Books

11 Personal Development Books That Will Change Your Life

If you’re not reading books on a regular basis now is the time to start!

Reading books can have some pretty awesome effects. Besides making us a whole lot smarter research has shown that it can also improve memory, reduce stress, improve sleep, strengthen analytical thinking skills, improve focus and concentration, increase empathy and ease depression. Personal development is such a nebulous topic. In reality every single book on this list is a great personal development book.

And here’s a brief synopsis of the self-help books that we think can help you become a better person and live a more fulfilled life.

1. Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich
Think and Grow Rich

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This book is a classic and for good reason. Over the past 80 years many successful people have read this book and gained from it knowledge and insight that have helped them to achieve their own success. When a self-improvement book sticks around for as long as this one has, there has to be a reason for its longevity and success. More than 30 million copies of Think and Grow Rich have been bought by business students, entrepreneurs and goal-setters around the world. When it was re-released in 2004, it rocketed once again to the top, holding a place on BusinessWeek’s Best Seller list for paperback business books for more than 20 months. Think and Grow Rich is a timeless classic that should be read by everyone interested in improving their lives and reaching their goals.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
7 Habits of Highly Effective People

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When Stephen Covey first released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the book became an instant rage because people suddenly got up and took notice that their lives were headed off in the wrong direction; and more than that, they realized that there were so many simple things they could do in order to navigate their life correctly. This book was wonderful education for people, education in how to live life effectively and get closer to the ideal of being a ‘success’ in life. Covey says that when our behavior contradicts our beliefs or when our relationships consistently fail, any successes we achieve feel hollow. This book takes a total approach to success and encourages growth and maturity beginning with self, which leads to stronger relationships and greater success at home and at work.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to Win Friends and Influence People

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Just like the previous entry, “Think and Grow Rich” Carnegies book is another classic from the 1930s that still packs a ton of truth bombs in it’s nearly 90 year old pages. While T&GR was about the principles of success, Carnegie discusses the personal habits that lead to success. Included are: the twelve ways to convert people to your way of thinking, six ways to make people like you, and the nine ways to change people’s opinions without arousing resentment. Regardless of what you intend to do with your life, other people will always be there. Carnegie gives you the tools to effectively recruit others to your cause, rather than have them potentially be obstacles. A must read classic on dealing with other people.

4. Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done

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Getting Things Done is a time management method, described in a book of the same title by productivity consultant David Allen. It is often referred to as GTD. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows one to focus attention on taking action on tasks, instead of recalling them. First published in 2001, a revised edition of the book was released in 2015 to reflect the changes in information technology during the preceding decade and incorporate recent scientific research supporting the system’s claims regarding how the mind functions.

5. The Magic of thinking Big

The Magic of thinking Big
The Magic of thinking Big

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Think of the people who earn five times as much as you. Are they five times smarter? Do they work five times harder? If the answer is no, then the question “What do they have that I haven’t?” may occur to you. In a book that has sold several million copies, David Schwartz suggests that the main thing separating them from us is that they think five times bigger. We are all, more than we realize, the product of the thinking which surrounds us, and most of this thinking is little, not big. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction, but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there.

6. The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking
The Power of Positive Thinking

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The belief that positive thoughts lead to a positive reality isn’t a new phenomenon. Decades before The Secret, Norman Vincent Peale wrote The Power of Positive Thinking. The book teaches readers that focused, intentional and unyielding belief is required before they can achieve the lives they desire. The philosophies from this best-selling book have helped millions reach their personal, financial, spiritual and relationship goals. Learn to replace negative thoughts with positive beliefs and to break the worry habit by cultivating a character that isn’t swayed by circumstances.

7. Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success

Grit
Grit

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In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, students, educators, athletes, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit”. Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance. Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.

8. Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream

Choose Yourself
Choose Yourself

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The climate of business and personal success is changing. The times when going to college, working a job for 40 years and retiring a success are evaporating before our eyes. Altucher shows a path to creating art, make money and achieve success through non-traditional methods. Altucher’s sense of humor and brutal honesty make this book a great read. He doesn’t pull any punches even sharing many of his personal failures as well as successes. Choose yourself. Choose this book.

9. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Rich Dad Poor Dad
Rich Dad Poor Dad

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In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki contrasts the differences between what the rich and the poor or middle classes teach their children. As a young man, Kiyosaki was taught by his “poor dad” to follow the path of least resistance: Get an education, get a job and work hard. His “rich dad,” his friend’s dad, mentored him to do the opposite. The book acknowledges education is important but it isn’t always best received in a formal learning environment. Lessons include the value of self-employment, how to be self-employed without limiting yourself to the constraints of an employee, and how to create and take advantage of residual-income opportunities. Instead of working hard for money, use the principles in this book to make money work for you.

10. Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved My Cheese
Who Moved My Cheese

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Change is inevitable. It’s a central aspect of life and can be found all around us. Forcibly trying to avoid any kind of change is therefore impossible. In Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson explores brilliantly effective strategies to deal with unexpected change. The basic assumption of his work is that we’re not able to avoid negative developments from happening, as we’re not able to predict the future. What we can do, however, is to react to these situations and to seize these new opportunities. Johnson therefore highlights that the ability to quickly respond to new developments can highly effect your success in life. In summary, Who Moved My Cheese? is an uplifting and inspiring guide that helps the reader to better deal with change and in doing so, reduce stress.

11. The Power of Now

The Power of Now
The Power of Now

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The present moment is all we have. But instead of being able to truly enjoy it, we’re haunted by the past or worried about the future. The Power of Now seeks to address this issue. By encouraging the reader to enjoy the present moment, Eckhart Tolle introduces a novel approach to mindfulness. Even more so, the book introduces a unique approach to overcoming worries about past and future by living in the present moment. But Eckhart Tolle also challenges us to reflect on the nature of our thoughts and to make adjustments if necessary. In doing so, we become more thoughtful and learn to better appreciate each and every moment. In the end, The Power of Now introduces an interesting approach to living life and shares meaningful philosophical wisdom.

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