The modern age is an age of human emotions, nature and psyche. One of the best knowledges and information that one can possibly have is associated with human psychology. Psychology governs almost every field of relevance, touching upon entrepreneurship, sports, public speaking, debating, medicine, social behavior, human development and many more disciplines and sub-disciplines.
The two areas of concern that I shall be touching upon, through this article are, self-help and behavioral psychology.
Self help means helping oneself without help from external stimuli. This help can be of any kind such as helping oneself overcome financial, intellectual, physical or emotional problems. Psychology luckily incorporates all of these. Since the mind controls the body and thus us, controlling the mind equals to controlling our selves in ways most desirable to us.
Psychology is all about control. You take control by giving control. Confused? There are things that come under the auspices of our prowess and things that don’t. When we are able to differentiate the controllable from the uncontrollable, all becomes easy and life runs on a stable path.
Next comes behavioral psychology. The whys and how’s of average human behavior can be learnt through mastering the knowledge of behavioral psychology. We do certain things; we act in certain ways in certain situations. We get sad, angry, happy, emotional, cranky, grumpy, ecstatic etc., all owing to our behavior. When cognizant of the triggers of our particular behavior, we can mold and process our behavior in numerous ways. We gain power over our own selves.
To begin with, I’ll take help from the four most influential books that changed my life. These books are worthy of getting a thorough reading. These are namely;
- I’m OK – You’re OK
- How to win friends and influence people
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
1. I’M OK – You’re OK
To begin with, we have the best of the best psychology books, I’M OK – You’re OK. This book made the New York Times Best Seller list in 1972 and stayed there for almost 2 years. In this book, the major focus was on transactional analysis. Transactional analysis is a problem-solving method that looks at one’s behavior and social relationships through a lens of parental, adult and childlike aspects of personality types embedded in every human being from birth.
- The Parental aspect of one’s life is based on those behaviors, thoughts and feelings that are copied from parents or parent-like figures.
- The Adult aspect of one’s life is based on behavior, thoughts and feelings which are rational and logical responses to the here and now.
- The Childlike aspect of one’s life is based on behavior, thoughts and feelings which were once prevalent in childhood and are now replayed again with a new touch up.
This PAC system gives us a clear understanding of our behavior and how and why it is motivated. Cutting short, the best recommended aspect is the adult aspect as being rational and logical can keep us away from a lot of crap we might attract to ourselves when in the parent or child mode.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
This self-help book was published in 1936 and by selling over 15 million copies, it made itself one of the best-selling books of all time. In this book, the author, Dale Carneige summarizes a hefty number of rules and principles and applying these to one’s self, we can become likeable persons, manage enormously well our social relationships, win others over in countless ways and motivate their behavior without them even knowing about it. Some rules from the book might suffice to make a healthy mark on your mind:
- When talking, use the name of the other person more often.
- Talk to people about themselves more. Their areas of interest or their favorite topics.
- Always put a smile on your face when posing for a great first impression.
- Appreciate and acknowledge more often.
3. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Though this book wasn’t easy to read at first, but soon as the substance started to appear, it became as juicy as the name suggests. The seven habits that Stephen R. Covey suggests in this self-help book are;
- Being proactive
- Beginning with the end goal in mind
- Putting first things first
- Creating win-win in every situation
- Seeking to understand first, then to be understood
- Sharpening the saw
Each one of these habits is discussed in detail in the book. The first 3 habits are focused on mastering one’s own self and transforming oneself from being dependent to being independent.
The next 3 habits are concerned with opting for mutual collaboration and teamwork, thus moving from independence towards interdependence. For interdependence, independence is necessary.
The final and 7th habit is based on self-improvement and perpetual growth. This is only possible when the preceding six habits are kept in mind.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Though the title might appear as suggesting a cruel and indifferent attitude towards everything, this book actually gives us key living approaches that focus on comfort within one’s own skin. The book proposes that many lessons but the ones that influenced me the most are;
- One should be comfortable in accepting whoever the f*ck he or she is and not in any way try to change this. Because guess what! This can’t be changed. Ever.
- The next step is to focus on the essentials. The values and beliefs that we hold dear should only be focused upon and everything else should be pushed away. Simple to say, we should not give a fuck about everything and everyone in our lives.
- The final resolution suggests that one should only try and control those values which can be controlled. All else should be left for fate to decide.
Now if we summarize all this, psychology is what modern science in fixated on because in this hyper-sensitive and sensitized era, the one with the most valuable asset is revered, and according to statistical analysis of the most revered knowledge, psychological knowledge is absolutely considered an asset owing to the limitless benefits it confers on its possessors.
So, read the above-mentioned books.