is motivation temporary, but some lessons we need to hear over and over again. Take for example the lesson “you decide how you feel”. I need to remind myself that often – even when I teach it! If I feel like **** from a bad week, the circumstances can make me forget so hearing the lesson helps.

…this article is a generalization.

Think about this second point when improving yourself: understanding a topic makes you lose respect for it. Now, this is not always the case. Try learn how a CPU works and you will respect the technology. When you summarize something, its mysteries sink away. You may resent something that once seemed grand. Continue to love working on yourself even when you know the summary of top self-help books.

A third point to consider when taking in self-help is common knowledge often gets passed down generations because it has repeatedly benefited earlier generations. Then again, I could be wrong. It is possible we just believe the psychological equivalent of the world is flat.

Consider a fourth point: this article is a generalization. You may be filled with shock and anger at the concept of self-help. You then assume any such book described by these 12 pieces of advice is useless. Don’t get biased. There’s plenty of books I’ve reviewed and written that have changed my life and ToP subscribers.

What do you think of this summary of self-help books? Do they match your experiences?

For an insider look under the blanket of self-help and how it almost killed me, you can learn more about the myths of self-help.

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Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"

Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to



Thank you Joshua for this awesome summary! I added it to my top 10 articles which I like to reread from time to time 🙂

[…] Uebergang, un blogger care ajută persoanele timide să îşi dezvolte abilităţile sociale, a făcut un sumar reuşit a 1000 de cărţi de dezvoltare personală de top, pe care te invit şi pe tine să îl citeşti în variantă adaptată a lecţiilor şi cu […]


Thank you Joshua for this awesome summary!