When a personal goal is at stake, time is precious. Tons of personal development books compete for our time and attention—so which ones are worth it?
Here are my top 5 favorite personal development books in alphabetical order.
1. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell: This books help tap the power of “thinking without thinking” and drills down into how intuition and first impressions give us deep understanding. Gladwell, who also wrote Outliers and The Tipping Point, has a way of looking at the world that challenges readers to see the conventional wisdom that may be holding us back without conscious thought. He has a gift of mining the latest data for the most universal connection.
2. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: How would you reboot your life if you could? It’s one thing to say you’re going to follow your passion; this author had the courage to jump on a plan and find out. The book title and sections align with the parts of her life that she wanted to integrate. She stays open and honest about the journey, and her vulnerability and capacity for risk keep it real.
3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz: — At only 160 pages, this is like the tiny box under the Christmas tree that holds a life-changing gift. Anyone who adopts these four principles (be impeccable with your word; don’t take anything personally; don’t make assumptions; always do your best) is on the way to breaking down their self-imposed limits. Another book where the power is in a simple message.
4. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl: This is all about purpose, and how that can drive us to survive and thrive even in the worst situations. Frankl, a psychiatrist, conducted his research in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. From that darkness, he shines a light on the indomitable human spirit and why it’s so critical to know your why.
5. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz: The authors take the pulse of the modern office culture to determine that the way we work is broken. More multitasking is counterproductive; we develop far more swiftly and with greater abilities if we think about managing our energy more than our time. Full engagement is the integration of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
The ideas and advice that we absorb from reading take time to process. The best personal development books offer great insight and the concrete instruction to create your own blueprint for getting the most out of your talent and time. I’d love to know what has helped you keep pushing and realizing your personal goals, so send me your favorite titles, too. Here’s to some very productive reading!
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.