If you’ve decided to jumpstart your personal journey but aren’t sure where to begin, picking up the right book can make a world of difference. I, myself, have a bookshelf absolutely full of these works I’ve gathered over the years. Yet, with hundreds upon hundreds of books out there on this topic, finding the right one can be extremely daunting. I wish to make it a little easier for you. Listed below are the top ten personal development books of 2018. If you’re looking for a place to begin your reading journey, these are excellent starts. Not to mention, they’re all available as print and eBooks to suit your particular reading style.
- Leadership and Self-deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute
Self-deception actually determines one’s experience in every aspect of life. The extent to which it does that – and in particular the extent to which it determines the nature of one’s influence on, and experience of, others – is the subject of this book. . . [Self-deception] blinds us to the true causes of problems, and once we’re blind, all the ‘solutions’ we can think of will actually make matters worse. Whether at work or at home, self-deception obscures the truth about ourselves, corrupts our view of others and our circumstances, and inhibits our ability to make wise and helpful decisions. To the extent that we are self-deceived, both our happiness and our leadership is undermined at every turn.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.
The alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.
But this was not how the author of the book ended the story.
He said that when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.
“Why do you weep?” the goddesses asked.
“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.
“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”
“But…was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.
“Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses said in wonder. “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”
The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said:
“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”
“What a lovely story,” the alchemist thought.
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
In more than 25 years of working with people in business, university, and marriage and family settings, I have come in contact with many individuals who have achieved an incredible degree of outward success, but have found themselves struggling with an inner hunger, a deep need for personal congruency and effectiveness and for healthy, growing relationships with other people. . . We began to realize that if we wanted to change the situation, we first had to change ourselves. And to change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
John Wanamaker, the founder of the stores that bear his name, once confessed: “I learned thirty years ago that it is foolish to scold. I have enough trouble overcoming my own limitations without fretting over the fact that God has not seen fit to distribute evenly the gift of intelligence.”
Wanamaker learned this lesson early, but I personally had to blunder through this old world for a third of a century before it even began to dawn upon me that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t criticize themselves for anything, no matter how wrong it may be.
Criticism is futile because it puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.
- What to Say When You Talk to Your Self by Dr. Shad Helmstetter
Life, for most of us, should be pretty good.
We have all heard what life is supposed to offer: endless opportunities, the fulfillment of our dreams, and a chance to live each day in a way that brings happiness and success. Most of us want and need at least a successful job or career, a good family life, and reasonable financial security. We expect that from life. We know deep inside that we deserve our fair share and we have every right to attain it.
Have you ever wondered, then, why things don’t work out the way they should? Why do we not get from life many of the things we would like to have – and know we should? Why do some people seem to be “lucky,” while the great majority of the rest of us seem not to be?
- The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. But with self-confidence, you can succeed. A sense of inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and achievement. Because of the importance of this mental attitude, this book will help you believe in yourself and release your inner powers.
An appalling number of people are made miserable by an inferiority complex. But you need not suffer from this trouble. You can develop faith in yourself.
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcom Gladwell
This is a book about outliers, about men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary. Over the course of the chapters ahead, I’m going to introduce you to one kind of outlier after another: to geniuses, business tycoons, rock stars, and software programmers. We’re going to uncover the secrets of a remarkable lawyer, look at what separates the very best pilots from pilots who have crashed planes, and try to figure out why Asians are so good at math. And in examining the lives of the remarkable among us – the skilled, the talented, and the driven – I will argue that there is something profoundly wrong with the way we make sense of success.
What is the question we always ask about the successful? We want to know what they’re like – what kind of personalities they have, or how intelligent they are, or what kind of lifestyles they have, or what special talents they might have been born with. And we assume that it is those personal qualities that explain how that individual reached the top.
- Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial by Tony Robbins
We all have dreams… We all want to believe deep down in our souls that we have a special gift, that we can make a difference, that we can touch others in a special way, and that we can make the world a better place. At one time in our lives, we all had a vision for the quality of life that we desire and deserve. Yet, for many of us, those dreams have become so shrouded in the frustrations and routines of daily life that we no longer even make an effort to accomplish them. For far too many, the dream has dissipated —and with it, so has the will to shape our destinies. Many have lost that sense of certainty that creates the winner’s edge. My life’s quest has been to restore the dream and to make it real, to get each of us to remember and use the unlimited power that lies sleeping within us all.
- High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Bruchard
During the journey, I will expose many of the prevailing myths about “success,” including why grit, willpower, practice, and your “natural” strengths and talents are not enough to take you to the next level in a world that demands you add value, lead others, and manage competing priorities and complex projects. To reach high performance, you have to consider more than your individual passions and efforts, and you’ll have to go well beyond what you like, prefer, or naturally do well, because, to be frank, the world cares less about your strengths and personality than about your service and meaningful contributions to others.
By the end of this book, you will never again wonder what it really takes to succeed when starting a new project at work or pursuing a bold new dream. You will be empowered with a set of reliable habits that research has shown to work with a broad range of personalities, and in a variety of situations, to create extraordinary long-term results. You’ll feel a new sense of vital energy and confidence from knowing where to focus your energies and how to serve most effectively. You’ll understand how to keep growing after you’ve enjoyed initial success. If you’re ever thrown into a situation where you must work or compete with others at the highest levels of achievement, you’ll know exactly how to think and what to do.
- Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy
Willpower doesn’t work.
Let’s be honest, you’ve tried to improve your life a million times – and a million times you’ve come back to the drawing board, frustrated. You’ve tried willpower to kick a bad habit but fell back into old patterns. You’ve tried New Year’s resolutions, but by February, everything reverts back to how it was the year before. You’ve set big, life-changing goals but seem to find yourself far short of them despite hard work. After enough failure, it is easy to conclude that you are the problem. You must not have what it takes – the grit, the inner strength, the willpower. Perhaps you should just settle for the life you have…
But what if the assessment was all wrong?
What if the problem wasn’t you at all?
We hope you enjoyed our favorites and plan to get some of these books to make a change in 2019! If you need a little extra help this year, don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation to work with a life coach to achieve your personal or professional goals.