Part of living a paleo lifestyle is the food but another big part of it is developing a balance in your life that helps you reduce stress, play more, and all around do more. Before paleo I was big into the self-help the world is your oyster if you command it lifestyle (not that I'm not into that now but I read so much paleo stuff (or Crossfit/ Strength Stuff) the other stuff has gone by the wayside.) I've read "Think and Grow Rich" twice and few other books with similar themes. In the past especially have enjoyed Art Williams, founder of A.L. Williams Ins. He has a great view of life / business. Jose Silva Ultramind System was another great find for me. What self improvement other than paleo (or Crossfit / Strength Stuff) do you read or recommend reading? Maslow's Hierarchy of needs anyone?
I'm in favor of the positive philosophies you mentioned, but I think most of us have already had exposure or can easily find readings of that type.
I think the problem many of us have is we are too disconnected from the natural world and the SAD diet is a subset of the problem.
Therefore, to shape my ancestral mindset I am spending as much time as possible with friends, spending a lot of time outside, eating whole foods and (now) learning to enjoy a variety of fermented foods used by many traditional societies. It's a little thing, but brewing water kefir on my counter-top and then culturing yogurt on my counter-top are practices that go back thousands of years.
So, although I read every day the ancestral mindset for me is stepping away from the cerebral and back to the non-tech, non-modern ways.
I'm a big fan of James Allen, especially his essay "As A Man Thinketh", and Emerson, especially his essay "Self-Reliance". Both can be found online.
For a more modern source, I like Jon Kabat-Zinn, and his books on mindfulness, such as Wherever You Go There You Are. A book that I consider to be a personal manifesto is Stephen Nachmanovitch's Free Play. While not 'self-help' per se, he talks a lot about being playful, creative, and balanced -- and the usefulness and power of limits. Very readable, but very resonant, at least for me.
I spend a lot of time focusing on mindfulness and stress reduction. I strive to take time every day away from electronic devices. I try to get out in the sun every day. I've been reading about the slow food and voluntary simplicity movements, and I've been learning about home preservation and fermentation of foods. I'm working on building relationships with family and friends that revolve around discussion instead of entertainment.
The self-improvement materials I read the most are philosophy books. I particularly like Eastern philosophy, as it emphasizes paleo things like living in balance with nature, living a simple life, and taking well-thought-out action. The self-improvement I experience with paleo is physical. The self-improvement I get from studying philosophy (and world religions) is mental.
I've found that once you re-address your priorities and realize how little material goods and instant, hedonistic gratification matter, you care less about hacking your income or time management to work more. This isn't to say I don't keep myself sharp (I recommend self-branding books like "U R a brand" if you want to manipulate others' perceptions of you for success). It's just that the more I explore what wise people have reasoned are actually important, the easier living a good life comes. I don't have to take conscious action and plan things out. I just end up spending more time with friends and family, being active, spending less money, and being more content with everything I have. I'm constantly learning (about anything I'm enthusiastic about), and I feel I'm set for aging well and growing up into a sharp-witted, fit, and happy person.
What else should we be eating? 6 Answers