reading personal development books
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Whether you read a book a week or only a few a year, these five beauties, have to be at the top of your reading list.

Checkout The 5 Must Read Personal Development Books of 2014.

1. The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change – Adam Braun

The-Promise-of-a-Pencil-CoverAdam Braun, an aspiring Wall Street investor turns humanitarian when a moving encounter while traveling India reveals his purpose in life. He meets a young boy and asks what would that boy like most, if he could have anything in the world. The boy’s response – ‘A Pencil’. That answer is what built over 200 schools for underprivileged children all over the world, starting with just $25 and a desire for change.

The Promise of a Pencil journals the steps Braun takes to follow his calling and in return you learn how to use those lessons to lead a significant and successful life. What I loved most about this book was not only the message printed in it but that all proceeds go back into the Promise of a Pencil organization.

“For anyone with a big dream to transform the world, this book will show you how to get it done.” – Sir Richard Branson


2. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products – Nir Eyal

71LAEf3UYeLTechnically released in late 2013 (December 30th), Hooked has been included in this list as it would be a crime not to have on your reading list this year! Have you ever wondered how companies manage to create products or services that keep you coming back time after time? How some products become the trend while others are forgotten? How Candy Crush has over 97 million players daily?

Hooked will explain just how these results are attained. This book introduces readers to the “Hook Model,” a four step process companies use to build customer habits, without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.

“Hooked gives you the blueprint for the next generation of products. Read Hooked or the company that replaces you will.” – Matt Mullenweg, Founder, WordPress


3. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph – Ryan Holiday

51KiJBZg5+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_From Amelia Earhart to Steve Jobs to John D. Rockefeller – all successful individuals use a formula for success that allows them to turn obstacles into opportunities.

After reading this book by Ryan Holiday, you understand that when you are frustrated, stuck and faced with impossible situations you are often closer to your desired outcome than you think.

“A book for the bedside of every future—and current—leader in the world.” – Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power and Mastery


4. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered – Austin Kleon

{FE5AF618-CA71-4D58-9F2E-64C21A7DA5F5}Img400New York Times bestselling author, Austin Kleon writes Show Your Work! to explain why generosity trumps genius. He delves into how changing your mindset and becoming ‘findable’ is how you get discovered. It’s no longer about wasting time “networking” but more so how you use your network. It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery.

Show Your Work! has ten short rules for being productive, brave, open and generous.

“A must-read for anyone involved in the creative process.” – LibraryReads


5. The Motivation Manifesto – Brendon Burchard

motivation-manifestoWritten by multiple New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard, The Motivation Manifesto shows you the steps to create the life you long for and deserve.

The message is how to overcome self-limitations and social pressures in order to achieve what Burchard calls “Personal Freedom”, the full expression of our true selves, the courageous pursuit of our dreams.

“The Motivation Manifesto is a poetic and powerful call to reclaim our lives and find our own personal freedom. I love this book” – Paulo Coelho


Have you read these books yet? What did you think?

What books do you think we should add to this list?


  1. I would add Project You: Living A Determined Life I found its holistic approach to self development and it’s thinking about having a purpose in life bigger than one’s self to be illuminating.

  2. Outwitting the Devil- Napoleon Hill
    Mastery-Robert Greene
    The 50th Law- 50 Cent and Robert Greene

  3. Carla,

    Nice post!

    I’ll be checking a few of these self development books out once I finish reading the collection I seemed to have stacked up at the moment.

    Which is your favorite on the list?

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Thanks Dan! My favorite would have to be The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun – I just love the message and cause the Promise of a Pencil organization has.

  4. Very informative and like the way You can chose which book might be for you by the ‘in a nutshell’ explanation! Sometimes just the write up of these books can be to confusing for somrome who is not familiar with it!

    • Thank you Kira! Glad you liked the article! I agree – sometimes a brief overview is easier to understand 🙂


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