Self-help, self-development, personal development or self-improvement. Call it whatever you like, but there’s no doubt that this is a huge area with lots of ‘gurus’ out there teaching and preaching their beliefs. You can say it’s almost cult-like. Either way, we all know the benefits of reading books. So how do we separate the pretenders, block out the noise and find where the real value is? Who should you be following and which books should you read? It’s easy to get confused by all the hype surrounding books. Do you go for the best seller? A friend recommended the book? Or maybe you saw it mentioned on tv? Or some people you follow and respect mentioned the book?
“Books showed me there were possibilities in life, that there were people like me living in a world I could not only aspire to but attain. Reading gave me hope. For me, it was the open door.” – Oprah Winfrey
This post will make your choice easier. We’ve compiled all these influencers and asked them this question:
I know that there’s not one best personal development book of all time. Different people go through different things and need a different push. Some relate to specific authors, writing styles or even niches. This post is here to give you a list of the number 1 book that has helped these influencers tremendously in their lives. Some books are best sellers, some you might hear for the first time. Some books are almost a hundred years old, some just written. But all the books listed are great in their own way.
If you’re short on time and are interested in summaries or audiobooks, you can check out our Blinkist app review or Audible. How does Audible work? Check out our write up on it! (Please read the review before making any decision on the two. They might not be the best match for everyone.)
Audiobooks can be a great way to read and learn. If you find it difficult to finish a book, this is a great option. If you’re short on time, you can listen to it while driving or exercising. It helps you relax while you learn from the book. The time saved is incredible. I can listen for hours a day, hours that I would never have had reading a physical book. I love physical books, but audiobooks can be an excellent option too. You can try Audible or Audiobooks for a free trial if you’re looking for a good one.
How To Use This List
I genuinely believe this list will bring a ton of value to you. My suggestion would be to bookmark this page and come back whenever you need a new self-help book to read. The list is filled with hundreds of great books that each have their unique message.
Please remember to share if you like it and comment below if you see your book or have one that is not listed!
Top Self-Help Books Chosen By Our Experts
Here is a list of the top books. These are books picked over and over again by different influencers, and it is clear why they chose these books! This list is arranged by the number of picks it got, but that doesn’t mean that the top book is the best book of all time. There are over a hundred books in the whole post and here are the ones mentioned the most. I know for a fact that you can get as much value from book#11 as you can get from book #1.
We have a good diversity of books recommended from self-help books for women and men, books about productivity, speaking, sales, psychology, autobiography, storybooks and lots more. I’m sure that if you’re looking for helpful books, you’ll find one that will have a massive impact on your life. With over 150 books in this post, here are the top books as chosen by the influencers:
1. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
For 80 plus years Dale Carnegie has taught us how we should treat each other. Regardless of your identity or what you do, this self-help book should have on your bookshelf. If you follow Carnegie’s teachings, making friends and being able to influence them will be a natural occurrence.
Carnegie teaches that to succeed in life, you must put others first. Then, communicate to that person that they own that number one spot. Therefore, you should be honest and sincere.
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain about the other person. If you want others to like you, remember their name, smile at them, and be a good listener.
If you want to get a person to see your point, you must make an investment in them. You must be able to see their point of view first. Don’t lecture them, allow them to save face, and give the person a reputation to live up to.
Carnegie learned the art of influence while working as a salesman. Later, he researched how the world’s greatest leaders earned their success. He shared his research and knowledge in this book, which was first published in 1936.
It’s currently one of the greatest books of all times.
2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Often, we don’t stop from our daily activities long enough to reflect on where we are right now. The Power of Now is about being in the present. What happened yesterday is already gone, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Tomorrow has not come yet, so we cannot experience what has not happened yet. If we want to know who we really are, we must be honest about what happens at this moment. Trying to do anything else will only cause unwanted pain and confusion.
Once we learn how to live in the present, we will be enlightened and find true happiness. In this amazing book, Eckhart Tolle teaches us how to do just that. Oprah Winfrey and many others have praise for this book.
Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author who grew up in Germany. At twenty-nine years of age, he underwent a radical transformation that led him on an inner journey. The course of his life was forever changed.
3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
If you have a desire to succeed there are 7 habits that you should develop. In this article, we provide a summary of the meaning of the 7 habits taught by Covey. The first three habits began with a person’s ability to be a master of his or her self.
You should be willing to do what it takes to make things happen. Know where you want to end up before you start. Start with the things that are most important first. The next three habits deal with how to interact with others.
Your actions must yield positive results for everyone.
Attempt to understand others before trying to explain your views.
Develop a strong team by working together. The final habit takes us back full circle with a reminder about the need to keep improving upon the other six.Keep learning.
Since it was first published in 1989, there have been over 25 million copies of this book. It is in print in over 40 languages. College students, entrepreneurs, business owners, corporate presidents, and Presidents of the United States of America value Covey’s words.
In 2011, this book was one of the 25 most influential books for business management.
4. The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
What would you do if there were no limits? How far could you go if there were no boundaries? Your potential would be limitless.
Too often, it is the thoughts in their head and their emotions that hold people back from their greatest accomplishments. They form unhealthy habits that keep them locked into patterns that keep them from moving forward in life. In this book, Singer teaches how yoga and meditation can help you release the positive energy locked inside of you.
Who are you? This is the question that Singer helps us answer. The true person is inside of the body. We are not our body.
We are not our thoughts or our emotions, but we are the being that has various experiences. We are the soul, which is an awareness of who we are.
Participating in the process of meditation and the lessons taught by Singer, many have experienced an awakening of the soul. Along with that awakening come a new sense of self and an understanding of the truth that lies within.
Michael Singer is the founder of a yoga and meditation centre where people go to experience inner peace. Singer has two other books on philosophy.
5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Don Miguel Ruiz, a native elder, gives his readers four agreements that will help transform their life. He bases his teachings on Toltec wisdom. Consider how your life would change if you followed these simple rules?
Speak positive truths about yourself and others. Some will call this, speaking things into existence.
Don’t automatically think that it’s about you. Thinking that everything is about you could be a form of vanity. Most things that people do have to do with who they are and have nothing to do with anyone else.
What a person perceives as being about them is simply a projection of the other person’s beliefs.
Never assume anything. So many people act on what they think they know and don’t ask questions to gain clarification. That amounts to acting on a falsehood, which produces less than desirable results.
No matter what, do your best. Understand that your best will change as the situation changes. So, your best today will not be the same as your best on tomorrow.
Don Miguel Ruiz was born in Mexico. He was the youngest child in a family with thirteen children. Two life-changing moments shaped his worldview, causing him to seek greater understanding.
6. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
However, the truth is that there are no guarantees. A person can do all the right things and still barely have enough money to pay their bills.
Robert Kiyosaki had the benefit of having two dads who gave him advice about providing for the future. One was his biological father. The other one was an adopted father, who was the father of Kiyosaki’s best friend.
His real dad got a good education and worked hard all his life. His adopted father took the non-traditional route and got all his education was from the “Street University.”
His adopted father didn’t go to college. He didn’t get the 9 to 5 job or work twenty years for the gold retirement watch.
Instead, his adopted dad became an entrepreneur, which led him to become one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. Kiyosaki shares the lessons he learned from his adopted father and challenges his readers. This information he shares changes his reader’s beliefs about what it takes to succeed in life.
7. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Many people seek worldly treasures and are willing to do whatever it takes to find them. Some gamble at casinos, play the state lottery, make wild investments, and are even willing to gamble with their life. Others go off on wild adventures seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
In this book, join Santiago, a shepherd boy who travels the world seeking worldly treasure. He leaves Spain, goes to Morocco, and eventually ends up in Egypt. That is where he meets an alchemist who guides him toward spiritual enlightenment and self-understanding.
Discover the people he meets and the things he finds, which far exceeds his expectations. In addition to the experience of the journey, you will learn valuable life lessons along the way. The first lesson deals with overcoming fears.
If a person is too afraid to let go of the familiar they will never seek the unknown. Therefore, they will never find the treasures that are waiting for them to discover. Another lesson is about overcoming obstacles.
There are no easy paths in life. At some point, we come to realize that nothing worthwhile will be easy. This book is both inspirational and life-changing.
8. You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
If you’ve read all the self-help books on the market, the last thing you might want is another self-help book. Except, you might want to read this one. Sincero does not teach you how to meditate or do yoga; you already know how to do that.
Jen Sincero gets direct to the point in her assessment of what it takes to succeed. She gives readers the type of pep talk you would expect from a coach whose team is down at halftime. So, if you don’t want to spend time sitting around the campfire holding hands, this is your book.
Sincero, aka dream builder, gives it to you straight. She’s semi-abrasive, feisty, and funny. As a success coach, she has helped numerous people change their lives, both personal and professionally.
She communicates with her clients through email, public appearances, newsletters, and her books. She lets them know that they are already prepared for their journey. All they need to do is get up and start. Originally from California, she gave up her home in 2011 to travel the world. She encourages others to let go of their fears and live the awesome life that they are destined to live.
9. The Compound Effect By Darren Hardy
If you want to know where you will end up in the future, look at the decisions you’re making today. According to the teachings of Darren Hardy, it is as simple as that. Every decision will either take you closer to your dreams or move you away from them.
This book offers an easy step-by-step guide on how to increase the potential for you to become successful. It also shows you how to document your progress, and reach your goal. Hardy’s words of wisdom will be challenging and inspiring to anyone who refuses to accept mediocracy.
The principles in this book have been tested and proven to work. Success does not have to be complicated. You can learn how to use the gifts and talents that you possess to achieve the results that you desire.
Hardy is an experienced leader in the industry of personal development. Having led two television networks, Darren Hardy has a lot of nuggets to share with his readers.
Hardy is the publisher and editorial director of Success Magazine. He has the opportunity to speak with successful CEOs, athletes, entertainers, and others. In this book, he shares the precious nuggets on success that he has gleaned.
10. Essentialism by Greg McKeown
How do you know if you are putting your efforts in the right things? Do you want to do things that will help you get the results you desire? You don’t want to grab the ball, shoot the layup in the wrong basket, scoring for the other team.
If you are not working on the right things, we may as well not be doing anything at all. Especially if you do not see results from your hard work.
Many people are stressed out, burnt out, and in danger of passing out from their need to do it all. Instead of being like hamsters on a treadmill getting nowhere, McKeown teaches us how to do less and achieve more.
McKeown reminds us that the word, “no” is part of our vocabulary and there are times when using it is appropriate. To achieve greatness, we must stay focused on things that move us closer to our goal, not away from it.
Greg McKeown is a business writer and consultant who is originally from England. As the author and co-author of many books, he has inspired numerous people. He encourages readers to stop saying “yes” to everyone else’s dreams while saying “no” to their own.
11. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck has spent a year at Stanford conducting research on the theory of mindsets. She believes that the way we think about our skills and the actions determine whether we will achieve our goals.
Dweck describes two types of mindsets – fixed and growth. A person who has a fixed mindset will not be changed, because they believe their skills and intelligence cannot improve. People with a growth mindset believe anything is possible if they are dedicated and work hard to achieve it.
One of the examples, Dweck uses for a fixed mindset, both individually and collectively, is Enron. In a business culture that represents a fixed mindset, the environment of that organization is one where employees appear talented. Employees only act as if they are talented.
In a fixed mindset environment, employees focus is on the person and not the product. No fixed mindset organization will change without a change in the leader’s mindset. Dweck illustrates this principle in Chapter 4, where she tells the story of a baseball player named Billy Beane.
Beane was drafted as a baseball player with natural talent and a fixed mindset. When the competition became more challenging, Beane learned that his natural abilities alone would not allow him to remain competitive. He had to change his fixed mindset to a growth mindset.Get The Book Here
12. Rising Strong by Brené Brown
Brene Brown shares the stories of people from all walks of life to teach that there is power in emotion. Everyone from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to stay-at-home moms, allow themselves to be vulnerable in telling their stories. Everyone has a story.
When the journey of storytelling begins, it can be dangerous. The process of walking through the story is what develops courage. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the story is, there is something to learn from it.
Brown contends that no matter how brave a person is, as they try to live wholeheartedly, they will always fall. With Brown’s help, readers learn how to accept that everyone is vulnerable and can let go of shame and fear.
Through the stories, including those from her own life, Brown challenges the reader to think about their own relationships. One story is about a strong discussion or argument she had with her husband. Readers will easily see themselves between the lines of the stories told.
Brown’s guidance makes it easy for readers to dig deep into the stories about themselves. By owning their stories, readers will be able to choose how to engage with the world. The most powerful thing about writing your stories is the ability to write the ending.
13. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
This New York Times bestseller shows readers how to work less and spend more time doing what they love. Ferriss explains how he increased his salary from $40,000 per year to $40,000 a month. His work week went from 80 hours a week to 4 hours a week.
In his updated book, Ferriss shares over 50 tips and case studies from others whose incomes have doubled or increased. These are practical tips from readers who followed the principles Ferris taught in the original book.
Jack Canfield, the co-creator of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” which sold over a million copies, speaks highly of this book. Follow these examples, and it will revolutionize your life.
What do you want to achieve in life and how do you want to live? If you can answer those two questions, Ferris can help you accomplish your goal. Part of the key to succeeding is analyzing daily habits, deciding which ones are most productive, and eliminating the rest.
Ferris’s book is also the number 1 recommended business book in an interview of over 97 online entrepreneurs. See the post: 200+ Business Books: Recommended by Business Professionals
Ferriss has three New York Times bestsellers. They include the 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef. As a start-up business advisor, he specialises in public relations, positioning, and marketing.
14. Mastery by Robert Greene
To become a master over anything in life involves hard work. Greene provides persons willing to embark on the journey towards the mastery of ideas and strategies to help them be successful. The first thing a person must do is find their purpose in life.
The two strategies mentioned for finding your purpose are finding the perfect niche and letting go of the past. Greene refers to the strategy of finding your niche as the Darwin strategy. Letting go of the past is the adaptation strategy.
The next phase, which has three steps, in the process of achieving mastery is the apprentice phase. The next phases covered involve learning through a mentor, social intelligence, and awakening the dimensional mind. Mastery is the last section covered.
Robert Green, who resides in Los Angeles, received his education from U.C. Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His followers are in Washington D.C., within the business world, and in entertainment with musicians like 50 Cent and Jay-Z.
15. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Published 25 years ago, this book was inspirational for millions of people. The premise of the book is the principle that the natural direction of life is a creative expression. The authors lead the readers on a twelve-week program designed to help them recover their creativity.
Many things that occur in life can rob a person of their creativity. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the book, “Eat, Pray, Love,” has only high praise for the book, “The Artist’s Way.” She gives this book credit for her ability to complete her memoir.
Cameron connects creativity to spirituality, as she teaches readers how to contact the creative energies of the universe.
Julia Cameron, an artist with over thirty years of experience, has authored over thirty books. She writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her books about the creative process are, “The Artist’s Way, Walking in This World, Finding Water, and The Writing Diet.”
Cameron is also a poet, playwright, novelist, and songwriter. One of her latest projects is “Julia Cameron Live,” which is an online course and artists’ community that she leads. For this comprehensive project, Cameron allowed the cameras into her home.
16. Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins
Published in 1992, with over 500 pages, this book is a collection of strategies for creating change. Robbins teaches that people don’t change because they don’t know the reason why they developed their bad habits. He gives readers tools to help them make conscious decisions as opposed to unconscious bad habits.
For over 30 years, Anthony Robbins has helped people take charge of their lives and move to a new level. This book is another tool that will help empower readers to reach a level of self-fulfillment. It doesn’t matter what level they start on; they will achieve even greater results once they read this book.
Over 50 million people credit Anthony Robbins with helping them change their lives for the better. Robbins offers a wide selection of audio programs, books, and health products. He teaches people how to get unstuck so they can take the next step forward.
His clients include everyone from presidents of countries, legends in the entertainment industry, athletics, and businessmen. He also helps students, parents, and persons who own small businesses. Robbins is especially proud of his work as a humanitarian.
He is a New York Times bestselling author, who lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
17. The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday teaches us how many of the world’s most successful people had to overcome difficult obstacles. People like Amelia Earhart, John D. Rockefeller, and Ulysses S. Grant were able to get past situations that seemed impossible. They did it through applied stoicism.
This book is a gem collection of true stories to inspire anyone who is feeling frustrated with their life. It has become a classic. Among its fans are Arnold Schwarzenegger, LL Cool J, and the coaches of many professional sports teams.
Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that involves enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. The Stoics focus their attention on the things they can control rather than the things they can’t. Every obstacle is an opportunity to improve, grain strength, and become tough.
Holiday has a small ranch near Austin, Texas. Dropping out of college at the age of nineteen, Holiday became an apprentice and studied with Robert Greene. Green is the successful author of the book, Mastery.
Holiday has served as the marketing director for American Apparel. His company, Brass Check, has served clients like Complex, Google, and TASER. This book has been translated and available for sale in seventeen foreign languages.
18. Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser
When we go through periods of transition, they stress, and adversity is often part of the package. How we go through the change has a lot to do with how we will look on the other side. We always have a choice to make in how we face the challenges of life.
Our choices are to embrace the change, run from it, shut down, or allow ourselves to be broken and transformed. This book is a testament to the rich potential to heal and grow that each of us possesses within us. Instead of staying stuck in grief and misfortunes, we can turn that grief into joy.
Lesser uses true stories about ordinary people who now live a deeper and fuller life. The change was a result of a choice they made or a situation they could not ignore. Some of their stories involve sickness, divorce, betrayal, the death of a loved one, or some other life-changing challenge.
Like the people in the stories she tells, Lesser has also had her share of challenges. She admits struggling to submit to the process of being broken open to rising. The Phoenix, the mystical bird that rose from the ashes, has become a symbol of the man’s ability rise.
19. Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
This is truly a self-help book designed to help you meet the challenges that people face every day. While catastrophic events can interrupt our lives, often it is the daily events that can leave us frozen. This book helps people break the ice to get unstuck.
Rubin talks about things such as the need to eat healthier, stop procrastinating, and exercise more. We may have developed bad habits that keep us from life mastery, but we can replace them with good habits. Rubin has created a guide to help lay the foundation for a better life.
Rubin describes four motivation types that people fall into. When a person is aware of their motivation type, they can learn to take on new habits. Are you a questioner, upholder, obliger, or rebel?
Grethen Rubin is noted as one of the most thought-provoking authors’ happiness, human nature, and habits. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the book, “Happier at Home and the Happiness Project.”
Rubin began her career in law and was once a clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She is married and has two daughters. She lives with her family in New York City.
20. Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting by Lynn Grabhorn
There is nothing that can help a person heal and change their lives for the better than laughter. When you read Grabhorn’s book, you will laugh, you will cry, you will heal. For the first time, someone tells you that you don’t have to ignore your feelings.
While others focus on the power of positive thinking, Grabhorn directs our attention to the power of feelings. Our feelings are the things that have a profound impact on every moment of our daily life. We should not ignore them, but we should embrace them and learn from them.
A true assessment of our feelings to discover what they truly mean can help turn our lives around. Grabhorn was the person who introduced millions of readers to the Law of Attraction. The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 151,000 copies.
Lynn Grabhorn has started her working life in the advertising field in New York City. She founded and managed an audiovisual educational publishing company. She also owned and managed a mortgage brokerage firm in Washington State. Grabhorn’s books have received praise from people worldwide. Lynn died in 2004 at her home in Olympia, Washington.
21. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson
This is a refreshing self-help book. It’s clear from the word go that Manson doesn’t take himself all that seriously. He aims to give you good, solid advice that’s actionable. If you’re tired of self-help books that pontificate about positivity and affirmations, you’re going to love this one.
Manson adopts a no-B.S. approach to improving your life; he freely admits that life is not always going to go to plan. His way of dealing with this is refreshingly simple: he believes that we all need to learn what is most important.
He doesn’t believe in whistling a happy tune and pretending that everything will be fine. That’s part of what makes this book genius. Not many people turn to a self-help book if everything is going according to plan. Maintaining a positive attitude when life is going well is easy. When it’s not, the last thing that you need is someone telling you to think happy thoughts.
If you’re having a bad day, reach for this book. It’s very well-written and funny. There’s a lot of information, but it’s presented so well that you won’t notice the time passing by. If you’re sick of all the books spouting New Age philosophies, this is the perfect antidote.
22. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
When it comes to the subject of healing, Hay speaks to her readers from her own experiences. Unfortunately, she has a lot of firsthand information about the process of healing. Hay was cured of a cancer diagnosis.
Louise Hay teaches readers that they can heal their life. After reading this book, readers will have a different view of disease. The disease that affects us the most is not physical, but emotional and spiritually sick.
Our body’s reaction to external forces causes disease. Hay shares with her readers how to healing the mind and spirit and heal physical disease. The method used to heal is affirmations.
Affirmations are positive thoughts and messages that the reader writes and read aloud every day. When the messages are read aloud, they are reinforced in the person’s mind. It is a simple, but effective strategy. Originally published in 1984, Hay’s book remains among the top selling self-help books of all times. It has sold more than 35 million copies.
23. The Greatest Salesman In the World by Og Mandino
The ten scrolls contain the secrets to becoming the greatest salesman. They are also the laws of success for everyone who reads the book.
Mandino instructs readers to read Scroll I (Chapter 8) three times a day for thirty days straight. They should move to Scroll II (Chapter 9) only after they have completed reading scroll I for 30 days. The same pattern should be followed for moving to the next scrolls.
Readers will learn that there is no such thing as giving up or failure. The salesman will persist until he or she succeeds. Failure, which is equal to a slaughterhouse, will not be the destiny of the individual who refuses to quit.
Mandino’s message to readers is that they need to take action and not put things off until later. Scroll IX repeats the instruction of taking action. Because of the popularity and valuable lessons presented in this book that has helped so many, the book was reissued in 1983. In 1993, a hardcover version was published. It also exists as an audiobook.
24. Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch
The movie’s producer is Stephen Simon, the same person who produced “Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come.” The movie tells the stories of Walsch’s life. It shows how he went from being an unemployed, homeless man to the author of a best-selling book.
Walsch is a speaker with a powerful messenger. His words continue to touch the world in profound ways. He was involved in religion at an early age and felt deeply connected to spirituality. He spent most his life becoming successful professionally, but he still searched for those things that had deep spiritual meaning.
“Conversations with God” has redefined people’s view of God and created a spiritual paradigm. Walsch created several outreaches because of the responses from the book and movie. He lives with his wife, the American poet Em Claire, in Oregon.
25. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
War is an art. This book has been around since 2002, inspiring millions of people to destroy “Resistance.” It teaches people to recognise and dismantle any barrier that blocks dreams. The naysayers are silenced.
The enemy that every person must face at one point in his or her life is the one that tries to keep them from succeeding. Although this book is addressed to writers, it has proven to be valuable to people of all professions. Once a person finishes reading this book, writer’s block will be a thing of the past.
Involved in every profession is some form of creativity that needs to be unlocked. This book helps the reader learn how to overcome their fears to reach their greatest potential. The blank pages will disappear. The author shows how to do battle with the four horsemen of the Apologetic described as procrastination, rationalization, inertia, and sloth.
Steven Pressfield has authored many books. Pressfield’s novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance became a movie featuring Will Smith and Matt Damon. He began his independent publishing company in 2012. His business partner is his editor and friend, Shawn Coyne.
26. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Published in February 2012, this book looks at the science behind how habits are created and reformation. This book examines those habits that are engrained in our subconscious and become part of our daily routine. Habits like smoking and drinking are hard to break because they become part of who we are.
Readers will come away from reading this book with the tools that it takes to determine what triggers our habits. By knowing the origin of our habits, it will help us to be able to break them. Duhigg also teaches us how to establish new habits by giving them cues and then a reward.
Duhigg teaches that there are three kinds of habits: individual, organizational and societal. He illustrates the principles using stories about the accomplishments of persons such as Tony Dungy, Michael Phelps, and Rick Warren.
Duhigg emphasises that our habits are the fruit of many small decisions. We can change outcomes by changing our habits. The book has sections on corporations like Starbucks and people like Rosa Parks. Charles Duhigg is a New York Times reporter. This book has reached the bestseller list for The New York Times, Amazon.com, and USA Today.
27. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
First published in 1959, this book has been around almost 60 years inspiring readers to accomplish great things. Schwartz teaches the reader that it is important to set high goals.
The only thing that separates people who are successful is that they think bigger than those who are not successful.
People think too small and therefore, cannot see themselves as being successful. If a person can see themselves accomplishing the goals, they can do what they visualize. Schwartz provides readers with the tools it takes to be able to see the manifestation of their goals coming true.
Another lesson in the book is that you must believe that you will be successful. Also, don’t be afraid to fail. These two lessons alone are so valuable to a person’s success.
Many people will never try to accomplish their dreams because of fear. One of the biggest fears is that they will not be successful. Failure is only a part of the process of finding out what does not work. Dr. David J. Schwartz was a professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta and the president of Creative Educational Services, Inc., a consulting firm specialising in leadership development. He died in 1987.
28. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book was called a Hot Fall read by USA Today and several other magazines. Book Riot and Brainpicking named it the best book of the year. For anyone who is hoping to be inspired to create, this is the book they must read.
Gilbert has inspired countless numbers of people. Inspiration is a mystery. Gilbert reaches down deep into the process she uses to share insights in the mystery of inspiration. Readers are encouraged to let go of their fears, which is true for anyone who wants to succeed.
Every person has creative jewels hidden within them. Gilbert describes them as strange jewels. They must be uncovered for the creative process to flow naturally. The truths uncovered in this book hold true for the person who wants to write a book, paint a picture, or simply make each day more meaningful.
Gilbert, a gifted writer, is the author of Eat, Pray, Love. She has written several bestselling books. Gilbert writes both fiction and nonfiction. In 2013, The Signature of All Things was named a Best Book of 2013. It was also recognised by several newspapers and magazines.
29. Getting Things Done by David Allen
Allen shares methods the reader can use to be able to accomplish their goals without stress. He contends that productivity is proportional to the ability to relax. It is only when a person’s mind is a clear mind that their thoughts that are clear enough to be productive.
Some of the things that Allen teaches is the importance of staying focused in situations that are constantly changing. Projects should be planned well so that they don’t become stuck. If a person does not feel good about what they are doing, they will not be able to do it.
The basic premise of the whole book is organized. If a person is organized, they can be productive at any given time on any given day. Instead of spending hours sitting on the couch meditating, pull out your cell phone and complete your to-do list.
Allen teaches a two-minute rule, which means if something needs to be done you should do it right now. Set the clock for two minutes and get it done.
30. The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan
This book has been on the best sellers list more than 350 times. It has won a dozen book awards and been translated into almost 30 languages. It has been voted the Top 100 Business Books of All Time on Goodreads. This book is simple but powerful. Companies use it to help their employees become more productive. Churches leaders teach from it and recommend it to their members.
Keller and Papasan teach that you should focus your energy on one thing at a time. This goes against what some others are teaching about multi-tasking and trying to do a million things at one time. To become effective, you must be able to focus. Published in 2013, this book has 240 pages packed with sound advice. The key to doing more is having fewer distractions.
Papasan was an editor with Harper Collins Publishing in New York. He co-authored Gary’s books and is the Vice President of Publishing at Keller Williams. George Keller is the chairman of the Board and co-founder at Keller Williams Realty, Inc. The real estate company is one of the largest real estate companies in the world. His books have sold more than two million copies worldwide.
31. Man’s Search For Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl
Frankl was a prisoner of four different Nazi death camps from 1942 to 1945. By the time he tasted freedom, he’d lost his immediate family and pregnant wife. In this memoir, he recounts horrific memories of what life was like in the camps, including his time spent at Auschwitz.
In order to cope with these traumatic experiences in his own life, Frankl used a method called logotherapy. He went on to treat other patients using this same philosophy.
The “logo” in logotherapy comes from the Greek word meaning. It is an ideology that promotes the idea that people are not driven by pleasure but instead by purpose and what they find meaningful. When Frankl passed in 1997, his book had already sold 10 million copies in 24 languages.
32. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Daring Greatly takes a fresh approach to interpreting vulnerability. As a researcher, Dr. Brown discovered that being vulnerable is not a sign a weakness. On the contrary, being vulnerable takes courage.
Dr. Brown’s method proposes that instead of fearfully avoiding vulnerable situations in our daily lives, we should engage in our lives. We’re fearful because of uncertainty. We don’t want to feel discomfort or rejection, but when we face the unknown, we become stronger just by doing so.
By engaging our hearts fully in our daily interactions, tasks, and challenges we build trust in our communities and ourselves. This book is for anyone who feels stagnant in his or her life. Unleashing your true self to the world is not only possible but will nourish your soul and allow you to live your life fully instead of merely existing in it.
33. You the Healer by Jose Silva
Since the midcentury, Silva has been sharing his mind development program with millions of people worldwide. His program is based on the ideology that every person already has the tools within themselves to overcome obstacles and solve problems by applying critical thinking techniques. It is a program that helps us tap into our unknown mental strength and change the course of our lives.
In this book, Silva shares his mind control techniques with readers in a “user-friendly” format. This approach allows the reader to take advantage of Silva’s system without in-person professional guidance. The program is largely based on correcting negative behaviours that were established earlier in life.
The goal of Silva’s program is for readers to enhance the quality of their lives by correcting bad habits and overcoming insecurity. The method has even been used to overcome illness and addiction. By learning to cope with the stressors of the modern world, readers regain control of their health and happiness.
34. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers are often unexplainable, defying any reasonable cause for their existence. Gladwell, however, examines outliers more closely by studying their roots. Instead of focusing only on what personality traits successful people possess, he turns to understanding the environment that shaped them.
We aren’t born inherently successful, so what is it about our surroundings that effects how far we make it in life? Gladwell argues that culture, familial influences, and the era that the individual was born into are all critical factors in understanding a person’s level of success and how they achieved it.
The author uses examples of successful people from different backgrounds to demonstrate his point. He also focuses on the fact that most successful individuals have paid their dues and put in time in order to become so successful. Perhaps, that is one of the most significant takeaways from Gladwell’s guidance.
35. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Fans of the “little things in life” rejoice, because this book aligns perfectly with your worldview! Do you ponder how trends get started? Or, maybe you’ve wondered at what moment a specific trend exploded into popularity and why.
The tipping point is how Gladwell defines the moment a trend catches on with a broader population. For instance, many major social movements, shifts in technology, and waves in fashion trends begin with one person or a small group of people who may or may not have had the intention of the changing lives at a global scale.
Gladwell delves into the examination of what makes an idea infectious, what builds up to the tipping point. He also sheds light on the types of personalities that are natural-born innovators. His book provides insight into not only how to make a huge impact on society but also how to sustain it.
36. Time to Think by Nancy Kline
Listening is the key to improving our relationships, as well as the way we work and live. Many people think that they are good listeners, but in actuality few truly are. Kline outlines how each of us can engage in the radical act of genuinely listening.
Our “thinking environment” is formed out of ten behaviours outlined by Kline. At its base is learning to give quality attention to people. Her approach is tailored by a desire to help people learn to think for themselves in this ever-changing world truly.
The book takes a “how-to” approach, guiding readers through steps to embrace this method of listening. Through enhancing one of our most important communication skills, not talking at all but instead actually listening, we can strengthen our relationships and the world around us. As demonstrated here, sometimes the simplest acts lead to the most successful large-scale outcomes.
37. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Written during the Great Depression, Think and Grow Rich calls upon readers to reevaluate why they haven’t achieved the success they want in life. For instance, without goals, we cannot achieve anything greater than the lives we have at present. Or for example, if we choose to stay in a mediocre job and that doesn’t make us happy we cannot expect to become successful.
Actively seeking success in our own lives is a choice. By choosing a mindset that embraces the possibility of success, we take control of our lives and triumph over our fears. In large part, becoming wealthy and successful is based on knowing that you can.
As pointed out by Hill, many of history’s most successful individuals did not achieve success until later in life. Young or old though, this book will help you achieve your goals now because there is no need to wait when you decide to take control of your destiny.
38. The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles
You can learn a lot about how to live the life you always dreamed of by studying the works of history’s greatest philosophers, but sifting through that amount of information can seem like a daunting task. Fortunately for all of us, Wattles devoted his life’s work to compiling this very information into a comprehensive, yet slender book.
The book contains information on spirituality, philosophy, self-help, and more, all with one end goal in mind: prosperity! You can achieve the wealth you want, but first, you have to learn how to embrace a new way of thought, in order to be able to face any obstacles that you may come across fearlessly.
Some people think of the accumulation of wealth as something that creates division. The truth is that your ability to succeed and get rich will actually inspire the people around you!
39. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart’s book Power of Now, a spiritual guide to living in the present, sold millions of copies around the world. In his follow up A New Earth you’ll learn how to build on this technique by overcoming the ego, the biggest self-made barrier we each face. The benefits of this technique do not simply stop with the individual though, in fact, it has the power to heal on a much larger societal scale.
As outlined in Eckhart’s book, it’s necessary to let go of the ego because attachment to the ego leads to dysfunction in our daily lives. Dysfunction results in negative emotions like jealousy and anger. By transcending past the barriers of the ego, we awaken the opportunity to heal our own suffering and achieve personal happiness.
If you want to build a better life and better world, then add this book to your reading list. You’ll be enlightened, inspired, and ready to take action.
40. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson
Anyone afraid of change needs to read this book! Dr. Johnson points out that we have the capacity to face change and that it’s actually our attitude about change that causes us harm. Change is inevitable, so the faster you come to accept it the better off you’ll be.
The book tells the story of two mice and two miniature humans in a maze after some cheese. In your life, the cheese may be a job, relationship, or even your health. The message is that we have to take unexpected turns to find that cheese and that we have to be willing to find a new source when the cheese has run out.
It’s an excellent book for the workplace or for individuals pursuing career changes and advancements. This book will teach you not be shaken by change or loss because you have the ability to cope and even come out ahead.
41. The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
You can’t be told yes if you don’t ask. Yet so often we fear to ask because we don’t want to be turned down. In some ways, asking for help holds a negative stigma, but the truth is that our support networks want to help us succeed.
Palmer let go of the fear of asking for help and found by doing so that she received the support she needed. As a singer-songwriter, Palmer decided to leave her record label, and when she asked fans to fund her next album, they did!
Even with all the success, she has faced in “asking,” she still finds it difficult to ask some things of the people she cares about. By delving into these barriers, she helps readers break past what’s holding them back from asking for help when they need it. If you want to understand the many facets surrounding this dilemma, both philosophical and practical, then lend your eyes to Palmer’s words.
42. No More Monday’s by Dan Miller
Let’s face it, we all dread Mondays, but do we really have to? A meaningful life where you love what you do and aren’t merely working solely for a paycheque is within your reach. Are you clinging to your 9 to 5 because you think that you have no other option?
Miller helps us rethink the way we approach work. This is an excellent read if you’re feeling “stuck in your career” or want to shake things up in your current position. Once you read this book, you’ll never take the same worn out approach to work again.
If you want to experience real job security, then you need to do what you love. Once you ignite your passion, you’ll work twice as hard as you were at your boring office job and feel like your actually working less because it won’t feel like work at all. Saying no to Mondays is within your reach if you want it to be!
43. Good to Great by Jim C. Collins
Some companies are born with success at the foundation of their framework, while others do not share this strength. Collins and his team examined thousands of articles and interviews over five years to find what leads to a company’s success and you’ll be shocked by their findings.
This book holds important information for entrepreneurs, business owners, and anyone dreaming about running a successful startup. Collin’s examines management strategies and practices, looking closely at some of the world’s most successful companies. If you want to learn how to get the job done right then, you need to look at business models that have been successful.
Making the leap from good to great needs to be carefully manoeuvred. Too much restriction too fast can lead to the dismantling of your business. Learn how to combine the culture of discipline with your entrepreneurial efforts and achieve business success at the next level.
44. How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can by Amy B. Scher
New York Times bestselling author Amy B. Scher brings us wisdom on how to deal with her book How To Heal Yourself When No One Else Can. In order to truly heal from emotional trauma, we must take a multi-faceted approach to addressing the needs of the body, soul, and mind. All three parts of our being are interconnected, and you cannot heal one part without nourishing the other parts.
As an energy therapist, Scher teaches readers how to get past blockages and analyse how we cope with stress. By addressing these areas, you’ll remove the negative energy from your life that has been preventing you from being your very best self.
Scher’s own experience with overcoming a life-threatening illness led to the newfound knowledge she shares in her book. Her techniques have been proven effective through her own firsthand experiences with pain. Overcome imbalances in your life and realign with your most authentic self.
45. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
Based on research in the medical and behavioural science fields, this simple approach can easily be applied to your own life or business. By reading the book, you’ll learn how to take a pragmatic approach to using these techniques to your own life.
It is an approachable book for anyone looking to make successful changes without needing to make drastic life changes. You’ll learn how to manage your life more efficiently and achieve the results that you desire, building the future you’ve always dreamt of. Likewise, if you’re in a rut and in need of correction, applying these techniques is a great place to begin a new phase of a better life.
46. Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Sinek has studied inspirational leaders and innovative organisations, questioning what has sustained their continual success. His book goes beyond addressing how organisations maintain success and acquire loyalty; it begs to ask the question why? This is a necessary question for any business, non-profit, or even governmental entity to ask in order to achieve success.
This “why” approach draws people in and inspires them to be loyal to your brand. When you can answer the “why” questions, you can develop a formula that encompasses your answers in your business and public relations approach.
If you want to inspire others, then let the stories in Sinek’s book inspire you. He examines the lives of revolutionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs. He draws on true-life stories to provide first-hand examples of applying his theory known as “the golden circle,” which illustrates how to build an inspirational organization.
47. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
Our lives are full of distractions, including clutter and busy schedules. In order to be truly happy, we have to push through the excess and simplify our lives. Living with less is truly a path to focusing our time and attention on what we actually care about.
This book helps you break free of clutter and refocus your priorities. It is a guidebook to setting manageable goals and learning how not to take on more than you can handle at once. You’ll retake control of your time while learning how to work smarter and more efficiently.
By eliminating unnecessary commitments and clutter from our lives, we allow ourselves the opportunity to access a higher quality of living. Getting back to the basics will help you utilise the resources you have to the fullest.
48. You Can If You Think You Can by Norman Vincent Peale
Embracing positive thinking is a timeless and practical approach to changing your life all by changing your attitude. You can live a fulfilling and nourishing life, even if your circumstances aren’t ideal. The key is never giving up! In the face of a dilemma, no matter how discouraged you are you must keep going.
This inspirational bestseller will teach you how to confidently navigate your own life by overcoming your fears and insecurities. Peale offers accessible solutions to everyday challenges. If you’re experiencing problems in your relationships or at work, then this book can help you learn how to navigate your own life.
The book recounts stories of men and women from diverse backgrounds. Young and old alike have had their lives changed by embracing positive thinking. We cannot always change our circumstances, but we can always change our outlook.
49. Thank & Grow Rich by Pam Grout
Scientific evidence confirms that when we are thankful, we start to view the world through an entirely different lens. When we remember to be thankful for our lives, we start to focus on the beauty and wonder of the world. Being thankful alone has the power to break negative thought patterns.
By reading this book, you’ll learn how to build social, creative, and spiritual capital! Investments need to be more than just financial if you are to live a fulfilling life, so invest in your emotional wellbeing. If you’re ready to live a more abundant life, then be courageous and take the next step by beginning this thirty-day challenge.
50. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Originally published in 1952, this book has maintained its popularity into present times. The premise of the book is embracing positive thought patterns. By doing so, you will also learn how to let go anger and replace this emotion with calmness simultaneously.
You must follow ten rules in order to successfully apply Peale’s method to your life. These ten rules include visualising prosperity and success, as well as actively replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Given the brain’s feature of neuroplasticity, we know that it is actually possible to “rewire” the way we think if we consciously commit to doing so.
If you’re a person of faith, then this book will resonate with you especially. The system is designed for individuals who believe in calling on God’s strength and guidance. Combining spirituality with positive thinking will result in a calmer you!
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