Personal Development books are a great way to learn some insight into whatever topic you desire. Each book has a different goal, and tries to drill their concept in a diverse way. Some books help you start on your journey to success, while others give you a boost when you are already on the right course to victory but losing your mojo.
Yes it is true that no one book is going to dramatically change your life. There is a difference between consuming a book and putting a book’s learnings into action. Ideally for a self-help book to have an impact, you need to implement what you read.
I have read many self-help books however some have really stood out to me that I think are worth sharing. Read below to see what 5 personal development books I recommend which have great principles that are easy to implement into your daily lives.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carneige
This book is one of the oldest and most influential self-improvement books there are, hence I have put this at the top of my list. You can almost say this is the classic, timeless personal development book, and the top seller book on social skills and communication.
Written in 1936, it is interesting to see how the concepts back then have barely been outdated to today. It just proves that our life skills should never change no matter how much the world around us will change, especially when it comes to communication. It highlights that good communication is not to do with natural talent but certain tactics. It is a skill that we can practice and improve on.
This book was mainly created for the door-to-door salesmen of that era. Essentially it was for them to learn to influence people and increase their sales. However the book’s rules translate to anybody who is wanting to gain relationships. This could be in your line of work, or your personal life. Essentially it is a life skill that everybody must know and follow.
The crux of the book is that you need to make it about the other person. By making the other person feel appreciated, and special, you are already on your course to success. Just by asking how somebody’s day is and actually listening to the response and turning it into a conversation will already give you brownies points with the other person. The idea in sales that the customer is always right, and it is always about them, is practically what Carneige is saying.
The easy to implement principles that the author drills into us can be used in any aspect of our lives and at any time possible. Because they are such basic, yet influential traits, highlights why this book is still one of the most popular self-help books there are today.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
This book focuses on finances and managing wealth. The book is almost a bible for finance with valuable principles for a more effective and enjoyable life around money and personal finance.
The book uses an interesting concept by contrasting two characters – a rich dad and a poor dad. Essentially the disparity comes down to certain outcomes when a person with not very good finance management deals with money, and outcomes where a person with acute financial management is working with money. The ways in which both men’s thoughts are shaped about money and investing is vastly different.
The general premise from the book is that those who are considered “poor” are fundamentally working for their money ie. Their main and sometimes only income is their primary job. Whereas a “rich” person makes their money work for them. This is in the concept of assets (although there is a good spiel about how your primary household is not your main asset). It debunks any theory that in order to be rich you need have a high income, but it is instead how you go about making the money.
Although this book is suitable for all ages (I read it in my 20s), there is a big focus for parents. The book explores the importance of parents needing to teach their children about the concept of money and cannot rely on the school system to teach their kids this. The author also helps the parent understand what they need to teach their kids about money for their future financial success.
If your goal is to increase your financial knowledge, then this is the go-to book for you.
Getting Things Done by David Allen
The title explains itself really. This book is all about getting things done. David Allen has a very direct approach in this book and does not skirt around ideas, but tells you exactly what to do to get things done. It is a step by step approach where you are given direction on achieving productivity.
David Allen loves examples. This helps him, considering he gives you an instruction list on how to do things, which can get boring very quickly. Psychologically we are almost inclined to do the opposite when we are told what to do. However when Allen backs it up with fruitful examples, we are actually convinced that he knows what he is talking about and will follow his guide.
The best thing about this book is that even though there are too many books out there about being more productive, procrastinating less, reducing laziness, and taking control of your life, they all merge into the same principles, yet this book stands out from the rest. Not only is it a basic list to follow, which means it is actually actionable, it is not a boring, generic book with muddling principles where you will incorporate some into your life and not others. The way this book is written is that you cannot do one step without doing the other, thus you are most likely to incorporate the entire book into your daily lives.
The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
I have added this book because the concept is interesting. Being quite scientific and biology based, it is essentially a book about how you think about thinking. The author is a science doctor, and him along with other leading-edge scientists share their discoveries about the brain and the interaction between the mind and the body.
Although this book may be slightly too science-y for some, I enjoyed it because it was a change from the standard personal development books that I would normally read. Also, this book is done in very simple and plain language. It also has illustrations and humour, to make it very relatable, so you will not even realise this book is slightly scientific.
The book also goes into depth about how you need to take control of your life. An example Dr Lipton gives is not to accept the same medical treatment as somebody else. If you have been told whether your disease is curable or not, it is all dependent on the type of method the physician applies. We are all unique with unique cells, and so each disease needs to be approached differently so we can discover the right method for our body.
Many self-help books also talk about stress and how to overcome this. This book is valuable because it explains stress from a biological point of view bringing your immune system into play. The book then switches from medical into spirituality by discussing the benefits of meditating. Dr Lipton discusses how mediation reduces negative subconscious thoughts that are detrimental to our health.
It is a wholesome book, with some great learnings not even for your personal life but to get an easy science and biology lesson here and there.
The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau
I end with this recommendation because essentially this is the one goal we all want. At the end of the day we are all reading these self-help books to find happiness.
Chris Guillebeau is a very inspirational writer, and this book is written based on his own personal experience. He had been travelling for the last ten years of his life and visited all 193 countries in the world. In each country, he interviewed individuals who had unusual pursuits in their own lives as well, and each had a different life lesson to share. By combining all these anecdotes, he was able to create his recent text, The Happiness of Pursuit.
Just reading people’s stories from all over the world and realising that at the end of the day we are all the same with similar perceptions and struggles, we suddenly feel so comfortable in our own skin and sufferings. It is one of those books that anybody can read at any point in their lives.
This is also one of those books that I can keep on reading over and over again. Any time you need some inspiration or motivation, this is the book to go to, as it redevelops that spark inside you and pursue the happiness that you want.