So many choices of self-help books on the shelves, so which are the best personal development books out there?
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
While The Alchemist is more of a novel, many motivational coaches and readers alike highly recommend this for its message of finding one’s Personal Legend, and the importance of persistence. The book takes you to an adventure together with Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, on his quest for treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. What he did not expect was that his journey would be far more enriching than the worldly treasures itself. His journey taught us about the importance of listening to our own hearts, and to be persistent in following our dreams.
“When you want something badly enough, the whole Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Thinking, Fast and Slow is an exceptional book about human minds that will change the way you think. Written by Daniel Kahneman, a Novel prize laureate in Economics, he explained about the two systems in our brain: System 1 is fast and intuitive, but can be rash and irrational; System 2, on the other hand, is deliberate and logical but is terribly slow.
In simple and humorous prose, Kahneman explained about how the two systems affect the way we make decisions and perceive the world, and aims to teach you to think critically while utilising the two systems fully.
3. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
As we live in the Information Age, we are bombarded with too many data and information every second that we forgot how to live life fully. One of the best personal development books ever published, The Power of Now aims to bring you back from your head (or smartphones) to the current moment. The technique of mindfulness allows one to bring one’s attention to the experiences occurring at the present moment, instead of living in the thoughts of past or future. Many researchers have proved that mindfulness correlates with better health, well-being and quality of life. The Power of Now will guide you in your path to mindfulness, to clear any unwanted thoughts and be fully present.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Even one who is not familiar with the self-help industry would recognise this classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Ever since its publication in 1936, it has gone on to become one of the best personal development books of all time, even listed #19 on Time Magazine list of 100 Most Influential Books in 2011. This is a book that provides you with key insights into human relationships and how to genuinely get along with people, something that all of us need guidance or refresher once in a while.
5. The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People is also another classic in the self-help category, having been sold more than 25 million copies after its first publication in 1989. Many personal development books in the market aim to change either the behaviour or the attitude of a person, which is not sufficient if one does not change his/her perception of the world - exactly what Covey wants to share with you. Full of wisdom and insights, this book is definitely one of the best personal development books around and one should not miss it.
Last updated: 21st April, 2019