I have been studying personal growth and development for many years now, with the last 5-10 especially intense. In this page I have begun to assemble a list of the most valuable resources I have found and recommend most highly for your own journey of growth and consciousness. Most of these I have decided to become an affiliate for (if they have a programme), meaning I get a small commission if you buy – at no cost to you. This allows me to continue to produce free content and be available to answer your questions, so it really is a win-win-win situation (with the people and companies I link to also benefitting – which is my way of thanking them for the amazing benefits I have gained from each and every one on this page).
It’s important I am upfront about this, not just for ethical reasons – which are fundamental to me – but to give you a model to follow if you are looking to earn a living from your passion as I believe it is one of the most authentic ways to help others: there is so much information out there, so many products and services aiming to fulfil your visitors’ needs and by talking about the particular ones that have helped you in a particular situation give those who can identify with you and/or the situation an instant solution based on real experience.
In this context it is important to note that all these books, products and services I recommend (and you should do the same to maintain that authenticity) are ones that I have personal experience with, usually having bought the books, courses, etc. There may be the odd resource that I have not personally bought or used yet but I feel is worth recommending because people I trust do use and praise them highly – it may be that I am at a different stage in my journey or simply that I have not had time yet! If this is the case, it is also marked clearly.
Preferred Training Provider
I first discovered Paul Scheele, Co-founder of Learning Strategies, back in 2011-12 as I was starting a new chapter in my personal development journey. Since then I have followed his work closely and benefited immensely from the courses he has produced, often with other world-class teachers. His long-lasting success is built upon his own quest to understand the success of others in a variety of fields and to model their traits and actions to produce a strategy for learning to replicate that success.
It would be no exaggeration to say that his Abundance for Life course changed my life, awakening me from the trances induced by childhood and adolescent experiences and reconnecting with the universe and my own power. In fact, when combined with my regular ritual of driving to a quiet spot out of town at sunrise to listen and meditate, I achieved the closest thing I can imagine to transcendental experiences, feeling at once separate from my physical body and at one with the universal source, the essence of the universe and everything in it.
So I cannot recommend this – and their other courses, of which I have several, highly enough.
If you’re at the beginning of your journey of self-discovery – or simply need help re-connecting, this is a wonderful and inspiring book. Helping you to discover your life purpose and to live the life you were meant to – in 8 simple but powerful steps – sister and brother Shajen Joy Aziz and Damien Lichtenstein describe their own journey from anger and resentment to forgiveness and the discovery of their true gifts which they now share with the world. The book is packed full of wisdom from some of the world’s leading teachers, including the Dalai Lama, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Jack Canfield.
Famous for his “Notes from the Universe” (click to get them in your inbox free), Mike Dooley is one of my favourite teachers for his boundless energy, loving – and fun-loving! – nature. This is his best work yet and will have you buzzing and changing your life in no time – once you realise how the universe works. The two keys for me are to attach to generics (happiness, abundance), detach from specifics ($XXX income, Y person, Z car, etc) and “avoid the cursed hows” – focus on what you want and be open to different ways of achieving it.
Reading this, and discovering I am a “High Yellow” was one of those A-ha moments when things suddenly make sense. Hartman manages to avoid stereotypes while creating a system which highly accurately characterises people. With this information, you know yourself and others better – understanding, for example, how and why you (and they) react a certain way and identifying skills which you have that others don’t. In short it allows you to maximise your performance at work or in business and is particularly useful in your relationships with others. Incidentally, if you are in the UK and see the price of £29.65, ignore it, there is a problem with Amazon’s link builder. Currently the paperback is available for £0.01 (plus P&P)!
Earning from your Passion
Probably one of the most accessible, practical books I’ve read on starting a business, completely relevant for the world in the early 21st century. Pat Flynn uses the analogy of flight to take you through the “pre-flight checks” you need to ensure your business takes off. He guides you through all the steps – in fact you follow along as he shows you what he does for one of his successful businesses. Nothing like walking the path with someone who has done it before!
This book changed my life. Or rather the original edition, which I discovered in 2011. It literally changed the direction of my life and made me realise that what I really wanted to do was pass on what I was learning to others. It kick started a period of avid reading and consumption of audio and later video courses and memberships. Ok, confession time. Like so many people, most of the principles remained just that – principles. This page is part of my renewed efforts to put them into practice by taking action, assembling the best of the best for your journey of personal development and living the life you dream of. The Success Principles is a great place to start, guiding and challenging you to take 100% responsibility for your life and clearing negative thinking and limiting beliefs – on this I did take action!
James Altucher is, I admit (as would he!) a bit strange. But he talks a lot of sense in that American, no BS way. I don’t agree with all his philosophy of living, but I’m 100% with him on the need to choose yourself – before others do it for you. His first book in the series, Choose Yourself, set out this manifesto and both actually apply to everyone, not just those who want to set up a business. If the focus on wealth does not appeal to you I still recommend you read the later book as it’s more current and simply talks about how necessary it is to add value to everyone, all the time.
If you’ve ever struggled with meditation I hear you. Outside noises, itches and, of course, the continuous internal noise of your thoughts. I will be writing on the subject but for now, I have found that the Zen12 Meditation Program is a fabulously easy and enjoyable way to let all those issues go. Thoughts will still come and go (unless your a buddhist monk in a Tibetan monastery emptying your mind is very hard!) but you learn to accept them and let them go. This is thanks to so-called brainwave entrainment technology which literally alters the frequency of your brainwaves, progressively over 12 levels. Having spent the advised 12 weeks getting there, I now use Level 12 several times a week in my daily meditation routine when I am not focussing on a particular issue I want to resolve or goal I want guidance on (when I usually use my most recommended offering, the Paraliminals.
These are probably the best invention of my favourite training company, Learning Strategies. Using proprietary technology which, like Zen12, changes the frequency of the brain waves, it allows you to access hidden resources you never knew you had. Used regularly, they literally rewire your brain to break negative habits and limiting beliefs and accept new ways of thinking. They can be bought individually for specific issues you might have but I highly recommend the Ultimate You collection as it addresses almost every conceivable area of your life – there are 51 paraliminals in the collection, some of which have two sessions to break down tougher issues and build your new mindset. Because there are so many, I also recommend the Paraliminal Accelerator (see the link at the top right of the page when you click through), which guides you through them all in the best way to get the fastest results. If you buy one thing from this page, make it paraliminals!
For an altogether more spiritual experience the Core Energy Meditation delivers. Kevin Schoeninger, a Qi Gong Mediation Instructor talks, in depth, to the heart of many people’s problem with meditation. As I explain in the Zen12 notes, trying to calm the mind often results in the opposite. Kevin, and his partner, Matt Clarkson, offer profound insights into life’s mysteries, spirituality and energy. Their Spiritual Growth Monthly messages are mind-blowing. Matt is a former internet marketer who quit in order to find inner peace and, having found it, now helps others do the same. I have spoken to Matt and can credit another simple question to me with the massive energy I am now putting into this site and my work pursuing my life purpose of helping people help themselves live the live they want. He simply but directly asked “Have you actually decided to do it?” Well, this is me deciding – and ACTING!
Software, tools and internet services
I have been building multilingual websites in WordPress for 10 years now. At the beginning it was a real struggle. When I found WPML I was unsure about investing in it as I wasn’t spending ANY money on the blog! But I realised that this meant that a) I was spending loooong hours, often well into the night (after my day’s teaching) and b) using free plugins meant incompatibilities, technical difficulties and even plugins disappearing. I’ve been a customer for around 8 years now (yes, those two years were horrible!) and in that time the combination of stability, increasing ease of use, powerful additional functionality and top-notch support have eliminated that particular headache from my web work.
My website, and many others I have built for others, is hosted with SiteGround. After running dedicated servers, Virtual Private Servers, and experimenting with various hosts, I have finally found a company who is fast, amazingly responsive, technically highly competent and whose team always goes above and beyond the call of duty to help. One less headache when getting started online! And even better, I know you’ll want to recommend it to others, and so, like me earn a commission for doing so!
If you are (or want to be) a writer – or just want to start a blog (hint: you should!) you need somewhere you can organise your thoughts, capture ideas and research and, if you have a book in you, prepare the manuscript. You could do all this in a regular word processor or Googledocs (an excellent free option for keeping things safe and shareable in the cloud). Or, like me, you could use Scrivener. Because while using something because it’s free is all well and good, it doesn’t necessarily motivate you to actually DO IT! Scrivener provides a wonderful, distraction free environment which is both simple and powerful in its ability to organise, reorganise, plan and execute. Most importantly, I have found it is actually conducive to me actually stopping procrastination and starting writing. I’ll write a full review when I find time to upgrade to the new version 3, which looks even better and easy on the eye.
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