Atomic Habits Book Summary

Treasure Africa
The definitive guide to breaking bad behaviors and adopting good ones in four steps, showing you how small, incremental, everyday routines compound into massive, positive change over time.

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Shad Helmstetter – What To Say When You Talk To Yourself Review

Treasure Africa10 comments

What To Say When You Talk To Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, PhD. is a book that inspired me to work on my self-Shad Helmstetter - What To Say When You Talk To Yourselfprogramming and my beliefs.

After I bought the book I set it away for months, before I actually read through it. I wish I would have read it earlier, because once I read the first chapter, I finished the book within one day. The book explains the importance of working on your mental programming and gives you everything you need to do it.

Shad Helmstetter argues that our mental programming creates our believes. And if you want to change, our mental programming is where you have to start.

While Henry Ford is certainly correct with his quote “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”, he does not answer the question where beliefs come from. Can you just suddenly start believing? At least I unfortunately couldn’t. Even if not suddenly, the book has helped me to achieve exactly that.

Why Most Self-Development Literature is Flawed

In the beginning of the book Helmstetter explains why people so often have problems making sustainable changes in their life. He proposes three factors that are necessary to make the change happen:

  • Permanence by being internally instead of externally motivated
  • Making use of the brain’s actual physiological processes, instead of just attempting to create change out of thin air
  • Word-for-word directions to erase past negative programming

The problem is that most self-development programs do not take care of these three aspects. They only deal with symptoms and do not influence the core of our being: They forget about the mental programming, which is on top of everything. Helmstetter argues that it influences everything else in our being.

  1. Mental Programming determines beliefs
  2. Beliefs determine attitudes
  3. Attitudes determine feelings
  4. Feelings determine actions

What is so powerful about this cause and effect chain is that it intuitively makes sense. If you have been looking for the one thing you should change that influences everything else its mental programming. So, is it possible to change our mental programming and how exactly does this work?

Five Levels of Self-Talk

The way to change your mental programming is how you talk to yourself. All of us talk to ourselves, mostly quietly in our head but also sometimes out loud. Often when we make a mistake we tend to reaffirm it. Many people tend to say “I’m always late.” or “I’m bad with names.”. This is problematic as our monkey brain directly buys into it, and will try everything to stay consistent with what you are saying. The way to change our mental program positively is to speak more positively to ourselves.

Level 1 Negative Self-Acceptance

I just gave an example for this above. It is a general statement that affirms something you’re bad at or can’t make happen. “I can’t remember names” or “I am so unorganized.”

Level 2 Recognition & Need to Change

In this level of self-talk you have already recognized the need for change, however you are not yet certain about it and have not decided to take actions. It’s all those needs, shoulds or musts you say on a daily level. “I should eat less sweets” or “I should workout more”.

Level 3 Decision to Change

From level three onwards we create a new more positive mental programming. It is about affirming a decision you have made. “I never drink coffee.” or “I no longer watch TV” Helmstetter argues that you can start using this level of self-talk even if you haven’t committed to a decision yet. It will help you to make the shift and take the decision you need to take.

Level 4 The Better You

In Level 4, you paint a version of yourself of how you’re like in a positive way. ” I am energetic and confident” or ” I am eating healthy every day.” It is the least often used level of self-talk, but yet the most needed one. If you want to make a change, this is the level you should use.

Level 5 Universal Affirmation

Level 5 is more spiritual and about stating universal truths. “It is…” This is a level of self-talk you can use once you have mastered Level 3 and Level 4.

When you are starting out applying the principles from the book, you should start with Level 3 and Level 4 self-talk. And go with whatever feels most natural to you.

You Can Get Started Right Away

As a first step you need to become aware of how you are currently talking to yourself. Maybe its obvious to you and are aware of it. Maybe you have not yet fully grasped the influence it has on you. For most of us self-talk is negative and it’s obvious why this is the case. We steadily get reminded of our mistakes and shortcomings in daily life but seldom people encourage us to believe in ourselves or praise us. The more negativity you experience around yourself, the more negative and critical will also be your self-talk.

Here is one excerpt from the book I have highlighted and that seemed very true to me: “During the first eighteen years of our lives, […] we were told “No!” or what we could not do more than 148,000 times.[…] how often do you suppose you were told what you can do or what you can accomplish in life.

Even though the number of 148,000 No’s sounds quite random it makes a point and illustrates that we encounter negativity far more often than positivity.

Once you have become aware of your self-talk (which is very likely negative to a large degree), you can make the change and formulate positive Level 3 or Level 4 self-talk phrases to practice.

I have started to  self-talk (or affirmations) during my morning ritual every day, and found that it has a positive effect on me. Sometimes during the day when I am stuck I randomly remember one of the phrases I have said in the morning and it makes me smile. The more you make use of positive self-talk, the more it will become automatic to you. Humans are creatures of habit, and if we can “program” ourselves to habitually be more positive, consistent and confident I would suggest that positive self-talk is one of the most important things you can do for yourself every day.

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7 Business books we recommend.

Treasure Africa4 comments

Looking to start your own business and grow, or to develop your career ?

Here we bring you 7 business books that we recommend.You will acquire valuable insights that you can apply in different areas of you life for extraordinary results. 

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Learn from The Greatest- Autobiography

Treasure Africa5 comments

Read and learn from some of the greatest men & women to have lived in our time.We go through a summary of the following books:

1. Malcolm X: A life of reinvention  by Manning Marable

2. A Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela

3. Becoming by Michelle Obama

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Explore the Power of Self-Help with this 3 Books

Treasure Africa4 comments

“There are two powerful fuels, two forces; motivation and inspiration. To be motivated you need to know what your motives are. Over time - and to sustain you through it - your motivation must become an inner energy; a 'motor' driving you forward, passionately, purposefully, wisely and compassionately... come what may, every day. Inspiration is an outer - worldly - energy that you breathe and draw in. It may come from many places, faces, spaces and stages - right across the ages. It is where nature, spirit, science, mind and time meet, dance, play and speak. It keeps you outward facing and life embracing. But you must be open-minded and open-hearted to first let it in and then let it out again. Together - blended, combined and re-entwined - motivation and inspiration bring connectivity, productivity, creativity and boundless possibilities that is not just 'self' serving but enriching to all humanity and societies...just as it should be.”

-Power of your subconscious mind

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7 Good reads for Valentines

Treasure Africa2 comments
Whether you're single ,in a relationship or it's complicated, and you want to save some money on your minor holiday celebrations, I've got the perfect solution to your problem: books. For the list below, I've picked out 7 books to read instead of going out for Valentine's Day, and you can enjoy them to the fullest, with or without a significant other.

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Our Top Picks This Week

Treasure Africa2 comments

Our top picks for this week are:

  1. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  2. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
  3. Ego Is The Enemy  by Ryan Holiday
  4. Money: Master The Game by Tony Robbins
  5. The Richest Man In Babylon by George S. Clason
  6. Think And Grow Rich  by Napoleon Hill

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How to Become a Better Reader: 9 Intelligent Tips

Treasure Africa

In today’s data-driven world, being a good reader can give you an edge. Having good reading skills allows you to enjoy works of literature and understand technical content such as contracts and instructional material.

Ironically, with content coming from every direction, many people still have trouble reading. In fact, 1 in 6 adults in the United States lacks basic reading skills.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to improve the way you read. The great thing is you can make improvements without the need for formal classes.

If you’ve been wondering how to become a better reader, we’ve got nine tips to help you out.

  1. Improve Your Vocabulary

How many times have you come across a word in a book and skipped over it because you didn’t know its meaning? This is a bad habit you need to break.

Expanding your vocabulary is an essential step in becoming a better reader. It will also improve your communication skills.

From now on, look up every word you don’t know the meaning of. Write these words and their definitions down and keep a running list to study.

It also helps to start using these words in your own vocabulary. This will help embed them in your mind.

  1. Don’t Talk to Yourself While Reading

It’s very common for people to talk to themselves while reading. This happens in a few different ways.

One way involves actually moving your lips along with the content you’re reading. The second way is by talking to yourself inside your head.

This may seem like harmless behavior, but it’s actually slowing you down. You’re only allowing yourself to read as fast as you can speak.

Reading should only involve the eyes and brain. Instead of vocalizing the words you read, try to think of the words as ideas you’re interpreting.

  1. Join a Book Club

If you’re a book lover but struggle to find time to read, try joining a book club. This is a great way to stay accountable.


Book clubs promote more attentive reading. Because you know you’ll need to discuss the book, you’re more likely to concentrate harder on it. Try to apply this behavior to everything you read.

The great thing about book clubs is you can find one for pretty much any genre. You’ll also get the opportunity to learn about new authors you’ve never read.

  1. Stop When You Lose Interest

There’s a misconception that if you give up on a novel, you’re a bad reader. This simply isn’t true.

If you power through books even though you lost interest after 50 pages, you’re not doing yourself any favors. There’s a good chance the words are going in and coming out of your mind without any interpretation.

Instead, only read what you care about. This will allow you to concentrate your attention on each sentence and develop better reading skills.

If you’re having trouble finding new books that interest you, check out this website for ideas.

  1. Find Your Ideal Reading Environment

If you find you’re always getting distracted while reading, it’s time to find a new setting.

A lady sitted under a tree reading.

Try to create a comfortable environment with ample lighting and a relaxing vibe. You’ll then start to associate this “happy place” with reading.

Make sure there’s no noise or chance of interruption. Part of becoming a better reader is strengthening your ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.

Once you’ve created the perfect reading space, you’ll probably start digesting more material.

  1. Vary Your Reading Speed

Different material calls for different reading speeds. If you read everything at the same rate, you need to make some changes.

Any type of technical writing such as legal or medical information requires slower reading. There’s no point flying through material that’s hard to understand in the first place.

Lighter reading like magazines or young adult novels doesn’t require as much concentration. Use this material when trying to increase your reading speed.

Reading slowly when you need to helps you develop better analytical skills. Over time, you’ll notice you read everything more efficiently.

  1. Research What You Don’t Know

Another good habit to get into is researching any references you don’t understand. After all, you can’t make complete sense of the context if you don’t have all the data.

This may seem like something you would only do in school. However, if you apply this behavior to recreational reading, you’ll find the experience more fulfilling.

Fortunately, the internet makes this very easy. Keep your phone handy for quick searches.

  1. Challenge Yourself

One of the best ways to become a better reader is to challenge yourself with harder material. This forces you to slow down in order to take it all in.

It’s important not to throw yourself into the deep end too soon. Wait until you feel you’ve made strides in your reading skills before taking things up a notch.

You can also start tackling longer books. This will help hone your comprehension skills. You’ll probably find that reading shorter, easier books is more fulfilling once you’ve conquered more difficult material.

  1. Practice

Reading is just like anything else. If you stop doing it, your skill level starts to drop. It’s crucial you practice on a regular basis.

Set aside some time to read every day. Even if you can only afford to spend 15 minutes on a book, do it.

Take a book to work and read on your lunch break. If you take a bus to school or work, that’s another perfect chance to practice.

In no time you’ll start to notice how much your reading comprehension and speed has improved. You’ll also start gaining a better appreciation for the books you read.


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