20 Great Motivational Books

Whether we like it or not, there’s distraction that’s constantly bugging us. Sometimes, even as simple as getting out of bed or doing uncomplicated tasks can be quite tough.

That’s why all of us need motivation in order to do things that we were meant to do. Life-changing self-guiding books provide you with the tools you need to get yourself inspired and motivated.

Here are some of the greatest motivational books that can help revolutionize your life:

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Where to Buy
The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The ONE Thing
Awaken the Giant Within
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Why We Do What We Do
The Power of Habit
The 5 Second Rule
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

1. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking has sold over five million copies worldwide. And more importantly, it has helped a lot of people to achieve success and fulfillment as well as a happy and satisfying life that’s worth living. The basic idea of this book is surprisingly simple — that having an optimistic and positive look makes you healthier, happier and thus having a better chance to succeed in life.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a excellently-written book by Dr. Covey. First published in 1989, it has sold over 25 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. 

In this book, Covey presents seven habits which will not only help you to become a better and more effective person. These seven habits help you to take control of your life, improve the way you interact with other people and find ways to further improve yourself. This book helps you change the way you see the world and the way the world sees you. No wonder business and even some political leaders recommend this book.

3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

At first, Think and Grow Rich looks like it’s a book about making yourself wealthy, but it’s actually more than that. This book expounds deeply on the law of attraction. What you think will bring you real-life experiences, whether positive or negative. Of course, this book aims to build the right mindset that will help you to achieve not just financial achievement, but also personal success.

4. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan

In the book The One Thing, authors and real-estate businessmen Gary Keller and Jay Papasan discuss about the value of focusing on only one single most important thing or task, no matter what circumstances you are thrown into, or whatever task you are given. This simplifies much of your workload and take off the weight of your personal strains to become effective and productive in whatever you do. This book presents solutions in a simple and straightforward manner which inspires readers to do away all the unnecessary distractions which leads to success and personal satisfaction in every areas of your life — finances, relationships and family. 

5. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins’ Awaken the Giant Within has always been one of the most popular book in the self-help field. The book focuses on taking charge on your life in every important aspect. This book walks you through the steps on how can you master your own emotions and feelings, take charge of your finances… basically, taking control of your life and excel in everything you do, discover your purpose in life and control the forces that will shape your destiny.

6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

One of the oldest known self-help and motivational books that are still very much in print today, How to Win Friends and Influences People has inspired countless people, including business leaders, political figures, celebrated people and other “extra”-ordinary people.

Much of the book is still relevant and applies very much in this modern life. It motivates you to change your approach in life in order to establish connections and gain influence from them. If you are having issues about dealing with people or lack much-needed leadership skills, this book will guide you.

7. Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation by Dr. Edward L. Deci

According to Dr. Deci in his book Why We Do What We Do, Dr. Edward L. Deci (who is a professor of psychology and social science), the principles of rewards and punishment — the traditional methods of motivation — are not the most effective ways to motivate oneself to do better. In fact, these methods will only backfire. 

Dr. Deci’s book focuses on self-motivation. He stresses that supporting people’s sense of autonomy is the best way to motivate themselves. He believes that autonomous motivation allows you to pursue goals for their own sake — and your own sake as well. This type of motivation is a driving force to work harder, become better in everything you do and feel so much happier compared to controlled motivation.

8. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

We are creatures of habit. A lot of us have developed good habits but unfortunately, many of us too have acquired bad habits. In his book Charles Duhigg explores on how people actually develop habits and seeks to change and re-form several of these habits towards a positive transformation in your life, your business, your relationships and your community.

9. The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

If you feeling low and lacking confidence and morale, The 5 Second Rule has the necessary tools to help you turn your life around. In this book, author Mel Robbins will help you discover that it takes only five seconds to make a big, big difference to your life, without so much more room to think about it. Gaining confidence, tearing away from self-doubt, overcome fear, get rid of uncertainties and worries… all of them can be done in just a matter of seconds. Robbins demonstrates his own “push moment” principle and its importance in building your confidence by accomplishing small but challenging daily tasks. 

10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson

All of us experience fear, uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety, but there are people who fuss a lot even over trivial things. This motivational book will help you in breaking the habit of worrying over small matters that will drive you crazy. You can change that kind of negative attitude even by accomplishing small tasks — these things will help you to feel less stressed and will enable you to focus on things that matter to you the most.

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Where to Buy
Drive
The Power of Now
Smarter Faster Better
Grit
Tools of Titans
Outliers
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino
Hustle
You Are a Badass

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

In this book, author Daniel H. Pink debunks the myth that controlled motivation and principles of reward and punishment are not the best forms of motivation. In fact, they do more harm than good. Rather, understanding our autonomy and self-actualization are the best ways for a lot of people to get themselves motivated — not the outside factors like money, perks, raise, or punishment. It all comes from feeling a profound sense of what you are and what you will become that will drive you to perform your job better 

12. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now motivates you on how to conquer your fears and anxieties. It suggests that most of your fears and worries come from things that have happened or can possibly happen. Through this book, Tolle wants to make people to realize that they are the ones who are creators of pain and guides them on how to live in a pain-free life by living in the present.

13. Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg

Wondering why many individuals and organizations are able to do things faster than others do? Smarter Faster Better will show you the way. It explores the science of productivity and how to improve it through eight concepts: motivation, focus, teams, goal-setting, managing other people, innovation, effective decision-making and absorbing data.

Combining bits of real-life success stories and scientific data, this book will show you how productive and successful people view the world from a different perspective compared to the less productive ones.

14. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This book seeks to demonstrate and prove that neither genius, nor talent, will bring you to the top…. but “grit”, the combination of passion and enduring perseverance. It also illustrates real-life success stories which prove that despite the limitations that may hamper your road to success, it takes as simple as determination to be able to achieve your goals. Any person from any walks of life will definitely find inspiration and motivation in this book.

15. Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss

Prior to writing this book, American businessman, podcaster and author Tim Ferriss had interviewed over 200 achievers. He sought to find out what things these successful had in common, as well as their own tactics and peculiarities, that enabled them to become successful. He gained a lot of important life lessons from them, and those were the basis and inspiration of this book.

Unlike other books that offer only ideas or theories, Tools of Titans present actionable and practical details. Reading this, it makes you feel as if the author discusses these details with you.

16. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

From this motivational book by Malcolm Gladwell, you get to discover what makes these successful “outliers” tick. Outliers take you to the stories of these intriguing and fascinating individuals who enjoy higher degrees of success. It proves that it is not good fortune, inborn talent and skill or good attitude is not necessarily the keys to success. Rather, it illustrates that dedicating yourself and your time on developing and perfecting your skills or field of expertise is the key to get you to the top.

17. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

As author James Allen writes, “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” stressing that how your thoughts will form your attitude in life, and how that attitude prompts you to act and to choose what kind of actions to take.

One of the earliest self-help and motivational books, As a Man Thinketh may have antiquated or archaic words and phrases that today’s readers may find it not an easy book to read. But the content of the book itself and its ideas are the reasons for its staying power, and it is still one of the best self-help books up to now.

18. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

We’re sure you have heard of Og Mandino and his most famous work, the best-selling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. It has sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into 40 languages. This is the book to go if you’re feeling tired and your sense of ambition and motivation is slipping away.

While this is basically a book which guides you through the philosophy of salesmanship, The Greatest Salesman in the World is more than just a salesman’s manual. This book motivates you to become a better person, to live your life to the fullest, to believe in yourself and to have a heart in helping others. 

19. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler

There are a lot of hardworking nine-to-fivers who follow the rules, but they don’t always end up successful, happy, satisfied and fulfilled. The book Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life… is your guide to breaking away from your present monotonous lifestyle by introducing a way that is popularly known as “hustling.”

This book allows you to realize there’s more to life than getting stuck to your 9-to-5 job. It encourages you to find other ventures that allow you to maximize your talents and give you genuine happiness and satisfaction.

20. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

This book is not only inspirational, but is also fun to read. This book offers sound and practical advice and exercises which motivate you to become successful and to live the life that you have always desired. These practical programs aim to help readers to get rid of their self-doubts which hamper their way to true happiness and success. This book also contains engaging stories and brims with humor that makes it enjoyable to read.