Plant growing

5 Tips From Self-Help Authors That You Should Stick By

Self-help content can offer us something new to learn, educate us on life-changing revelations and in the words of the authors themselves, we can reflect on their experiences and mistakes conveniently and comfortably! Most importantly, we will be able to view things from different angles and points of view that can help us in different seasons of our life. Here are 5 useful tips that I have picked up from various self-help authors as I navigate through adulthood.


1. “The only way to fulfil your true potential is through intentional, consistent growth.” – John C. Maxwell

Plant growing

Maxwell is no stranger when it comes to teaching leadership training and successful character building. In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, he talks about how we are often limited by growth gap traps in different spheres and areas and how we can experience sustainable growth through feasible actions.


Growth is a lifelong and often painful journey that helps us to keep improving. Tired of feeling trapped in the same old pattern? Turn your past experiences into valuable insights and start doing something new today!  You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. 


At times, we might need to create or break a habit, or just take a leap of faith to go beyond our comfort zone. This requires consistency to see the results. To continuously grow, it is essential to note that passion is the fuel to get you going. However, discipline is the nutrient to get you growing.


2. “To overcome identity crisis, build and accumulate your identity capital.” – Meg Jay

At some point, many twenty-somethings find themselves in a state of confusion aka identity crisis because they often let what they did not know or did not do define them (underachievement focused) and believe their current situation will improve once they reach 30.


In her book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter-And How to Make the Most of Them Now, Jay mentions that those in their 20s should start building and adding their identity capital by exploring new possibilities at work and relationships and make every moment count. Stop thinking that you will have a perfect career when you are 35 if you find yourself hating every moment of your current job in your 20s. 

She explains that the best time to work on something is before the thing happened. She also emphasizes that our identity can be enriched with the diverse hats that we choose to wear and develop over the years. Watch her TED talk titled Why 30 is not the new 20 here!


3. “Choose your communities wisely to foster meaningful connections and relationships.” – Radha Agrawal

Two friends talking in a library

Abraham Maslow listed belonging as one of the main needs of human beings. Regardless if you are an introvert or an extrovert, we desire companionship and relationships.


You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Undeniably, relationships can either inspire or drain us. Hence, we need to recognize the purpose of joining and being part of a community, be it for work purposes or as a support system.


Agrawal mentioned in her book, Belong: Find Your People, Create Community & Live a More Connected Life that recognizing and building a meaningful community acquires continuous effort and creativity. One way to start is to identify the personal values, abilities and interests among the people around us. You’ll be able to figure out why some people click instantly and stick with you while some don’t.


4. “Prioritise your job and downtime equally to have real quality work and rest.” – Cal Newport

Staying focused seems like a very simple instruction. However, I am sure everyone has once struggled to finish certain tasks we have initially planned to do. Whether it is distractions, unexpected obstacles that happened along the way, our work can either be delayed, forgotten or halted altogether. 

Woman sitting on bed and reading a magazine to rest

Newport skilfully elaborated in his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World that while many people get things done, they often do not get things done well. Their final work is not a result of prolonged focus and depth but instead a string of last-minute patch-up efforts due to irregular time scheduling

Instead of making the usual working hours count, many people choose to extend the hours of work, making them less productive in the long run. (What a revelation!) He suggests that sufficient downtime to recharge is needed to produce a good piece of work and to avoid burnout. Make sure to keep focusing on the goal to complete within the required timeline.


5. “Identify the emotions and perceptions that drive your decisions in your personal finance.” – Kate Levinson

Let’s be honest. Our personal finance decisions are not as logical as we hope they would be. Bank statements’ figures and the number of receipts collected are a reflection of our relationship and perception towards money. Why do we find it so difficult to resist the desire to buy certain things? Why are we afraid to talk to others about our financial plans?


Levinson highlighted in Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building Healthy Relationships With Money that while the economic model of money is rational, how we deal with money can be emotional and symbolic. At the core of all the decisions on our personal finance is the way money is viewed and used in various relationships and settings. Be it a family, workplace, society and nation, without good financial planning, all these will fall apart.


Whether it is our family background or current economic status, they should not limit us from being a good steward of our money. Our emotions should serve as indicators instead of dictators in our financial management. Remember, money should serve us and not the other way round, for us to live a purposeful life.



I hope you find these tips from self-help authors useful and that you get to apply them directly in your daily lives. Let’s get reading!

A full timedreamer who belives in the power of words. Studies celebrities and media academically, super fan of Jane Austen.

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