I’ve always been a fan of personal development books. I feel happiest when I know that I am growing.
If I’m not growing, I’m not moving forward.
So one of the best ways for me to consistently learn and grow is by reading personal development books.
Bruce Lee once said, “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”
With that in mind, I confess that I have read quite a stack of books on the topic of personal development.
After all, leaders are readers.
The more you read, the more inspiration, ideas, and growth you can attain.
I find reading fun and powerful, and it has served me well. That considered, not all self improvement books are created equal.
10 Personal Development Books That Will Change Your Life
Some personal development books are inspirational while others are not.
Some provide great insight while others don’t measure up.
And still, there are some that find you at just the right moment while others are totally irrelevant to your current path.
When it comes to your own progress, here are 10 must-read books (according to Amazon) that will motivate and inspire you to make your dreams a reality.
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P.S. For me personally, numbers 7 and 10 have had the largest impact on my life. But again, some books catch you at just the right moment.
Author: Robert Kiyosaki
What it’s about: One of the top self help books and personal finance books of all time, Rich Dad Poor Dad is not just about money. It actually teaches you how to think about and have the right attitude towards money.
Kiyosaki makes an attempt to reprogram your mind to think of why you do what you do, and why you buy what you buy.
In turn, it teaches you how to become financially literate.
To quote the book, “The poor and middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.”
Author: Eckhart Tolle
What it’s about: Tolle teaches about spirituality and the importance of living in the present moment.
Recommended by Oprah (and one of the top personal development books available), this book takes readers on a journey to discover their inner self; to experience personal growth in the form of spirituality and to uncover their own truths.
Author: John C. Maxwell
What it’s about: Topping the list of motivational books, Failing Forward teaches that failure is an indication that you are making progress.
In fact, the amount of times you fail in the next 12 months is directly correlated to how successful you will be in the coming years.
One of the best lessons in this book is: “Failure isn’t the opposite of success, but the road to it.”
Maxwell provides you with practical lessons on how to turn mistakes into stepping stones.
He teaches that failure is an inside job. That the difference between the average person and those that achieve greatness is how they view and respond to failure.
Author: George Samuel Clason
What it’s about: In quite possibly one of the best self improvement books of all time, Clason explains that that the richest man in Babylon didn’t make his fortune by spending more than he could afford.
He became rich by setting aside money and investing it.
He took 1/10 of his income and invested it in ways that were sure to produce more income. All of the other men in Babylon desired wealth, but, despite working tirelessly, they never had more than just enough to survive.
Clason helps you understand how to spend your money, how money works, and how to make it work for you in this entertaining fictional story.
Author: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
What it’s about: This personal development book is filled with insight. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi devotes a big part of this book to the idea that:
“A person can make himself happy or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside’, just by changing the contents of his consciousness.”
He then proceeds by quoting Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Viktor Frankl, proving that this idea has been around for a long time.
Consider this book to be the handbook on happiness.
Csikszentmihalyi essentially defines happiness, then proceeds to explain how you can achieve it by putting yourself in a state of optimal experience called Flow.
Flow is the state in which you are so involved in an activity that nothing else matters.
In Flow state, your concentration is so intense that no attention is given to outside problems and your sense of time gets positively distorted.
Author: Robert Greene
What it’s about: Power is an essential part of life. In his personal development book, Greene gives you 48 Laws of Power that you can recognize and apply at any point in your life.
This book is a compilation of tactics to help you achieve more and avoid mistakes as you climb through life.
This is highly recommended for people who want to gain power, keep power, and protect it from those trying to manipulate you.
Author: Dale Carnegie
What it’s about: Released in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold more than 15 million copies and is one of the best personal growth books written to date.
It’s a timeless book that proves that people still want the same thing they have always wanted – friends and influence.
Carnegie’s language in his book serves this purpose well. The techniques listed are easy and natural to apply.
This is a world class self-help book that could undoubtedly help you build your self esteem, become a better communicator, and transform into a better version of yourself.
Author: Stephen. R. Covey
What it’s about: This is one of those personal development books that all people who want to succeed should read.
In his book, Covey creates a framework that allows you to be successful. In order to achieve success though, you must first develop your ability to be both efficient and effective. There are many great lessons to gain along your way.
Author: Brian Tracy
What it’s about: In this personal development book, Tracy provides you with 21 different strategies for overcoming procrastination.
This is a great book for getting motivated, holding yourself accountable, and keeping your eye on the prize.
It teaches you to eat the frog first thing in the morning – meaning that you should do the most vital task of the day first thing.
If you start each day with your hardest tasks, there’s no stopping you!
Author: Tim Ferriss
What it’s about: One of my favorite time management and personal development books of all time!
In this book, Ferriss explains that many of us are rule followers.
We tolerate our jobs until sixty-five, retire, and use our few remaining years to “start living the good life.”
That notion is outdated, and in Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, he shows you how to work less, earn more, and create your ideal lifestyle.
This may be one of my favorite books that I’ve read to date… and I’ve read a lot!
Bonus: Additional Resources
If you’re energized and excited to improve your life right away, I recommend checking out the following posts:
No one personal development book will change your life. You can read as much as you want, but nothing will happen unless you take action.
A book can inspire, but it’s on you to put that wisdom into play.
So reflect and learn as you go, but never stop moving. Take action, apply that wisdom, and change your life for the better!
Remember, only action produces results. So read, learn, and get after it!