First let me be clear as why one should read a self-improvement book. Not because your life will turn around, not because it gives you a few days of motivation and also not because you can boast about the books you’ve read. As we are the “most intelligent” species on this planet we have a lot of knowledge provided by our ancestors readily. As many people are not very good at self-introspection it is a good idea to know about yourself by reading books. I’m not suggesting to follow them blindly but at least give them a critical read so that you can have a different perspective of looking at things. So here’s my list of best self-improvement books.
- Thinking Fast and Slow
Written by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, this is probably the best book to understand how our thought process works. He explains how our brain has two sides of thinking.
“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
- Emotional Intelligence
This book by Daniel Goleman explains how one’s emotional intelligence is important to succeed in any area including work. This makes us emotionally smart and conscious.
“People’s emotions are rarely put into words, far more often they are expressed through other cues.
the key to intuiting another’s feelings is in the ability to read nonverbal channels , tone of voice , gesture , facial expression and the like”
- The Power of Now
We generally have the habit of dwelling on the past and dreaming about the future. This book by Eckhart Tolle explains the importance of the present and how it shapes our future.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
Malcolm Gladwell explains how successful people achieved the great success everyone just dreams of. This is one simple guide to master any skill.
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
- The Road less travelled
Almost everyone heard about the road less travelled one way or the other. Though it is decades older it perfectly captures the nature of our relationships and helps us improve them.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
- Think and grow rich
This fantastic book is not much about the finance but more about building a rich life. This explains the importance of goal setting and the burning desire. Reading it will definitely motivate you.
“The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.”
- The 7 habits of highly effective people
This book helps you cultivate habits based on timeless principles which make you effective in every area of life: physically, mentally, and spiritually.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
- As you think
The re-casted version of As a man thinketh by James Allen introduces you to the power of thought. How our thoughts shape our personality, circumstances and ultimately our life. This very short book gives a very deep insight.
“The human will, that force unseen, The offspring of a deathless soul, Can hew a way to any goal, Though walls of granite intervene.”
- The One thing
This book by Gary Keller brings down our goal to one single thing that we can do every day. It beautifully explains the domino effect of our actions and helps us to take advantage of it.
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls–family, health, friends, integrity–are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”
- The Defining Decade
This book by Meg Jay is a must read for every 20-30 youngster as it clears most of the confusions that may arise during this phase of life. What makes it more interesting is it offers solutions of problems in our digital age.
“Forget about having an identity crisis and get some identity capital. … Do something that adds value to who you are. Do something that’s an investment in who you might want to be next.”