Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Help Yourself to Some Self-Help: Part 2

Last week, I shared a few books related to negative emotions. I don't want to lump this week's trio into a category that doesn't fit all of them just to have a category, but they do all touch on personality or personal development.  I am less familiar with the works of Tieger, Barron, and Leman on the whole than I am with the previous three books and today's by Cloud and Townsend, but I'm sure I will be exposing myself to more of their material because these that I started out with were fascinating! 

Do What You Are by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron
This book originally caught my eye as I was checking it in from the book drop because I am fascinated by all sorts of personality typing tools.  This one just so happened to be about applying Meyers-Briggs based personality types to work and career issues, whether in hunting for a new path or in growing where you are planted. This is not one of those books that pats you on the head and says, "Here is your personality type and here is a list of jobs you would definitely be great at.  Ok, go!"  It delves incredibly in-depth into each aspect of personality type and why certain ways of working (environment, pace, teamwork, etc) appeal to certain types, and so much more.  The self-understanding that the material brought to me has given me a priceless amount of peace and armed me with knowledge for living my work the best way I can.  It's also helpful for understanding and working well with coworkers!

How People Grow by Cloud and Townsend 
Written by my two favorite Christian psychologists and businessmen, this book looks at what precisely is necessary for personal growth to occur.  What do some people have that others don't that causes them to change for the better as they age instead of staying immature?  If I'm one of those people who doesn't have the ingredients for growth, how can I go about getting them?  This book lays out the principles of growth so clearly and with such practical insight that it would be hard to walk away from it unchanged.  Although it does begin from the premise that the reader is a Christian, non-Christian readers who are open to it will find plenty of life-healing information that can be applied across the board, including in dealing with suffering and grief, becoming disciplined, and having healthy relationships.  

The Birth Order Book by Dr Kevin Leman
Maybe you are with me when I say I had no idea of how much the order we were born in compared to our siblings (or whether we are an only child) affects each of us.  There is not 100% consensus that birth order shapes our personalities in our formative years any more than other factors.  Nevertheless, I found that Leman's book made a lot of sense and gave me an intriguing lens with which to view people.  So much so, that I often apply what I learned to my friend's and family's quirks - which I find helps me to enjoy and appreciate them more and relate to them on a deeper level.  This book is definitely a light and entertaining read as far as self-help goes.

Do any of you readers know of other good books about personal growth and/or personality? 

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