Top 10 Personal Development Books

Even though we’ve written articles about how you could improve your digital marketing skills, let’s not forget about another type of skill that hiring managers and companies look for nowadays. In a world where information and learning is becoming more and more accessible, another thing that sets people apart is emotional intelligence and soft skills. For example, someone in a leadership position does need job specific skills, but he also needs to have empathy, mindfulness, and be able to communicate with people on all levels. This is something that could take a lifetime to develop and refine, but we decided to take a look at 10 books that guide you in your personal development and help you obtain the skills you want.

1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey

First published in 1989, this book has since sold more than 25 million copies and been translated into 40 languages worldwide. The book was categorized as both a business and a self-improvement book and offers insightful tips on how to determine and organize your thoughts, principles, and values in order to attain goals and be successful. Stephen Covey starts out by explaining the necessity of a “paradigm shift” – a change in the old ways of thinking, a breakthrough in the way we approach our problems, our life, and the people in it. Named the #1 most influential business book of the twentieth century, this is a book that has inspired and impacted millions all over the world.

Personal Development- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

2. The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent

The Power of Positive Thinking was written in 1952, and the fact that it’s still one of the top suggestions for personal development books is a testament to the fact that Normal Peale’s message is timeless. Seen as a predecessor to The Secret, this book has practical techniques which will teach you how to break the worry habit, expect the best and get it, as well as develop the power to reach any goals you might have. All the tips the author provides are based on case studies and stories that show the reader how changing your attitude can you give you peace of mind and help you achieve anything you want.

3. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor who chronicled his time at a concentration camp during World War II. His book details his life in the camp, but also gives lessons on spiritual survival and positive thinking in times of crisis. Frankl’s conclusion is that the meaning of life can be found in every moment of living, and the ability to hold on to your spiritual self and to have a hope in the future is what will move us forward. The Library of Congress named this one of the ten most influential books in the United States.

4. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets To Success, One Relationship At A Time, by Keith Ferrazzi 

Keith Ferrazzi claims that the secret to getting ahead and climbing the ladder to personal success is reaching out to other people. In other words, his idea is that by connecting with other people, helping friends connect with other friends, and by using the power of those relationships, you can achieve success in both your personal and your professional life. The book also includes practical tips such as: “Don’t keep score”, “Never eat alone”, and “Ping” constantly”.

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

Personal Development - Never Eat Alone

How to Win Friends and Influence People was published in 1936 and has since then been sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It’s considered one of the best-selling books of all time and is often at the top of lists of influential books even now, proving that it is still effective and actual. Dale Carnegie helps you achieve your maximum potential through tips on how to make a good first impression, how to become a good conversationalist, and how to become a better executive. A book that’s helpful for everyone, no matter the life stage they are in.

6. The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama XIV and Howard C. Cutler

The Art of Happiness was written by the 14th Dalai Lama together with Howard Cutler, an American writer and psychiatrist. The book is centered around the idea that the purpose of our life is happiness, but happiness is not determined by our jobs or wealth, but rather by our own perception. The authors explore the concept of happiness and give valuable advice on training the mind for happiness, deepening our connections with others, and overcoming obstacles. Understanding the sources of our happiness and setting our goals with those sources in mind can ultimately help us change our outlook about the world and our own self-worth.

7. The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-prize winning NY Times reporter who, in his book, tried to explore the concepts of habits and productivity with the help of science. He describes his visits at neuroscience laboratories which explore how the mind works, and how exactly habits reside in our brains. By analyzing the habits of successful people in all industries, whether it’s sports or finance, Duhigg proves that all of these people have keystone habits that helped them achieve their goals.

8. 20/20 Life Vision Challenge, by Arman Rousta

The 20/20 Life Vision Challenge is a program created to bring together all facets and eras of life into one holistic picture, so that you can better tune to your true purpose, nurture your gifts and have a more fulfilling and productive overall experience. The journey is broken down into three phases – Discovery, Self-Assessment and Vision Creation – which are featured in two sections – the Guidebook and Workbook.

9. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist, economist, and Nobel Memorial Prize winner. In his book, he distinguishes two different ways people think: the first mode is described as fast, emotional, and automatic; the second – a slower thought process based on logic, deliberation and calculations. 

Personal Development - 20/20 Life Vision Challenge

After analyzing the capabilities and faults of each type of thought process, Kahneman concludes that everything that happens in our personal and professional lives can be understood and handled only when these two thought modes working together. Achieving a balance between acting solely based on instinct and making slow, calculating decisions leads to increased life satisfaction, well-being, and happiness.

10. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now was written as a guide to spiritual enlightenment based on the power of living in the present moment. The book has a Q&A format that is meant to convey the message in a simple and concise manner, with the very first question being “Enlightenment – what is that?”. The core message of the book is that losing ourselves in anxiety about the past or future has a negative impact on our happiness. Focusing on the present moment and letting go of worries about the future can help us become more mindful, can improve our relationships and give us a state of peace.


If you’ve enjoyed any of the above suggestions or have a personal development book you love that we didn’t mention above, let us know!

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