Best Self Help Books
I literally can’t even begin to tell you the impact that self help books have had on my life. I honestly didn’t even know the genre existed when I picked up my first book. I remember it like it was yesterday. The book was “Think & Grow Rich.”
It was all tattered up. I got it from my dad. I think I stole it from his house actually! Long story short, I jumped into the book and was fascinated by it. I couldn’t put it down. I wondered how someone could be so smart. And have so many great tips to help one become the greatest version of themselves. To achieve success and happiness beyond their wildest dreams.
I was so awestruck that there was even material out there that tried to help people. And believe me, I needed all the help I could get at that time!
I was someone who wanted big things, but didn’t have the belief in myself that I could do it. That it could happen to ME?
That summer, I literally read a self help book every 2 days. Sometimes small ones even in a day. I chewed through that stuff as if my life depended on it. And friend, my whole entire life was never the same after that. I remember, as Fall came upon my that year, I was literally a new person.
I treated others differently and more positive and empathetic. I started my first blogging business. Dated an awesome girl. And truly was a much happier and driven person.
Below are some of those books I read that summer. As well as the books that have truly rocked my world. And drastically altered the way I see this life.
Welcome to the list of the best self help books of all time (in my opinion). I hope you find some books on here that you will want to read that can help you start the self help journey. Or build upon the work you have already done on yourself.
The 29 Best Personal Development Books Ever Written
1.) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Author: Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey is a genius. He weaves in the 7 habits that are most able to create the best and most successful life possible. Taking you from tips that include beginning with the end in mind. Which talks about having a great vision for your life is the only place to start. And seeking first to understand then be understood. Teachings us how to develop empathetic human relationships. Then touching on how do take the last step of human existence into what he calls “interdependence”. The step past being an independent person. Which is the most healthy and effective way of living. This is easily one of the best personal development books I have ever read in my life.
2.) Maximum Achievement: Strategies And Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers To Succeed
Author Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy has been said to have put in over 20,000 hours studying his craft. He seeks mastery and usually attains it in everything he does. Maximum Achievement is somewhat of a compilation of many of his books and works from the past. He offers a powerful portion on goal setting and how to reach those goals, no matter what they are or how big they may be. The book also helps you achieve higher levels of self esteem with his simple but powerful techniques, one of which includes the tactic of telling yourself “I like myself” over and over. As well as showing us how to create better control over every aspect of our personal and professional lives. His simplistic, straight to the point style offers a value packed book for someone looking to get the most out of their self help reading.
3.) The Success Principles
Author: Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield is nothing short of a one of the best inspirational leaders of our time. His work echoes greatness through the minds of every reader lucky to have read his work. Which most know him as one of the authors of the “Chicken Soup For The Soul Series”. This book is somewhat of a personal devlopment bible and motivational manifesto in which Jack shares his most useful tips for growth. It shows us how to actually use the Law of Attraction, how to reject rejection, the best ways to practice persistence, how to embrace change, let go of our limiting beliefs, how to be a good listener, how to develop a positive money consciousness and much much more. If you are looking for an all in one book where you can literally learn many of the realms of personal development in one, this is your book!
4.) The Compound Effect
Author: Darren Hardy
Darren Hardy has a way of writing that takes off the rose colored glasses. He also has played a huge part of sustaining the success of SUCCESS magazine. He shows us the reality of life, no frills, just facts in pure motivational style. He weaves in stories about how powerful doing small things daily can be. That it can and really is the only way to succeed long term in this life. It simply is a reminder of what we already know, but often forget to practice. It shows us how to make good choices and build habits around them. As well as how and what happens when we gain momentum. It gives us a practical step by step guide to creating positive change in our lives. How to develop good habits and make them our masters. A complete guide on how to take ownership of your life.
5.) Power Vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
Author: David Hawkins
Maybe the most profound books I have ever read. It shows us how human happiness travels on a scale that ranges from low levels of awareness that are more Force based like Guilt, Shame, Apathy Grief, Fear, Lust, Anger and Pride. And how to transcend these levels of consciousness to reach levels of Power which are Courage, Neutrality, Willingness, Acceptance, Reason, Love, Joy, Peace and the ultimate, Enlightenment. How doing things that support us moving up the ladder of happiness can bring us to ultimate levels of understanding and transcendence. It is heavily based in the field of what is known as Applied Kinesiology in which certain things in life that we do make us go weak and others makes us go strong. Become stronger and more happy and successful. And how to determine any truth or falsehood of any statement or supposed fact at any time and do so instantaneously.
6.) Secretes of A Millionaire Mind
Author: T. Harv Eker
T. Harv Eker is both captivating and inspiring when it comes to gaining mastery of your financial life. In his book Secretes of a Millionaire Mind, he gives us tools to master our own mind and replace negative limiting beliefs about money with positive ones. That when we start to change these and let go of them, we can see our monetary lives transform for the better. Changing what he refers to as our “Financial Blueprint” to set it for success, otherwise the things we learn and know will not make a difference. He shows us how rich people think and how to start thinking the same way. How to simply unlearn beliefs that are not supportive of creating financial freedom. He also gives excellent tips on how to create passive streams of income
7.) Awaken The Giant Within
Author: Tony Robbins
Anything that has the name Tony Robbins on it, basically certifies itself as a piece of work that can drastically change and alter lives. It did with me on this book. It is over 500 pages packed with self help. Tony talks about how we need to raise our standards in life in order to drastically change our lives. And goes into exactly how to do just this.
He also talks about reinforcing good emotions and down playing negative ones and how we can go about doing so. And of course one of the most profound parts of this book is found on the first lesson. Associating bad habits with pain and good ones with pleasure. Showing us the two main aims in life are to avoid pain or get pleasure. And how we can use this psychological need to attain our goals and solidify good habits.
8.) How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Tricks For Big Success
Author Liel Lowndes
Communication is absolutely vital to attaining high levels of success in this life. If we can master it, we can move mountains. With this book, we can master it. The title is a little overwhelming and honestly I thought the tricks were going to get weaker and weaker as they went. But the author build upon the previous and end with many gems that taught me so much on how to create better relationships and communicate my real needs. It ranges from helping us smile at the right time to make people feel the power of our smile. To examining a room before walking in to effectively communicate within that room. Reading body language and cues from the people we interact with. To creating body language in ourselves that helps our communication skills skyrocket. A highly suggested personal development book.
9.) 48 Laws of Power
Author Robert Greene
Robert Greene delivers work that is masterful. His style reflects that commitment to excellence in all his books. 48 Laws is no exception. The depth of this work is a lifetime work and only one of the books this genius has wrote. The book entails many stories of how the laws applied to different eras of the past. But how they are so evidently still at play now. It teaches us how to play the power game and win in the real world. Talking about things most people don’t want to talk about or validate.
It starts off by talking about how we should never outshine our masters by making them appear more brilliant. To concealing our intentions. Saying less than necessary. Posing as a friend and working as a spy. Playing to people’s fantasies. And even crushing your enemy totally. It shows life at work and as dirty as it is, it is happening. The struggle for power can be won by those who adhere to the rules in this epic book. Greene himself was quoted about this book saying the book is “Opening up the curtain and letting people see the Wizard of Oz.” Real and raw.
10.) How To Win Friends and Influence People
Author: Napoleon Hill
If you have ever wanted to know how to change your mind so you can change your financial life, this is the book. The age old secrets in this book show us how to create a mind that is money conscious. A mental garden that plants seeds of abundance. It includes many habits of successful people. How they think and what they do. It is a 20 year compilation of studies done having to do with 500 different people. Napoleon Hill has solidified himself as one of the best personal development minds of all time. He teaches us how to use autosuggestion to create massive belief in ourselves. The power of being stubborn and using it towards the attainment of our goals. The power a mastermind has in our financial lives and why we need it and much more. As this book has stood the test of time. Still selling hundreds of thousands of books each year. Nearly 100 years after it was originally published.
11.) The Tipping Point
Author Malcom Gladwell
Another one of the most profound books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Malcom Gladwell certainly has a way with words. The tipping point talks about how ideas spread similar to epidemics. Showing us the elements needed to start that spread. What it takes to help our ideas become unstoppable creating a tipping point with it until the idea catches and like fire, spreads. He introduces us to three types of personalities we need to align with on our journey to getting our ideas to spread like wild fire. And create stickiness to our ideas a he refers to it. Which is the ultimate ingredient in getting an idea to tip. An awesome book to help us with creating innovation with our ideas and spreading them to the masses.
If you have ever asked anyone what their favorite self help book is, good chances are that they will mention this book as one of them. This is a profound book in which is sort of the origins of over half of the personal development books out there. It takes us through learning a myriad of principles that helps us become more likable people. Teaching us how create better relationships and win over any type of person in our lives. It teaches us things from smiling to make a good first impression. To becoming a better conversationalist by getting people to talk more about their lives and selves. As well a techniques for persuasion that are still very relevant to today’s day and age.
12.) The Power of Now
The Power of Now almost allows us to see some of the greatest teachings in the form of layman’s terms. Eckhart Tolle went through a massively transformative experience in which he “awakened”. Going through such a dark time, he gave up and went through something in which many people believed was his souls enlightenment. It encourages us to do away with worry and re-introduce ourselves to the NOW, the moment. And that living in the moment brings so much happiness to ourselves. Many great strategies are offered to the reader on how to live in the present moment. Getting us away from the suffering that we bring on ourselves by not living in the there and now. And enjoy the thing that brings us the most happiness, which is our true nature.
Author Maxwell Maltz
This book has a feeling in it that it has the answers, that you hold them in your hand. It is one of the best selling personal development books of all time. Maxwell Maltz was a surgeon who would perform plastic surgery on his clients. Some he would fix of old wounds and their old personality would restore. But some kept living the exact same as if their facial scar had never been restored. This put him on a quest to learning why. He learned that if we do not transform our inner world and beliefs, our life will never change. He learned that our whole happiness and success comes about from our self image. He goes into how to change our self image for happiness and success. As well as powerful techniques for visualizing our goals and dreams. As well as how to create progress and success from our failures in life.
14.) The 4 Hour Work Week
Author: Tim Ferris
I actually listened to this one on Audible. Tim Ferriss delivers massive value in a very witty and dry way. Funny and impacting. The main objective of this book offered in step by step format, is to help you create the life of your dreams. That allows you to live life on your terms. Living the good life by creating a business that will fund the good life. Or even doing so while having the job you currently have. Hence the title, it teaches strategies and tips for being effective with your time. It hits heavily on charging more by creating and offering more value so that it requires less work. Creating a life of abundance with less headache. If you haven’t heard of the Pareto Principle, AKA the 80/20 rule, it is essentially a book that teaches us how to master this principle. The ultimate guide to living efficiently and using our time wisely and to our benefit.
15.) The Greatest Salesman In The World
Author: Og Mandino
Although The Greatest Salesman in the World is a book can teach us about becoming a better salesperson, it can also make us into better people. But at the end of the day, life is sales. We are constantly selling. In relationships, in business, to our family. It teaches us that the best way to sell is through unconditional love. Wanting what the prospect wants and needs. Putting their needs above our own. How kindness and understanding are so valued by humans and can make such a big impact on when we sell. How to use persistence to achieve our goals. As well as mastering our emotions in all that we do in our lives. As according to Mandino, success can be attained by mixing two ingredients which are being self aware and having emotional control.
16.) The 10X Rule
Grant Cardone’s personality is one thing. BIG. He also matches that personality with the way the thinks, acts and operates. He is a big dreamer, a big doer and a big achiever. Grant encourages us to not only thrive but dominate. To seek out to dominate and crush our competition, ethically. But to do so because it is the only way to really thrive. To do things at such a level that it is almost uncomprehendable to our competition. It shows us how much effort it takes to succeed and the mentality we need to possess in order to attain and keep up high levels of success. It inspires us to set goals that are inspiring to us. That will make us take big action because of the inspiration it gives us. Hence achieving a level of success and happiness that is bigger and more fulfilling than we ever thought possible.
17.) The Power of Positive Thinking
Author: Norman Vincent Peal
The author is referenced by the likes of Jim Rohn, Les Brown and Tony Robbins often when making speeches. Quoting him or offering tips of advice that impacted their lives. He is one of the forefathers of personal development. In the book the Power of Positive Thinking, the author shows us how success is found in ones mind, or lack thereof. It shows us how to create success through the way we think as well as how to create belief in oneself. Gems of the book also include how to obliterate the habit of worrying for good. As well as how to change our attitude that will allow us to take the reins on our life. As the author is so courageous in his opinion that our attitude determines our whole lives. And that by changing it for the better, we can change our lives in a drastically positive way. Along with how to do away with worry to live a happier life.
18.) Good To Great
Author Jim Collins
They say the good is the enemy to great. Good to Great shows you how to transcend the limits of being good and enter into your greatness. This best selling book analyzes the elements of what it takes for normal companies to become extraordinary companies. The ones that were able to make that transition along with the ones that couldn’t. It is packed with data and information. It centers on thins like adapting what you need to accelerate and leaving the rest behind. Confronting things you don’t want to confront and would rather not look at. And of course the Hedgehog Concept in which he talks about how an actual hedgehog has one strategy and always comes out on top. Which we can do the same by finding out what we can be the best in the world at. What are we passionate about. And what is the economic indicator that we should devote all of our attention to. A great book that inspires us to tap into our greatness.
19.) The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
Another one I listened to on Audible. This book is fantastic. And it is a gem because of the fact that not only does the personal development legend John Maxwell narrate it. But it is an accumulation of what Maxwell has learned, taught and lived throughout his decades of being a motivational speaker and teacher of leadership. It shows us how to maximize our growth through ways of seeking growth in order to make other peoples lives better. To enrich their lives, which in turn enriches ours more than we would if we grew for selfish purposes. He gives us tactics on how to constantly improve and grow through great thought provoking questions that you can milk growth our of your daily existence.
The book encourages us to create environments in our life that we can maximize our growth in and how to do so. Being intentional about our growth. How to develop strategies that maximize our growth. Milking growth from bad experiences and painful times. What we need to give up to hit peak levels of growth and staying curious and it’s power regarding our own personal development. An excellent addition to your self help library.
20.) NLP The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming
NLP The Essential Guide is excellent and is a great book for newbies and people that are advanced in NLP. It gives a great foundation to the learning and development or using Neurolinguistic Programming in your life. I was hooked after a few chapters of reading this book after the lesson on how we can trigger positive emotions whenever we want by simply creating and touching a reference point on our bodies. The book is essential to those looking to master their internal and external environments.
It delves into how our minds create and address experiences that we encounter in our daily lives. As well as how we can take charge of this entire process. Hence bettering ourselves and lives as well as the lives of others. It also touches on emotional anchors and how we can use them to create positive and abundant things in our life. Also the book talks about emotional triggers and how to use them to create a more harmonious emotional life.
Another great component of this book is encouraging us to live in the moment. As this book ties in spiritual components as well as practical ways for us to master our life through constructively using our thoughts and emotions.
21.) The Sedona Method
Author: Hale Dwoskin
The Sedona Method draws from foundational teachings from enlightened master Lester Levenson. A man who in his 40’s was only given a short amount of time to live. Which provoked him to find the meaning of happiness. And through releases limiting and negative emotions, reached a state of constant bliss and peace. And end up living well into his 80’s.
The book is about letting go of emotions that are getting in the way of the attainment of our health and well being along with financial abundance. It teaches us how to master our lives by getting rid of emotions and how to do so through a series of questions that lead us to permanently dropping emotions.
It is great for those who are seeking more peace and abundance in their lives. Acting as your own emotional psychologist in a sense. Reintroducing you to an ability that we all have, the ability to let go. The questions that allow you to let go of unwanted and negative emotions consist of: Could I let go of this? Am I willing to let go of this? And when can I let go of this? This questions are the basis of the teachings of this book. Along with many different exercises to help you bring up emotions that are blocking you in most all areas of your life.
22.) The Power of The Subconscious Mind
It is crazy, the minute I thought about buying this book, I saw a video of Bob Proctor talking about how he thought it was one of the greatest books he had ever written. Needless to say I bought the book shortly thereafter! This is a book about scientific prayer. What a combination right? It is about connecting with the infinite intelligence within us. An intelligence that wants and can help us attract anything we want into this life. It gives us real life examples and phrases, through repetition, we can repeat and start attracting abundance into our life. Faster and more efficient than ever thought possible.
23.) Cultivating Unshakable Character
This book had a massive impact on my life. How I say myself and my character. And I believed transformed how I look at myself and life forever. Jim Rohn talks about how we need to create good character in order to attract more success and happiness into our life.
He goes over the power of honest, of have a good sense of humor but not being “the funny guy”, how to take full responsibility for your life. The power of patience. Cultivating courage and integrity. Being flexible in our approach to things. And much more. Also how to live well and handle the success WHEN it comes to us.
It is simply a manifesto that shows us how to become a person of character, which translates to us moving through life with much less resistance. Hence attracting every good thing life has to offer.
24.) Developing The Qualities Of Success
Author: Zig Ziglar
Zig Ziglar is all time easily one of the best to ever grace the self help world. He is the person that gets me more motivated than any other personal development speaker in the world. Throughout “Developing The Qualities of Success”, we are taught by Zig that we were designed for greatness, engineered for success. And he goes about priming us for how to become a success in all areas of our life. Of course his timeless message of “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have all that you want”, is peppered into the message over and over. Really hitting home about how to live a life of success and significance.
Author: John Maxwell
Author John Maxwell is a master at developing and implementing leadership strategies. He is known for being one of the best at doing this. His statement “Everything rises and falls on leadership” really sounds out in this book.
He expands on his own personal experience of how he made these shifts in leadership that made him become a better leader. And in turn help others more because of it.
Some great lessons talked about in the book is going from pleasing people to challenging them. Going from directing people to deeply connecting with people. How to embrace diversity and people that are different from you and help both of you win because of it. And going from a trained leader to a transformational leader.
Let’s face it, we all need to be the leaders of our lives. Whether we are a mother leading her children to help them become great adults. Influencing a big organization. Or simply leading our own lives to keep ourselves motivated and driven in the right direction.
This book is a must for those who are looking to build they’re leadership skills to the max!
26.) Can’t Hurt Me
Author: David Goggins
David Goggin’s story is nothing short of one of the most profound tales ever told. His completely true story will leave people motivated and inspired to be, do and become more than ever.
Can’t Hurt Me is about how David Goggins went from being 100 pounds overweight, a high school dropout who couldn’t even swim. Working for a pest control company. To totally transforming his life to becoming a Navy Seal, completing 3 hell weeks, breaking the all time pull up record after 3 attempts, and running many 100 mile marathons.
He goes into how he became this person. And his story will bring you both massive motivation and to tears at the same time. He emphasizes how he is just a regular guy. Nothing special about him. But his tactics and tips that he used to become someone that the world is now in awe of.
27.) The Magic Of Thinking Big
Author: David J. Schwartz
The author of this book speaks in a way that primes the reader for feeling and thinking that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. That they literally have what it takes to do, be and become anyone and anything in this life.
He talks a lot about how we need to be open to new ideas And how we can seek to learn new things wherever we go in this life. And of course always asking the question of “How can I do a better job today?”. This type of reflection on life can make you be, do and become better. Every single day.
28.) Think And Grow Rich
Author: Napoleon Hill
This timeless classic is where many many people around the world start their self help journey. I know it is one of the first books I ever picked up in the genre. Because it looked small enough to handle for me back in those days!
It really hits home on how we create our own life with our thoughts. Our whole life is simply a manifestation of the thoughts we think the most. Our dominant thoughts.
And from here, he goes onto giving us tips on how to change the way we think. He talks about how we need to have what he refers to as “definiteness or purpose”. Which is something that can help us become and be all we want to be. He also encourages us to form a mastermind group, which virtually guarantees success and has created success for every single person who has used it.
Using the power of desire, a burning desire, which is the beginning of all greatness. Creating the feeling of faith to ensure that your goals and dreams come true. And creating a plan to make your burning desire and purpose come into the physical plane.
These are just some of the teachings of this best selling classic personal development book. Easily the top 5 in my mind for the best self development books of all time.
29.) The 4 Hour Work Week
Author: Tim Ferris
Author Tim Ferris is a HACKER. He is all about efficiency and time management. This book peaked my interest, first off, because who wouldn’t want to work only 4 hours a week!? But also because it was a dream of mine. To make my money work for me. To use my time better so that I could spend it doing the things I love. And to spend it with the people I love. Essentially, I saw this book as my one way ticket to freedom.
Tim goes into how fund the lifestyle of your dreams and to live this life like a mult-millionaire. And do so without even being one. He goes into how to be extremely effective with your time. The power of outsourcing. Offering a higher premium for your services. How to eliminate distractions that are obliterating hours of your day. How to automate your cash flow. And how to work from any location on the earth. Whether you are self employed or not.
An awesome book from someone who really inspires me. Thanks Tim.
Conclusion To The Best Self Help Books of All Time
So there we are my good friend. 27 life changing and life altering books. Each one of these books has the potential to give you the last key to success, happiness and significance that you need. The last piece to complete the puzzle. Unlocking the door and revealing everything you have ever wanted in this life.
Each one of these books has made a massive impact on my life. And of course it isn’t a entirely complete list because I am still alive and reading self help books. But these are the ones that stand out the most in my mind when I reflect on my journey.
I can honestly say that because of these books, and the self help genre, I truly look forward to life so much more. I feel better, I have become more, helped more people, influenced myself to go after my goals, break through my comfort zones more and more and felt the need to start this blog and give my own interpretation of all I have learned. To bring to you work that hopefully can help you open your eyes to the greatness that is already inside you.
Share with me what your favorite book on this list is, if you have read any. As well as if there are any books I need to add to the list or that you love. Self help books that have really made the biggest difference in your life.
Hope this is reaching you well friend.
I want to hear from you in the comment section below!