My Complete Guide To The Best Of Self-Improvement

“These are a Few of My Favorite Things!” – Rogers and Hammerstein

OK, so I lied. There are much more than just a few things here.

There are many, many resources here my friends; 25+ things that are the best of the best in my book.  

I’ve put this together for all of you that arrive here at Everlution.

All of my current top recommended self-development resources live on this page because I can no longer hide them from the world.

I’m going to keep adding to this list, so it’s the most comprehensive guide I can conjure up; and hopefully on the entire web.

Non-Stop Self-Growth for the Last Seven Years Straight

I’ve been a pretty hardcore student of personal development for sevens solid years now.

Though I picked up my first self-help book over seventeen years ago, I didn’t start my active, lifelong student journey until after my transformational coach training, which kicked the doors wide open for me.

From woo-woo methods to scientifically-backed psychological approaches I’ve tried many, many things in self-growth since then.

Some of you might be newer to the self-growth game, so a warm welcome to you, as you read this.  Others of you are certainly veterans on the scene, probably having done your own studies and practices for many more years than I have.

Wherever you’re at in your self-growth journey, I sincerely hope you come across some gems here in this guide that will shape your life for the better.

Getting to the Goods

It’s amazing how many books, products and the like I’ve gone through in the realm of self-help.

Many of which weren’t very good, as much as I don’t like to admit it.

Can you hear the money flushing down the toilet?

Yep, it’s all gone.

But in order to get to the golden goods, you’ve got to slog through the sludge and never give up on the journey if you want to be the author of your life.

I’m happy with what I’ve done so far in life and in my self-directed development and I’m still excited for more.

We’re Always Learning and Evolving

As I continue to learn, change and grow, I feel I have fairly refined handle on what I know what works well for me, and what doesn’t.

But with self-improvement you never know, sometimes total 180 degree shifts happen from out of nowhere.

So even though I’m skeptical at this point in the game, I also realize it’s important to stay open.

I’ve definitely been through the self-help ringer, learning lessons both wonderful…and hard.

What’s important to me is effective and deep change.  I want what works for me in my personal evolution; as well as being supportive in what works for others, which might be the same, or might be different.

I very much like to see evidence or scientific data behind things, yet there also seem to be some strange unexplainable processes out there that only experience can verify at this point.

This simply means I’m an open-minded skeptic, it’s my favorite paradoxical philosophy for approaching life.

I feel there’s no time to waste if we only have one life (OK, unless your Buddhist or Hindu) so let’s get to transforming and keep evolving and have fun while doing it. That’s my motto.

So without further ado…let this Best of Self-Improvement list begin.

 

A Complete List of My Favorite Self-Growth Things

1. Blogs and Websites

Zenhabits.net | Leo Babuata

It’s hard to beat Leo Babuata’s truly deep and Zen style of writing; not to mention the magnetically simple site design over at Zen Habits.

Immediately I feel at ease when I arrive at Zen Habits.

I am a huge fan of mindfulness meditation; and Leo’s Zen approach to everyday living reflects directly through his writing and course offerings, which he shares openly with his readers through his experimentation and practice in his life.

I read every single post that Leo sends to my inbox. There’s no other blog I do that with.

Each time I read something Leo’s written I get very quiet and still inside; I can relax into myself very quickly.

I consider this blog is a “must subscribe to”.   Zen Habits has over 250,000 readers, remaining powerful and no frills.

A true diamond of a blog.

Go to Zenhabits.net

A Daring Adventure | Tim Brownson

When I first saw Tim’s blog, I was skeptical because it prominently featured the term “life coaching” in the banner.

I’m a life and business coach myself, so you have to know that most of us coaches hate to use the term “life coaching”, and Tim would agree with what I’m saying here.

But he’s smart enough to use it in his message, because he’s a coach through and through.

As I dove into Tim’s writing, his no BS (and sometimes playfully brash) writing style drew me in quickly.

He’s a skeptic like me, more interested in what’s effective in personal development first and foremost, and likes to cut out the nonsense.

Though we differ in how we coach, we both are passionate and unwavering about effectiveness in self-growth processes.

Coach Tim has written many free self-help eBooks which I highly recommend you get from getting to your core values, proper goal setting, and how to be happy.

He also keeps it interesting with his wide varied of self-help content, as I even wrote a post about lucid dreaming his blog.

Tim also offers life coaching packages that are session based.  I’ve never experienced his coaching, but I have a feeling he’s really good and he’s got some great testimonials to back it up.

Visit A Daring Adventure with Tim Brownson

Tiny Buddha | Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene’s blog is by no means tiny.

Tiny Buddha is a massive, wisdom-packed site full of both inspiring and practical posts from folks like you and me and teachers across many traditions, including Buddhism and mindfulness background.

Lori offers a free eBook called 92 Life Lessons that you can download when you sign up to her newsletter.

Started in 2009, Tiny Buddha has grown massively and is now one of the most popular destinations for wisdom and self-help advice on the Internet.

I stop by TinyBuddha often, and you should too, especially if a wise and non-judgemental approach to self-growth appeals to you.

Go to TinyBuddha.com

Soul Speak | Jodi Chapman

I consider Jodi’s authentic, big-hearted style of living and blogging a rare treat.

Not only is her message authentic and all about the love, she’s an excellent writer and an even better person.

Jodi is one of the most giving people I’ve met online, and she continues to astound me with her kindness.

I only hope to pay it back in turn.

She invited me to create a lesson for her Coming Back to Life e-course on living authentically, and I’m honored to be a part of it along with many other talented teachers and friends of Jodi’s.

If you want to be lifted up by the seat of your soul, get over to Soul Speak, read the posts, and drop Jodi a line.

Vist Soul Speak with Jodi Chapman

The Art of Nonconformity | Chris Guillebeau

Chris is a genius, who is truly of a different ilk.

A passionate and talented writer, he’s a master of what I’d call “manifesto-driven location independence”, which means he helps people learn to live free, cheap and mobile – all around the globe.

Chris has already traveled to 135 countries, with an end goal to have stepped foot in every country in the world.

Chris believes those who wish to live a nonconformist lifestyle must develop personal manifestos and live passionately by them, in order to leave a legacy behind in this world.

The very fact that you’re seeing this lengthy, resourceful post is because of Chris’ influence on me.

His 279 days to Overnight Success is nothing short of brilliant, and will inspire those who want to be “global, mobile and soulful” to living life by their own terms.

If you want to start your own business and work online in an authentic way, you’ve got to get over to The Art of Nonconformity and sign up to the list.

You can also download three of his manifestos for free.

They’re simply amazing if you want to live like a bohemian maverick vagabond like I do.  Go get them – you won’t regret it.

Go to The Art of Nonconformity

Finding True Refuge | Tara Brach

I wish there was more going on in the comments in Tara’s blog, because her writing and message is brilliant.

Alas, she’s not a blogger by trade, but a highly-talented clinical psychologist and Buddhist teacher.

Tara’s writing brings me to that still place inside when I read it, but with a whole lotta heart on top of it.

Her heavy emphasis on a mindful and compassionate approach to life, has helped me in tough times, to the point that I use some of her self-acceptance and compassion work in a course I designed to help people overcome social anxiety.

If the mindfulness and compassionate way at all interests you, then you’ve got to check out her books and her blog.

Visit Finding True Refuge

Personal Development for Smart People | Steve Pavlina

How I wish I didn’t like this blog, mainly because I’m just not a fan of the design, it repelled me for a long time.

I guess I wasn’t one of the smart people because of my resistance at first, because not only is Steve’s blog is another one of the top personal development blogs on the ‘net, but he also knows what he’s doing when it comes to writing on self-growth.

He’s so damn sharp, it hurts.

Recently, I’ve been reading some posts Steve has on wealth, relationships, intention setting and manifestation, and I have to say they are brilliant.

He really is a master at manifestation and it’s clear he’s spent a tremendous amount of time with it.

His posts are not the usual Law of Attraction, positive, feel good junk, and Steve explains things cleanly and clearly.  So clearly that it’s hard not to feel the vibe of manifestation right then and there just through reading his posts alone.

Even though I’m not even close to a millionaire, so much of what he says resonates with my own strange quantum spirituality/digital physics view that it’s hard not to jive with his posts.

Check out Personal Development for Smart People

2. Audio Programs

Out of Your Mind | Alan Watts

Several years ago a good friend of mine lent me this mind-busting audio program.  Life-changer!

In listening to the humorous and deep wisdom in the program, Alan Watts soon became near and dear to my soul.

Watts is one of my favorite spiritual teachers that I’ve never met, and one of my favorite teachers ever, to be sure.

A self-proclaimed “zennist” and “spiritual entertainer”, Watts bridges the world of spirituality, ancient religion and philosophy in such a rational way combined with a childlike curiosity that tickles your soul.

He has made me understand that if there is no life after death, it’s no big deal.  That’s BIG, no?

His stunning English accent draws you in along with his jovial sense of humor and deep knowledge of human philosophy and spirit.

Get “Out of Your Mind” here.

(No Lil’ John’s not here, sorry)

Maverick Mindset | Dr. John Eliot

This is a slammin’ audio program by a sports performance coach, as recommended by Tim Brownson.

I am NOT a big sports fan by any means, and I was skeptical of this program initially, though I admit the name drew me to it, because I’m a maverick type of personality as it is.

John Eliot recounts stories of struggles with his clients – most of whom are world class professional athletes to famous actors.

What Dr. Eliot lacks in grace and style as far as a speaker, he makes up for with enthusiasm and a deep knowledge of what it takes for his clients to thrive at high-performance levels amidst difficult situations.

If you’re game, Dr. Eliot help you see things a new way with stunning examples how the best world class athletes remain calm, relaxed and perform well under scrutiny.

Maverick Mindset lives here.

Prosperity Consciousness | Frederic Lehrman

Recommended by a wealthy & successful friend of mine, it took me over six months to listen to Lehrman’s program.

But I’m glad that I finally got to it.

This is truly a complete program from how to build a prosperity mindset from the ground up; to the practical wealth-building practices and behaviors one needs to become independently wealthy.

Have I reached that yet?  No not even close, but the mindset portion inspired me to believe in myself and that’s it’s OK to make money and serve people in the self-growth industry by being my authentic self.

Lehrman uses a harmonious combination of logic and emotion to make the prosperity mindset hit home; and to let you know that  anyone who desires to be financially independent deserves to be when coming from a place of true service to others.

Definitely my cup of tea.

Get Prosperity Consciousness here.

3. Movies/Documentaries

What the Bleep Do We Know?!

What the Bleep? has become a cult-classic documentary that bridges quantum physics, molecular biology and spirituality to tweak your brain into a place of new expansion.

Though I won’t say all of it rings true for me, it’s a movie about opening up to more possibilities in life using the magic of quantum physics and science as a foundation.

My favorite scene in the movie is at the Polish wedding, where they demonstrate chemical/emotional addiction – whether it be anger, sexual lust, victimization or poor self-esteem.

Top speakers in the film: Dr. Joe Dispenza (a chiropractor turned neurobiologist), Candace Pert (a molecular biologist), David Albert (quantum physicist), and Fred Alan Wolf (quantum physicist).

A mind-bending classic that I’ve watched at least five times, and I’m probably due for another round!

Get What the Bleep Do We Know?!

The Quantum Activist

Dr. Amit Goswami does a brilliant job of explaining in simple but more scientific ways the stranger aspects of how quantum physics and consciousness connect.

From experiments that show that brainwaves can travel outside normal time and space or that particles travel beyond time, your reality will melt in a gentle way with Goswami’s concise, relaxed, accent-infused explanations.

A Hindu by birth, Goswami rejected his much of his culture, spirituality and upbringing only to find the very work he does in physics now bridges back to it.

Check out The Quantum Activist.

4. Live Events and Trainings

Newfield Network

Master certified coach Julio Olalla is one of the best coaches you’ve probably never seen or heard of in the world.

Uber-master level, and I’m sorry, but I believe he puts Tony Robbins to shame with his shamanic coaching skills.

Though Julio coaches often in governmental and corporate environments, I swear to you that he’s more like a wizard than just the boring, old label of “coach”.

I saw things during my Newfield training blew my mind they were so surreal.

I don’t know what Julio does when he coaches but it’s so powerful he’s even earned the nickname “Yoda” in some circles (OK that’s me and my uncle, both Newfield coaches).  He is truly a Jedi master of coaching.

The training at Newfield goes deep and wide, and it greatly impacted my life. Julio pioneered the style known as “ontological coaching” developed in conjunction with Fernando Flores and Rafael Echevarria.

This style of coaching utilizes the power of language, emotions/moods, and body disposition and movement, thrown in with a bit of a Gestalt dynamic aka dancing in the moment between client and coach.

It rocks you deeply and transformationally, aiming for maximum soul fulfillment and effectiveness in one fell swoop.

I find that ontological coaching is an amazingly powerful methodology for working dynamically with people at deep levels to address huge challenges and profound concerns, while focusing on true transformational change to achieve the most powerful results.

I am very proud to be trained as a coach in this discipline. It lies at the foundations of my transformational coaching approach, indeed and probably always will.

If you haven’t ever done a transformational event, go to their Foundations course if you can.

Fair warning it’s not cheap, but for me it was more than worth it, and launched me on the journey I’m on today.

Gratitude Julio and Newfield folks!

Go to the Newfield Network website.

Strozzi Institute

Another coach training organization that has often partnered and aligned with Newfield Network especially in the body and movement parts of the training, known affectionately among coaches as “somatic coaching”.

Richard Strozzi Heckler is an ex-marine, Aikido master and founder of the institute which focuses almost all on the body, for empowering powerful transformations for personal and professional changes.

Many top level companies, high powered CEO and business teams, even the military have apparently used Strozzi’s body and leadership trainings.

I know several coaches that have trained there and I’d love to train there some day, but alas it isn’t cheap either.

It seems the best coach trainings aren’t cheap unfortunately.

Visit the Strozzi Institute website.

5. Psychology/Therapy Approaches

Rational Emotive Therapy

Founded by the late, great Albert Ellis.  As a psychologist, Ellis was an innovator in developing his ABC model of how human beliefs play a large part in how we end up feeling.

His innovation further went in the direction that most any belief can be changed.

Ellis made the comparison that thoughts and beliefs can be rational or irrational, and he then designed ways to change these beliefs by teaching his patients to dispute them when they were irrational.

Dr. Ellis was a huge advocate of self-acceptance and believed firmly that the concept of self-esteem is detrimental to helping people gain more of it.

His work was responsible for my breakthroughs with self-acceptance with his book “The Myth of Self-Esteem: How Rational Emotive Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever”.

I consider him a founder of modern psychology in all respects.

He also was a crotchety, irreverent man but a hell of a innovative force in psychology and a die-hard healer.

Check out REBT.org

Mindfulness-Based Therapies:
Cognitive Therapy (MCBT) & Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) Therapy

Part of the “third-wave” of behavioral therapies, I’ve lumped these two together because of their unique cross of Eastern philosophical approaches i.e being here now, present, mindfully aware; and the strengths of the Western cognitive approaches i.e handling your automatic negative thoughts, ability to change oneself through behavioral changes.

These two approaches have helped me greatly in my life and my former struggle with social anxiety.

These methods often focus on not changing troublesome thoughts and beliefs themselves, but instead changing your relationship to them; helping to train one from holding onto thoughts or resisting them.

Founded by Dr. John Kabat-Zinn, MBCT is more open-ended and about letting go of resistance; whereas ACT founded by Steven C. Hayes has this mindfulness component but is more active in life creation with additional emphasis on living from your core values (what’s really important to you) and taking committed action.

Read about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

Read about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Neurofeedback

Though I’m a big advocate of brainwave entrainment (see below) – neurofeedback is an even further extension of brainwave entrainment.

When you listen to a brainwave entrainment track, it takes you through a preset regimen of frequencies to take your brain to a certain state.

However, with neurofeedback the system automatically adjusts to what you need to balance your brain in a dynamic way.

This requires the help of a neurofeedback specialist with proper hardware and software.

The specialist will hook your brain up to electrodes in order to get an initial brainwave profile, which will then be analyzed against a cross section of people in the software’s database (my specialist used BrainMaster software) to see where you might have some imbalances or need some brainwave optimization.

Neurofeedback is done with sound, light and/or electrical current (touch) in order to adjust your brain to more optimal states.

Not only that, if gives you a sense of what that state is, so that throughout your day you can access this state, which generally is one of relaxed flow in the moment yet alert, awake and active.

Highly recommended if you can afford to try it.   If not Brainwave Entrainment may be just enough for you.

Read about Neurofeedback.

6. Books

Taking the Leap | Pema Chodron

This influential little book helped me when I was still fresh in the aftermath of my mother’s death.

Buddhist teacher Chodron has a way of directly explaining concepts of Buddhism but in a secular way (even though she’s robed up as a Buddhist monk)  with elegance and sometimes with rawness, as she appropriately cusses in her writing sometimes.

Most impactful to me was her explanation of Shenpa or “getting hooked” by emotions or states of mind.

I remember being on vacation four months after my mom died, laying on a Lake Tahoe pier, surrounded by alpine beauty, yet wallowing in deep sadness.

When I read a few lines on the page from Taking the Leap, I was able to jump immediately from wallowing and victimization to total aliveness, while still feeling deeply sad, which was the appropriate emotion at the time.

It was a miraculous moment all done through Pema’s powerful words.

Get Taking the Leap.

Evolve your Brain | Dr. Joe Dispenza

Since the release What the Bleep Do We Know which has fostered more mainstream attention and heavy discussions on quantum physics, neuroplasticity and the nature of consciousness, Dr. Dispenza has become a veritable cult-star of science and spirituality crossover in underground circles.

Dispenza is a firm believer that we can change our brain by thinking and feeling in repetition and associate the right experiences with them, to be able to create our lives how we want.

Crossing neuroscience and quantum theory, Dispenza has created a practical guide to give strong foundations to change one’s thinking, brain and life.

Check out Evolve Your Brain

My Big TOE | Thomas Campbell

One of the strangest, most jargon ridden but complete explanations bridging the science and spiritauality gap, My Big TOE (MBT) is based on Thomas Campbell’s work with Out-of-Body Experiences (OOBE) and his training as a physicist.

This trilogy is not an easy read my any means; mainly because of the brain dumping, rambling style Campbell writes in.

But what he lacks in writing ability, he more than makes up for with his ability to process and explain what he believes our reality-system to be: one that is ever-evolving  upon itself.  (Hint: this is where the name Everlution came from.)

Campbell also explains quite clearly how you can actually affect reality, by developing your consciousness and thus the power of intention.

Campbell is all about what he believes to be the powerful, higher order force and vibration of love, as a way to evolve not just yourself, not just humankind, but the entire multi-dimensional and universal system he lays out in MBT.

I still haven’t finished the trilogy as it’s a hearty read, but I get the jist of it now, and it falls right in line with my experiences thus far in life, many things in quantum spiritualty, the power of mediation and manifesting intentions to create a more harmonious existence.

Get My Big TOE.

The Confidence Gap | Russ Harris, MD

This book is a little bible on confidence.

Dr. Harris is a genius of psychology and his explanations, stories and exercises of how to apply Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training principles to your life are bar none, the best out there.

The Confidence Gap is all about how to overcome fears, find the real you through self acceptance, live by what’s most important to you, with the end result being how to gain true self-confidence in life.

I recommend anyone who feels they struggle a lot with confidence to buy this book and do all the exercises within.

If you’re having confidence problems in any way – get this book.

Check out The Confidence Gap.

The Secret of Quantum Living | Frank Kinslow
(Quantum Entrainment or “QE”)

I’ve done many different types of meditations and visualizations over the years, and QE is one of my favorite.

It really isn’t too far from mindfulness meditation, but has you focus on a word or image that elicits a feel good state, and with a deeper intention.

It’s very rejuvenating and healing from the inside-out.

I affectionately call doing Quantum Entrainment “tapping into the field” and not only does it make me feel good, but I’ve seen some strange and good things happen as a result of it.

Read about The Secret of Quantum Living.

7. Software

Brainwave Entrainment Software by Transparent Corp

MindWorkstation | Transparent Corp.

I’ve owned MindWorkstation (MWS) for years, and it’s an amazing piece of software.

It is a multitrack software, complete with brainwave entrainment tone generators, ambient noise generators (i.e. waves, forest, birds, etc), sweeping effects for 3D sound experinces, and of course you can add in your own tracks.

Just be careful in adding music that it doesn’t cancel out the entrainment tracks.

MWS comes with lots of presets to work with the entire range of human brainwave frequencies (Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, SubDelta) in case you don’t want to design the frequencies for your own brainwave entrainment, but want to have control on the accompanying sounds or tracks you use.

NOTE: NeuroProgrammer is a stripped down version of MindWorkstation above, and truthfully it’s probably all you need to do the majority of your custom brainwave entrainment.

It doesn’t have the flexibility of MWS, but it’s more than enough for most people.

Learn about MindWorkstation
Check out Neuroprogrammer v3

RSIGuard Interruption Software

This software is heaven sent.

For those of you who, like me, spend a tremendous amount of time at the computer, neck, shoulder, back and carpal tunnel issues can be very serious work and health concerns.

This software “interrupts” you and makes you take breaks whether a “microbreak” of 12 seconds to pay attention to what you’re doing or relax, to a full 3 minute stretch break, complete with video and voice instruction on how to do the series of stretches.

Miraculous I tell ya.

In only three days, this software made a huge impact on being aware of how I’m sitting, scrunching my shoulders, eye tiredness and overall fatigue.

It will change your life in front of the computer, and most likely save you from developing or recovering from any chronic problems.

I’m trying to spread the word about this software everywhere and I’m planning to do a full review of it soon.

Get a trial version of RSIGuard Interruption Software.

Is this the end, my friend?

Hardly. Though I’ve shared most of my favorite self-growth resources here, there’s still more to come so bookmark this post for updates.

I’ll be updating this list as I continue on my self-growth journey.  It’s been a wondrous one so-far, whether up, down and sideways or backwards.

You’ll also find this guide featured in the “Start Here” section of Everlution if you ever forget.  See you on the other side. :)

Comments

  1. Wow, David!

    Thank you not only for recommending me but also for such a sweet write-up. I’m truly grateful for that! And you did such a wonderful job putting together something really beneficial for the Coming Back to Life Ecourse participants. Thank you!

    Once it launches, we should definitely have another Skype session – it’s always wonderful to see you and chat! :)

  2. Wow, what a great list! How on earth do you keep up with all of these? I am going to have to start slowly and work my way up!

    • David Hamilton says:

      Hi Lynda – They are all resources I have used in the past, and I have to go back to them too! I don’t always use all of them, but just great ones I have come across along the way.

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