TDM,  Thoughts

[Thoughts] #4: My Personal Development Books

A few months ago, I started the “Reflection” section focused on personal development and I told you that I would give you a list of my books

I started to work on myself in 2015 when I realized that despite a dream situation, I was very unhappy, and that my misfortunes came from me and not from others.

After 3 years, I think I’ve come a long way: I was able to identify and understand why things were not going well, and change my way of seeing things. Since then, I’ve been doing much better. When did I realize that I have evolved and made progress? It was when my repetitive dreams and nightmares disappeared.

This was possible thanks to the coaching of a sophrologist (I saw her 3 or 4 times) when I was still in Paris, thanks to the reading of many books on personal development and the lessons I received during my world tour.

I will give you here a list of books that have helped me, commenting on each of them.

Note: We each have our wounds so these books speak to me but may not speak to you. Choose the one that attracts you, there will be books that are hard, very hard to read, especially when you aren’t yet ready to hear certain things. The work on yourself, at the beginning, is tiring and painful because it will bring up all the wounds, the fears, the hurtful words that you thought you had forgotten. But the desire to work on oneself is already a huge step towards inner well-being.

Psychoanalysis explained to managers – by Roland Brunner

My Opinion: This is the first book I read on psychoanalysis, as the author was one of my business school teachers. It is a succinct and easy to read summary of the 5 psychic structures: hysterical, obsessive, narcissistic, perverse and psychotic. The book is very enjoyable to read, and my teacher, in truth, is a lovely person and I find that he has a gift for making complicated things easier to understand/digest. For a long time I thought I was one of the hysterical ones, but then I realized that maybe I was more of an obsessive one.

10,99€ on Amazon

The Four Toltec Agreements – by Don Miguel Ruiz

My Opinion: A short and very easy to read book. Whose message is liberating and helps to move forward in life: don’t say bad things about others, don’t take criticism too personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best. 4 rules that seem simple, but aren’t always obvious to apply. You will easily find YouTube videos that read the book, but I advise you to have this book in paper form because you come back to it often, it feels good to reread it from time to time.

8,4€ on Amazon

The podcast “Change my life” – by Clotilde Dusoulier

My Opinion: This is a podcast that I like very much because the author has an extraordinary ability to summarize, in 15 to 20 minutes, a theory (which could be the subject of a 500-page book). The examples given are precise, simple to imagine and understand. There are often references to books or other podcasts for those who want to go further. She also offers coaching sessions if needed. I won’t say that this podcast changed my life, but it was like taking an elevator to reach happiness faster 🙂

People who are afraid to be afraid: Better understanding hypersensitivity – from Elaine N. Aron

My Opinion: It is a book about hypersensitivity. The title is very badly chosen in French I find (vs. The Highly Sensitive Person in English), if it hadn’t been recommended to me, I wouldn’t have bought it myself. It did me good to better understand some of my behaviours – which I found abnormal (compared to others) and which made me feel very guilty. This book is, unfortunately, not so extraordinary (I’ve already forgotten its contents) – but there aren’t many books for the hypersensitive, so it’s still a bestseller and a must-have. What can be reproached to the author is that she praises the hypersensitive too much, as if being hypersensitive means being superior to others.

22€ on Amazon

The Survival Guide for Empathetic Hypersensitives – by Judith Orloff

My Opinion: Recently translated into French, this book does not have a rating on Amazon France, but it is very very well rated on Amazon US. The title in French can be misleading but it is more for empaths than hypersensitive people (an empath is hypersensitive, but the opposite isn’t always true). I think that if you are both hypersensitive and an empath, this book will suit you better. Being hypersensitive and empathic is like bringing all the bad luck in the world, feeling the pain of a complete stranger you meet on the street – and all that without talking to her. It’s no fun in everyday life! And this book gives practical advice to (1) distance yourself from the emotions you are feeling (2) recognize and distance yourself from toxic people who love to have empathic friends to better pump energy out of them.

19€ on Amazon

The Secret – by Rhonda Byrne

My Opinion: I have always been attracted by this book, since its release, but it was only in 2018 that I finally bought it, after seeing the video of the same name on Netflix. It’s a book 100% dedicated to the law of attraction. Basically, you have to see exactly what you want, believe in it 100%, and do everything you can to make it happen to you. I find this way of thinking very American, but my time in Chicago with the Americans showed me that this way of thinking is extremely positive, and thus releases a lot of positive energy around you. Whether you believe in it or not, it doesn’t cost anything to implement it, at worst you are always positive, at best you reach your goal. 100% winning. When I think back on the contests I participated in, I was certainly not the best, but I believed in them so much that I always, always occupied the podium.

25€ on Amazon

Mình Là Cá, Việc Của Mình Là Bơi by Takeshi Furukawa

My Opinion : So it’s a Japanese book translated into Vietnamese. The English/French translation does not exist yet so if you understand Vietnamese, I recommend this book with my eyes closed. Since the author is Japanese (a shouia perfectionist people), a lot of advice is for perfectionists (like me). There are practical exercises (very quick to do), and summaries at the end of each chapter.

The magic of “I don’t give a damn”: Adopt the “Same Not Sorry” method – by Sarah Knight

My Opinion: It’s a parody of Marie Kondo’s bestseller “The Magic of Tidying Up”, but the ideas expressed are both funny and accurate. It deserves to be read as a work apart, and not just as a parody. If you are lazy to read, the author has made une conférence TEDX sur ce sujet.

It took me a long time to make a royal m*uddle of the gaze and judgment of others. I think I went to South Korea to learn this lesson once and for all. There, I was looked at with insistence, and certainly a lot of judgment because I did not fit their standards of beauty at all, and Korea is known as a country where appearance is highly valued and judged. I imposed this exercise on myself, not to look like them, every day I went out without make-up, with my simple clothes, not at all fashionable. And I had to disregard the looks and judgments around me. 1 month and a half like that, now I’m cured.

A few months ago, I probably wouldn’t have been able to list all those self-help books for fear of being judged, of people saying bad things about me behind my back… but now I don’t give a damn!

6,90€ on Amazon

The 5 wounds that prevent you from being yourself – by Lise Bourbeau

My opinion: It’s a bestseller and often put forward in bookstores (that’s why I found it and bought it). Some passages are quite repetitive and there are three things that annoyed me at the first reading (1) the fact that she’s on first-name terms with her readers, I don’t know why but it’s just unbearable (2) her ideas aren’t supported by any work, everything comes out of her head (3) the fact that she keeps saying and repeating that our misfortunes (even the most serious ones) happened because we chose to feed them.

That if someone hurt us, it is because before being born, we chose to be incarnated as humans to endure this suffering, to solve this or that problem.

Reading these passages made me so angry that I had a hard time finishing this (though not so thick) book. It took me years before I understood how liberating this message is: If we consider that we have chosen our own misfortunes, it is so simple to get out of it: it is enough to no longer consider ourselves or behave as victims, but as masters of our own lives.

7,5€ on Amazon

Listen to your body Volume 1 – by Lise Bourbeau

My Opinion: This is another book by the same author. Once you accept her literary style and ideas, reading this second book is much smoother. She goes into much more detail and gives many more examples, dissociating instinct, ego and intuition, even if some ideas are expressed in a too childish or clumsy way (like calling the ego CANTA). I must admit that I still haven’t finished reading it because each chapter is so thought-provoking that I have to read it, reread it and digest it.

16.8€ at Amazon

In any case, Lise Bourbeau’s ideas are in line with the theories expressed in the book Le Test by Stéphane Allix, the theories of Stanislav Grof, the series Conversation with God… All these books affirm that we are all Gods. We are like a drop of water in the ocean, we are all part of the same entity, and that if we incarnate ourselves as living beings, it is to live an experience as an individual, to evolve, to work on a precise point, and we will come back to Earth as many times as necessary until this point is worked on and understood.

Here I go into readings that may be a little too spiritual for you, but here, if you are interested in this type of reading, you have the references above.

I hope this list will be useful to you and that you will find a couple of ideas or tips to be more fulfilled.

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