Article A comprehensive collection of some of the best books to propel you to success! 0 2019 Life coaching Motivational coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

The Best Books Will Set You Up for Success

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Becoming the best version of you requires a lot of time and effort. Some lessons cannot really be learned any other way other experiencing them yourself. No matter how many books you read on a given subject, you’ll never really master the subject until you actually do it.

That being said, books function as an essential starting point to knowledge. The very best books on personal success work by revealing the underlying mechanisms of what it is you want to achieve.

Even if you fail, books give you the information to know why you failed and how to improve. Without them, diagnosing failure and success is little more than a guessing game.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive collection of some of the best books you find on a wide range of subjects, including: discipline, human psychology, money management, motivation, social skills, persuasion, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a summary of the most important research and findings by the famous psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, over the course of decades of work.

The lessons cover many aspects of human psychology that concern decision making, risk aversion, thought patterns, mental shortcuts, biases and much more.

It’s generally an easy book to read, but can be technical at times. However, it’s well worth reading. Once you finish it, you’ll be able to see details in your behaviors and others that you never could before. These details are almost always invisible to your daily life, but once you know they exist, it’s hard not to see them every time.

It’s because of this effect, that the book deserves a spot in your library.

Thinking Fast and Slow


Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term “flow” when describing a mental state of full concentration, that is at once effortless and also enjoyable.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience carefully and thoroughly describes how flow states work and how to enter them. More importantly however, Mihaly shows how you can integrate your entire life into an enjoyable flow experience that can provide meaning and contentment to your existence.

Flow, The Psychology of Human Experience

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was written back in 1997 but it has easily withstood the test of time.

The book explains important financial concepts and wealth management strategies by comparing the habits of a rich dad and a poor one.

It’s central lesson around which all others revolve, is that rich people measure their wealth in assets, and how those assets produce more money. This compares to regular people whose only source of income is the wage they have.

The book is fairly short, and doesn’t really go truly in-depth on any one subject, but that’s ok. It’s supposed to create a basic outlook on how to make money and manage finances, so you can then build from there.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

It’s understandable of you find the title to be somewhat clickbaity, but the contents of this book by Stephen Covey absolutely live up to the ambitious title.

A major aspect of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peoplethat makes it so interesting, is its emphasis on achieving a state called interdependence, which is the last step in a three stage process of maturity: dependence, independence and interdependence.

This last step is important because interdependence allows two or more people to create something much greater than the sum of its parts.

The titular 7 habits, describe how to first achieve independence, then interdependence and finally how to maintain and increase the obtained results.

7 Habits of Highly Successful People

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

 Based on modern research into human psychology, Drive reveals and explains how the greatest motivators in our lives are not rewards and punishment, but rather internal ones.

These internal motivations seek to find meaning in what we do. The most important ingredients to achieving this intrinsic motivation is autonomy, purpose and mastery.

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Achieving change and improvement can be a very difficult process at times, but not because of the effort itself, but rather the slowness and gradualness of it. Even if you are doing the right steps, it can seem like you’re standing still.

This is where The Compound Effect comes in handy. It describes how even small actions of gratitude and self-improvement will eventually accumulate, to the point where they offer very sizeable and noticeable changes, in both personal and financial matters.

The key however, is to be consistent and dogged in achieving those aims, and always working towards your goals day in, day out.

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne

Life would be a lot easier if everything people said could be taken at face value. For good or bad however, what people say often isn’t what they truly think or want.

Games People Play uncovers many of these psychological theatrics that rule every day human interaction. By the end of the book, you’ll be able to more clearly see the underlying dynamics of a social situation, and see what drives both parties involved.

Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis by Eric Berne

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Say what you want about this book, but it has real staying power and is clearly timeless in its lessons. It’s been 80 years since it was first published, and yet people still talk about it.

How to Win Friends & Influence People has remained relevant for the clarity of its lessons and for offering a basic toolset on how to establish a rapport with almost anybody.

That being said, the book has received its fair share of criticism over the course of its shelf life. Much of it has targeted the insincerity and fakeness of the methods Carnegie recommends. But those critiques miss the point of How to Win Friends and Influence People, namely that you’re not supposed to follow these methods to the letter and overuse.

Instead, consider this book more of a set of best practices, an ideal you should aspire to.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The one book about stoicism that everybody should read. Ironic however, given that Marcus Aurelius wrote it exclusively for himself, to serve as a private guide to his prosperous rule.

Because it was written more as a private journal, rather than proper book, the structure of Meditations can be all over the place. However, it does have some important central themes: problems are created in the mind, change is inevitable and one must accept it, fame and praise are not worth the effort of obtaining, you are only responsible for your own actions and not the actions of others.

At the risk of oversimplifying a thoughtful philosophy and work, Meditations teaches you to be humble, dutiful and at once engage with the world, but without being affected by it. It’s a great book to pick up, especially when you’re going through a downturn in your life.

Since the book was written in Latin almost 2000 years ago, translations can be a bit technical. It’s for this reason that the most often suggested translation is the one by Gregory Hays.

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker has been of the 20th century’s most influential writers (if not the most) on management and management theories, having written close to 40 books on the subject.

The Effective Executive goes over some of the most important skills and habits a manager and/or executive should have: good time management, business processes and policies, which opportunities to focus at, decision making and many more.

While the language can be flowery at times, the underlying lessons are solid and have withstood the test of time. 

The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Looking for a well-researched book on persuasion, that’s backed by hard data and no psychobabble? If yes, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is what you’ve been looking for.

Influence lists 6 persuasion tactics, each backed by a hefty amount of tested data. These include: reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and scarcity.

The book is very wide in its scope, meaning all of the tactics it includes can be used on an interpersonal level, but also in other contexts such as marketing and economics.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work anD What To Do ABout It by Michael Gerber

The entrepreneurial myth is that 1) all people who start businesses are entrepreneurs and 2) people who understand how to do something (plumbing for instance) can also build a business around that skill.

In other words, technical skills can be important to setting up a business, but they are not decisive. Instead, what a potential entrepreneur should be most concerned about is how to acquire the business skills that he needs to get his fledgling company of the ground and make it prosper.

To this end, The E-Myth Revisited contains important lessons on how to start a business, creating profitable processes and systems, and also teaching the reader how to enter a businessman mindset, and not an employee one.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work anD What To Do ABout It by Michael Gerber

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended ON It by Chris Voss

Negotiations isn’t just something you do in a business environment. To a degree, it’s a way of life, and you do it more or less every time you interact with someone else. Most of the times, the stakes will be very small and inconsequential to all parties involved. But every once in a while, a situation will come up that has real impact, whether it is personal or financial.

It’s during these challenging moments that you need to know how to hold your own in a tough spot, and get yourself the best deal possible.

As an FBI international hostage negotiator, Chris Voss was no stranger to high stakes negotiations. In his book Never Split the Difference, he draws upon his extensive experience and guides the reader through his mental processes as he navigated tricky situations.

Never Split the Difference includes practical advice, negotiating tactics and principles, observations and a general understanding of human psychology that is grounded in reality.

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended ON It by Chris Voss

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Being a leader is hard work. As if finding the right solutions to a problem isn’t hard enough, you must also get everybody else in the team / organization on board with your chosen path.

Extreme Ownership's authors Jocko Willink and Leif Babin were part of a Navy SEAL unit that saw intense active combat on more than one occasion. During combat operations, the only thing that would keep the unit alive and able to reach is its objective was strict discipline and, most importantly, solid leadership.

The leadership principles that underpin an effective fighting force are easily translatable to civilian situations, especially the most important one: that leaders are responsible for every failure, and that nobody else is to blame.

This can be a tough pill to swallow, especially for people who have an inflated ego. And yet, extreme ownership will have a counterintuitive effect of strengthening trust in leadership, and not diminishing it.

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin


Paul Bonea is the author behind Hasty Reader, a book and self-improvement blog, that seeks to find the most useful concepts a reader can use in his life journey.  


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