I’m an avid reader, particularly of the personal development genre. Since I was a teenager, I’ve read well over 500 books in that space and I’m constantly being asked what I think the best self help books are. So I put together this list of my favorites. It wasn’t easy, and as my friend James Altucher says:
“When people ask me a good book to read I don’t know what to tell them. There are 200-500 good books.” — James Altucher
Reading is cheating. I don’t have any other hobbies in fact. Through books I get to experience, learn and figure out pretty much EVERYTHING through the wisdom others.
This is a curation of a few books that have most impacted my life, changed me for the better and radically improved my quality of living.
Side note: I love fiction too but this list is non-fiction. Fiction lessons and narratives can be equally valuable (hello, The Alchemist!)… Look out for those recommendations in a future post as well as a list of the best podcasts and YouTube channels.
1. A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson
This book changed my view of the world entirely.
Greatest lesson: Only love is real. All of our fears, resentment and worry are an illusion of our ego. Marianne’s truths are freeing and enlightening in the most legitimate and beautiful way possible.
2. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
I read this when I was 15!
Greatest lesson: Anything is possible — it starts and ends with your thinking. There is no way I would have achieved what I have so far from the unstable, extremely humble, nomadic upbringing I had without learning and believing these principles. I adore the 1950s vantage point too. I got a few chuckles when re-reading this book recently — how success is defined by how I “can provide the best opportunities for my wife and children” and how it’s important “to treat my secretary with respect!”
3. The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
Never think about work the same way again.
Greatest lesson: You don’t have to work 9-5. You can separate your hours for your income. Thinking differently can give you a whole lot of freedom. You’ll question everything about why your conventional career is valuable and receive highly practical information to live your life by design in an online driven, connected, opportunity rich world.
4. Choose Yourself by James Altucher
I wish I wrote this book.
Greatest lesson: Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling. In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life, to choose yourself.
5. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
People matter most in this world.
Greatest lesson: You succeed when you make it about others. Ask questions. Listen. Use people’s names. Be encouraging and optimistic and sincerely praise the people in your life. They will love you for it and you are both better for the experience. This has been invaluable in my sales career.
6. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
We all have 1 of these 5. Make sure you and your partner understand yours and each others.
Greatest lesson: All forms of conveying love are not equal. You need to give your partner what he or she needs (time, affection) and ask for what you need (help at home, words of affirmation). My husband and I love this book! Every married couple ought to read it.
7. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Resistance stands between everything you have any everything you want.
Greatest lesson: Get busy. Work every single day toward your dream. Nothing else is more important and excuses mean nothing.
Here are some others too (because I can’t help myself):
8. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.
9. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
10. You’ll See It When You Believe It by Wayne Dyer
11. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
12. Life Loves You by Louise Hay
13. The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
I am forcing myself to stop here…
Now, please share with me in the comments below… what would your list of best self help books consist of?