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  I was first exposed to the self-help or self-improvement community in college.  Bored with the material being presented I decided to find alternative teachers online.I discovered the vast online community of self-help gurus and was drawn to the idea that my future was not set in stone.  One of the first speakers I remember listening to was Stephen Covey who wrote the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People." I was drawn to the idea that our "habits" created our destiny, but our habits could be changed, therefore our destiny could be changed.  I took this concept and began my journey to personal improvement. 

Top Self Help Gurus and Books That Changed My Life

When it comes to self help gurus there is no shortage of people trying to sell you the secret that will fix all your problems.  The truth is, there is no secret or quick fix.  Humans change their behaviors and patterns slowly over time using repetition to reprogram the subconscious brain (see NLP, Richard Bandler).  Many behaviors take a life time to learn, therefore they can be extremely difficult to change.  The older we get the harder it becomes to break with our current paradigm.  After listening to literally hundreds of different speakers over the years I have learned that no one person has all the answers.  Self-help gurus usually excel on a certain area of self improvement.  Speed up your learning curve by starting with the self improvement expert in the area that you need the most improvement in.  It's best to take only the information you find useful from each self improvement guru and add it to your daily routine.

WARNING: Many people fail to make lasting personal change because they learn but they do not act.  They listen to the speaker but they don't feel sufficient motivation to TAKE ACTION.  Reading a book or listening to a speaker in itself will not change your life.  The real magic happens when you act upon the information by adding it to your daily routine. 

"Repetition is the key to mastery." - E.J. Gold

Top 5 Self Help Gurus 

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Tony Robbins -  Who hasn't heard of Tony Robbins?  Tony Robbins is arguably the biggest self improvement guru on the planet.  For six months his audio book "Awaken the Giant Within" had me up at 5 am rain or shine jogging the "prom" in Seaside Oregon.  I began my jog every morning with Tony Robbins as my guide feeling as if he was speaking directly to me.  Tony has powerful motivational skills and a way with words that helped motivate me to begin the journey of self improvement I'm currently on.  My biggest takeaways from Tony Robbins are for a person to make lasting change one must raise their standards, change your limiting beliefs, and change your strategy.  While I agree with most of what Tony Robbins says I don't agree with all his teachings.  I recommend everyone check out his material though and pick out the nuggets that are most useful for you.

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Bob Proctor -  My favorite Bob Proctor affirmation is "I'm so happy and grateful now that money comes to me in increasing quantities, through multiple sources on a continuous basis."  Bob proctor is a legendary self improvement guru who helps people move past fear to achieve the life they really want.  Bob proctor talks about how the sub-conscious mind is holding us back from the destiny we desire.  Bob Proctor teaches you how to break through your failure loop and the limiting beliefs of the sub-conscious mind.  Bob Proctor is constantly repeating the following quote, "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek," by Joseph Campbell.  I have recently applied the principle "go where you fear to go" to my life and I strongly recommend it.

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Stephen Covey - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is a powerful framework for self improvement.  Of all the self improvement gurus, Stephen Covey has had the most influence on my life.  Stephen Covey teaches that the space between stimulus and response is the freedom of choice.  We must not be a slave to our emotions, but instead create a space where we have the power to choose our response.  My favorite Stephen Covey line that sticks with me today was about a man falling out of "love" with his wife.  He came to Stephen and said he was unsure of what to do, he no longer "loved" his wife.  Stephen replied with the following statement, "then love her."  The man replied again, "you see that's the problem Stephen I'm no longer in love with her."  Stephen replied again, "well then love her, love is a verb, something you do daily, not something you feel."  That one line was a huge paradigm shift for me and from that point on I have thought about love differently.  Here is a brief summary of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. 

Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 1:  Be proactive - Change starts from within, your not a captive of your past. 

Habit 2:  Begin with the End in Mind - Develop a personal mission statement based on personal principles and long term goals.

Habit 3:  Put First Things First - Spend most of your time doing things that fit into your personal mission.

Habit 4:  Think win/win - Only seek agreements and relationships that are mutually beneficial, if win/win cannot be achieved no deal is best.

Habit 5:  Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood - Most important principle for interpersonal relationships, listen before you speak.

Habit 6:  Synergize -Leverage individual differences to create a whole great than the sum of the parts

Habit 7:  Sharpen the Saw - Take time out from production to build more production capacity.
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John C. Maxwell -  "The number one criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively" says Harvard Business.  John Maxwell is the master of communication.  John is always the keynote speaker at the Chick-fil-a Leader-cast which I have attended for the last 4 years.  John's book Everyone Communicates but Few Connect was given to me after lasts years event and I found it very useful for improving my communication skills.  The title explains the premise of the book, everyone is communicating, but few people are actually connecting and making a lasting impact.  The way Maxwell teaches to connect with other people is basic but profound.  Connecting with people is all about "other people."  John Maxwell says, "If you first, help people get everything they want, then they will help you get everything you want."

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Dale Carnegie - How to Win Friends and Influence People is written by the grandfather of self improvement gurus Dale Carnegie.  Debuting in 1937 as an overnight sensation and going on to eventually to sell over 15 million copies according to Wikipedia.  The concepts described in How to Win Friends and Influence People are just as relevant today as the day it was published.  Dale Carnegie teaches "people skills" and displays a deep level of understanding into human nature that has withstood the test of time.  Warren Buffet has been quoted that How to Win Friends and Influence People "changed his life."  Dale Carnegie has the following advice on winning friends and influencing people.  Don't criticize, condemn, or complain to people instead realize that the deepest craving in human nature is to be appreciated.  One must develop a genuine interest in other people, Pubilius Syrus said "we are interested in others when they are interested in us."  Dale Carnegie says to Win Friends and Influence People one must "Avoid arguments like you would rattlesnakes or earthquakes."  The principle stated simply "You can't win an argument."  If your interested in improving your ability to connect with others I highly recommend reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I hope you enjoyed my list of "The Top 5 Self-Help Gurus."  I found it difficult to refine my list to just 5 names because of the thousands of great self help men and women out there.  The 5 authors I have chosen represent the self-help gurus that I have found the most useful in my life.  I hope you enjoyed the list!

I wanted to include a short list of other important self improvement gurus that I didn't include in the Top 5:

Napoleon  Hill - Author of the ground breaking book Think and Grow Rich.

Click here to download the Think and Grow Rich Audio Book By Napoleon Hill.


Eckhart Tolle - Mainstream, but the concept of "The Power of Now" is so powerful he must be mentioned.

Robert Greene - Laws of Power is a must read for social climbers.

Shinzin Young - Is my favorite meditation teacher and guru.  If you want to work on your inner game I highly suggest "The Science of Enlightenment"

Richard Bandler- Co-creator and founder of NLP.  Richard Bandler is the master of  hypnosis and suggestion.  Use Richard's techniques if your looking to change the subconscious mind.  

Experts agree, you are what you think about.  Learn how to attract what you want in life by using the LAW OF ATTRACTION.  Ready to take the next step?  

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