In this blog post we’re giving you a list of 10 books that will not only make you a better person, but also a more effective hypnotherapist. Oddly enough, none of these books are about hypnosis.
There’s more to life than just hypnosis. It’s easy enough to become a very skilled hypnotist. But to be truly exceptional, it’s really useful to expand your knowledge. Broad knowledge makes you a more interesting person. Which means, (best of all) a better coach or therapist!
If you’ve ever taken hypnosis training with Mike and Chris then you know, first hand, how they incorporate wide knowledge of many topics into their teachings. If you can put someone into a hypnotic trance, you can then use the trance to help the person make changes. The more you know about all aspects of life, the broader your opportunity to effect change in someone.
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With that said, Mike and Chris put together this top 10 list. Pick ones that fascinate you the most, and consider reading them. Your life will improve, and the quality of your hypnosis work will also improve.
The Four Hour Work Week (Tim Ferriss)
This is the book that inspired us to create this business. But it’s not really a business book at all. It’s about lifestyle design. When you design an awesome lifestyle that incorporates sufficient income along with freedom of time and location, it becomes pretty hard to complain.
A word of warning: When you read this book it will probably shatter a lot of your pre-existing beliefs about careers and income generation. It will feel like you took a hammer to a champagne flute. There will be no going back. At least that’s how Chris describes how it affected his life. This book inspired him to leave behind the corporate world forever. And Mike used to rely on corporate keynote presentations and stage hypnosis shows to put food on the table.
This book is useful for anybody who wants to escape the traditional 9-5 lifestyle whether or not they start a business.
The Owner's Manual for the Brain (Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D)
This is a monster of a book. Thankfully, you don’t need to read this front to back. You can pick up this book and jump around as needed.
This book will help you, quite literally, understand how your brain works, and how to run it more effectively. It’s easy to see how this can help you improve your own life. But now imagine running a hypnosis session and being able to speak to a client confidently on aspects of the human brain. You’ll come across as more knowledgeable and authoritative.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert Cialdini)
We call this the Bible of human influence. That’s because Cialdini does such a great job of explaining 6 separate psychological tools of influence, with amazing examples and stories. This is a book you’ll definitely read more than once.
When you understand the rule of commitment and consistency, you’ll naturally start using this as you craft hypnotic suggestions with your clients. When you understand the rule of liking, you’ll immediately understand why we always say rapport is the glue that holds trance together.
For audio book fans, this is available on Audible too.
Six Thinking Hats (Edward de Bono)
Edward de Bono is a medical doctor and the creator of lateral thinking. Six Thinking Hats explains six metaphorical “hats” that people can wear depending on what kind of problem they’re solving.
For example, the green hat is all about idea generation, and this is the hat you wear when you’re brainstorming to grow a business, solve a problem, or come up with your next great life adventure. The white hat is all about analyzing facts and other objective information. It’s the ideal hat when you’re prioritizing things in life. The yellow hat is all about positive, constructive thoughts. And the black hat is what you wear when you’re giving yourself permission to point out all of the logical flaws in an idea.
Each hat has a time and a place. This simple & short book is an incredible opportunity to step up your thinking and problem solving skills.
Body by Science (Doug McGuff, John Little)
Physical health is very important to us. We’ve included two books, out of the 10 in this list, to help you understand the science behind a healthy body.
Body by Science is all about developing strength (muscle mass) without a major time commitment. And that’s important because most of us do nothing to achieve physical strength because it seems like a lot of work.
Remember the 80/20 principle? In almost any area of life, you’ll get 80% of the results by doing just 20% of the work. The important part is knowing what 20% to do. When it comes to strength training, you don’t need to be built like a gymnast or bodybuilder. But it’s great to stay physically strong so you enjoy an active lifestyle. You’ll also be far less likely to suffer from a severe injury (such as a broken hip, from falling).
McGuff and Little have scientifically proven that, at practically any age, you can become strong in just 15 minutes of hard effort per week. That’s a time budget everyone can afford. There are no excuses when it’s this simple. Get this book!
The Complete Guide to Fasting (Jason Fung)
Achieving a physically healthy body doesn’t happen from exercise alone. In fact, we argue that what you put in your mouth is actually more important to preventing chronic disease.
Jason Fung is a Toronto-based nephrologist (kidney specialist) who harvests the power of “fasting” to help his patients achieve awesome metabolic health through weight loss and by reversing diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Fasting is a power tool to accelerate metabolic change and body recomposition (fat loss). Fasting can be as simple as eating your meals within a narrower window of time, such as noon to 8pm. Or it can involve skipping for a longer period of time (perhaps up to a few days), on a recurring (periodic) basis.
If you have weight to lose, or deal with clients who want leaner bodies, this is a wonderful book to be familiar with. You can even recommend your clients read it as post-session homework.
Unlimited Power (Tony Robbins)
We didn’t want to include any hypnosis books on this list. Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins is not a hypnosis book, but it comes closer than anything of the other books we’ve written about here.
Written in the 1980s, Tony Robbins tells us the story of his transition from nearly bankrupt, driving a broken-down car and washing dishes in the bathtub of his tiny bachelor apartment to dominating his emotions and behaviors.
Robbins studied NLP and Ericksonian hypnosis. And in this book he’s certainly teaching these concepts. He’s just not calling them by that name. The focus is on personal change rather than helping others. But as you probably already know, you can’t help people if you don’t understand how to first help yourself with the same problem.
Mike and Chris both read this book within a few years of each other, back in the 1990s. Mike was doing stage hypnosis and therapy, at the time. This sparked his interest in NLP which led him to begin doing corporate keynote presentations. Chris read this book while studying engineering in university, and went on to leverage these skills to become very successful as a stock picker in Canada’s financial community, before this business was born.
Instant Analysis (David J. Lieberman)
This is an immensely practical and user-friendly book by Dr Lieberman! We love all his books, by the way.
Instant Analysis is one of those excellent books you can open anywhere, and immediately start mining for psychological gold. Have you ever wondered the answer to questions like:
Why am I so easily discouraged?
Why will I do favors for people I don’t like?
Why do I secretly hope other people will fail?
As a psychologist, Lieberman provides solid answers to these, and nearly one hundred other questions. Best of all, Dr Lieberman goes on to provide solutions for a wide-variety of puzzling, and self-defeating, behaviors and habits.
This is a worthwhile read that belongs on every therapist’s, coach’s, and counselor’s bookshelf. But it goes beyond that, and offers solutions to the sorts of problems we all face on a daily basis.
The Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman)
Your life is a series of relationships. You might have a spouse, a significant other, children, parents, friends, or colleagues. Each of these relationships affects the quality of your life. Heck, you even have a relationship with yourself, and that’s pretty darn important too!
The Five Love Languages is written from the perspective of romantic relationships. But it’s not a stretch to apply the same concepts to any relationship. That’s because we all just want to feel good about ourselves, and feel valued by other people.
Chapman teaches about the love languages of: 1) Physical touch; 2) Gift giving; 3) Quality time; 4) Acts of service; 5) Words of affirmation.
If you want your relationships to rock, make sure you know what the primary “love languages” are of the important people in your life. Your spouse may appreciate acts of service like when you clean up the kitchen or vacuum the house without being asked. Your kids might appreciate words of affirmation, like being told how much you appreciate the hard work they put into their studies. Your dog might just appreciate quality time because … dogs love company!
If your relationships need some fine tuning (or some serious renovation work), get this book.
The Gift of Fear (Gavin de Becker)
Have you ever wished you could gain the “spider sense” of Peter Parker; the ability to sense danger without even having to think about it?
According to security expert Gavin de Becker, you have it already! The problem is, many of us don’t listen to the warning prompts that our unconscious minds provide. But by learning to recognize and heed these signals, we can avoid all sorts of danger, including physical violence.
Using real-world examples from law enforcement and the daily news, de Becker vividly illustrates how quickly things go off the rails when we ignore the alarm bells we all possess. On the other hand, he tells of the cases when would-be victims listened to the warning signals and averted life-threatening situations.
De Becker’s book is highly engaging, and provides tools to enable us to recognize the warning signs of impending violence. This is a book that goes beyond self-defense training, by providing useful skills in personal awareness to short-circuit potential violence before it happens. Afterall, the best violent encounter is the one you never experience.
The Gift of Fear is an empowering book, and one that help anyone live a safer life, by using the powers we already possess.