There are books, and there are BOOKS. What makes a great book? It’s that it never leaves you the same person after reading it! Here are 12 motivational books I strongly recommend you read. They are ALL global bestsellers. Some of day were written recently; some of them were written more than a hundred years ago. Reading any one of these books will change your life. Reading all of them will REVOLUTIONIZE your life completely. Here they are:
- OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS BY MALCOLM GLADWELL
Outliers, as defined by Malcolm Gladwell, are highly exceptional people. They are the best of the best. The ones whose successes range at the outer edge of each statistic. Outliers simply do not fit the regular understanding of success, due to their vast accomplishments. It’s the very mystery that surrounds these high-achievers that motivated the author to investigate their story of success. Mark Gladwell’s book Outliers invites us to embark on an intellectual journey in which he reflects about the nature of success. In an interesting manner, he introduces the idea that if we really want to understand a person’s exceptional successes, we have to understand where they come from. It’s this very idea that led Gladwell to investigate the early life of greatly successful high-achievers such as Bill Gates and the many idiosyncrasies surrounding these people. It’s an interesting journey during which Malcolm Gladwell discovers what an important impact the 10,000 hour rule had on these people. The rule based on the understanding that the key to access, in every area of life, is to accomplish greatness, which requires mental power, persistence and time.
- TALENT IS OVERRATED BY GEOFF COLVIN
Geoff Colvin’s book comes with an incredibly motivating message: Success is not determined by talent or genetics, but for the most part by willpower, perseverance and deliberate practice. That’s an important message, especially when so many people attribute their lack of success to a lack of talent or bad genes. Talent is Overrated highlights in a brilliant manner what really separates top performers from the rest. Geoff Colvin does this by analyzing a wide variety of world-class performers, ranging from Warren Buffett, Tiger Woods to Winston Churchill. Interestingly enough, it’s not talent or just plain hard work that enabled them to achieve true greatness. As Colvin rightly points out in a very motivating way, it’s the way we practice, how we analyze our progress and learn from mistakes that will ultimately enable us to attain greatness.
- THE GREATEST SALESMAN IN THE WORLD BY OG MANDINO
Even if you’re not a salesman, there are some great pieces of wisdom to be found within the lines of this book. Normally, one would expect that this book is all about selling and closing the deal. But there’s much more to the book. And it has the potential to profoundly impact your life. Especially the exploration of ancient scroll #1 offers some profound wisdom about what you can do to change every aspect of your life.
- THE ART OF WAR BY SUN TZU
This unique book will motivate you to think differently about conflict and overcoming challenges. Quotes such as: “The wise warrior avoids the battle.” highlight the philosophical nature of Tzu’s principles. The Art of War will show you how important strategy, timing, preparedness and the ability to take immediate advantage of opportunities are the cornerstones of success. Even more so, this motivating book points out how important it is for our own development to overcome conflicts wisely and honorably, but most important of all: victoriously. After having read this prestigious and powerful book of strategy, you’ll notice that your whole approach to the pursuit of your dreams takes on a new and exciting shape. But the book will also spur your interest in the concept of being victorious without battle.
- RICH DAD, POOR DAD BY ROBERT KIYOSAKI
Even though this book is sometimes criticized as portraying academic education and the working classes in a negative way, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, still has some unique insights to offer. Here’s what this book is all about: Imagine you grew up with a poor, but highly educated father on one side, and another father who is a multi-millionaire on the other side. Robert Kiyosaki found himself in such a situation and seized the opportunity to learn from both of them, which helped him to meet a decision that would change his life forever.
- AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN BY TONY ROBBINS
Considered by many as the most well-known motivational speaker alive, Tony Robbins shares in his book various strategies and techniques for self-mastery. His ambition with Awaken the Giant Within was to help you take control of your financial, physical, emotional and mental destiny. Needless to say that Robbins absolutely fulfilled this ambition with his inspiring and incredibly motivating book. Not only does the book include timeless philosophical thoughts designed to help you live to your full potential, but the book also puts great emphasis on the implementation of its practical knowledge in daily life. Another great motivational boost is the fact that Tony Robbins speaks about his own struggles and what he did to overcome these. That’s a great bonus for the reader, especially if confronted with similar problems.
- THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE BY STEPHEN R. COVEY
Stephen Covey’s motivating book presents a unique approach to increasing one’s effectiveness in various areas of life. The book does not only present its powerful philosophy, but it also makes you become more and more motivated to strive for a higher level of effectiveness in your personal but also professional life with every page you read. Even more so, the author challenges you to be more successful in the pursuit of your goals. Therefore, Covey’s lessons in personal change focus primarily on the importance of acquiring and developing powerful habits. This is done in order to highlight the powerful impact that both beneficial and negative habits can have upon your life. But Covey also embeds his ideas in a philosophy that is centered on interesting principles of character ethic. Furthermore, his roadmap for better living presents a holistic approach for solving the major and minor problems we’re confronted with in daily life. The book is a classic, but definitely worth reading.
- THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON BY GEORGE CLASON
Centered around the topics of financial planning and personal wealth, this timeless classic introduces the reader to Babylonian parables that are both inspiring and informative. It’s a widely popular bestseller that provides some great ideas about what needs to be done not only to keep more of your money, but also to establish a sound financial foundation.
- AS A MAN THINKETH BY JAMES ALLEN
Published in 1902, As a Man Thinketh is a profound, yet incredibly powerful classic. Usually, motivational books are centered on strategies that help you to become more successful in life. But James Allen’s reflections go much deeper than that. What he uncovers is the great impact that the thoughts you choose to entertain have upon your life. Along the line of “what you think you’ll eventually become,” Allen explains how thinking shapes our personality, which in turn greatly influences the way we behave. He also motivates the reader to seek for purity of mind and to strive for integrity and honesty in life. But what is so motivating about this book is that James Allen encourages you to carefully observe your own thoughts and actions so that a clean heart, life and body can emerge.
- THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING BY NORMAN PEALE
From our history books, we all know a couple of incredibly powerful innovations that were heavily ridiculed and attacked, before they finally profoundly changed the status quo. The same was true when Norman Vincent Peale published his classic The Power of Positive Thinking in 1956. Psychologists, theologians and literature critics alike criticized him for his unusual idea that positive thinking can deeply influence your life. 70 years later, scientists have proven over and over again how positive it is to be optimistic. It’s a brilliant book that motivates you to take action and to develop a healthy faith in yourself.
- HOW TO WIN FRIENDS & INFLUENCE PEOPLE BY DALE CARNEGIE
Filled with practical and easy advise, this book shows you in a concise manner how you can make a friend out of just anyone. Interestingly enough, it’s perhaps the very first best-selling book published in the area of self-help. This classic piece addresses the different strategies in handling people and what you can do to make others like you. It’s greatly inspiring to read about Carnegie’s techniques on winning people to your way of thinking. But the motivational power of this book lies in its unique ability to free yourself out of a mental rut. Plus, it’s very inspiring to ponder about the different thoughts that Dale Carnegie shares in his book. To say it with the authors words, it’s not about who you are and what you have that makes you feel happy or sad; it’s what you think about it.
- THINK AND GROW RICH BY NAPOLEON HILL
There are thousands of self-help books that promise to teach you to increase your income and to succeed in any line of work. But none of them come close to the best-selling classic Think and Grow Rich that was published in 1937. The book is based on the insights of Napoleon Hill, who closely studied more than five hundred of the most successful individuals of his time. The impressive findings of this motivating book made it an exceptionally helpful guide that sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. Many modern-day books address the very same issues Napoleon Hill identified during his investigations of illustrious people such as Henry Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Thomas Edison. But none of these books radiate the impressive motivational power of the original. This one is the mother of all motivational books.