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It’s no secret that reading is a powerful way to better yourself. But it’s still surprising how much impact a simple book can have on your life.
If it weren’t for books, I would still be that dumb twenty-something-year-old struggling to make ends meet. Thankfully, I decided to get some personal finance books to make a change. But I didn’t stop there. Books on spirituality and self-improvement transformed my entire outlook on life.
Spiritual enlightenment and financial education are hardly ever taught within the traditional school system. Luckily for people with ambition and curiosity, there are endless ways to self-educate.
Reading your way to a better life is possible because of all of the incredible things you can learn. Start or continue your journey of self-improvement with these top 10 self-help books.
1. The Four Agreements
Author Don Miguel Ruiz casts light on all the terrible problems people create for themselves through their own thoughts. The Four Agreements is based on ancient Toltec wisdom and outlines rules to live a truly happy life.
The main message is that happiness is a choice, and so is suffering. The book is well written and easy to read again and again. For anyone stuck in a rut or dealing with depression, the Four Agreements can help turn things around.
2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1936 and written by Dale Carnegie. The book has become the gold standard for learning how to be a people person. With a world full of self-centered introverts, this book can do a lot of good for a lot of people.
Warren Buffett took a course by Dale Carnegie and has said it was of the best investments he has ever made. Buffet also cited that the book transformed his life.
3. Atomic Habits
Atomic Habits is at the top of every self-help book list for a reason. Author James Clear created a masterpiece with compelling arguments on just how powerful our habits are. The book offers practical tips that will quickly get you on the path to a better life.
The stories and statistics involved will motivate anyone to form good habits. You will read about the science behind habit formation and many other thought-provoking details. If I had to recommend only one self-help book, this would be it.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a book with a lot of haters. It’s blunt and in your face about what you should and shouldn’t give a fuck about. It teaches lessons on Stoicism in a modern and entertaining way. It made it on the list because it does a great job teaching people the hard truths of life.
Life is full of problems, and there is no way around it. The goal is to be able to deal with it and create “better problems.” Stop giving a fuck about what doesn’t matter and focus on what matters most.
5. Man’s Search for Meaning
Written by Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Emil Frankl–A Man’s Search for Meaning is a memoir of life in a Nazi concentration camp. There may not be a better book about learning how to deal with suffering and coping with hardship.
Its theory of what drives humans is based on the pursuit of what we care about most. It confronts the problem that many people face today–which is basing our entire life on pleasure. Reading this book will empower your confidence in knowing you can deal with anything life gives you.
6. The Alchemist
The Alchemist is about following your dreams and risking it all to achieve them. Author Paulo Coelho takes you on a shepherd boy’s spiritual journey that entertains and teaches essential wisdoms of life.
The book is very inspirational and will boost your motivation. We know it takes guts to go after what you really want–The Alchemist story reminds you how great the reward is. Overall. It’s an enlightening and easy-to-read fable that ushers in positive thoughts about dreaming big.
7. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
Who doesn’t love a good zero to hero story? Can’t Hurt Me is an inspiring story of a man that overcomes a great deal of obstacles. The main message is that you really can do anything, just as long as you’re willing to push yourself.
David Goggins is brutally honest about what it takes to succeed. He takes you through the dark backstory of his life and how he became a huge success. The gripping memoir illustrates how important it is to work hard and get out of our comfort zones.
8. The Power of Now
Can you achieve spiritual enlightenment just by reading a book? I don’t have the answer, but The Power of Now will teach you just how important living in the moment is.
How much of our lives do we waste worrying about the future or fretting about past mistakes? Too much. Eckhart Tolle teaches you how to block out the noise in your brain and enjoy living in the now. You don’t have to be into new age spirituality to appreciate this book. The message it delivers is for everyone.
9. Outliers: The Story of Success
Malcolm Gladwell dives into the secrets of success and what makes successful people tick in the book Outliers. He goes case by case from people like Bill Gates to the rock stars of the Beatles.
The book is a cross between self-improvement and business development. Through the use of social science and statistical data, you learn the why, how, and when many people become successful. Outliers is an eye-opening book filled with unique and interesting information.
10. The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
A great book about life in general–The Road Less Traveled teaches us that life isn’t meant to be easy. Scott Peck uses psychology to illustrate how we are meant to overcome the challenges in life and that traditional values are of utmost importance.
The Road Less Traveled is one of the most read and cherished self-help books of all time. It breaks down the difficult truths of life and uses psychoanalysis to evoke spiritual growth.
By reading these self-help books, you can build yourself a better life. One message that almost every self-improvement book has in common is that you need to put in the work. Reading helps create a better mindset and can boost motivation. Yet reading alone is not a substitute for taking action.