23 December 2022

Twelve Personal Development Books to Improve Your Horizons

Books serve many different purposes. Some are entertaining and some are educational; self-help books can be both. They are a mainstay in bookshops and many home libraries because they promise improvement in various aspects of a person’s life. You may think that self-help books only give impractical advice. However, self-help books actually aim to offer the reader new perspectives, new habits, emotional growth, or a deeper understanding of themselves. Here are some well-known self-help books that have proven useful to many:

  1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Manson is a popular blogger who challenges toxic positivity in his self-help books by acknowledging that life really is challenging at times. In this book, he encourages readers to identify what is actually worth caring about in their own lives so that they can adjust their perspectives to better suit their personal goals. It is a true source of inspiration.

  1. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits offers practical information aimed at helping the reader leave bad habits behind as they develop good habits that will serve them better in the future. Clear makes suggestions and offers motivation, as well as providing simple examples. With these practical exercises anyone can initiate positive systems of change by following the steps in the book.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This best seller, which has sold more than 40 million copies since its first publication in 1989, addresses seven key habits that should lead the reader to a more independent, successful, and fulfilling life. Using common psychological principles, the book details how to create and maintain mutually satisfying interpersonal relationships for the benefit of all. It teaches that there is a better way to work towards personal and professional goals.

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Encouraging spiritual development in the book The Four Agreements, Ruiz introduces four principles which draw from ancient Toltec wisdom. He details how these agreements can bring happiness into our lives if earnestly applied while in harmony with each other. The book instructs the reader to apply the following: Be perfect in your words, Don't take anything personally, Don't make assumptions, and Always do your best.

  1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now connects spiritual traditions in a way that makes the argument for living in the present moment as a path to personal happiness. More of a practical guide than a traditional narrative, the book aims to inspire its readers to become aware of the thoughts and challenges that prevent them from living in the present. Once the power of being in the moment is realized and the illusion of control is given up a true appreciation of life can begin.

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Cain explains how, in some societies, introverts have historically been misunderstood. In this well-liked self-help book, by 93% of Goodreads’ raters, Cain first explains how extroverts came to prominence and then shares the experiences of successful introverts. By doing so, she explains how valuable introverts are to society at large and encourages us to value introversion more.

  1. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

The Five Love Languages has been an exceedingly popular book since it was first published in 1992. Dr. Chapman suggests that there are five main ways people demonstrate and receive love. Understanding your own and your partner's love languages can help you show love more effectively. Use this book as a guide to enrich your relationships.

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

In this book, which aims to inspire creativity, Gilbert offers her unique perspective on the creative process. She encourages curiosity and acknowledges pitfalls, as she presents habits that have been helpful on her own creative journey. Her writing reminds the reader that creativity is not linear and that anyone can be an artist, writer, or musician in a way that will satisfy their soul.

  1. Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

This memoir, by psychologist Viktor E. Frankl, details his experience in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. It not only documents how he survived a harrowing experience, but also how this tribulation allowed him to move forward with purpose. This poignant book, which contains psychological, philosophical and sociological elements, offers a unique viewpoint through the author's inspiring personal account of finding meaning in life regardless of personal circumstances.

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

Arguably one of the most well-known self-help books of all time, selling more than 30 million copies since its original publication in 1936, Carnegie’s book expresses tried-and-true principles that can help readers enrich their personal and professional lives. The book lists six helpful principles to encourage successful personal relationships, twelve principles to help cultivate others’ understanding of you and your viewpoints, and nine principles to inspire change in others.

  1. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

With a book and a Netflix series that changed the way the world looked at organization; Marie Kondo is a professional home-editing consultant who created the ‘KonMari editing method’. In her book, she describes her approach to tidiness, which is premised on the idea of keeping only those items that continue to spark joy in one’s life.

  1. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Brene Brown's best-selling book of 2010 is a favourite self-help book for many. In this book, Brown exposes the psychology behind our expectations of living a perfect life and introduces 10 guideposts for consideration to encourage the reader to move towards a freer, more authentic life.

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