Just about anyone can benefit from having a little more motivation, and we don’t just mean that anecdotally. Did you know scientists discovered that our level of motivation depends on how fatigue gets processed by the brain? Having energy throughout the day and feeling a real zest for life can actually come down to how motivated we are. But sometimes it can take the words of wise authors to really push us to the next level. That’s why we wanted to know the consensus best motivational books on the shelves today, as suggested by the pros.
For many of us, it’s nice to have an extra kick in the behind to succeed, do good in the world, achieve trivial goals, be kinder, or simply get through the day with a smile. Getting up and taking that first step forward towards a goal can be the hardest, and that’s especially the cause for individuals who struggle with focusing, according to one study.
For others, according to another study, practicing mindfulness is one proven way to regain focus and improve their chances of meeting their goals. Finding motivation for motivational practices from the right sources, though, can be challenging. Especially considering a recent study found 6 out of 10 Americans admit celebrity role models help them get through tough times. We love celebrities as much as the next people, but they aren’t always the best people to take life advice from.
How about a book instead? We’ve curated a list of the eight best self-help books for motivation, according to experts for your viewing pleasure below. Our list is based on the titles that appeared most frequently across top reviews. If you’ve got your own suggestions, by all means, leave them in the comments at the bottom of the post!
The List: Best Motivation Books, According to Experts
Many consider Covey’s classic book to be the quintessential self-help book. Not only will you be inspired by reading it, you’ll have a clearer sense of how to organize your mind and life to thrive while others lag behind. The best part? It’s interesting and fun to read.
“It is written to be inspirational and motivating, and it uses real-world examples and anecdotes to distill seven basic tips that you can use in your life to achieve success,” writes VeryWellmind.
There’s a reason people keep coming back to this book: Thirty years later, it’s still a staple in the self-help world for both business and personal use,” writes ChoosingTherapy.
Keep your word. Don’t take things personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best. Can you practice those four things all the time? Ruiz’s book on motivation, The Four Agreements, argues that those who can will live a better life.
“The motivational book’s basic premise is that the diligent application of these agreements will lead to personal freedom,” says EverdayPower.
“The Four Agreements encourages self-reflection and encourages us to do better within our everyday lives,” writes Lifehack.org. Maybe you’ll be surprised to find what lies inside of you.
“Of all the motivational books out there, this is a must-read for those who are into life design,” says Lifehack.org.
Many of the books on motivation that made this list have been around for a while. In some cases, nearly a hundred years. Not Sincero’s book—it was written in 2013, but has become a staple of the self-help and motivation community. Some say it’s even a good bridge for those who haven’t been able to find motivation from reading books in the past.
“This is a great self-help book for the people who may be uncomfortable with the idea of self-help. It serves as a highly accessible, entertaining, and inspirational guide to personal transformation that makes you forget you’re on the path to personal development. Author and success coach Jen Sincero combines her unique humor with sage wisdom (and a few swear words) to help readers create a life they’re excited to live,” writes ChoosingTherapy.
Okay, now an older one.
“Originally published in 1937, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate the principles he sees as keys to acquiring wealth,” says PureWow.
Those are some big names, yes. But you may need to do a quick Google refresher to remember exactly what Carnegie, Edison, and Ford accomplished in their lives. Does that make Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich any less motivating? Definitely not.
“Most people think this is a book on making money. But if you give it a read, you will know how important it is to read the book. This motivational book has changed millions of lives all around the world. It’s time that you grab the book and make your life count,” says WallStreetMojo.
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
One easy way to stay motivated is to surround yourself with like-minded folks who also want the best for you. Maybe that’s been a struggle in the past. Reading this book can change that.
“Prior to Dale Carnegie’s classic, mixing business relationships with personal relationships was considered a bit underhanded, like nepotism. After Carnegie, business relationships and personal relationships were seen not just as compatible, but as absolutely inseparable, says Inc.com.
Generating motivation to work for a day or two isn’t what most of us are after. We want to find the motivation to live fulfilling, compelling lives every day, which takes a lot of hard work—or as Angela Duckworth argues in this seminal book, a lot of grit.
As PureWow puts it, “In Grit, she explains fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. She also shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.”
You’ll have a whole new take on motivation and what it means to get (and stay) motivated by the end of this book.
When Carol Dweck released this book, the field of performance psychology changed virtually overnight. Schools, businesses, and sports teams began talking about what it takes to develop a “growth mindset” in their organizations. You, too, can use the science of mindset to get more motivated.
“The book shows that the willingness and incentive to change are linked to the belief that change is possible, and shows how growth mindsets are conducive to maintaining motivation,” says Teambuilding.com.
Tony Robbins is a big personality in the self-help world. If you’ve ever listened to one of his tapes or seen clips of his seminars, you know he’s got a message (and voice) that’ll kick your butt into gear. Awaken the Giant Within is one of the masterpiece books he wrote in the 1990’s. It’s sold millions of copies around the world and to this day helps people find motivation to live a better life.
“In this book, Tony shares tips and strategies to gain control of your emotions, body, relationships, finances and life,” writes EverydayPower.
- Very Well Mind
- Choosing Therapy
- Become A Writer Today
- Wall Street Mojo
- Four Minute Books
- Team Building
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and received no compensation for making these recommendations.