“HEROIC” PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT LITERATURE
“When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life.” – Christopher Morley
There are so many great personal development books that can help you better yourself in many different areas of your life. Here’s a list of motivational books that the Nurture Mind Body and Spirit team personally recommend. Each has either inspired us, motivated us to take immediate action, helped us to think bigger, or has gotten us to become more excited and passionate about our dreams.
Here are eighteen of the best personal development books to get you started on your path to self-improvement. At least one of them (and possibly many more) will be the right fit for you and your goals.
All of these books are competitively priced and available to buy online from various booksellers.
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Perhaps the most influential European philosopher of his time, Friedrich Nietzsche questions in Beyond Good and Evil the ‘slave morality’ of false piety. He presents in his book a philosophical alternative that celebrates the present and in doing so, helps readers to free themselves from self-enslavement. An amazing book for a thinking person. If you like to ponder big questions about the nature of human beings, then you must read this book. This is not an easy read by any stretch of the imagination, and I do not recommend it unless you are the type that likes to study a book, not just read it. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek, is a must read for everyone who wants to make sure their “do” stems from their “who.” As humans, we are all capable of doing lots of things. We strive for impressing others with “how” we do it. But understanding your “why” and making choices from that place makes for a more fulfilled, impactful, and peaceful life. In her book, Brené Brown questions how intensively our self-image is shaped by media and society. Instead of unquestioningly adopting society’s portrayal of how we should be, she encourages the reader to be who they truly are. The Gifts of Imperfection is all about helping the reader to develop the necessary courage to stop pleasing other people and to finally live life the way they want to. Thomas Stanley became famous for “The Millionaire Next Door”. But this book–not so well known–is exceptional. He explains the concept of “The Glittering Rich”, shares how too many of us live beyond our means and how to create true financial freedom. If you are an introvert, this book is a must-read. Cain drives home the point that introverts are dramatically underestimated in modern day society. By introducing the reader to phenomenally successful introverts, Quiet dramatically changes the reader’s perspective on introverts. One of the best books I have read in years. Shares the latest (and so fascinating) research on how exercise transforms the brain, our performance, our productivity and even builds a new type of brain that is excellent at resisting stress. Do your life a giant favor and read this book. Today! Without ever risking something, you will not accomplish much. In her excellent guide Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers encourages us to be more assertive when it comes to risk-taking. She helps the reader to think more positively about risks and the underlying opportunities of risk-taking. The one book I recommend to all of my clients is The Art of Self Promotion by Debby Stone. My clients have all found it to be not only engaging but chock full of effective strategies for significantly improving one’s ability to discuss their background and achievements in various scenarios. This is a must-read for employees and entrepreneurs alike! Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes. Noble. Courageous. Focused. A visionary. If I could be 1/100 of who he was, I would be overjoyed. This is his autobiography. You will walk with him through his days as a lawyer, his time as a disruptor, his prison years, and his period as the positional leader of South Africa. This is actually the first personal development book I ever read. With lines like: “Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation,” this book will move you deeply. I recently re-read it while visiting Colombia. Still amazingly good. Outliers are the best of the best. They are extraordinarily successful individuals who do not fit the regular categories of success. Malcolm Gladwell embarks in his book on a journey to reflect the nature of these people’s successes. In sum, Outliers is the intellectual quest to better understand what it really takes to be more successful than 99% of all people. The Last Lecture is an intensely moving book. It is centered on the last lecture Randy Pausch gave, after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Despite the shocking circumstances, the resulting lecture was anything but negative. Instead, it was a celebration of life. The speech Randy Pausch gave is highly motivating and challenges you to seize your dreams. In Drive, Daniel Pink presents an alternative to the outdated concept of self-motivation. He highlights actions we can take to affect positive changes, and in doing so presents a strategy of transforming our lives by discovering the source of true motivation. If there is one book that has just blown me away this year, it is Big Magic. Author Elizabeth Gilbert makes her appearance on my list with this amazing book. She will walk you through breaking out of your creative ruts, finding fulfillment in your work, and above all getting past your fear of starting. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg discusses the transformational power of cultivating positive habits. At the core of his writing, Duhigg emphasizes to identify disruptive habits and to replace them with more beneficial behavioral patterns. Consequently, the intention behind The Power of Habit is to challenge the reader to proactively change negative patterns. And in doing so, the author brilliantly empowers us to break unsupportive behaviors instead of allowing them to break us. There are two things I love about The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. First, his distinction between the “Zone of Genius” and the “Zone of Excellence” (and how seductive it is to stay in the latter). Second, how the upper-limit problem shows up for us on the growth path and tries to stop us from creating success. It is a beautiful study on the work you are meant to do, and how to get out of your own way to do it. Our inner dialogue holds huge amounts of control over our life, influencing virtually every decision we make each and every day. The only problem is our inner dialogue is usually incredibly negative and self-destructive. If you believe your inner dialogue is holding you back, this book has the chance to change your life forever.