Ten books for personal growth

The road to self-improvement is long and not always forward. As such, entrepreneurs and professionals are regularly seeking better ways to interact with others or to understand what motivates people, all while trying to improve themselves and their business.

There are a lot of books on self-development, some focused purely on business-related matters, while others look more toward emotional or spiritual growth. To help narrow the list, here are ten recommendations from the Next Monday network:

10 Books for Personal Development


Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, By Simon Sinek

Start with Why is a must read for everyone who wants to make sure their "do" stems from their "who." As humans, we are all capable of doing lots of things. We strive for impressing others with "how" we do it. But understanding your "why" and making choices from that place makes for a more fulfilled, impactful and peaceful life.


How to Win Friends and Influence People, By Dale Carnegie

Carnegie's book is a classic from the 1930s that still packs a ton of truth in its nearly 90 year old pages. In this book Carnegie discusses the personal habits that lead to success. Included are: the twelve ways to convert people to your way of thinking, six ways to make people like you, and the nine ways to change people’s opinions without arousing resentment. Regardless of what you intend to do with your life, other people will always be there. Carnegie gives you the tools to effectively recruit others to your cause, rather than have them potentially be obstacles. A must read classic on dealing with other people.


Big Magic, By Elizabeth Gilbert

You might be familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert from her bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love.” If you’re a creative of any kind, then you’ll love Big Magic. Fear is usually one of the biggest factors that holds us back from achieving greatness, and in Big Magic, Elizabeth helps you break down those barriers.


The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, By Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is a must read for anyone who wants to have mastery over their life. The premise is to focus on one thing in every area of your life that will move you forward. In a world where we multitask, this book is really helpful to get you to focus on what's important and how it will help you accomplish your goals.

Daring Greatly, By Brene Brown

The main takeaway of Daring Greatly? You’re not alone in thinking that you’re not worthy. In fact, most people think the same way. It’s the single most universal challenge facing people of all cultures. But you are worth it and you can find that self-worth– and great strength– in the willingness to open up and be vulnerable.


The High Achiever's Guide To Happiness, By Vance and Carol Ann Caesar

When coaching top performers, my go-to resource for self-development is The High Achiever's Guide to Happiness by Vance and Carol Ann Caesar. Their research on high performers sets the stage for a practical dive into understanding your personal vision, goals and engagement. There's lots of white space included to complete answers.


The Gifts Of Imperfection: Let Go Of Who You Think You're Supposed To Be And Embrace Who You Are, By Brene Brown

Many self-help books can inadvertently make you feel worse by presenting a gap between the person you are and the person you want to be. Brene Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, is an exception. This short and to-the-point book stops the vicious cycle of endless striving and provides a path to self-acceptance and contentment.


The Alchemist, By Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, encourages leaders to overcome fear and be persistent in a journey among the unknown. This is a message that is consistently needed. It also shows how when one is focused, success can manifest and be modeled when in consistent action. Despite obstacles we face, it's important to keep moving and stay focused.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, By Stephen R. Covey

Exactly as the title suggests, Covey dives into the 7 habits high achievers have in life. He also lists different techniques you can use to adopt those habits and also become a highly effective individual. The habits featured in this book are about becoming “effective”, both in your personal life and your career.

Strength Finders, By Tom Rath

The basic philosophy behind StrengthsFinder is that everyone has natural talents and that we’ll get the farthest in life if we focus on elevating our personal strengths, rather than trying to balance out our weaknesses. StrengthsFinder lists 34 potential strengths and after taking the assessment, you’ll get to see and learn about your top five with in-depth information and suggestions for using your strengths in your life and work.



In my life, the Bible has always been an incredible guide to personal development. Since personal development is the process of building your individual skills, abilities or gifts in order to maximize your potential to fulfill your calling or purpose the Bible is a natural fit, offering advice and guidance to developing your spirit, soul and body (1 Cor 9:25). 

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