In today’s modern world, there’s no shortage of resources to inspire you to become the best version of yourself. No matter what you want to achieve in life, there’s plenty of podcasts, TED Talks and articles that will help you get there. Even Netflix has ventured into self-development territory, featuring docos on everything from saving money, to healthy eating and minimalism. But every now and again, you’ve got to get back to the OG platform for personal development: books. Whether you’re a Kindle convert or loyal to your dogeared paperback, nothing enriches your mind quite like a great read. Speak to any successful person and they’ll be able to rattle off at least 10 titles that have helped them on their path to greatness.
Unfortunately, we’re all so busy these days, it can be hard to find the time to even pick up a book! But even reading just one a month can help you expand your perspective and inspire you to make positive changes in your life. It’s just a matter of picking the right ones! That’s why we’ve rounded up the 12 most life-changing books you should add to your shelf. Whether you want to start your own business, become a great leader or just live a more fulfilling life, there’s one for every month of the year.
1. The Power of Now
The Power of Now is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but its message is more relevant than ever. How often do you find yourself ruminating on the past or future, rather than focusing on what you’re doing? Based around the idea that the key to happiness is living in the present, this iconic book is the original guide to mindfulness.
2. Tools of Titans
This book was only released last year, but it’s already shaping up to be an absolute game-changer. Over the last two years, author Tim Ferris has interviewed more than 200 of the world’s most successful people for his podcast, The Tim Ferris Show. The best pearls of wisdom have been distilled into this ultimate toolkit for success. It’s packed with actionable advice from everyone from world-class athletes, billionaire CEOs and super celebs like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Foxx.
3. Spirit Junkie
Want to create the type of life that makes you psyched to wake up in the morning? Add Spirit Junkie to your reading list. In this enlightening read, party girl turned spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein shares how she turned her life around by swapping self-doubt for self-love.
4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F***
This hilarious read is far from your usual self-help book. Written by internet entrepreneur Mark Manson, it’s based around the idea that we’re all too caught up in trying to be positive all the time. Instead, Mark says the key to happiness is accepting that life isn’t always going to be rainbows and butterflies. It’s raw, in-your-face and perfect for anyone who cares way too much about everything.
5. The Alchemist
Unlike the other books on this list, The Alchemist is a novel. But it’s often referred to as one of the most life-changing modern classics, thanks to its powerful lessons about fate and destiny. It tells the story of a shepherd called Santiago, who goes on a journey to discover his ‘Personal Legend.’
6. The 5 Love Languages
The cover of this book resembles a cheesy romantic novel but make no mistake: it might just save your relationship. Ever wondered why your boyfriend doesn’t shower you with compliments, but turns up to surprise you at the airport? According to Gary Chapman, it’s because there are five different ways that people express their love and affection. It might be worth giving it to your partner to read once you’re done with it, too!
7. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
First published in 1989, this groundbreaking book is an oldie but a goodie. It teaches you how to solve problems and become a happier, more productive version of yourself. All of the advice is super practical and easy to apply to your everyday life.
8. Rich Dad Poor Dad
We know, this one looks and sounds a little boring — but hear us out! Rich Dad Poor Dad is the ultimate starting point for anyone who wants to gain control of their financial future. Richard Kiyosaki uses the story of his two dads (his real father and friend’s dad) to make tricky financial concepts easy to understand. The sooner you read this book, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a bank balance beyond your wildest dreams!
9. Big Magic
This New York Times bestseller is all about fighting against fear and unearthing your inner creativity. Whether you want to write a novel, build an empire or simply be more creative in your day-to-day life, you won’t be able to put this inspiring read down!
10. Awaken The Giant Within
Many people have credited this book for changing their lives, thanks to Tony’s powerful lessons about taking control of your own life. It’s a must-read for anyone who is trying to kick a habit like smoking or excessive spending.
11. Thinking, Fast and Slow
This revolutionary book delves into the human mind to explain the two systems that define the way we think. It focuses on the idea that tapping into the two different ways of thinking (fast and slow) at the right time can help us make decisions that will enrich our lives. It’s a little more on the scientific side than most self-development books, but is still really easy to understand.
In this inspiring book, the Huffington Post editor-in-chief picks apart what it means to be successful in today’s world. Drawing upon her own personal journey and scientific research, she explains that the constant drive for money and power has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illness. Instead, she believes we should be focusing on the third metric of success – to truly thrive.