10 Must Read Self Development Books To Increase Self-Productivity

Self Development Books

Self development is a process turning oneself into better human being, This can be done in many ways like  developing skills , increasing self confidence , acquiring knowledge , self realization and  many more activities .

However, the core point is to make you better. This is the same thing, which successful people do in order to achieve financial success or mental peace. They focus on themselves and always put effort in improving themselves, because that is best investment you can do.

There is an old saying that,” It always starts inside, if you make inner self strong there is no such thing which you cannot achieve in your life”.

I have listed down some of the best self development books which helped millions of people to improve themselves and untapped the power within them to achieve whatever they want in their life.

List of 10 Must Read Self Development Books

1.The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

This book is written by Stephen R. Covey . It was first published in 1989 and till now sold above 15 million copies worldwide. One of the best books for Self-development, without this book list would be incomplete.

In this book, Covey explains the 7 habits of successful people. Habits are the activities, which we do repeatedly and that make our character. If you want to be successful, you need to replace bad habits and adopt these 7 habits in life in order to bring maximum long term benefit in your life.

He also talks about Paradigm Shifting, the way two people look at the same thing but having different perspective. By looking at water glass, some people would say its half empty and some would say its half full.

He emphasizes to change the way we look at the things and should be focused on improving your personal attitude and behavior.

There are seven chapters in book and each one is dedicated to one habit.

  1. Be Proactive :- This lesson teach you to take initiative in your life . Become responsible for your life and  make things happen.
  2. Begin with the end in Mind : – Teaches you to set a personal mission on how do you want to be  remembered in life , what do you want to become and contribute in society.
  3. Put First thing first :- Teaches you to develop a habit of time and life management
  4. Think Win –Win : – Teaches you to work together with other people and seek mutual benefits. See them as cooperative people not as competitor.
  5. Seek first to understand , Then to be understood :-Teaches you the importance of communication in order to become successful in life
  6. Synergize : -Teaches you the power of group working together rather than individual
  7. Sharpen your saw :- Teaches you to improve your skills. This is the best investment you can make for yourself


2. How to Develop Self-Confidence And Influence People

It is written by Dale Carnegie in 1926.  Let’s talk about Dale Carnegie first, he was writer and lecturer and created best Self-Improvement, Salesmanship, public speaking and interpersonal skill courses. His goal was to eliminate the fear of public speaking from people and make them capable to put their ideas/opinion in public. He believed that we can change people behavior by changing our behavior towards them.

The book “How to Develop Self-Confidence and Influence People by Public Speaking”  helps you to improve your public speaking and boost self confidence . But it takes lot of preparation , practice and knowledge to do that.

Key Points which he  explained  in this book to become an effective public speaker are:

  1. Preparation before public speaking is must , that will boost your confidence
  2. Make speeches interesting by telling your own personal experiences or other stories related to speech
  3. Be confident and energetic in every point you speak, make audience feel like whatever you are speaking you really mean it.
  4. Art of delivering you points one after another , the sequence should make sense and make audience engage throughout your speech.
  5. Emphasize on opening and closing talk of speech. Proper opening talk will make audience to listen to your speech and proper closing talk make them to remember the speech summary/crucial points.


3. Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich was written by Napoleon Hill in 1937. It is considered as “Must Read”   books of all time.  By 2011, over 70 Million copies are sold worldwide. He explained the philosophy, which will work in any line of work and achieve your desire result.

Key points of this book are 13 principles, which he explained in good way:

  2. FAITH
  13. THE 6th SENSE


4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change

The book is written by Charles Duhigg , a New York Times reporter.  It is on best seller list of Amazon, New York Times and USA today . This self-help book has explained the science of habits.

Charles Duhigg writes “Habits  are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense”

This book explains the importance of habit in your daily life and by changing your habits how you can transform your life.  Developing habits are challenging, but once you develop something as a habit , you don’t need even motivation to do that.

Just take an example, Most people say I want to lose 40 pounds in two months and after two months they don’t really achieve the target because they are focusing on end results which seems daunting. Instead if you  say I will going to run 2 miles every day as soon as I get up every day and for now avoid focusing your 40 pounds target. After some time when you develop this habit of running 2 miles every day as you get up you will see that you are actually reaching towards your goal of losing 40 Pounds. Habits can be developed by start small.

Some Key Points which he explained in this book to make us realize the true potential of habits are:

  1. How habits can be formed
  2. Significance of developing habits
  3. Ways to change your habits
  4. Key stone habits explaination


5. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

It is written by Amy Morin , a clinical social worker, College psychology instructor, and psychotherapist. She explains why is it so important to be mentally strong, everyone can go to gym and by workout make themselves physically strong , but it’s not physical strength which comes into picture when we face difficult situations in life .It’s our mental ability which lets us through these situations. The same way it requires high mental strength in order to become successful life.

Increasing your mental strength can change your attitude and help you to adopt healthy habits in life which helps them to manage their emotions , behavior and thoughts which leads them to success.

Key points of mentally strong people which Amy has explained in this book  are :

  1. Don’t Feel sorry for themselves
  2. Don’t give away their power
  3. Don’t waster energy on things they cannot control
  4. Don’t shy away from change
  5. Don’t dwell on past
  6. Don’t fear to take calculated risk
  7. Don’t make the same mistakes again and again
  8. Don’t resent other people success
  9. Don’t give up after first failure
  10. Don’t fear alone tim e
  11. Don’t expect results immediately
  12. Don’t feel the world owes them anything
  13. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone


6. Who Will Cry When You Die?

This book is written by Robin Sharma , a Canadian writer .  He is famous for his bestselling books including “The Monk who sold his Ferrari “

“When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”
— Ancient Sanskrit saying

This old saying explain it enough , Robin explains that we should live a life in such a way that world would cry when we die. He talks about the more than 100 simple solutions to our complex life problems to make our life worth living and peaceful.

Some key points I would like to share from this book  which Robin has explained in simper way are :

  1. Practice Tough Love
  2. Honor your past
  3. Talk to yourself
  4. Learn to be silent
  5. Every day be kind to a stranger

And Many more …


7. Attitude is Everything change your attitude change your life!

This book is written by Jeff Keller, a motivational speaker, seminar leader and writer in area if motivation and human potential. This book published in June, 1999, describes the 12 lessons about attitude which can be applied in any area of life to grow and become better human being.

This book also explains how Jeff applied those lessons in his life to make a transformation in his life from lawyer to motivational speaker and Showed how other can also do the same and make their life better.

Some key points which he explained in this book are:

  1. Your Attitude Is The Window To The World
  2. You’re A Human Magnet
  3. Picture Your Way To Success
  4. Make A Commitment And You’ll Move Mountains
  5. Turn Your Problems Into Opportunities

And many more ….


8. The Magic of Thinking Big

This book is written by David Schwartz and sold over 4 million copies worldwide since it got published in 1959.  This book teaches people to think big in life and provides proper methods of achieving them.

By changing thought habit, one can achieve anything whether its financial success , family harmony and relationship  balance.

Some key Points which David  has explained in this book are :

  1. Belive you can success and you will
  2. How to think big
  3. Cure yourself of excuses : The failure disease
  4. Build Confidence and Destroy fear
  5. How to think and dream creatively

And many more..


9. Thinking, Fast and Slow

This book is written by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman.  This book is 2011 best seller and takes us on to tour of our mind and explains how it works. He divided the working of our brain in two parts ‘System I and System II “.  He came to this conclusion by his decades of research, most times in collaboration with  Amos Tversky.

System I is fast, instinctive and emotional whereas System II is slower, deliberative and logical.  System I  is responsible for unconscious error which makes human suffer. He explained how we could tap the power of slow thinking with his practical insights while making decisions in personal and professional life. He also describes technique, which we can use to guard against  mental decision, which often leads us to trouble.

Some key Points which Daniel explained in this book are:

  1. Two Systems
  2. Overconfidence
  3. Heuristics and Biases
  4. Choices
  5. Two Selves


10. Who Moved My Cheese?

Spencer Johnson writes this motivation tale to explain how to deal with change in life and work place with the help of two mice and two little people during their hunt for cheese. This book was published on 8 September 1998 and sold over 26 Million copies worldwide and remain one of best selling of all time.

Story revolves around four characters that live in a maze and looking for cheese, which will make them happy. All four characters defined the part of us; Maze where you spent most of the time looking for what you want and  cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and which will make you happy. However, when circumstances are changed and take away your cheese, how do you change your attitude to get advantage from this change, which leads you to success.

Some key Points Spencer has explained in this book are:

  1. When you move beyond your fear , you feel free
  2. If you do not change you can become extinct
  3. The quicker you let go of old cheese , the sooner you find new cheese
  4. Imagining myself enjoying new cheese , even before I find it leads me to it.
  5. Noticing small changes early helps you adapt to bigger changes that are to come

And many more …

Last thing , I would like to hear from you …...

Let me in comments, Which of the above self development books you like and what are the other good self development books are out there …..

If you like this post , don’t forget to share with your loved ones ….

Photo credit: Literary Colors via photopin (license)

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Neeraj Kaple

Neeraj Kaple is a software engineer based in Mumbai. He writes articles which motivates/inspire people to achieve their goals. He also writes about software's, blogging tools, internet marketing and how-to guides on his another Blog Techmazic.com.

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