Looking for some of the best, life changing books to add to your reading list? Here is a collection of personal development books that have inspired, made a great impact on me and changed my thinking or behaviour in some way.
Click the links below to jump to a specific category:
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
Are you in introvert? Or do you know/live with/are in love with one? Then this book is for you. The author candidly talks about her experiences and challenges as an introvert and how she makes us of different strategies to rise to the occasion in different situations. A great read!
Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
I daresay this book was one of the pioneering sources of material in making the case for the importance of emotional intelligence – or EQ. Presenting solid facts, data, scientific and psychological principles, the author expounds on why sometimes EQ is more valuable than IQ.
Working with Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Continuing in the same vein of his best-selling book, Daniel Goleman talks about the importance of EQ in the workplace. He identifies several methods we could use to foster them over the course of one’s career.
Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence – Daniel Goleman
The ability to focus is a skill, and Daniel Goleman describes in deep detail how we can regain control of our focusing capabilities – in this attention-deficit world.
Reading People: How to Understand People and predict their Behavior – by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius & Wendy Patrick Mazzarella
Is that person lying? When should we trust our intuition? Dr. Dimitrius, a leading behavioural expert in the States and co-author Mazzarella answers these questions and more, by showing us how we can read a person like a book. I recommend trying out all the strategies listed in one chapter before moving on to the next.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – Carol S. Dweck
Dr. Dweck shows how success in various areas in life depends on our mindset. Through extensive research and study, she categorizes people into two mindsets – fixed (not so good to have) and growth (great to have). She also outlines strategies for individuals, parents, teachers and coaches on how we can educate ourselves and our children on cultivating a growth mindset.
Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
In this interesting book, the author talks about the successful examples in our society and our fascination with them. He touches on why we often forget that one’ success is usually made up of – culture, place of birth, family, year of birth and even the era one is born in. This actually changed my views on success.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Paperback – Charles Duhigg
Backed by research and science, the author explains how habits are formed and how we can kick the bad ones to the curb. I particularly enjoyed the first part of the book where the author explains how habits come about, the power of habits and so on. The book is thoroughly researched with great explanations and examples.
7 habits of highly effective people – Stephen R. Covey
Hands down one of the most powerful books of all-time. As someone who struggles with putting habits in place, this shifted my thinking on many things. The advice is practical and inspirational, with lots of challenges for you to start doing and putting in place in your life. Seriously, if you’d want to be more successful at anything, you won’t go wrong with this book.
The Little Book of Mindfulness
In this very portable book – I used to carry it around in my bag – , the author presents 5 to 10 minute mindfulness strategies you can incorporate into your daily life. The exercises are evidence-based and straightforward.
Wherever you go, there you are – Jon Kabat-Zinn
This books explores mindfulness from the perspective of Buddhism and focuses on the importance of being in the present. I found this to be particularly effective when combined with meditation. This was my very first book on mindfulness and really changed how I dealt with stress and negative thoughts.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
This was a very profound book for me and it took me quite awhile to get through the chapters. It’s a spiritually enlightening read that will really make you reflect on not only living in the present, but the meaning of your existence as well.
Leave Your Mind Behind – Matthew McKay & Catharine Sutker
Many of us walk around with a head full of troubling thoughts – how do we even begin to manage them? This book offers 50 fun, easy-to-implement strategies for people to let go of negative thoughts and experience mindfulness. I picked this up during a particularly stressful time in life and have the exercises to be some of the most effective I’ve seen so far.
The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You – Deanne Duke
The author shares her personal journey in eliminating toxins from Motivated by loved ones falling ill, she leaves no stone unturned – looking at everything from clothing to makeup to the water and air we take in daily. She put in an amazing amount of effort in gathering information as the book is just filled to the brim with details on products etc that you should stay away from. You will never look at your environment the same way ever again.
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat Hardcover – Nell Stephenson
Want to eat healthy? Simple. Just follow the diet of our ancestors and you’re set. The author explains what Paleo is, its benefits and presents simple, easy-to-follow Paleo recipes you can cook up anytime.
Time Management & Productivity
Do It Tomorrow – Mark Forster
If you are a fan of using systems and structures to maintain manage your time and productivity, then this book will appeal to you. Although some tips might seem very simplistic – and they are – the author presents it in a way which, when tied together with the novel strategies that he talks about, forms a very robust productivity system that you can make use of every single day.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs – Carmine Gallo
I picked this up for work and I was pretty amazed at the amount of information it had. It’s an easy read and the author gives many examples of what good presentation is. It goes beyond presenting skills as well and outlines what you truly need to be successful in the workplace too.