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Books Like Road Maps -- Cheat Sheets To Life

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Experience is the best teacher, they all say. But The Good Book says that those who know how to take other people's advice is wise. A Zen proverb also states: "It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes, but an even wiser man to learn from others." Books are other people's experiences laid on print, in a form that lets you download the wisdom at your own pace, at your own time.

Novels and fiction are good tomes to thumb through if you need an escape from life's duress. But if you're looking for solutions to what you're going through, reading non-fiction, especially self-help and motivational books would be better.

I've personally read these books, and they've helped me understand life lessons that I would have needed a few other lifetimes had I needed to make the authors' mistakes in order to learn. But thank God for the printing press! Thanks to that nifty invention, we can now benefit from other people's "cheat sheets" for life.

Here are three books that will help you through life's learning curves:

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Boundaries: When to say YES, when to say NO, to take control of your life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend -- This book is best read chapter per chapter. That way, you can absorb its lessons more comprehensively. This book taught me that it's okay to say NO. This book also taught me to respect other people's NO's. And this book helped me be mindful about how to act and react in certain situations. From the housewife to the career gal, this book will teach you how to deal with relationships in an objective and sanity-inducing way.

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My Own Worst Enemy: Overcoming 19 Ways We Defeat Ourselves by Alan Nelson -- This book deals with 19 self-defeating issues that we may have. Nobody's childhood is perfect, and we're really bound to bring a bit of crap into our adulthood. This is like Boy Abunda's "Magic Mirror," which you can look into and understand how some of your beliefs and habits actually kill the way you live life.

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The Upside of Adversity: Rising from the Pit to Greatness by Os Hillman -- This book helped me understand that the extreme duress I've faced from a few years before my teens and up to today had been strategically placed in order for God to mold my character. It's more than platitudes and rationalization in order to comfort someone who is going through a lot -- it is a guide for you to understand that God plans something great for your life, and if life's a little hard right now, He is bringing you to a place where He will use your stories in order to inspire others. A similar book is Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkinson.

You don't need to bump around through life aimlessly. There is a God who is in control, and books like these are like road maps to help you navigate through it. Enjoy the reads!

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