Personal Effectiveness Toolkit

tool box“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Welcome to the Personal Effectiveness Toolkit!

I’ve wasted an epic ton of money on so much stuff that didn’t work, so many infomercials, so many great ads that over-promise, under-deliver, and so many things that are more hype than help.  Along the way, I found some things that really do help.

Here is my one-stop shop page of resources for personal effectiveness.  This is a round-up of the best-of-the-best personal effectiveness resources to help you realize your potential and improve your personal effectiveness across mind, body, emotions, career, finance, relationships, and fun.

My Most Recommended

Here are the top 5 resources I find myself recommending the most to help people build their body, brains, and business:

  • Personal Power II (Audio CDs), by Tony Robbins – This is a hard-core program that teaches you how to reprogram your mind, body, and emotions for success. This is the the deepest personal development program I’ve ever experienced, and it’s Tony at his finest.
  • Goals! (Audio CD), by Brian Tracy – This is a no-nonsense, hard-core approach to setting and achieving your goals. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish by clarifying what you want, identifying steps to take, and putting a simple feedback loop in place.
  • SBI! (Site Build It) (Training + Online Business Platform) – I recommend this to my family and friends that want financial freedom with passive income. Whether you want to start a home-based business, generate passive income on the side, or simply share and scale what you know with the world, this is a powerful system. It really teaches you the ins and outs of online business.
  • Teleseminar Mastery Course (Virtual Training) – Get paid to teach the world what you are passionate about. Dr. Cha-zay shows you how to build a 6-figure automated business, and earn passive income.
  • Slim in 6 with Debbie Siebers – It’s hard to be effective when your body is run-down.  Whether you’re dealing with stress, or want to get in shape, or want more energy this is the starter program I recommend to my friends and family.  I like how Debbie focuses on building lean functional muscle, especially in your legs, to build up strength and to burn more fat.

Achievement Systems

  • Personal Power II (Audio CDs), by Tony Robbins – Personal Power II is the program that really taught me how to model success, be more resourceful, realize my potential, and continuously improve key areas of my life.
  • Success Master Academy (Audio CDs), by Brian Tracy — Learn how to set your goals and objectives to maximize your performance and blast through your goals.  This is an advanced program on personal success and achievement.  It helps you become unstoppable in the pursuit of your goals. It helps you make progress fast, with calmness and confidence as you take continuous action to move toward your goals.  What you get is a set of 16 CDs and a 90-page workbook to help you turn insights into actions.
  • The New Psychology of Achievement (Audio CDs), by Brian Tracy — Learn the 7 mental laws that determine your potential, the Law of incremental improvement, the keys to optimism, the keys to persuasion, the factors of motivation, the 12-step goal method and more.

Beliefs, Limits, and Mindsets

Your beliefs can limit or enable you.  Eliminate limiting beliefs and adopt a growth mindset so you can improve in all areas of your life.

  • Eliminate a Limiting Belief (Free Webinar), by Morty Lefkoe — Start eliminating a belief that limits you now.  Eliminate the following limiting beliefs: “I’m not good enough,” “I’m not important,” or “Mistakes and failures are bad.”
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Book), by Carol Dweck — Carol Dweck shares how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area of work and life.

Blogging (Start Your Blog)

Getting Started


  • BlueHost (Hosting for Your Blog) – One of the most common ways to start a blog is to use WordPress and to host on Bluehost.  Bluehost provides 1-click automatic WordPress installations, as well as migration services and a quickstart program to get your new site up and running fast with 1-on-1 training from a Bluehost expert.
  • SiteGround (Hosting for Your Blog) – This is the hosting I started with and still use them today.  Siteground focuses on speed, security, and support.


  • Newspaper Theme – Every blog needs a theme.  The theme is the user experience for your blog.  I use the Newspaper theme for Sources of Insight, and other blogs.  I evaluated many, many themes before finding one that works for my scenarios.  It’s a powerful theme with lots of options, and it works great for mobile phones, too.

Body, Fitness, and Health

The best exercise programs are the ones you actually do.  If it’s too long, too far, too complex, you won’t stick with it.  In general, I try to optimize around a home gym experience, and I look for routines that are 30 minutes or less so that I can stick with it, and so that they are more effective and efficient.

I also focus on building lean functional muscle (think “Navy Seal” vs. “Body Builder”.)  Lean muscle burns fat, and helps you perform every day things better, faster, and easier.

Aside from building our a great fitness library, the real key is finding the workouts that you enjoy, match your needs, and help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Getting Started


  • Chalene Johnson’s PiYo Deluxe Kit – PiYo combines the muscle-sculpting and core-strengthening benefits from Pilates with strength and flexibility benefits from Yoga. It’s low -impact so it’s another way to get started.


  • ChaLEAN Extreme – This is a powerful home workout by Chalene Johnson.  In this workout, Chalene focuses on building lean functional muscle.
  • P90X3 with Tony Horton – Like the name implies, it’s an extreme workout. It combines exercises they use for athletes and the military. It’s a 30-minute workout, six days a week, with a focus on strength, balance, and agility.

Supporting Equipment for Your Home Gym

  • SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells – This is the smartest key to my home gym. While bands can work, I get much better results with dumbbells. SelectTech Dumbbells are compact and they are 15 weights in one. I can effectively dial a weight, from 5 pounds to 52.5 pounds. The coolest thing is when I lift the weight from its base, it sounds like I’m unsheathing a sword.

Book Writing / Authoring  (How To Write a Book)

So many people want to write a book, but never do.  Learn how to write your book and get it published for real.

  • 20-Step Author Quick Start Guide, by Brian Tracy – Brian Tracy is author of more than 60 books.  He writes 4 or 5 books each year and is published in 38 languages and 60 countries.  In this guide, Tracy provides 7 tips to organize your book, a secret exercise to dramatically improve your writing speed, and a simple plan for getting your book to publishers.

Business Building, Startups, and Passive Income

Start your own business, earn passive income, start a side business, recession-proof your income, be your own boss, teach your kids entrepreneurship skills, or start a new venture in life, and work from home or anywhere on the planet.

Getting Started

  • Six-Figure Second Income (Book) – This is the book to read to get an overview of how to build an online business.  It helps you get a bit picture view of how all the parts fit together.  It also helps you plan your product or service to generate passive income.


  • SBI! (Site Build It) (Training + Online Business Platform) – This is one of the best ways to start a home-based business.  SBI! includes a platform, a process, training, tools, and support to start your business. It’s some of the best nuts-and-bolts training for picking a niche, planning your content, generating targeted traffic, and earning passive income.

Make Passive Income Writing Books

  • Brian Tracy’s Rich with eBooks Course – If you want to make money writing books, this will help you understand the end-to-end process of writing, editing, and publishing a book, and how to be more effective as an author in terms of selling more books.

Make Passive Income Teaching Courses

  • Teleseminar Mastery Course (Virtual Training) – Dr. Cha-zay shows you how to build a 6-figure automated business, and earn passive income. Learn how to create live, semi-automated and fully automated teleseminars. Get paid to teach the world what you are passionate about. Pre-record your sessions without an audience, and sell as products.


One of the most important questions you can answer in life is, “What do you want to spend more time doing?”

As you think about your career, think in terms of jobs, careers, and life’s work.  Jobs pay the bills, careers move up the ladder, but your life’s work is where you will find meaning and fulfillment.

John Thurman said it best when he said, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

  • The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do (Book), by Jeff Goins — The The Art of Work is about doing the work you love and living your work in a way that your work becomes your ultimate form of self-expression.  When your life is one portfolio of your interests, passions, and activities, and you treat your calling as a lifestyle, your work becomes a never-ending source of inspiration and fulfillment.
  • Work from the Inside Out: Seven Steps to Loving What You Do (Book), by Nancy O’Hara — We can find meaning in our jobs—but the first thing we have to do is look within ourselves.  After all, wherever we go, there we are.  The grass might look greener, but we can turn any grass brown, if we don’t first change how we approach our work, from the inside out.


  • The Science of Self-Confidence Training Kit, by Brian Tracy — Brian Tracy teaches you how to think the way people with self-confidence think, how to become empowered, and how to eliminate your doubts and fears, in every area of your life.


  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (Book), by Michael Michalko – This is the ultimate handbook for creative thinking.  It’s a massive collection of creative thinking techniques that you can immediately apply to solve problems in business and in life.  It helps you rethink the way you think.
  • Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck (Toolkit), by Michael Michalko — This is a deck of illustrated cars of techniques for creative thinking.  Spark fresh insights and stimulate ideas as you shuffle, mix, and match the cards.

Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotional Intelligence (Book), by Daniel Goleman — We have “two minds” — the rational and the emotional — and together they shape our destiny and impact our success and happiness.  Learn 5 crucial skills of emotional intelligence to improve your well-being, your success, and your relationships in work and life.
  • Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) (Book), by Chade-Meng Tan – This is a surprisingly simple, and surprisingly insightful guide to mastering Emotional Intelligence through meditation and inner-engineering.  Tan masterfully shows you how to work on yourself from the inside out, to focus on what you control and let the rest go.   You’ll find that the world reflects back at you, the calmness, clarity, and compassion that you create on the inside.


Getting Started

  • The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness (Book), by Dave Ramsey — This is a simple and straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.  Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt, recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths, and secure a nest egg for emergencies and retirement.


  • Financial Peace University (DVD Home Study), by Dave Ramsey — Learn the Seven Baby Steps to saving money, how to relate to money, how to do cash flow planning, how to dump your debt, how to be a conscious consumer, how to evaluate the role of insurance in your life, how to plan for college and retirment, how to win when buying or selling your home, and how to improve your finances, business, and relationships through generosity.
  • Suze Orman’s Financial Guidebook: Put the 9 Steps to Work (Book), by Suze Orman – This is a hands-on guide to taking control of your financial situation.  Learn the most important points in 9 Steps. Use the work sheets and self-assessment tests for each step so you can take full inventory of your spending habits and attitudes toward money.


  • MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Book), by Tony Robbins —  Tony Robbins walks you through the steps to become financially free by creating a lifetime income plan.  It’s a big book, but Tony uses metaphors and story throughout the book to make complex financial concepts simple and actionable.
  • The Intelligent Investor (Book), by Benjamin Graham — No gimmicks, no guarantees, no fluff — just solid insight and action at the core of all good portfolio management.


Getting Started

  • Goals: Setting And Achieving Them On Schedule (Audio CDs) by Zig Ziglar — Zig breaks down goal setting into a 7-step formula for defining your immediate and long-term goals and then how to realize your dreams.  He can help you turn ideas into action and results.


  • Goals! (Audio CD), by Brian Tracy – Learn the basics of goal setting and action planning.  Tracy shows you how to get everything you want – faster than you ever thought possible.


  • Goal Mastery for Personal and Financial Achievement, by Brian Tracy – Master the fundamentals of goal setting and action planning.  A proven process for developing a powerful new mindset to finally achieve your financial, personal and professional goals-in 90 days or less.  Master the seven key elements of goal setting and the 12 steps that are necessary for you to set and accomplish any goal, any size.

Influence and Change

Getting Started

  • How To Win Friends and Influence People (Book), by Dale Carnegie — This is a classic and it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals.  Learn how to deal with people so that they feel important and appreciated.  Learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment.


  • Insiders Guide to the Art of Persuasion (Audio CDs), by Dr. Rick Kirschner — This is probably the most comprehensive and effective interpersonal skills and influence program there is.  It’s 6.5 hours (8 volumes, 32 tracks)  of hard-core training delivered in a fun and simple way.  It covers scenarios like how to motivate people to change their minds and behavior, how to gain useful insights into how people think and feel, how to shape your ideas to speak to the interests and needs of others, how to deal with questions, objections, and outright opposition, and how to become more calm, confident, and relaxed when speaking up and speaking out.


  •  Fearless Change Patterns (Book), by by Mary Lynn Manns, Ph.D. and Linda Rising, Ph.D. – What I find helpful is it creates a shared vocabulary for some of the situations and scenarios we run into during change and transformation.  It’s nice to have simple labels for the ideas and concepts (the patterns.)  It also helps inspire people with ideas on how to successfully share an idea, build coalitions, deal with resistance, find their courage, and take bold action or champion a cause – with skill.  (Check out the free “Fearless Change Flashcards”)
  • More Fearless Change: Strategies for Making Your Ideas Happen (Book), by Mary Lynn Mannis, Ph.D. and Linda Rising, Ph.D. — This adds new patterns to the change patterns collection, as well as 15 new change leadership strategies.  Whether you are a change agent, a change leader, a change artist, or you find yourself on the receiving end of change and transformation, this book will arm you with a vast collection of actionable insights and nuggets to better understand the art and science of change.

Interpersonal and People Skills

Getting Started

  • Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst (Book), by Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner — Learn how to get things done and get along when you’re dealing with people who have the uncanny ability to sabotage, derail, and interfere with your plans, needs, and wants.


  • How to Click with People: The Secret to Better Relationships in Business and in Life (Book), by Dr. Rick Kirschner – Learn from the master of interpersonal skills.  With some people, you just click.  With others you don’t.  What if you could click with more people?  While clicking might seem like an instantaneous thing, where it happens or it doesn’t, it’s not.  According to Dr. Rick Kirschner, this connection isn’t a magical phenomenon — it’s a communication skill that can be learned with specific steps and techniques.
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People (Book), by Dale Carnegie — This is a classic and it’s a great way to learn the fundamentals.  Learn how to deal with people so that they feel important and appreciated.  Learn how to make people like you, win people over to your way of thinking, and change people without causing offense or arousing resentment.


  • Antipatterns: Identification, Refactoring, and Management (Book), by Phillip Laplante and Colin Neill — This is a catalog of 48 bad management practices and environments.  It covers antipatterns of management, along with environmental/cultural antipatterns and personality antipatterns/phenotypes.  The classification helps you correctly identify problems in your work environment and take action to correct them.
  • Coping with Difficult Bosses (Book), by Robert Bramson – Bramson helps anyone who has ever been demoralized, disconcerted, or mildly depressed by tyrannical bosses who bully, buffalo, sneak, and otherwise weasel their way into their employees’ lives.


As John Maxwell puts it, “Leadership is influence.”  Don’t think of leadership as a position.  It’s a way of being.  Leadership is for everyone, and everyone can be a leader.  When you lead, lead from the inside out.  Start with yourself – personal leadership.  Expand your sphere of influence to your team, your organization, your community, etc.

Getting Started



Mind / Intellectual Horsepower

  • How To Have A Beautiful Mind (Book), be Edward de Bono — No matter how you look, if you have a mind that’s fascinating, creative, exciting – if you’re a good thinker – you can be beautiful.  Use your imagination and creativity to be a better thinker.
  • The Mechanism of Mind (Book) by Edward de Bon — Understand how your mind works, so you can maximize your memory and your creative potential.   One part of the book is like an owner’s manual, while the other part of the book is more like a driver’s guide with tips and insights on how to make the most of it.


Getting Started


Personal Development

Getting Started


  • Personal Development for Smart People (Book), by Steve Pavlina  – This is a great book for building a strong foundation in personal development.  Learn the seven universal principles behind all successful growth efforts: truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage, and intelligence.   Learn how to apply the principles to real-world challenges including health, relationships, career, finances, and more.
  • The Personal Mastery Program, by Srikumar S. Rao (Audio CDs) – The Personal Mastery Program is one of the most powerful personal development programs I know when it comes to inner-engineering, building better habits, and changing how you respond to the  world around you.
  • Unlimited Power (Book), by Tony Robbins – This is a great book for learning how to master your mind, body, and emotions to produce better results.   You’ll also learn how to use role models to accelerate your success by modeling their success.


  • Anthony Robbin’s Personal Power II (Audio CDs) – Personal Power II is the program that really taught me how to model success, be more resourceful, unleash more of what I’m capable of, and continuously improve key areas of my life.
  • Jim Rohn’s Classic Collection (DVDs) – This is a timeless collection that teaches you some of the greatest success principles and recipes for success the world has ever known.   The Classic Collection is a combo set (18 DVDs and 18 CDs) compiled from the original videotapes from Jim’s 2-day leadership weekend seminar.  The CD are a treasure-trove of Jim’s best lessons and life-changing ideas.


Getting Started

  • Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life (Book), by J.D. Meier – Learn a simple system for achieving better results in work and life.  Use your best energy for your best results, and learn how value is the ultimate short-cut.  Design your ideal day and ideal week so that you spend more time in your strengths, and less time in things that drain you.


  • 30 Days of Getting Results (Self-Paced Training) by J.D. Meier – Master time management, work-life balance, and productivity through simple, daily lessons and exercises.  30 Days of Getting Results combines the best practices I’ve learned for thinking, feeling, and taking action.  It’s the same system I use to mentor individuals, leaders, and teams for improving their results.
  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (Book), by David Allen – Learn the fundamentals of personal productivity and managing tasks.  Improve your focus and workflow and actually finish what you start.
  • Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life (Book), by Tonianne DeMaria Barry and Jim Benson – A Kanban helps you visualize workflow and limit work in progress.  You can apply these concepts to work and life to flow more value and have a balcony view of what you’re working on, what matters, and where the bottlenecks are.



  • Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: Practical Guide for Improving Communication (Book), by John Gray — Gray provides a better way to communicate by acknowledging differences in needs, desires, and behaviors.  You can use Gray’s evidence-based insight to help you strengthen and nurture your relationships for life.
  • Love and Passion: Ultimate Relationship Program (Audio CDs), by Tony Robbins — Experience what’s possible when you transform your beliefs, eliminate your fears and master the fundamental skills necessary to create your ultimate relationship.  Tony and Sage Robbins share the tools, insights and principles to figure out where you really are in your relationships, where you want to be and what’s stopping you from having it all.  Learn a results-oriented approach for attracting your ideal life partner, strengthening your relationship and reignite the passion you and your partner once shared.

Remember that the ultimate tool is always your mind, and it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it.  Also, remember that with knowledge, its not what you know, it’s what you apply.  Knowledge is only power if you apply it.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links.  Please understand that I have experience with all of these products and I recommend them because I found them useful or insightful.  Please don’t spend any money on products unless you think they will help you achieve your goals.