While there are many places to look for personal development, sometimes reading established books can give you a lot of great ideas. As in the quote above, I find it very useful to pick and choose from the many techniques available and put my own personal spin on them. I am fond of saying “There’s no one right way, just many ways that may work for you.”
Here are 10 books (in alphabetical order by author) that I’ve found useful, as well as a little bit from me on why each book is meaningful to me:
- The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor
I absolutely love the seven principles found in this book. I’ve used them in my own personal development as well as facilitating training and coaching sessions and running several successful book clubs. The most impactful principle for me is the 20-second rule. Basically, the idea is to make things you want to do 20 seconds easier to do and things you want to stop doing 20 seconds harder to do. That’s enough to overcome inertia and help start a positive habit or stop a negative one.
- Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
The most impactful idea from this book for me is in the workflow. If something can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it when you process the task rather than moving it to a later time. It’s amazing how much that helps keep things in check!
- The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw
While our society often expects multitasking it is important to focus on single tasks if we want to be our most productive. I am a strident advocate for single-tasking and am grateful for the concept.
- The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
I got to see Seth Godin speak live in 2011 and quickly read most of his books immediately after. For me, the reminder that we are never told the second warning of “Don’t fly too low” was important. We’re told not to shoot too high, at the risk of always shooting too low.
- Unlimited Power: The New Science of Personal Achievement by Anthony Robbins
I wasn’t sure where to start with Tony Robbins‘ books, but I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. I think my biggest take away from this book is the idea that what we feel isn’t the result of what is happening in your life but rather is your interpretation of what is happening.
- Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Another book that yielded some great book club discussions. The concept of the Golden Circle, with Why being the core instead of starting with what and moving on to how, start with why.
- What To Do Then There’s Too Much To Do: Reduce Tasks, Increase Results, and Save 90 Minutes a Day by Laura Stack
This was the first book I ever facilitated a book club for. I love the idea of triaging your work as it comes in so that high priority/importance items get looked at first.
- Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
Another book club favorite. The biggest take away is to take action on your most important task first thing rather than putting it off.
- Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton
This is one of those books that should be required reading for anyone who is on either side of a negotiation. My favorite takeaway is the idea of inventing options for mutual gain. There is always a way to strike a deal where both sides get something positive.
- Born To Win: Find Your Success by Zig Ziglar and Tom Ziglar
I am always inspired by Zig Ziglar and his message. From this book, I especially like the idea of being the best you can be regardless of your job or profession.
These books are being discussed in my Personal Development Book Club Facebook Group. Feel free to join in the discussion!
What parts of these books resonate with you? What other books have you found to be useful in your personal development?