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10 Guiding Principles From Famous Self-Help Books

Often in life, we find ourselves at a crossroads, unsure of how to proceed. Self-doubt and uncertainty are common feelings that can hinder us from achieving our goals and finding fulfillment. Yet each one of us has the power to reclaim our lives from whatever hurdles may be holding us back, by embracing a positive attitude and being willing to work toward self-growth.

Fortunately, there is a bounty of wisdom available from authors who have dedicated their lives to the concept of personal development. From Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, the advice found in many of these works can help us steer our lives in the direction we want to go, be it cultivating self-love, connecting more deeply with others, or rediscovering a sense of direction and purpose. To get started, here are 10 thoughtful quotes from some of the most famous self-help books out there.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
— Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.
— John Gray, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”

It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you have.
— Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret”

We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole aim of our lives.
— Alcoholics Anonymous, “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”

“I can’t afford it” shuts down your brain. “How can I afford it?” opens up possibilities, excitement, and dreams.
— Robert T. Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”

When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.
— Napoleon Hill, “Think and Grow Rich”

Focus on being productive instead of busy.
— Timothy Ferriss, “The 4-Hour Workweek”

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
— Rick Warren, “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?”

Numb the dark and you numb the light.
― Brené Brown, "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead"

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
— André Gide, “Autumn Leaves”

Photo credit: Ben Molyneux/ Alamy Stock Photo

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About the Author
Bennett Kleinman
Bennett is a staff writer at Optimism as well as a freelance comedy writer. He's based in New York City.
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Who said, "The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases"?

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