Are you searching for some great motivational books to read?
Self-help motivational books sometimes don’t get the credit that they deserve.
While some are filled with advice that will go in one ear and out the other, there are many out there that can greatly improve your life.
If you’re looking for the best books to give you more than a little push of motivation, here are some valuable options that will be worth your time to read.
37 of The Best Motivational Books to Inspire You
Best Motivational Books of All Time
1. Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life, by Nick Vujicic
Author Nick Vujicic is an international motivational speaker who was born severely disabled, yet overcame this obstacle to live his ideal life.
Vujicic urges his readers to find their life’s purpose and to never give up, despite seemingly impossible hurdles. He shares that once he found his purpose, which is to inspire other people to improve their lives, he was able to build the life he dreamed of.
Readers appreciate the author’s practical advice for obtaining a life of fulfillment and happiness by developing positive relationships and building trust.
2. Think and Grow Rich: The Original, an Official Publication of The Napoleon Hill Foundation, by Napoleon Hill
Readers have found Think and Grow Rich to be a life changer. It is a systematic manual for reframing your outlook and values to create affluence or anything else you may want in your life.
It is the foundational motivational book underlying a century of people who successfully lived by Hill’s methods. The author explains simple, basic techniques that lead to lasting success and peace of mind.
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
The advice given in this book has remained relevant over the years and has helped countless people succeed in both their professional and personal lives.
The author provides sensible techniques to teach you how to make people like you, how to convince people to agree with your ideas, and how to change people without causing hard feelings.
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Readers have found this to be a great book for people who are having a tough time in life but can’t figure out exactly what they’re doing wrong.
4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, by Stephen Covey
This is a classic choice that offers ideas and principles that can be applied to the wide variety of situations that people and businesses might face.
From improving relationships to having more effective management in a business, it seems there are very few situations in which these seven habits cannot be applied.
Readers find Covey’s advice to be interesting and thought-provoking. This might be the right book for you if you need or want to be more effective when dealing with other people or you want to pursue better relationships.
5. The Power of Positive Thinking: 10 Traits for Maximum Results, by Dr. Norman Peale
The messages of faith and inspiration in this bestseller help readers live a happy, fulfilling, and satisfying life.
Dr. Peale reveals practical techniques to help you energize your life and motivate you to carry out your dreams.
Readers find that the author expands their thinking and offers powerful affirmations that you can repeat to yourself to increase the morale and faith you have in yourself.
6. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle
To live in the present moment, you need to abandon your analytical mind and leave your ego behind.
Eckhart Tolle leads you through a challenging journey in this guide using simple language and an easy-to-follow format to help you improve your life by living in the moment.
Readers have found that the author provides an experience that can greatly impact how you view your circumstances. This book may be especially great for you if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or panic attacks.
7. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, by Travis Bradberry
Emotional intelligence is a commonly mentioned phenomenon these days, as it is mandatory to have in our fast-paced and competitive society.
Everyone wants to learn the tools to get ahead and be successful. Bradberry provides you with a simple program that helps you learn how to use emotional intelligence to your benefit.
The author teaches four fundamental emotional intelligence skills to help you reach your potential. Readers appreciate the entertaining anecdotes and the practical insights found in this book.
8. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
How you think about your talents and skills have a huge impact on every area of your life. If you believe your mindset is fixed, you are hindering yourself from growing and developing to your full potential.
Dweck teaches readers how to increase their success by changing their mindset and how putting this idea to use can foster outstanding accomplishment.
Readers learn to change to a valuable growth mindset by putting themselves to the task after reading this book.
9. 10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment, by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
This might be the right book for you if you find yourself living in the regret of the past or the anxiety of the future. Reading this book teaches you how to live in the present moment by using mindfulness habits and living a life with more purpose. This is a great book for those who need to improve their focus, productivity, satisfaction, and peace of mind.
10. Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie
Byron Katie gives readers four simple questions to ask themselves during times of despair to change the way you view whatever is troubling you.
She refers to this process as The Work, which teaches you to simply love what is. This step-by-step guide offers readers clear examples of using this process.
Many people appreciate the sense of peace and clarity they feel after reading this book, along with the ability to act in situations that previously appeared to be impossible.
11. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink
Author Daniel Pink references forty years of scientific research on human motivation to reteach you how to motivate people using his new model.
He claims the secret to high performance in today’s society is the innate need for people to direct their own lives and create new and better things.
This might be the right book for you if you are looking for ways to motivate people who work for you or if you need a boost of inspiration yourself.
Readers love that this book is able to take dry, scientific research and make it both digestible and interesting.
12. Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl
This influential memoir recounts psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s life in Nazi death camps and the resulting lessons for spiritual survival.
Frankl makes a strong argument that while you cannot avoid suffering, you can control your coping skills to impact your future.
Readers learn that the discovery and pursuit of what they find to be meaningful in life is people’s main motivation, which is why those who develop purpose and meaning in their lives are able to move on from suffering.
13. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
This inspiring story of self-discovery teaches you about the importance of listening to your heart, follow your dreams, and recognize opportunities that come your way.
The author tells a tale with comic charm and psychological intensity that is also full of wisdom about self-empowerment, dealing with and overcoming depression, and believing in your dreams.
This short and simple story is worth the motivational read.
Best Motivational Books for Students
14. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World, by Tina Seelig
Tina Seelig, executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, provides critical skills and insight for people who are going through a major life transition such as beginning a new career after college.
The author shares stories, advice, examples, and humor to guide you to achieve ultimate success no matter where your potential may lead you.
With an open mind, readers learn that there are endless possibilities out there for those who learn from their failures and go outside of their comfort zones.
This is a great read for anyone who is looking for their position in this world.
15. How to Become a Straight-A Student, by Cal Newport
Cal Newport makes a compelling argument for working smarter, not harder. The author reveals secrets in this book for streamlining your work, managing your time, and recognizing your priorities.
This blueprint for success is a guide to being more successful while also having more free time. This might be the right book for you if you often find yourself spending too much time but still getting too little accomplished.
16. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, by Marina Keegan
This posthumous collection of stories and essays that were originally written by Yale graduate, Marina Keegan, inspires action and hope in readers.
In her title essay, Keegan encourages people to not lose track of friendships in their lives that have brought them joy and to hold onto the adventurous spirit they had during their youth.
Readers appreciate that Marina feels like an inspiring and encouraging friend throughout her literary works.
17. Sane New World: A User’s Guide to the Normal-Crazy Mind, by Ruby Wax
In this UK bestseller, author Ruby Wax, a comedian and mental health advocate shows you how your mind can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing.
By sharing her enlightening journey overcoming depression, Wax is able to help you understand how your brain works and how you can change your thinking using mindfulness techniques to quiet your mind in a world of chaos.
This thought-provoking book might be right for you if you are overwhelmed and need to find a sense of peace in your life.
18. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, by Amanda Palmer
This compelling read recounts Amanda Palmer’s journey as an artist and her developed ability to ask for and receive help.
People often feel guilty or unworthy when they receive help from others, but Palmer argues that receiving help properly is a skill that can be used to boost you to your highest potential.
This is a great book for people who have a hard time asking for a receiving help from others but need outside support to get where they want to go.
19. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
This blunt how-to guide includes funny and inspiring stories to help you increase your income and improve your relationships and career.
Sincero teaches you how to love the things you can’t change about your life and why you may do some of the things that do that hold you back.
Readers appreciate the refreshing and feisty tons in this book that sets it apart from other self-help books.
20. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, by Joseph Murphy
This inspirational guide shows you how your methods of thinking can have a great impact on your life.
Dr. Murphy explains easy-to-understand techniques to use the power of your mind to positively influence all aspects of your life.
The message in this book is great for anyone who is trying to lead themselves to a happier, healthier, and more successful life
21. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin Sharma
This story is a motivating read that helps you realize the things in your life that are truly important to you outside of material possessions.
The protagonist, Julian Mantle, is a busy lawyer with questionable priorities whose life ultimately catches up to him when he experiences a heart attack.
As a result, Mantle sells everything he owns to go on a pursuit of a meaningful existence.
The simple advice given in this book provides you with wisdom to look within yourself for true happiness and to improve your life.
22. Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives, by Dan Millman
This beloved spiritual saga is a mixture of autobiographical fact and narrative fiction that helps you rediscover the true meaning of life.
Millman recounts his interaction with his unexpected mentor (Socrates) where he learns about spiritual strength and enlightenment.
This might be the right book for you if you are struggling to find your purpose.
23. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Randy Pausch was asked to give a lecture that ended up summarizing his legacy and imparting his last bit of wisdom upon the world.
Pausch teaches readers about the importance of overcoming obstacles, helping other people achieve their dreams, and living every moment to its fullest.
This speech about living in motivating and inspiring for anyone who wants to make the most out of their life.
24. Unlimited Memory, by Kevin Horsley
If you feel like you are too busy or stressed out to concentrate or retain information, Kevin Horsley teaches you an easy way of thinking to help you master your attention and regain your ability to remember important information.
The methods provided in this book are useful if you want to be more successful in your personal or professional life.
25. The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy
If you are seeking success, The Compound Effect is an operation manual that helps you develop a plan to achieve your goals.
Hardy teaches small, incremental changes to make in your life that will result in a huge improvement. Apply the principles in this book to become more productive, creative, and strategic.
Business Motivational Books
26. Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life, by Spencer Johnson
Change can be difficult to deal with because people often feel like they have no control over how or when change happens.
Dr. Spencer Johnson tells a simple story to show you that your attitude is the most important thing when dealing with our rapidly changing world.
Readers learn a simple technique for anticipating, acknowledging, and accepting change in a way that positively affects your life.
27. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, by Tony Hsieh
Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, shares the business and life lessons he has learned, from running a worm farm to running Zappos.
He shows you how having a unique kind of corporate culture as he created at Zappos is a powerful path to success.
He makes the strong argument that concentrating on the wellbeing of the people around you will increase your own happiness.
28. Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, by Timothy Ferriss
Regardless of the challenges you are facing, the tools, strategies, and habits shared in this book can help you achieve results.
A compilation of short profiles of over 130 top performers worldwide, this reference book teaches you solutions that have helped people who have come before you.
Readers love the diversity in this book and learning about the very different paths people have taken to be successful.
29. Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, by Gary Vaynerchuk
After building his family’s wine store from a $4 million business to a $60 million business, Vaynerchuk teaches business owners how to increase their sales using the internet.
After finding your passion, reading this book can help you turn it into a flourishing business and career.
This might be the right book for you if you are ready to move on from your current job and turn your life’s passion into a career.
30. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek
This inspiring bestseller shows that the most influential leaders in the world all start by understanding the reason behind their missions.
Sinek provides a framework to build businesses and inspire people by simply asking: “Why?”
Readers appreciate Sinek’s ability to put the big picture together for them when it comes to their life and business and understand why they are passionate about the things that mean the most to them.
31. The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage, by Mel Robbins
If you want to increase your confidence and eliminate self-doubt, Mel Robbins teaches you the power of a “push moment.”
She also provides you with one easy tool that takes just five seconds to help you become your best self.
This might be the right book for you if you want to increase your efficiency, engagement, and partnerships.
32. The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss
Ferriss shares some useful tools to help you eliminate clutter and busy work from your life and increase your earning potential while decreasing the amount of time you spend working.
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Readers appreciate that this book is action-packed with practical information, informative case studies, and content that changes your mindset about a multitude of facets of life.
33. Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell
What makes exceptionally high achievers different from everyone else?
The inventive theories offered by Gladwell in this book are entertaining and inspiring.
This book reveals that you must change your perception of accomplishments because timing, circumstance, and luck are huge factors that contribute to a person’s success.
34. First, Break All the Rules, by Gallup Press
Gallup reveals the astonishing findings of its study of over 80,000 managers in this book to teach you the unique strategies of the world’s greatest managers.
Readers learn critical performance and career lessons and methods for applying them, which makes this an enlightening book for managers of every kind.
35. The Millionaire Next Door, by William Danko
While people often think of celebrities and high-profile people when they think of millionaires, Danko reveals that most wealthy people are everyday people who have made beneficial financial decisions in their life.
Readers learn that living below their means is the first step to generating wealth.
36. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, by Sheryl Sandberg
Option B teaches readers how to help people who are in crisis develop compassion for oneself, raise resilient children, and build strong families, organizations, and communities.
The lessons in this book can be applied to many different types of everyday struggles, helping you learn to power through any obstacles in front of you.
37. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker
This book reveals how to change your financial blueprint if you are struggling to make the money that you want.
The author teaches you how to think like rich people think so you, too, can live a wealthy life.
This is a great personal development book for people who have not had a mentor to teach them about building wealth.
These books will inspire and empower you to live the life that you dream of living.
They are mind-opening opportunities to benefit from the experiences and knowledge of thought leaders and experts.
Their insights, successes, and failures will motivate you to move forward with anything you want to achieve in life.