Greatest personal development books of all time
Today’s fast-paced and high-stress culture has spawned thousands of self-help books, each promising to be the key to living a happier and more successful life. With so much choice, it is easy for quality titles to get lost among the shelves. The following 50 books are some of the most influential self-help books of all time.
1. Outliers: The Story of Success By Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers, the third book from Malcolm Gladwell, discusses the collection of factors that go into high levels of success. Gladwell uses his training in Psychology and experience as a journalist to analyze complex social theories and present them in a way that is easy to digest.
Gladwell uses real-world examples like Bill Gates and The Beatles to illustrate the journey from obscurity to mainstream success and how it is possible for anyone who executes the right strategies. One example of such strategy is the “10, 000 hour rule”, which states any skill can be acquired by anybody willing to put in 10, 000 hours worth of practice.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change By Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people has been helping people become more efficient for over 25 years. Originally published in 1989, Covey boils down the common habits of the most successful people into 7 easy to implement habits for the reader to incorporate into his or her everyday life.
The 7 habits outlined in the book are:
-Begin with the end in mind
-Put first things first
-Seek first to understand, then to be understood
-Sharpen the Saw
These 7 habits give readers the skills needed to achieve self-mastery, and then use those skills to become highly efficient in working well with others. Covey’s classic is a must-read for those on the journey of personal development.
3. The Last Lecture By Randy Pausch
The Last Lecture is a lengthened version of the Final lecture professor Randy Pausch gave before he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. The book focuses on core principles for his children to embody as part of their everyday lives. It highlights the importance of a mentor, as well as paying it forward by being a mentor towards others.
The content is broken down into 3 subjects. The first is the importance of having dreams. Giving oneself the permission to dream is essential in turning abstract dreams into concrete goals. The second subject is enabling the dreams of others. This focuses on Pausch’s idea that the best way to learn something is to think you are learning something else. The final subject is Pausch summarizing the various life-lessons he learned throughout his life.
The Last Lecture is an emotional and motivational read that highlights the role of student-professor relationship in personal development.