Personal Development is a lifetime process and there have been many books written across the topic from as many standpoints as you can imagine.
The below books are a great base for anyone interested in personal growth and should be top of your reading list, as some of the most useful and insightful books across the topic with takeaways that you can utilise in your own life.
So, in no particular order….
1. Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman Buy it now here
The groundbreaking bestseller that redefines intelligence and success.
Does IQ define our destiny? In his groundbreaking bestseller, Daniel Goleman argues that our view of human intelligence is far too narrow. It is not our IQ, but our emotional intelligence that plays a major role in thought, decision-making and individual success. Self-awareness, impulse control, persistence, motivation, empathy and social deftness: all are qualities that mark people who excel, whose relationships flourish, who can navigate difficult conversations, who become stars in the workplace.
With new insights into the brain architecture underlying emotion and rationality, Goleman shows precisely how emotional intelligence can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us.
2. The Art of War – Sun Tzu Buy it now here
For more than two thousand years, Sun-tzu’s The Art of War has provided leaders with essential advice on battlefield tactics, managing troops and terrain, and employing cunning and deception. An elemental part of Chinese culture, it has also become a touchstone for the Western struggle for survival and success, whether in battle, in business or in relationships. Now, in this crisp, accessible new translation, John Minford brings this seminal work to life for today’s readers.
Capturing the literary quality of The Art of War – its lucid, epigrammatic, almost poetic style – as well as its philosophical and strategic content, Minford present the core text in two different formats. First, the unadorned thirteen chapters allow readers to form their own first impressions of the ancient words of wisdom ascribed to Sun-tzu. Then the same text appears with extensive running commentary from the canon of traditional Chinese commentators and others, providing context and subtext to the work. A lively, learned introduction, chronologies, suggested readings, and other valuable apparatus round this authoritative volume. Even those readers familiar with The Art of War will experience it anew, finding it more fascinating – and more chilling – than ever.
3. How To Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie Buy it now here
The most famous confidence-boosting book ever published; with sales of over 16 million copies worldwide.
Millions of people around the world have improved their lives based on the teachings of Dale Carnegie. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, he offers practical advice and techniques, in his exuberant and conversational style, for how to get out of a mental rut and make life more rewarding.
His advice has stood the test of time and will teach you how to:
– make friends quickly and easily
– increase your popularity
– persuade people to follow your way of thinking
– enable you to win new clients and customers
– become a better speaker
– boost enthusiasm among your colleagues
This classic book will turn your relationships around and improve your interactions with everyone in your life.
Dale Carnegie, known as ‘the arch-priest of the art of making friends’, pioneered the development of personal business skills, self-confidence and motivational techniques. His books – most notably How to Win Friends and Influence People – have sold tens of millions worldwide and, even in today’s changing climate, they remain as popular as ever.
4. Outliers: The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell Buy it now here
Why do some people achieve so much more than others? Can they lie so far out of the ordinary?
In this provocative and inspiring book, Malcolm Gladwell looks at everyone from rock stars to professional athletes, software billionaires to scientific geniuses, to show that the story of success is far more surprising, and far more fascinating, than we could ever have imagined.
Gladwell reveals that it’s as much about where we’re from and what we do, as who we are – and that no one, not even a genius, ever makes it alone.
Outliers will change the way you think about your own life story, and about what makes us all unique.
5. Atomic Habits – James Clear Buy it now here
A NEW YORK TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
Transform your life with tiny changes in behaviour, starting now.
People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call.
He calls them atomic habits.
In this ground-breaking book, Clear reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter. Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.
These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.
6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey Buy it now here
New York Times bestseller — over 25 million copies sold
The No. 1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for nearly three decades. It has transformed the lives of presidents and CEOs, teachers and parents – millions of people of all ages and occupations. Now, this 30th anniversary edition of the timeless classic commemorates the wisdom of the 7 habits with modern additions from Sean Covey.
The 7 habits have become famous and are integrated into everyday thinking by millions and millions of people. Why? Because they work!
With Sean Covey’s added takeaways on how the habits can be used in our modern age, the wisdom of the 7 habits will be refreshed for a new generation of leaders.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergise
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
This beloved classic presents a principle-centered approach for solving both personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and practical anecdotes, Stephen R. Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity – principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.
“Thirty years after it first appeared, the wisdom of The 7 Habits is more relevant than ever. On an individual level people are burning out, and on a collective level we are burning up the planet. So Dr. Covey’s emphasis on self-renewal and his understanding that leadership and creativity require us to tap into our own physical, mental, and spiritual resources are exactly what we need now.” – Arianna Huffington
7. Thinking, Fast & Slow – Daniel Kahneman Buy it now here
The phenomenal international bestseller – 2 million copies sold – that will change the way you make decisions
Why is there more chance we’ll believe something if it’s in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, rational thinking. This book reveals how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.
8. Social Intelligence – Daniel Goleman Buy it now here
Emotional Intelligence was an international phenomenon, appearing on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and selling more than 5 million copies worldwide. Once again, Daniel Goleman has written a groundbreaking synthesis of the latest findings in biology and brain science, revealing that we are ‘wired to connect’ and the surprisingly deep impact of our relationships on every aspect our lives.
Far more than we are consciously aware, our daily encounters with parents, spouses, bosses, and even strangers, shape our brains and affect cells throughout our bodies, down to the level of our genes – for good or ill. In Social Intelligence, Daniel Goleman explores an emerging new science with startling implications for our interpersonal world. Its most fundamental discovery: we are designed for sociability, constantly engaged in a ‘neural ballet’ that connects us brain-to-brain with those around us.
Goleman explains the surprising accuracy of first impressions, the basis of charisma and emotional power, the complexity of sexual attraction, and how we detect lies. He describes the ‘dark side’ of social intelligence, from narcissism to Machiavellianism and psychopathy. He also reveals our astonishing capacity for ‘mindsight’, as well as the tragedy of those, like autistic children, whose mindsight is impaired.
In this book Daniel Goleman delivers his most heartening news with powerful conviction: we humans have a built-in bias toward empathy, cooperation and altruism – provided we develop the social intelligence to nurture these capacities in ourselves and others.
9. 48 Laws of Power – Robert Greene Buy it now here
THE MILLION COPY INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded – or been victimised by – power.
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