This has been an unusual year. Unemployment rates are high, people’s lives have been altered by the pandemic, and political tension has never been so intense. All of these things and more have greatly impacted people’s mental and personal health.
When things get tough and the world gets shaken up, it can be an ideal time to check in with yourself and ask yourself what areas of life you’d like to reorganize.
Top 13 Personal Development Books
Ready to secure a better, happier, and more compelling future? Here are 13 of the most epic personal development books of all-time.
1. “The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
If you’re ever wondered how to positively impact others and influence them to support the causes you care about, then this book is for you.
By reading this book, you’ll learn how to block peoples’ attempts at influencing you to make unethical choices, while simultaneously learning how to use the power of persuasion for yourself.
In the book, Dr. Cialdini discusses his own first-hand experiences going undercover with some of the world’s most persuasive people and organizations. He also presents the scientific research behind how we impact others—and methods through which we get influenced ourselves.
2. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle
Glennon Doyle book Untamed explores the ways in which women are “tamed” from birth by society.
Through the lens of her own life and laced with humor and humility, Glennon explores the ways that misogyny, body shaming, and religious doctrine cause us to shrink and conform as we grow into adults.
Get ready to laugh, cry, challenge your way of thinking, and of course, free yourself from society’s expectations of what a woman should be.
3. “The 10X” Rule by Grant Cardone
The 10X Rule is international best-seller by real estate mogul and entrepreneur, Grant Cardone. Why? Because it’s the ultimate blue-print to greatness.
What’s the basic premise? The gist is that to accomplish your goals and dreams, you’ll need 10X the activity and output to attain it over what you think it’ll take. This is the only way to overcome the difficulties and roadblocks that you’ll encounter along the way.
At its core, this book will teach you to pair outstanding effort (10X actions) and with monstrous (audacious) goals. Beyond that, Grant will drill into your head that success is your duty, responsibility, and obligation.
There’s a reason this book has started an international movement. Within a few pages of reading it, you’ll understand why.
4. “The Alter Ego Effect” by Todd Herman
Nearly everyone could benefit from a big dose of confidence. But, practically speaking, how do you achieve this?
In this book, Todd Herman reveals the secret tactics and tools that he has used in his work with thousands of the world’s top performers. The book goes deep into the power of alter egos, showing you how to embrace another person’s (or animal’s) identity, behaviors and beliefs as your own.
From Kobe Byrant who embraced his identity as the “Black Mamba” to Beyoncé’s alter ego “Sasha Fierce,” using alter egos is a tried and true approach behind elite performance. From smashing fear to reaching new professional heights, you’ll benefit dramatically from devouring this book.
5. “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker
Everyone wants to be a money magnet, right? Intriguingly, your financial issues usually don’t result from your education or your career or your investment decisions. They originate in your mind.
This book will obliterate the ways you previously approached money and teach you an altogether new way to relate to finances.
One of my favorite quotes from the book? “A lack of money is never, ever, ever a problem. A lack of money is merely a symptom of what is going on underneath.”
If you’re not where you want to be financially, then you’d do well to obliterate your current understanding of money and build the right foundation from the ground up.
6. “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Is fear holding you back from what you want? Read this book, and let your own creativity take over.
These pages will show you how to find inspiration around you. You’ll be breaking past some of your biggest walls using the power of creative processes.
7. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson
Let’s face it, a lot of personal development books contain gushy-mushy fluffy stuff that seems unrealistic. Approach self-development in an honest way with this book.
Learn how to successfully live in a flawed world within these pages, and get ready for a quick slap in the face.
8. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
As a human being, every day is filled with risks, uncertainty, and emotional reactions that require us to either shut down, or as Brené says, to dare greatly. Based on her landmark research, Brené Brown PhD, LMSW, shatters the long held myth that vulnerability is weakness and flips the script to explain that vulnerability is in fact an accurate measure of courage.
If you’re looking to be a stronger leader, a better coworker, a more caring parent, or simply a stronger human, you’ll want to learn how to embrace and harness your most powerful emotions. As Brené explains, “vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity.”
9. “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
You simply can’t have a list of the best personal development books without having at least one negotiating book on it. After all, every human interaction involves a negotiation.
What time do you want your kids to go to bed? How do you want to spend time with your partner/spouse? How can you get the hotel clerk to let you have a late checkout?
The list goes on and on.
In this book, the authors Voss and Raz debunk the negotiating myth that people act rationally during a negotiation. Rather, they present how all people all fall prey to an unconscious and irrational pattern of thought known as Cognitive Bias. Given this reality, they present practical tools for leading others to actions and decisions that you want, with the least coercion (force) possible.
If you enjoy this book, then check out Chris Voss’ MasterClass.com too. That’s not an affiliate link. It just loved it and think it’s stellar!
10. “Extreme Ownership” by by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
This is a book written by a pair of U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led one of most respected and decorated special operations units of the Iraq War.
The key premise of this book? You’re 100% responsible for your life, how it’s going, and where you are now. You are also wholly responsible for the preparation and actions of everyone else around you, because their actions are direct reflection of your leadership capacity.
My favorite takeaway from the book? In any team, group, or organization, all responsibility for success or failure rests with the leader. An effective leader takes responsibility for everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame.
In the words of the authors, “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.” If you’re ready to take responsibility for creating the life that you want and deserve, grab this book immediately.
11. “The One Thing” By Gary Keller
In this book by Gary Keller, he busts the myth that success stems from long-days and constant hustling.
Rather, he explains that you need to identify a big One Thing and a small One Thing. Your big One Thing is your purpose, while your small One Thing is the priority you act on to achieve it.
As Keller clearly explains, success is built sequentially, one thing at a time. This is why achievers always work from a clear sense of priority.
There’s a reason this book has become a “cult read” among the entrepreneurial community. If you dig into it, you too will understand why.
12. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
This book should join your shelf of personal development books. Why? Because it’s a one of the top-selling personal finance books of all-time and is a modern guide for how to create wealth by improving financial literacy .
It will teach you how to identify and acquire assets, understand cash flow, generate passive income, and create a wealth generation cycle for you and your family.
Better yet, it is a compelling story that will draw you in and keep you enthralled.
13. “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss
As the author Tim Ferriss describes, this books reveals the tactics, routines, and habits of more than one-hundred “high performers”. These high performers include billionaires, celebrity icons, world class athletes, comedians, artists, and other elites that Tim admires.
In addition to getting an inside look into how these high performers think, act, and live, you get to see how a world-class thinker like Tim Ferriss structures his questions for optimal learning and effect.
After reading this book, you’ll intrinsically understand that how one thinks is a huge part of how one performs.
The Best Personal Development Books
If you’re looking to dramatically improve the quality of your life, then dive head first into the best personal development books of all-time. After all, they’re all best-sellers and few of them have even created a cult-like following.
Some of the above books offer laughs, while others are educational or offer a dose of reality. No matter your style, you’ll find something for you. Most importantly, I hope you find them as transformative as I have.